According to marketing mastermind, Gerald Zaltman, 95% of purchase decisions are dictated by our subconscious, which makes understanding what is going on in your customers’ minds imperative to affecting their behavior and experience.

This is where neuromarketing comes in. Neuromarketing is essentially the study of neuroscience, behavioral economics, and social psychology, using biometric measurement tools- such as eye-tracking, facial coding, FMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), EGG (electroencephalogram)- to assess consumers’ emotional responses, level of engagement, and recall in relation to branding and marketing techniques.

If this sounds too complicated (or outside your budget), not to worry. Here are the latest insights and how you can use them to drastically improve your marketing campaigns and customers’ experience.

1. Optimize Branding & Content Strategy

Neuromarketing has been a game-changer for brands looking to optimize ads, website design, and packaging. Technologies like eye-tracking and EEG can measure consumers’ emotional and psychological responses to various visual cues so brands can adapt their design and messaging accordingly.

Frito-Lay put neuromarketing strategies to the test in an attempt to boost snack sales among calorie-conscious women. The company used FMRI brain scans to analyze how their current branding was impacting women’s reactions to their products. Results revealed that the company’s “guilt-free” terminology was still conjuring up feelings of guilt for women on an unconscious level. In addition, it turns out that the brand’s shiny packaging and color scheme were also triggering feelings of guilt and shame in a certain part of the female brain.

Within 6 months of changing its packaging and reframing content, the company experienced record-breaking sales and doubled its initial goals.

2. Influence Behavior & Build Influence

Neuromarketing has also revealed the huge influence social proof has on purchasing behavior, giving brands more insight into how to tap into our innate desire to belong and fit in.

Coca-Cola has played to social influence with great success, creating a sense of community and “togetherness” throughout their messaging.


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A post shared by Coca-Cola (@cocacola)

Another powerful technique for harnessing social proof is through customer reviews and testimonials. Studies show that 92% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase and 72% credit peer reviews with the level of trust they have in a business

Leveraging social influencers is another way to skyrocket your brand’s popularity. Stats show that 86% of women reference social influencers’ posts for purchasing advice and more than half make a purchase as a result. As you research and court your target influencer, you can simultaneously build relationships with their following by commenting and engaging in interesting and genuine ways.

Even making small copywriting alterations can attract more paying customers. For instance, framing or emphasizing how many people liked your products vs. how many people purchased them has proven to be an effective persuasion tool to boost conversion rates.

3. Make it “Now or Never” 

Neuromarketing has also confirmed that people hate to feel like they are missing out. So, if customers believe a particular product or service is in short supply, they are more likely to snatch it up before it’s gone or no longer on sale.

There are various ways to use this “get it before it’s gone” technique to drive demand. For example, you can create a sense of urgency by sending a targeted text or email offering limited-time discounts and exclusive offers or the popular and very effective “only 1 left at this rate” or “offer ends in 1 hour.”

Loss Aversion is another framing tactic that consistently results in more compelling ads and increased sales. This entails presenting the impact of NOT buying your product or service as a loss instead of a gain or focusing on the risks associated with the purchase rather than the potential benefits. For example, “stop losing money on ads, switch to….”, or “Avoid sun damage by protecting your skin with…”

4. Evoke the Power of Emotions

For marketers, knowing what is going on in people’s brains on an emotional level is much more valuable than hearing their thoughts, especially in the company of others, as most people will adjust their opinions according to groupthink.

How valuable? Studies show that 70% of customers who feel an emotional connection to a brand will spend twice as much at checkout, and over 80% will recommend their favorite brands to their friends and family.

But there are other compelling reasons to connect with and influence your audience on a deeper level beyond just financial gain as demonstrated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

NCI set out to create an ad campaign that would evoke a strong enough emotional response to encourage smokers to quit. Using focus groups and fMRI data, NCI analyzed smokers’ responses to three different ad campaigns, “A, B & C,” asking viewers which they felt would be most effective, and then measuring the part of the brain that is most influential in persuasion. The results were mind-blowing.

The participants told researchers they believed Campaign A would be the most successful, but their brain patterns revealed that Campaign C was actually the most persuasive. In the end, Campaign A did succeed in doubling the volume of phone calls to the QUIT-NOW hotline, but Campaign C increased calls by thirty-fold!


Neuromarketing is taking advertising and product development to the next level by deepening our understanding of why consumers feel and act the way they do. Even if your organization doesn’t have the resources for in-depth research, by simply integrating some of the insights above, you too can use the power of the mind to better understand, influence, and serve your audience.



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