What is Neuromarketing & How to Use It?

Neuromarketing has become the new marketing buzzword of 2019. Neuromarketing is a field of market research using neuroscience (brain research) to study a consumer’s subconscious and cognitive behavior in their decisions in the buying process. It is one of the newest scientific applications of consumer behavior. It is a way to understand the consumer’s attitudes and behaviors, and a method of predicting their responses to marketing stimuli that lead to sales.

Neuromarketing uses tools and techniques from psychology and neuroscience. This application is not a new concept, as research in this field has been around since the 1990s, but the term “neuromarketing” was coined in 2002 by Dutch marketing professor Ale Smidts. Neuromarketing uses technology from the medical industry such as Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) to study and understand the brain’s responses to certain stimuli. The FMRI measures changes in the brain’s activity to understand why consumers make the decisions they do.

Traditional marketing tools and applications assume consumers consciously convey their preferences, but neuromarketing recognizes that the majority of your thoughts and decisions come from your subconscious.

Brands Using Neuromarketing Techniques:

Neuromarketing is quickly becoming the next great frontier in marketing strategies that can determine what your customer wants and how to effectively use that information to increase brand awareness, loyalty, and revenue.

Frito-Lay is one major global brand that has already been using neuromarketing techniques for a few years. In their research, users were shown a product’s packaging in sections, while recording their responses as positive, neutral or negative. They were then interviewed, and their responses to marketing elements such as text size, font, color, and specific imagery were meticulously analyzed.

Through these techniques, Frito-Lay discovered that a matte bag with a picture of a potato triggered a more positive response, whereas a shiny bag with images of chips on them triggered a more negative response. After this research, Frito-Lay decided not to use the shiny bags they had been producing for years.

PayPal, another well-known brand, likewise employed neuromarketing research to determine that commercials which focused on speed and convenience received higher positive responses than ads that focused on safety and security.

5 Tips Using Neuromarketing:

The following outlines successful examples of using neuromarketing in your brand.

1.  Eye Gazing

In advertising, the most effective ads have people in them. The use of eye gazing has long been used in advertising. This concept of having people in an ad looking at what you want the consumer to buy tends to work. Eye gazing uses eye tracking technology to measure the effectiveness of where the eye moves within an ad. It is a way of measuring key visual attention and key messages in a product ad, packaging design, and branding.

One industry that uses eye gazing successfully is the baby products industry. Studies have shown when there are images that include babies, the customer becomes more focused on the ad, notices more details, and watches the ad longer. Research has also shown that people will look at what the person in the ad is looking at, thus increasing the higher positive reaction with the potential for a purchase.

2.  Using Simple Fonts

For years, researchers have conducted in-depth studies of how fonts can encourage consumer action. When using fonts, the old adage “keep it simple” is true. Keeping the font simple is more readable and understandable to the consumer increasing the call to action vs. a more complex font style. With complex font styles, the eye has a harder time following and understanding the content. This tends to trigger frustration, causing people to be less likely to follow the ad’s call to action.

3.  Color is Crucial

Color is a crucial component in creating your logo and your marketing content. Colors evoke a range of emotions in people and their reactions. Color can be a powerful marketing tool if used effectively. Coca Cola’s use of red is powerful for them, and they have transformed the meaning of red to work for their brand. Coca Cola’s color red portrays excitement, energy, passion, and power. It also tends to stimulate your appetite, making this an excellent color choice for branding in the food and beverage industry.

On the flip side, many companies have had campaigns backfire on them using the color red. In many cases, consumers see red as “stop”, “caution”, “danger”, or “anger”. If red evokes these types of emotions in your consumer this could derail your marketing effort.

4.  Smiling is Key

Many marketers want to personalize their brand. This is done easily by using images with a smile to humanize and show personality. Studies have shown that seeing an image with a smiling person boosts their mood, thus creating a positive association with the brand and increasing their willingness to spend money.

5.  Effective Packaging

We all know that attractive packaging attracts and draws the consumer in and not always for what is inside of the packaging. Effective packaging is the key to gaining a competitive edge. Packaging should invoke a positive feeling about your brand and product. As mentioned above, many brands are redesigning their packaging based on extensive neuromarketing research.

In Conclusion:

Neuromarketing is becoming popular with companies, but in some sense, all marketing is neuromarketing. Since the beginning, every marketer has always tried to produce some kind of brain activity in their consumer that steers them towards a desired behavior. Neuromarketing gives marketers another tool in their box to fine-tune their messages for their target markets and achieve desired behaviors.

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