Neuromarketing "The buy button"

"Neuromarketing is a field that claims to apply the principles of neuroscience to marketing research, studying consumers' sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli."

Researchers use technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure changes in activity in parts of the brain, electroencephalography (EEG) and Steady state topography (SST) to measure activity in specific regional spectra of the brain response; sensors to measure changes in one's physiological state, also known as biometrics, including heart rate, respiratory rate, and galvanic skin response; facial coding to categorize the physical expression of emotion; or eye tracking to identify focal attention - all in order to learn why consumers make the decisions they do, and which brain areas are responsible.

A greater understanding of human cognition and behaviour has led to the integration of biological and social sciences. Combining marketing, psychology and neuroscience, the concept of neuromarketing has established valuable theoretical insights. Consumer behaviour can now be investigated at both an individuals conscious choices and underlying brain activity levels.

Brain Stimuli

Neuromarketing displays a true representation of reality, superior to any traditional methods of research as it explores non-conscious information that would otherwise be unobtainable. The neural processes obtained provide a more accurate prediction of population-level data in comparison to self-reported data. Marketers are now able to gain insight into consumers' intentions. These tools can be administered to gain understanding on intention and emotions towards branding and market strategies before applying them to target consumers.

"Neuromarketing is dynamic, it can relate to nearly anyone who has developed an opinion about a product or brand and has formed preferences."

The neuromarketing Process

Collecting information on how the target market would respond to the future product is the first step involved for organisations producing a new product. Traditional methods of this research include focus groups or sizeable surveys used to evaluate features of the proposed product. This method of research fails to gain a deep understanding of the consumer's non-conscious thoughts and emotions.

Neuroscience has played an important role in improving behavioural predictions and advancing the understanding of consumers. It also allows insight into neural differences seen in individuals when no behavioural differences are observed. For example, one customer may retrieve many memories when making a choice whereas another customer may not retrieve any memories. This insight allows marketers to understand the consumer's brain activity and cognitive processes at a non-conscious level. They can then advertise the product so that it communicates and meet the needs of potential consumers with difference predictions of choice.

In response to marketing and advertising there are only three highly established methods of measuring brain activity. These include ectroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). It is important that all three methods are non-invasive as this ensures they can safely be used for market research purposes. Once appropriate information is attained regarding the proposed products, the brand manager may revise of the original product design in response to the market research. The original prototype may be modified from feedback to attract and appeal to target consumer's conscious and non-conscious thoughts. It is essential to understand consumers' true wants and underlying thoughts. This results in effective marketing and advertising communications, ultimately leading to increase in successful sales.

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