Neuromarketing: What Is It and How Can You Apply It to Your Digital Marketing Plans?

You might be thinking, “what does the brain have to do with marketing?” It may sound obvious but hear me out. Consumer culture (i.e., the way we buy and sell products and services) has a lot to do with how our brain works because our brain is the very thing that tells us what we like and want.


By definition, neuromarketing is the application of neuroscience to marketing strategies and the brain’s responses to various marketing stimuli such as products, packaging, advertising, or other marketing elements. Neuroscience does this through brain imaging, scanning or other brain activity measurement technologies to gain insight into why customers make the buying decisions they do, and which part of the brain makes that particular decision.


Although one can measure what product or service customers like based on buying patterns, there is still a disconnect between this and funnelling customers to the point of purchase. What if you could find out for sure which one of your products or services attracts the most interest from a customer? Or if you knew what type of advertisement appealed to a particular niche group? Well, neuromarketing takes this to the next level where marketing campaigns could be tailor-made to target EXACTLY what a person’s brain likes.


Perhaps certain groups of people prefer purple packaging over blue packaging. Or they prefer images of puppies to images of babies. Knowing this could prompt you to change your packaging to purple and include pictures of puppies in your advertising and digital marketing campaigns.


You must also be wondering, why not just ask customers what they like instead of scanning their brains? The issue with this is that people are complex creatures and will often not tell you what they really like or want. Frustrating, I know! People tend to more often than not, tell you what you want to hear or like something because one of their friends likes it. Ultimately, there is no way to be 100% certain that what someone is telling you is exactly truthful.


Neuromarketing has the potential to pull back the curtain and find out what YOUR customers or potential customers truly like and want. If you think that you are being innovative by analysing consumer behaviour and web content, neuromarketing is the next frontier.


I am aware that the concept of measuring and tracking one’s brain patterns could be understandably concerning for some and even appear invasive. However, it may also revolutionise customer experience by ensuring that the content they receive is most relevant to their lives.


How does neuromarketing apply to digital marketing?


In a nutshell, neuromarketing helps to understand consumer behaviour and can be utilised in the following three ways:


1. You can engage customers with content you know they’ll like.

2. You can understand why people choose your company over another.

3. You can learn what leads to people making a purchase.

Are you convinced yet? Before you get ahead of yourself and start phoning around to see if you can borrow an FMRI machine, there is one fundamental drawback to neuromarketing. We are all unique and therefore, what each one of us likes and wants is going to differ. It is one thing to have this kind of detailed information, it is another thing to target everyone individually and at this level as it would be very costly and may even confuse the message entirely.


However, neuromarketing could be used to discover a unique trend, one which the market hasn’t yet identified and by anticipating this, make it easier to encourage customers towards adopting a new product or service based on this knowledge.


The fact is, there are many applications that could benefit from neuromarketing however, it is a very invasive process and would take some forward-thinking to get customers to voluntarily have their brains scanned. Do not even get me started on the legalities of this process. Aside from this, it is a pretty neat idea and has the potential to really help take marketing to the next level. In the meantime, let’s give more thought to other unique ways in which we can personalise and tap into our customer’s needs.


Is neuromarketing the future of marketing or not? Let us know what you think in the comments.


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