Neuromarketing – What Is It and Why You Should Care

Data is empowering marketers to help eliminate the unknowns.

The anonymous person in your stadium whose friend gave them the ticket. The member who visits your museum once, but never donates or comes back for another exhibit. Or the brand that sponsors your festival, but gets minimal return.

By aggregating large data sets, marketers are getting closer and closer to understanding what their audiences like and who they are, but do they truly understand why? Neuromarketing and artificial intelligence are lending a helping hand to marketers who are making their way down the unknown path of psychological responses.

What is Neuromarketing?

What if advertisers and marketers could create campaigns that were so adaptive that they understand facial expressions, brain waves and emotional responses? Though it is now exiting the hype cycle, neuromarketing and artificial intelligence are making waves in the marketing world. According to Wikipedia, neuromarketing is a field of marketing research that studies consumers’ sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli.

How Marketers Are Using Neuromarketing and AI

Take a recent campaign by MC & Saatchi who created interactive billboards that could understand a user’s facial response and customize the billboard accordingly. By having a readily available set of colors, fonts and messaging that could acquiesce to a person’s response or mood, they could customize ads that would appeal to the viewer on a subconscious level.

Neuroscientist Dr. Jürgen Gallinat ran an experiment with Samsung and Apple products to understand what parts of the brain are activated when looking at an Apple and Samsung product. He was able to extract, through fMRI (Functional magnetic resonance imaging) testing, that when looking at a Samsung product the pre-frontal portion of the brain was lit up, which appeals to the rational and reasonable side. Whereas when users were looking at Apple products, the more emotional and social part of the brain that was stimulated.

Having this type of insight helps marketers understand what truly appeals to their untapped audiences on a deeper level.

What is the Future of Neuromarketing?

Neuromarketing has experienced a slow adoption rate due to costly research equipment and insufficient proof that it works. GreenBook Research Industry Trends reports an adoption rate of 5-10%, though marketers are still excited about its possibilities.

While big data is finally climbing its way to the top of many marketers to-do lists, neuromarketing could be the logical next step in completing the entire picture.

What are your thoughts on neuromarketing and how it will apply to your marketing efforts? I wish I could say I already know what you’re thinking, but we’re not quite there yet.