HOPE IN CONSUMER NEUROSCIENCE Consumer Neuroscience marks the advent of a completely new era in the area of consumer buying behavior and product/service marketing. Research has proven that roughly 90% of customer buying behavior is unconscious and consumers can’t explain their preferences. (Lindstorm, 2008) Most of the conventional marketing research methods only probe into the conscious part of our brains. They find out what consumers ‘think’ they want, whereas Neuromarketing helps to find out what the consumers actually want. Steven Quartz, a neuroscientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, says, “Surveys are based on the assumption that we accurately probe our own preferences, but basic science says that a lot of what underlies our preferences is unconscious. ” With this new research technique, researchers can read the minds of the consumers and can find out what really influences buying pattern.
They can tap into the areas where focus group studies or surveys fail to reach- i. e. the hidden desires and preferences of consumers. There are new technologies building up with the neuroscience. Be it the electroencephalograph (EEG) machine, fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging), Eye tracking or the Galvanic Skin Response-they all serve the purpose of finding out the reactions of consumers towards different marketing stimuli by actually scanning and recording the brain activity.
Thom Noble, managing director of NeuroFocus Europe says about Neuromarketing, "I've been involved in market research for about 25 years. Every few years a new methodology comes out. Frankly, they're incrementally different. This is transformationally different. " Neuroscience is giving hope to the corporate world. With the help of neuroscience, marketers can find out how consumers make decisions and why they buy what they buy.
There are many organizations already using this technology to know their customers better and create affective marketing communication with them. One example is Microsoft, using the EEG technology to understand the users’ interaction with computers. Another is Frito Lays, which is studying female brains to identify how to better appeal to women. With the help of this new technology, marketers can study the brain activity and design advertisements that stimulate the most brain activity. Different researches are going on to find out which ads have been the most memorable and affective, and why do customers retain them. The brain imaging technology used in neuroscience not only helps in making better advertisements, better product placement, but also helps in creating the kind of products consumers like.
It is not only creating wonders in the corporate world, but also reaching cinemas. Before the launch of Avatar, the director, James Cameron used fMRI scanners to prove high brain activity among viewers while watching his 3-D film as compared to other films. Neuromarketing is not just a fad. It’s a whole new world of marketing.
Although, researchers are still exploring the different aspects of this science, it seems that it will help marketers to know their customers better, to create new and exciting products that actually fulfill the hidden needs and desires of the consumers. REFERENCES Ariely, Dan & S. Berns, Gregory. (2010, Mar 3). Neuromarketing: the hope and hype of neuroimaging in business. Perspective, 11. doi: 10.1038/nrn2795. Retrieved from http: //duke. edu/~dandan/Papers/neuromarketing. pdf Desaulniers, Mary. (2010, Apr 5). The Science of Neuromarketing. Is it Hype or Hope? Retrieved from http: //www. suite101.com/content/the-science-of-neuromarketing-a221593 Lawton, Graham & Wilson, Clare.
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