Updated: Oct 8, 2020
The word is complex but it is actually a simple union between neuroscience and marketing to understand the aspects that influence a consumer in the purchase decision. We will explain each concept separately to better understand how they work together.
Marketing is a study that aims to explore, create and deliver value for products and services to meet market needs. Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary study science that investigates the human brain and its psychological variables. We can then conclude, in a simplified way, that Neuromarketing is the neuroscience applied to the consumer during his journey of purchase and its interaction with brands, communications or products.
Historically, Neuromarketing emerged in the late 1990s, in the United States, through research of academic studies. Harvard researcher and physician Dr. Gerald Zaltman decided to use MRI equipment for marketing studies. Thus, he began to map the activity of the human brain when exposed to marketing stimulation and was able to estimate the real neurological influence that certain actions have on consumer behavior.
The term became better known in 2004 after a scientific study was published in the academic journal Neuron of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. The study referred to experimentation with Pepsi and Coca-Cola soft drinks to choose the best flavor. In part of the research, the people evaluated did not know what the beverage brand was and 50% responded that it was Pepsi. In this group, the resonance showed a stimulus to the reward areas in the brain. In the group that knew which brand it was tasting, that number dropped to 25%, and the tests showed that areas related to cognitive function and memory were being used. It was concluded that people in the second group were thinking about the brand and its values and not the taste itself.
We can then conclude that research has shown that purchasing decisions are strongly linked to our unconscious. And through neuroscience it is possible to study the emotions and reactions experienced during consumption experiences.
How neuromarketing can benefit business and brands ?
More assertive decisions
Knowing in depth the behavior of consumers and how they respond to stimulus or actions can ensure more efficient efforts in marketing actions. Rational questionnaires may not be true or sufficient to understand and bring brands and products closer to their target consumers. Through neuromarketing, safer choices can be made in language, colors and design.
Stronger connection with consumers
Understanding the key factors that determine the choice of a brand, or product, allows creating communication, or campaigns, that will have more effective emotional value with target consumers. Unconscious impact is fundamental, accessing emotions and create positive experiences is key. Choosing your own communication channel, tone of language and the use of music, smells or images can make your message even more appropriate and promote a more long-lasting connection with your consumer.
How to use Neuromarketing
Even if you are not a large company, and without conducting specific studies for your business, it is possible to benefit from the available knowledge of this science.
Currently marketing already analyzes the external and internal components that involve consumers and markets. So let's get to know some tools of this science to use even more effectively and create positive emotions and memories in shopping experiences.
Mental stimulus - are ways of trying to influence the consumer and generate consumption using mental suggestions through subjective information. They are examples of the famous phrases - "for a limited time", "buy now" or even offer exclusivity.
Perception of benefit - these are ways to offer advantage, using subjective perception of value. Examples are the famous 3 in 1 products or take 3 pay 2 that are often not necessary but create in the brain a perception of benefit.
Storytelling - using stories to talk about products or brands is a great tool to achieve emotional involvement with consumers. Of course, the stories still need to be true and interesting to actually engage consumers.
Color psychology - some studies have been done to understand the relationship between colors and the effect they can cause. Color Psychology recognizes eight primary emotions in human beings: anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, curiosity, acceptance and joy, and each relates to a color.
Neuromarketing techniques can be great allies both for creating strategic planning and for developing communication and packaging campaigns. They also make it easier to understand what makes a consumer prefer a brand, buy or not a product and even become a loyal customer. Above all, it is essential to use knowledge to build values and establish lasting relationships between products and customers, always based on ethics and transparency.
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