How Neuromarketing has Stormed the Ad World?

 Neuromarketing Tools Vishwajeet  |   6 mins read February 23, 2022 | 8 | 343 eye icon

How well do you remember the Lay's Potato Chips’ "Operation Smile" campaign that went viral around 2018 on social media? The one which had half-portrayed faces of celebrities and real-life consumers printed on its packet? The campaign also had a social cause linked to it. It was intended at helping people with cleft conditions to do the required surgeries. But what triggered the overwhelming consumer response to this campaign? And how did the company devise such a unique marketing strategy?

The answer is Neuromarketing. In fact, the Operation Smile campaign has become a good case study for the students of neuromarketing. What Lay's followed was a multi-layered approach for product packaging while applying the Emotional Branding principle. Thus, the campaign was customized for each regional market and each individual flavor. The intrinsic potential of different happy faces on the packet made people engage with the campaign and hence Lay's was able to connect to its consumers at a neurological level.

While traditional marketing research has primarily relied on explicit research methods such as surveys, focus groups, and interviews, the results have not always been effective. Such low utility can be attributed to the fact that more than 95% of our decisions related to consumption are driven by subconscious factors as stated by Harvard Professor Mr. Gerald Zaltman. Therefore, the buyers participating in these surveys themselves don't know what exactly pushed them to buy a particular product. To rightfully understand a buying pattern, combining traditional research methods with more advanced and implicit research methods has become essential. And neuromarketing or consumer neuroscience duly serves this purpose.

What is Neuromarketing?

Neuromarketing can be defined as the application of knowledge from Neuroscience, behavioral sciences, and social psychology to the marketing domain. It is Neuromarketing that has made it possible to tap the subconscious factors of the consumer's mind. This information at that neurological level ultimately decides the buying behavior. Over the years, Neuromarketing has evolved to be called Consumer Neuroscience, making it a full-fledged academic discipline.

Neuromarketing can broadly be categorized into two subtypes: Theoretical and Applied. 

Theoretical Neuromarketing: It indicates the application of knowledge from Neuroscience and related fields for an efficient product development life cycle. Ex: The application of Mere Exposure Effect for boosting product sales.

Applied Neuromarketing: It is involved in the actual application of Neuroscience tools and equipment to know what happens at a neurological and physiological level. This includes various tools such as fMRI (functional Magnetic Resource Imaging), EEG (Electroencephalogram), Eye Tracking, GSR (Galvanic Skin Response), and others.

How is Neuromarketing different from traditional marketing?

As discussed earlier, the traditional marketing research methods relied on questionnaires and focus groups that provided the consumer response data at a conscious level. But being constantly moody animals, humans themselves are not in much control of their buying behavior. Moreover, focus groups often tend to be influenced by the opinions of most vocal individuals participating in the discussions.

To resolve these issues, Neuromarketing uses various tools that directly measure the neurological response of the consumers. These tools track eyeball movement, do a facial and voice analysis, and measure critical physiological functions such as heartbeats and blood pressure. Neuromarketing also employs the principles from theoretical neuromarketing to effectively market a product. However, before the final call, both non-conscious and conscious layers contribute significantly to a buying decision. This can be achieved by a simultaneous study of external observations and big data analytics to form a complete picture of buying behavior. So, for the best possible results, Neuromarketing has to be complemented with traditional marketing.

How is neuromarketing being used by marketers?

During the product development phase:

Choosing the right color for a particular product significantly impacts its chances of being sold, 85% to be specific. Colors evoke a wide range of emotions. Thus, colors are used for marketing a particular product, keeping in mind the kind of target audience. For example, being powerful and sleek, Black color is used for branding luxury products. Likewise, colors have also been a decisive factor for effective product packaging accompanied by neuroimaging. Neuromarketing has also been influential in prototype testing, as in the case of Hyundai.


Post product development:

Post product development includes Test Marketing, Launch, and Post Launch Review. Ads tested with Neuromarketing tools can predict their effectiveness and provide valuable insights for further optimization. Neurological observations also account for the right kind of product launch strategies. Lay's Operation Smile is a classic example of it.

Does neuromarketing really work? Is it ethical?

Considering the cost of tools involved, one can doubt the actual effectiveness of Neuromarketing applications. One can also think that Neuromarketing tells us what we already know. But research studies and top market players' actual application of such tools tell a different story. As discussed in the Harvard Business Review by Eben Harrell and case studies of popular brands such as Apple, Coca-Cola, and PayPal, Neuromarketing has been efficient in boosting the sales.

Ethicality of Neuromarketing: Most of the leading Neuromarketing companies have laid down ethical principles that they follow. This includes the use of non-invasive measuring tools, informed consent of the participants and clients, anonymous data collection, and maintenance of privacy. You can read a sample of the code of ethics here.

Why should you study Neuromarketing?

Neuromarketing is going through an evolutionary phase and top companies across domains are hiring neuromarketing consultants to up the marketing game. Traditional market research companies like Nielsen and IQVIA have also been incorporating individuals with domain expertise in Neuromarketing to converge with the existing market research methods. Thus, Neuromarketing has found a place in almost all key departments, from product design to branding.

Apart from marketing professionals, there are ample opportunities for people from Science and Economics-based backgrounds to upskill themselves in their respective fields. Sound knowledge of Neuromarketing will benefit various professionals such as Data Specialists and Statistical Analysts. Irrespective of whether one needs a clear career path in Neuromarketing or not, updating yourself with this latest research technique will certainly boost your career growth.

However, each individual will require a different level of knowledge of Neuromarketing and it will depend upon their respective industry, organizational position and current domain expertise. Athena Global Education, an online higher education platform, has duly identified this need of having specialized courses for learners from diverse backgrounds. It offers short certification courses that cater to the needs of professionals from a diverse set of backgrounds. It has a Basic, an Essential, an MBA Essentials and a Mastering course which provides you with the knowledge of Neuromarketing tools depending upon your requirement.
The courses are completely online and are delivered through a series of pre-recorded video lectures. The flexible and stackable program can be completed within less than 4 hours and is extremely affordable. Whether you're a beginner or a working professional, the courses will guide you through the various Neuromarketing techniques. You can choose from the list of curated courses, here.




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Frances   4 months 2 weeks ago

Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking the time and actual effort to make a superb article… but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

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UniAthena   2 months 4 weeks ago

Thank you so much 😍

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Shannon   4 months ago

That's a great point.

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UniAthena   3 months 3 weeks ago

Thank you so much.

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Stephan   2 months 4 weeks ago

Right on my man!

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UniAthena   2 months 3 weeks ago

Thank you 😍

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UniAthena   1 month 4 weeks ago

Thanks for your valuable comment...

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