Neuromarketing is a technique that is being increasingly utilised in market research. Neuromarketing accesses the nonconscious reactions of consumers to a product, brand, or advertising spot. Discover in this post the most common applications of neuromarketing.
Neuromarketing has many uses. It can be employed to better understand the behavior of the consumer, the purchasing decision or how aspects such as emotions and cognitive biases affect decision-making. There are many books, blogs, vídeos, courses and even scientific studies that approach the subject. But without doubt, the main application of neuromarketing, and possibly the least talked about, is when different neuromarketing techniques (brain imaging such as EEG or eye tracking devices) are used to complement traditional market research techniques, such as focus groups, interviews or surveys. For example, what type of results and value can we obtain from a study carried out with an EEG that measures our brain activity, a galvanic skin response sensor, or an eye-tracking device, to assess a digital marketing strategy? We will now explore several applications with concrete examples of the type of experiments that can be conducted with neuromarketing research.
Neuromarketing in Branding
Branding is one of the most natural applications of applied neuromarketing. In the end, a brand is not much more than a concept in the brains of consumers. This concept is formed via contact points- through the use of its products or services, exposure to it online, traditional marketing campaigns, experiences of other consumers, etc. Let us see some of the most common neuromarketing studies:
- Emotional evaluation of the brand: evaluates the emotion generated by a brand and its competitors.
- Brand personality: evaluates the associative force of a series of assets towards the brand or its competitors.
- Evaluation of distinctive assets: evaluates the associative force of two distinctive assets in relation to assets of the brand to see which one contributes more to equity. It can also assess the associated force of several distinctive assets towards the brand or competitors to find those that are really distinctive.
- Evaluation of new corporative image: evaluates the new designs of different branding elements (logo, brand applications, etc.) and compares them with current elements and/or against competitors.
Neuromarketing in Product/Packaging
It is estimated that more than 50% of new products fail, increasing to 90% when we focus on mass consumption products. Thanks to neuromarketing, brands can verify up to what point the rational opinions of consumers coincide with nonconscious aspects (these are key to purchasing decisions, especially in mass consumption products). Let us look at some neuromarketing applications in this field:
- Comparison of packaging design: compares different designs to understand which one elicits better emotional and cognitive levels.
- Display visibility: compares different packaging designs, placed on real or simulated point of sale displays, to verify which one attracts the most attention using heat maps.
- Attribute testing: evaluates the associative force of the attributes of the brand or the category towards two different packaging designs.
- Consumption experience: evaluates how the consumption experience of a product (soft drinks, chocolate, chips, cosmetics etc.) is affected by the brand, packaging, price or other variables.
Neuromarketing in Advertising
Most of any company’s budget allocated to marketing is invested in advertising. One of its main objectives is to transmit the core values of the brand and/or product to the target audience. Given how consumers are bombarded with advertising on a daily basis, it is extremely complicated to connect with the consumer through publicity. Neuromarketing is employed to improve publicity and verify whether the brand is actually transmitting what it aims to. Let us identify some typical neuromarketing cases for this area:
- Comparison of animatics: evaluates different animatics to select the one that would be most appealing to an audience.
- Evaluation of ad campaigns: evaluates, in detail, an advertising spot to find areas to improve, selects key scenes and helps to obtain different versions depending on the specific channel.
- Evaluation of graphic campaigns: evaluates different graphic elements of a campaign to discover the parts that need enhancing and locates the elements that attract most attention.
- Evaluation of digital campaigns: evaluates the emotional response of digital publicity as well as its visibility and interaction capability in a specific context
- Evaluation of radio campaigns: compares different advertising spots to judge which one evokes the highest emotional impact in the audience.
- Evaluation of publicity material at the point of sale: assesses different POEs to find any weak areas and verifies whether they attract attention and generate an emotional response in the consumer.
- Brand building: evaluates, through PRE/POST tests, if the perception of the consumer towards the brand has changed after being exposed to an advertising campaign.
Neuromarketing in digital environments
The digital transformation of the society has, unsurprisingly, produced more digital consumers, and increasingly brands need to be capable of connecting to them through such means. Neuromarketing is employed in many cases to understand how this digital interaction occurs and how brands can improve usability and user experience with these new digital elements- web pages, apps or digital services/products, on PCs, mobile devices, etc. Some examples of neuromarketing applications in digital environments are:
- Evaluation of graphic lines: compares different graphic lines of a digital tool to see which one achieves a better emotional connection with the user without sacrificing usability.
- Evaluation of landing pages or microsites: evaluates how the user behaves when navigating these pages, understanding which zones attract attention, what emotions are caused, or if there are usability issues.
- Usability studies: evaluates the usability of a digital element (web, app, digital product/service) from key tasks that the user must carry out.
- Brand building: evaluates, through PRE/POST tests, if the perception of the consumer towards the brand has changed after being exposed to a specific digital element.
Other fields of application and neuromarketing studies
The most common fields of application are those previously mentioned (approx. 70% of the studies carried out). However, there are many other uses for neuromarketing, such as:
- Point of sale: evaluates consumer behaviour and experience in a store or shopping centre.
- Entertainment: evaluates experiences such as visiting a museum, watching a TV show or movie, interacting with virtual reality, playing a videogame, etc.
- Politics: studies that aim to understand, for example, what is associated nonconsciously with a party or candidate, what could improve a speech or information pamphlet.
- Industrial design: evaluates different product designs to find areas of improvement in usability, aesthetics, etc.
- Architecture and work environments: studies that try to understand human behaviour and experience in a building (especially applicable to offices and other working environments) and to find areas of improvement (for example, by identifying occupational hazards).
These are only some of the potential uses of neuromarketing- there are countless more. In the end, neuromarketing enables us to access the nonconscious reactions of people (when the correct methodology is employed) and this can then be applied to improve different areas of many different fields. It is important to keep in mind the importance of using these results in a responsible, ethical manner. If this recommendation is followed, neuromarketing will not only provide value to the companies, but to society as a whole.
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