How neuromarketing can make your campaigns smarter

Many purchases are rooted in consumers’ emotions, so why not tap into their unconscious leanings? Here’s how this science can help guide everything from packaging to price points.

How neuroscience affects marketing

Understanding the psyche of your target customer is the baseline of successful marketing.

If you understand purchase triggers, designing an effective marketing campaign for a product or service becomes a breeze. Whether you starting a business or revamping your marketing processes, a customer-centric strategy sets you apart from your competitors.

Neuromarketing applies neuropsychology to marketing research. It is aimed at understanding customers’ purchase decisions by studying their cognitive, affective and sensorimotor responses to marketing stimuli.

The methodology includes techniques such as electroencephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG), eye tracking and electrodermal response measures.

Consumer decisions involve conscious and unconscious choices. Neuromarketing helps marketers target the unconscious segment of the human psyche. It delivers relevant content based on consumers’ preferences, directs this attention toward the product or service offering, and helps convert sales.

So, what is the effect of neuromarketing on marketing campaigns?

1. Superior ad campaigns. Neuromarketing taps customers’ emotional responses, resulting in more effective ad campaigns with significantly higher engagement. For example, PayPal based its online sales pitch on EEG data: The company first emphasized safety and security but shifted to speed of service after finding that the latter resonated more with its audience.

2. Efficient packaging of products. Frito-Lay used neuromarketing techniques to redesign packaging to suit consumer preferences. It eliminated shiny packaging in favor of matte designs based on negative customer responses to the former.

3. Honing product pricing. You must identify the sweet spot: What price point conveys high value yet doesn’t make the customer sweat? By recording emotional responses to different price ranges, companies are developing more effective pricing strategies.

4. Prototyping and product design. Whether it is a digital offering, such as a mobile app/website, or a physical product, building a prototype and testing its effectiveness are always good tactics. Neuromarketing during the prototyping stage helps improve mobile apps and websites, ultimately leading to more conversions.

5. Measuring the impact of marketing and branding strategies. Surveys and focus groups have an inherent flaw: public perception bias. Self-reporting techniques can be swayed by participants seeking to give the “correct” response. Data collected by neuromarketing, however, give more accurate insights into the impact a given marketing campaign has on the audience.

Rahul Varshneya is president of Arkenea.

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