November 8, 2018
How to apply neuromarketing into your marketing strategy
“The combination of neuroscience and marketing. Neuromarketing is the study of the brain’s response to marketing stimuli. Scientists use functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to measure changes in brain activity when a person is stimulated by marketing material like the colors, images and text elements within an advertisement.
Insights derived from fMRI technology helps marketers better understand why consumers make decisions, how they make decisions and what part of the brain is responsible for their decision-making process.”
How it applies to marketing
Neuromarketing is the science of understanding how consumers subconsciously define what they want. Neuromarketers extract the feelings people attach to products and services to understand how they can sway a consumer’s decision-making process.
Neuromarketing is the key that can unlock the reasoning behind consumer behavior — and it’s this key that marketers have searched for far and wide. This key can unlock the reason a consumer chooses a particular product over another. It can also help brands decide on how to package their products and ultimately how to market them.
Companies like Campbell’s Soup, Hyundai and PayPal have incorporated the findings of neuromarketing into their marketing strategies. They have used behavioral insights to redesign packaging within advertisements and create commercials to focus on specific features.
There are a host of benefits that come from understanding a consumer’s cognitive behavior. With neuromarketing, you can:
- Deliver content that elicits higher engagement;
- Understand why a customer chooses your product or service over a competitor; and
- Encourage users to perform desired actions like pressing a CTA button and making a purchase
Five ways you can implement neuromarketing
Here are five ways you can incorporate neuromarketing into your marketing strategy. For some of these strategies you may need to find a neuromarketer but for others, you can do them yourself:
1. Explore patterns of eye movement
By exploring patterns in eye-tracking, you can determine what customers view on specific advertisements, products or even within brick-and-mortar stores. By understanding the gaze of your customer, you can redirect their attention and encourage them to view and engage with your brand.
With a group of research participants, analyze the natural gaze of customers to determine what stands out and what grabs their attention. For example, do your participants focus on or overlook a specific color, line of text or image? If your research participants are in a store, do they walk past an advertisement without engaging?
Use these findings to change how your marketing is displayed online or in-store. Focus on what the customer finds appealing and speak to their inner desires.
2. Explore psychological mind tricks
For years, brands have been employing psychological advertising methods to "trick" the consumer. For example, to increase sales marketers have advertised products at specific price points like $9.99 instead of $10 or they’ve remove the dollar sign completely.
There are other subtle ways marketers can “trick” their customer into making a purchase. These “tricks” are all about understanding how to influence the outcome of consumer choice. According to New Neuromarketing, products with light colors sell better when placed on the top shelf, while products with darker colors perform better on the bottom shelf. Following the research of neuromarketers can help you make these decisions without conducting the research yourself.
3. Adopt sensory marketing
To improve the effectiveness of your marketing strategy, especially in the physical sense, you might want to adopt a sensory approach. Pleasant smells and lighting can redirect a customer’s attention and create a whole new experience.
According to the Journal of Targeting and Analysis for Marketing, subtle changes in physical environments can have a dramatic impact on sales. Consumers pay more attention to light objects when they hear high pitched sounds, and similarly, they give attention to dark objects when they hear low pitched sounds (surprisingly similar to the above concept of product-shelf placement).
Adding a smell to your store can invigorate memories and excitement and changing the lighting can help highlight specific products.
4. Lower barriers to entry
We’ve found that a customer who can sign up to a free trial is more likely to convert than one who needs to submit their credit card details. According to Brainfluence, to build trust with customer's companies need to lower the barriers to entry.
5. Reveal personality with a smile
Never underestimate the power of a smile. The Journal of Neuroscience has revealed that laughter is contagious. Laughter and similarly images of happiness release endorphins in the brain and promote togetherness and social inclusion.
Marketers should take note and where possible (and if applicable), add personality to their brand with a smile. According to Neuromarketing101, an image of a person who is smiling influences a customer’s willingness to spend. In revisiting the patterns of eye movements, research has also found that customers are more likely to focus their attention on a smile rather than a frown.
A real-life neuromarketing case study: Game of Thrones and Silence of the Lambs
A group of researchers at the Department of Experimental Psychology in London analyzed the consumer engagement between video and audio. Surprisingly, the study found a misalignment between what people consciously and subconsciously like.
Researchers studied equivalent “emotionally charged” scenes from Game of Thrones and Silence of the Lambs to analyze how people feel when watching or listening to content. Scenes from both movies were analyzed in audiobook and film format to determine whether sound or video resonated more with the viewer/listener.
The findings revealed that on average, participants rated video as 15 percent more engaging than audio. However, when looking at the science behind their viewing experience, the researchers found that when listening to the audiobook the average heart rate was higher by two beats per minute and participants were two degrees warmer in body temperature.
While these insights are fascinating to researchers, they are compelling to marketers who want to better understand their customers. Of course, marketers are not expected to perform these research experiments themselves. If you want to leverage the full potential of neuromarketing, hire a company to conduct the experiments for you or follow-up on the research and implement the findings into your marketing strategy.