What is and what isn’t neuromarketing
Let’s start with the basics: Recently we have all heard somebody talk about neuromarketing, neurosales, neurospeech and a lot of other made-up words starting with “neuro”. It seems to be a trend but most people (specially the ones putting “neuro” before every word) don’t know what neuromarketing is.
Neuromarketing is a science. For the first time in history there’s a series of tools and methods that let us measure the emotional impact of our marketing actions and manage them to improve out opportunities for success. This is achieved through the use of several biometric tools, most of them coming from the world of medicine. Some of these are EEG devices or fMRI that, applied to the world of advertising, marketing and experiences, let us know that our consumers like so we can offer it to them.
We have to clarify that this is not in any way a manipulation tool, as I’ve heard some people say. This simply let us know the human brain and apply this knowledge to product, web and packaging design, among others. Marketing and advertising actions are going to me developed anyways but this lets us make them better suited for our clients. Have you ever feel stressed while navigating on a website? Have you ever felt that the environment, distribution or music on a store is driving you away? Neuromarketing let us avoid that and simplify your life.
Let’s talk about these tachnologies:
- Electroencefalography (EEG): It lets us measure brainwaves and translate them into emotions and parameters like stress and attention. Thanks to the advances in technology there are wireless, portable EEG devices that let us bring to the marketing field something that was usually only used in hospitals. For example, this is one of the EEG devices that we work with at MaCom Research Lab, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia:
- Galvanic Skin Response (GSR): These devices let us measure the changes in the conductivity of our skin (produced by micro-changes in sweat production) and this is a very reliable way to discover emotions. Have you noticed that when you’re nervous or in love your palms sweat involuntarily? That’s what this is about, but to a microscopic level thats imperceptible by our eyes and very precise. It is also something we cannot controle because it’s generated by the autonomous nervous system. That’s why neuromarketing is much more reliable than traditional market research techniques, where people use to lie and can be influenced.
- Eye tracking: This lets us know where our consumers see at all times, allowing brands to make things easier and to ensure that the relevant elements of their websites, ads, etc, are not going to be unnoticed. When we mix this technology with EEG we can tell which elements are more emotionally effective.
- Facial coding: It allows us to measure involuntary micro-movements on our faces and translate them into basic emotions like sadness or joy.
- Functional Magnetic Resonance (fMRI): It measures brain activity. This technique is very expensive and invasive but also very precise. Its application is limited because the equipment is not, in any way, portable. Nevertheless it is used in some laboratories and universities for research purposes.