Deciding whether or not to put a product in your shopping basket is often a split-second decision. If there’s one advantage neuromarketing has over traditional methods, it’s being able to measure objectively what happens during that split second.
One problem: the amount of research methods under the ‘neuromarketing’ umbrella grows ever more diverse. From skin conductance to EEG. From Facial Coding to Eye Tracking.
When deciding for a specific method, a marketer wants to know one single thing: how well does it predict actual purchase?
Marketing and psychology are thick as thieves: by increasing their knowledge on psychology, marketeers are able to gain a deeper understanding in the behavior of their customers. However, keeping your knowledge up to date may be problematic in this quickly expanding field. In the past, people read books, scientific journals or attended conventions.
Reading books and online articles or attending conventions are a fundamental way of keeping your knowledge up to date. To stay on top of your game. But when do we – us busy human beings – find the time to sit down and just read a book? Or an article? Our lifestyle has changed so much that we hardly have any time left. But luckily for us, there are podcasts! With a simple press of the play button it is very easy to stay informed while you are for example driving to your next appointment or when you are in the gym.
What does the typical neuromarketing study look like? Let’s visualize for a moment what typical respondents go through in the hour they visit the neuromarketing lab.
First and foremost, there’s some brain scanning device involved, such as EEG or an fMRI scanner. Secondly, there are marketing stimuli the respondent has to interact with, oftentimes tv commercials, websites or pictures.
Next, imagine what the lab looks like. In the case of fMRI, the respondent lies flat in a turbine-shaped machine. EEG is a simpler and more flexible technology, allowing for lab designs simulating a comfortable living-room setting.
But still, there’s one essential thing missing. One thing that’s present all the time in real life, but completely lacking in almost any neuromarketing study. The answer? Other people.
Have you ever been part of a neuromarketing experiment where the researchers actually scanned your brain? How many people do you know that have been? Probably not too many. Still, there are heaps of neuromarketing articles too be found. All of us at New Neuromarketing are, of course, very happy with this, as it gives us much to write about.
But if we look closer at a multitude of this research, we notice that often behavioral or attitudinal data is used. Experiments investigate what people do, what they say they will do or how they feel. Especially the latter is slightly ironic, as an important basis of neuromarketing research as it was intended, is that people are horrible at predicting what they will do or at evaluating how they feel.
That is why researchers want to learn as much as they can about our brains, and what happens when we buy products, watch advertisements and interact with brands in other ways.