What is neuromarketing? It is certainly a word that has come into common use and a practice that, little by little, is gaining popularity among professionals and businesses. However, it is also a market, and, like every market, it opens up spaces and possibilities for everyone.
What is neuromarketing?
A basic definition of neuromarketing says that neuromarketing is an application of neuroscience that studies people's brain processes and their changes during decision-making in order to predict their consumer behaviors.
Mariano Diotto, brand strategist and director of the Communications Department at IUSVE University, notes that neuromarketing, in itself, is nothing new. What’s new, if anything, is that the mix of insiders’ new awareness and techniques of emotion monitoring allows to explore and make the most of innovative advertising methods.
Neuromarketing, in itself, is nothing new. What's new, if anything, is that a mix of insiders’ new awareness and techniques of emotion monitoring allows you to explore and make the most of innovative advertising methods
“The term – Diotto, who is one of the pioneers of the discipline and brought to Italy the first international degree of Web marketing & digital communication, explains – was in fact coined in 2002 by Ale Smidts during the research carried out at the Rotterdam School of Management, where he chaired the Department of Marketing Management. His research has allowed him to explore new possibilities and introduce innovative systems to understand the client's brain stimuli.”
Smidts defined this new scope of study as a set of brain mechanism identification techniques geared to a greater understanding of consumer behavior for developing more effective marketing strategies.
Neuromarketing: neither fashion, nor niche
Among the most popular clichés, until a few years ago it was thought that neuromarketing was a fashion, nothing but a fashion. “I've heard that countless times,” Diotto says. He adds: “I met creatives, publicists and marketers who thought it was an attempt to find a niche market.” Neuromarketing is not a passing fad, nor a niche market. Nor is it a way to limit the action and creativity of the communicator. If the term “neuromarketing” is recent, its history is much older. In fact, the scholar recalls, not all the initial critics had noticed that “in the psychological field as early as the middle of the twentieth century neurosciences that were concerned with studying our brain and the different reactions based on the stimuli received were developed”.
How neuromarketing works and what it’s for
Neuromarketing uses brain imaging techniques and tools – functional magnetic resonance imaging or fMRI, facial analysis to map emotions, eye tracking and eye movement mapping, Positron or PET emission tomography – to identify areas of the brain that, responding to marketing stimuli, are involved in the process of buying a product or selecting a brand.
In the context of market research, neuromarketing investigates consumer behaviour and the effectiveness of advertising campaigns, but also works in the preliminary phase of product design.
Numbers we need to understand
In June 2014, a report by the European Commission's Business Innovation Observatory dedicated to Customer Experience. Neuro-marketing innovations found that in the previous year, global spending on market research had reached the threshold of 29 billion euros.
According to the European Society for Opinion and Market Research (ESOMAR), only 1% of global spending on market research in 2013 was spent on neuromarketing. While according to the GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report, since 2010 the number of companies that said they wanted to use it was at 10%. However, even then there were signs of change: in 2012, in fact, the percentage had risen to 23%.
Neuromarketing around the world
The sector is booming, so much so that according to the recent study by Infinium Global Research, Neuromarketing Solutions Market: Global Industry Analysis, Trends, Market Size and Forecasts up to 2024, the global market of Neuromarketing solutions were worth nearly USD 1,033 million in 2017 and could exceed USD 2,000 million by 2024 with an annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1% in the forecast period from 2018 to 2024.
Global neuromarketing solutions market could exceed USD 2,000 million by 2024
“Seducing customers” with neuromarketing
Growth also seems to be driven by public demand. “The public – Diotto says – expects an increasing personalization, of products and messages from brands, and those who carry out data-driven marketing campaigns see the results. But that is not enough.”
Neuromarketing comes to our aid right here. Neuromarketing, he explains, is in fact a “discipline aimed at identifying communication channels that allow realizing purchasing decision-making processes through the use of methodologies related to neuroscience, marketing, advertising and semiotics.” There are many definitions of neuromarketing, but Diotto invites you to read Rooger Dooley’s, an American marketer, author of the famous book Brainfluence. Neuromarketing according to Dooley is the application of neuroscience to marketing. And so far, nothing new.
However, neuromarketing includes the direct use of functional neuroimaging techniques, which allow scanning and measurement of brain activity to measure a subject's response to specific products, packaging, advertising or other elements of Marketing. In some cases, the brain responses measured by these techniques may not be consciously perceived by the subject; therefore, these data may be more revealing than those self-reporting on surveys, interviews, focus groups.” This reflection, however, opens up a further question: not all marketing is neuromarketing, although from a certain point of view every marketing campaign seeks to produce neurocognitive activities that will lead to a behavior of desired purchase.
Diotto explains that it is better to “exclude strategic marketing actions that do not specifically incorporate neuroscience-based research or the introduction of archetypal structures that allow the message to be properly decoded, especially in brand positioning. It is therefore useful to understand that marketing strategies are only the tip of the iceberg but knowing everything that is underneath we could achieve so much more.” But what's in the hidden part of the iceberg?
How neuromarketing drives sales
Since last winter, Diotto has been directing the new Neuromarketing series for the Milan based publisher Hoepli. For his series he edited the Italian edition of a fundamental and revolutionary book: The Code of Persuasion, written by Christophe Morin and Patrick Renvoisé of Salesbrain, one of the most important neuromarketing agencies in the world.
The Persuasion Code is a fundamental tool for understanding and applying neuromarketing. It is also useful for young people, as it allows them to familiarize themselves with concepts, practices and jobs that will be increasingly crucial in the very near future.
Neuromarketing manages to block the moment when an emotion is experienced by the public and settles into its unconscious
The Code of Persuasion, the curator of the Italian edition explains, takes us on a long journey. “First you discover the fundamentals of the brain, persuasion, emotions, and then you learn how to apply them.” Morin and Renvoisé help change the way we think and work, to be creative and to set marketing strategies. Neuromarketing, Diotto continues, “allows the identification of the most suitable communication channels to achieve purchasing decision-making processes through the use of neuroscience-related methodologies.” Neuromarketing becomes an essential part of the baggage of every marketer and communicator.
Neuromarketing, Diotto concludes, “is born and makes sense within a company strategy, to give concrete answers to the motivations that drive the customer to purchase, as it manages to block the moment when an emotion is experienced by the and settles into his unconscious.
“The scientific study of what is done within the advertising product”, he concludes, “thanks to the meeting of images, sounds and colors with emotions becomes the scientific basis on which to design advertising campaigns and advertising strategies for every company and every product on the market.”