In the era of e-commerce and social networks used as a showcase, the people concerned with marketing very often forget that those who buy are people in the flesh and not just accounts. For about a decade here, Big data, Kpi (Key performance indicator) and Roi (Return on investment) are the basis on which to build publicity communication campaigns and sales. Everything is supported by data obtained from neuroscience, that group of disciplines that deals with the study of the nervous system, how it works and its response to external stimuli. Questions such as: which neuron is activated when we see our dream car? What chain of synapses comes to life before a nice ice cream cone? What chemical-neural combination induces or prevents us from entering a shop? These are questions to which the answers generate a market that, according to a recent study published by “Market Research Report Search Engine”, could reach a value of 2.2 billion dollars by 2025.
We forget that the starting point is always the same, the human being who remains at the centre even when considered only as consumer in the technological world.
“But we forget that the starting point is always the same, the human being who remains at the centre even when considered only as consumer in the technological world. A world however where 90% of choices are based on emotional factors». These are the words of Giuliano Noci, professor of Strategy & Marketing at the School of Management of Milan Polytechnic and author of the book entitled Biomarketing (Egea). With this term Noci tries to push the frontier of market research a little further forward, not just with cold data that reduce the consumer to a simple chain of impulses, but a broader more general aspect of human buying inclinations. «Biomarketing is basically a platform that puts human beings at the centre and extends the parameters usually considered when analysing their behaviour, focusing on non-verbal responses», explained Noci. Perspiration, palpitations, tics and breathing rhythms are just some of the criteria by which people who deal with biomarketing try to enrich the sense of relationship between the customer, technology and product.
In order to do this, Noci’s book proposes four cardinal points with which to follow the path toward the new frontier of marketing. First point: the lack of a difference between physical space and digital space in a phygital dimension (combining the words “physical” and “digital”). For the consumer who lives in the digital era there is a single level of interaction with the brand activated through various channels but without interruption. Second point: the acquisition of data has become indispensable for all good marketing campaigns, but the winning card is the capacity to integrate it and combine it. The third cardinal point proposed by Noci concerns time. In other words, planning the interaction for the consumer in time (the relationship) and at the right times (the single decision) represents one of the salient elements of the marketing business in a context characterised increasingly by information entropy and a plurality of contact points. Lastly, it is necessary to broaden the perspective toward digital ecosystems understood as contexts which are broader and more dynamic than the classic product-sector concept that we are used to.
Emotions are important. Because what counts is no longer the “what” but the “how”, the relationships.
In brief «Emotions are important» says Noci, «and so is the brand which has the function of being a trusted delegate of a company. Because what counts is no longer the “what” but the “how”, the relationships are important. Let’s take Amazon, for example: with its virtual marketplace it has become a friend of the consumer, a comfort zone, and a product that everyone looks for in order to find the relationship that it sets up through the services offered». In short, what counts is the way in which a company interacts with its customer. But what instruments can be used to create all? «It is a dual path: on one hand it is necessary to work in the long term to create a history that is useful to the consumer (storydoing, ed.n.) with a view to collective intimacy with the target community; on the other hand, it is necessary to act in the short term, maximising the contact points between the customer and the brand». In other words, once a brand has conquered a position in the consumer’s mind, the successive relationship must go through love times, as they are called by Noci. These are moments of interaction that induce a conversion from interest to purchase. The instruments of biomarketing respond to all these needs.
But what place do disciplines such as this occupy in the Italian market? «There is still a cultural obstacle to overcome», replies Noci. «The brand still puts the product at the centre and not the customer. This is an attitude connected with the history of companies and their production of value. While innovation passes through an inversion of the perspective». Moreover, «There is also a question of skills. In our country there is a relative delay in the spread of digital skills and in the presence of data scientists. Furthermore, in general there is an underestimation of the skills necessary for marketing; it is not just a question of applying the instruments necessary to obtain a series of data, but of processing the data to obtain information on the behaviour of people in a context».