Neuromarketing: What Happens in the Mind of the Consumer?
The area of digital marketing deeply studies and analyzes the mind of the consumer. Our goal is to connect with their thoughts and feelings, understanding what pushes them to buy a specific product or service and what the path they follow to make that decision is.
A belief shared by many marketing experts is that consumers are guided by emotional aspects when shopping. However, statistics don’t always reflect reality. For example, Statista published a survey about the reasons why consumers trust a store. The main factors were the prices (62%), being an ethical and responsible store (32%), and having good reviews on forums and blogs (25%).
These are important elements that come from a rational analysis, but frequently, the impulse to enter a store comes from other places: the color, slogan or the shop display caught our eye or we simply liked the song playing in the store. However, when asked on the survey, the users mention their rational reasoning with much more frequency than their irrational reasons.
To learn what happens in the mind of the consumer and how to get closer to them, neuromarketing offers very valuable tips.
How Neuromarketing Influences the Consumer
The goal of neuromarketing is to dive deeper into the reaction of the consumer’s brain when they are facing an ad of a specific product or service. Companies want to provide added value through emotions in the buying process of their users. Digital marketing and neuromarketing work together to create emotional marketing strategies that facilitate the buying process.
Neuromarketing incorporates concepts of neuroscience, psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Some studies have drawn very useful conclusions for creating attractive campaigns. For example, colors. Each color is linked to a concrete feeling or mood and when we design a brand, we must keep the message and tone in mind and choose a palette of colors that aligns with our vision. If we don’t, a clash is created that many consumers unconsciously detect and reject.
The techniques of neuromarketing impact the buyer’s five senses. Storytelling is a very powerful weapon and it has been proven in ads that create a context and story, inserting the product in an emotional narrative that connects to their audience; it receives more consumer attention.
The study of the gaze provided very valuable insights for neuromarketing. The case of Roger Dooley is exemplary: he studied the visual behavior of spectators for an ad for baby products and analyzed where they looked. The results were clear: in ad 1, there was a baby looking at the product and in ad 2, the baby was looking at the camera (facing the audience). When the baby looked at the product, the spectators did as well and when the baby looked at them, they ignored the product. Neuromarketing taught us a lesson: the focus of your ad must be what you are trying to sell, not the actors or the decor.
These are examples of how neuromarketing unites emotions and buying behavior to create satisfactory user experiences that encourage conversion.
Consumer Behavior and Neuromarketing: methods to obtain information
Neuromarketing uses various techniques and research methods to obtain results. In some cases, they are tools that come directly from neuroscience and in other cases, they are methods that are popular, but don’t have scientific backing.
- Functional MRI (FMRI): This procedure provides information about the physiological functions, measuring brain activity through detecting changes in oxygenation and the blood flow that’s produced in response to neuronal action.
- Electroencephalogram (EEG): The brain activity provides electric signals and the EEG, through electrodes placed on the scalp, registers the electrical activity of the brain.
- Magnetoencephalography (MEG): This third tool magnetically measures the brain areas where there is activity. It has a higher signal quality than the EEG, but it’s more expensive.
- Positron emission tomography (PET): This is the least used tool, as it is invasive and requires a scanner. Its goal is to measure the changes in the metabolism of the brain, in addition to blood flow, volume, and oxygenation.
Other Neuromarketing Techniques
- Eyetracking: This is the example of Roger Dooley that we previously mentioned. It’s a methodology that, through high speed cameras, measures factors such as the movement of the eye, pupil dilation, and blinking when the subject is exposed to a stimulus, be it videos or static images.
- Galvanic skin response (GSR): This second technique measures the Galvanic resistance of the skin, which changes according to our emotions through the sweat glands. This methodology also provides information about how an emotion is being produced, without determining if this feeling is positive or negative.
- Electromyography (EMG): Intradermal microneedles measure muscle activity, especially facial activity, which is linked to reactions and emotional states in response to a stimulus. In addition, electromyography is capable of perceiving small, rapid movements almost imperceptible to the naked eye that could be equivalent to the action of smiling.
- Heart Rate: The fourth and most well-known method measures the heart rate as an indicator of physiological reactions, given that acceleration or deceleration is associated with an increase in our attention or a defensive attitude.
We hope this article helped you understand the importance of using the resources around us to learn more about consumer behavior. This is the only way we’ll be able to capture consumer attention and have a competitive advantage above other brands.
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