Over the last fifteen years the limits of traditional marketing researches have been evident, focusing on the idea of a rational individual and on his conscious processes. This did not allow marketers to seize those mechanisms activated by emotions and give automatic processes, which instead neuroscientific studies indicate as relevant in the decision-making processes.
Today we present five reasons why we consider it urgent to move from a traditional marketing approach to one that integrates with neuromarketing.
Many researches in psychology and behavioral economics are investigating themes traditionally of interest to marketing, such as the regulation of emotions, investigations into the system of rewards and decision-making processes.
In recent years more and more advanced technologies have developed, which have the invasiveness decreased in the detection of information regarding the brain’s response to stimuli, making them at the same time more accurate. The development of portable instruments allows to carry out field surveys, that is where the interaction with stimuli and products takes place. This is what we did with the TSW XP Lab Mobile at Salone del Mobile, al Cibus 2016 and al Wired Next Fest.
Marketing has a growing interest in unconscious processes and in the role of emotions. Despite the developments of neuroscience and research practices, neuromarketing would not have grown so much if marketers had been satisfied with the existing methodologies and only the verbal answers of consumers.
One of the most obvious limitations of traditional marketing research, in fact, is that individuals have difficulty expressing their emotions and feelings verbally. On this subject, instead, neuromarketing research and techniques – such as the face reading and the measurement of brain waves – can understand and explain decision-making processes.
The verbal responses of the interviewed subjects during tests on the pleasantness of an experience or a commercial are not sufficient to provide a complete picture of their real experience. The classic marketing methods, in fact, do not provide a reliable and precise description of the emotions felt by consumers, above all because they do not have a full awareness of them.
It has always been critical to measure the effectiveness of marketing actions, assessing their real impact on the target audience.
This could be overcome by methodologies that investigate the implicit processes and emotions that drive decision-making processes and consumer attitudes, together with the support of scientific evidence that shows that emotions play an important role in decisions and in determining the value of a experience and/or a brand. For a concrete example, I suggest you read the article dedicated to measuring the effectiveness of a TV commercial.
The successful cases of neuromarketing applications have intrigued many companies, and initiated various experiments by the most innovative ones. Among these we find the big brands like Procter & Gamble, Campbell’s Ford, Google, Microsoft and Facebook. But if large companies have been involved in these innovative studies, neuromarketing specialists provide very few descriptions of their work and limit themselves to vaguely mention the research methodologies, providing only partial information. Moreover, only a small part of the many companies involved in neuromarketing studies, stated that it had used neuroscientific tools to improve its communication strategies.
What is positive, however, is that many consumer behavior scholars have approached neuroscientists and psychologists to understand the decision-making processes from a marketing perspective. Harvard University was one of the first to undertake this research, with the creation of the laboratory Mind of the Market, followed by the London Business School and other German universities.
Neuromarketing and biofeedback research therefore have great potential in providing new insights for evaluating business communications and other stimuli.
In the next article we will explain in greater depth the transition from traditional research to neuromarketing, with the aim of understanding the real utility of neurofeedback and biofeedback techniques applied to decisions.