Your product was developed from the ground up using a customer-centric point of view. Intense marketing research was conducted in an effort to learn how best to price, place and promote it. Beautifully inspired graphic artistry was included into state-of-the-art integrated marketing communications to acquire the precise message to communicate to the target audience. A social media campaign was designed to best foster word of mouth referrals. And the perfect position in the marketplace was found to catch the customer’s attention. But for some inexplicable reason the entire strategy went over like an iron balloon.
Many marketing plans focus on consumer attitudes. However, there are marked differences between the consumer’s attitude and the incentives which drive buying behavior. As a consequence, lack of insight into the prospective customer’s conduct at the last 10 feet of the sale can result in a failure for the purchase process to be completed. It begs the question, what is the buyer thinking?
Almost all of the data processing activity in the human brain is carried out subconsciously, that is to say the majority of internal information management occurs without our having any awareness of it happening whatsoever. Conventional marketing research methods, designed to understand the behavioral actions of the consumer, are unable to account for these subconscious practices. The outcome can be a mismatch of predicted responses and tangible reactions during the purchase progression. Therefore a need exists to comprehend the neurological courses which drive customer comportment. Enter the emerging field of neuromarketing.
Neuromarketing is an intermixing of the scholastic fields of behavioral psychology, neuroscience and marketing management. Behavioral psychology was first described in the 16th century by Francis Bacon, and seeks to understand the nature and performance of the human mind. Neuroscience studies the anatomy, or structure, and physiology, or function, of the brain, while marketing management centers on the operations necessary to effectively promote products and services to an identified targeted audience. By employing these disciplines conjointly, marketing professionals are better able to promote marketplace offerings in ways that more closely match the potential client’s motivations to purchase, and position brands in a supplementary manner which is readily recognized and better remembered.
The science of neuromarketing is still in its infancy at present; research is ongoing, and requires massive investments in technology. Examinations by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), where the synaptic activity of the various parts of the brain are mapped while the subject is provided varying stimuli, and electroencephalograms (EEG), which tracks the conduction of current generated by nerve impulses, are difficult to carry out in real world situations. Observational data must be gleaned repeatedly during the actual purchase process, and the statistics mined for correlations between impetus and action. Yet the prospect of increased accuracy in matching the marketing campaign to the behavior of the buyer has the potential to offer amplified efficacy to buying prompts, which may increase the return on sales and further the desired bottom line so vehemently sought by industries across the board.
A deeper perception of consumer behavior promises to facilitate the future of marketing in ways that as yet we do not fully follow. As greater demands are made by executive management to validate the expenditures of marketing departments, taking such objective measures will likely be necessary. But they may also be beneficial, and offer value far in excess of the required capital spending.
Do you believe in the sustainability of neuromarketing, or simply consider it yet another form of black magic voodoo, a fad which will fade with the passage of time? Let your views be known in the comments below, and please share this article with others.
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