The Contributions of Neuromarketing in Marketing Research: Investigating the Scope of Neuromarketing

Diverse fields have recently adopted the prefix neuro- including neuroaesthetics, neurotheology, and neuroeducation, which has elicited a kind of “neuroculture.” The surfacing of a neuroculture helps translate brain-based narratives regarding personal identity, responsibility, and causation into palpable information. Neuromarketing, an emerging branch of marketing, has derived its components from the collaboration of neuroscience research and business. Neuroscience appeared when Italian scientist Angelo Mosso discovered that the pulsation changes during mental or emotional activity also affect blood flow and its redistribution across the human body. Mosso’s experiment concluded that when the subject began experiencing emotional or mental activity, the sphygmograph recorded an increase in the subject’s pulsations and blood flow in his system.
BrightHouse, an Atlanta marketing firm, first used the term neuromarketing in an article published in June 2002. The firm, which sponsored the interference of neurophysiologic research into marketing fields, established a business division that uses fMRI for marketing research purposes and now has more than 500 consumer-product companies as clients. Remote Controlled

Neuromarketing uses neuroscience technologies like fMRI scanners to ensure a better understanding of the human brain’s subconscious reaction toward advertising, brands, and products. This burgeoning aptitude helps researchers look closely inside the black box of the brain to distinguish how it handles images and messages and how people make specific decisions. The cutting-edge technology gives marketers a potentially clear idea so that they can craft their marketing strategies appropriately for better products, services, ads, and marketing campaigns. Neuromarketing is used to carry out neurological studies intended for marketing purposes that mainly include analyzing customer behavior. The technologies used are mainly medical diagnostic devices that play the role of mind readers for marketers: fMRI, electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). These medical devices are utilized to obtain brain image responses toward experimental stimuli such as commercials, printed ads, movie trailers, speeches, and even games. For data analysis, researchers may use different software packages to help analyze a consumer’s data images, but the most widely used software for analysis of brain imaging data sequences is statistical parametric mapping. The purpose behind analyzing data images is basically to identify how well and how often the brain appointed the areas for attention, emotion, memory, and personal implication. The analyzed data can explicitly inform marketers about a consumer’s thoughts while watching the experimental content. Correspondingly, marketers can recognize whether the participant was scared, sleepy, happy, or interested by examining how the product or the commercials are affecting the consumer’s brain.
Neuromarketing is widely defined as the science that uses MRI, EEG, TMS, MEG, fMRI, and other brain wave tools to view the human brain’s responses to marketing stimuli to figure out what customers’ thoughts are toward a product, service, advertisement, or even packaging to perfectly construct marketing campaigns that are based on the human brain’s response. The definition of neuromarketing has been strongly debated in the past years by researchers who classify it as a pure scientific field rather than a business one and those who perceive it as a pure business activity rather than an academic field. They proposed naming neuromarketing as “consumer neuroscience”. Similar definitions educe abundant explanations and are common in the neuroscience literature. But it is clear that the academic foundation for neuromarketing is not yet established, and the literature is still questioning whether it qualifies as an academic field like neuroeconomics, which went through major theoretical changes in the past years. Fugate emphasized in his conclusion that for neuromarketing to be a legitimized academic field, it is necessary to create a behavioral model that can predict what type of consumption-related problems or stimuli (marketing stimuli) the studied brain structures need to solve. According to Fugate, creating this model will not happen in the near future, as it requires a shift in focus from neural science to experimental research in neuromarketing and the adoption of new roles that will advance the field. Such justifications require researchers, marketers, and firms that are using neuromarketing methodologies to share and publish their data and results. This will help establish reliable validation that neuromarketing is not incompatible with consumer interests and can also demonstrate that consumers might have more understanding of themselves as it relates to decision making, which can give more information to policy makers and lead to more intelligent policies and legislation (Fugate, 2007).