The Contributions of Neuromarketing in Marketing Research: Neuroimaging techniques

The Contributions of Neuromarketing in Marketing Research: Neuroimaging techniquesStudies on neuromarketing have elicited valuable outcomes. Danish marketer Martin Lindstrom has brought neuromarketing to life through his writing Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy. Lindstrom and Oxford University researchers scanned the brains of more than 2,000 subjects around the world as they watched several advertising and marketing materials such as logos, product placements, health warnings, and subliminal images. Lindtsrom’s study concluded that branding can emphasize and optimize all brand’s signals and more precisely the direct ones. Further, Lindstrom has also discovered that what people hear and smell is more powerful than what they see, which was considered an outrageous result of the study, since it is paradoxical to previous evidence claiming that the vision sense is the most influential. Lindstrom revealed that emotional engagement is a prominent influential factor, since people’s buying decisions are based on emotional factors rather than rational ones. Subsequently, marketing campaigns have to focus more sharply on displaying influential emotional features and not just relying on standard visuals. New-Generation Banks

Similarly, Gemma Calvert, cofounder of the marketing consulting agency Neurosense, claimed that the firm discovered that consumers considered watching a TV ad more enjoyable than listening to a radio ad; nevertheless, the radio ad was more memorable. Calvert’s conclusion goes hand in hand with Lindstrom’s in stating that emotional aspects of the ad are more leading than the visual ones. To understand the reasons behind consumers’ buying decisions, a study cited in Plassmann, Ambler, Braeutigm and Kenning demonstrated that very unattractive ads were nearly as often recalled as very attractive ads. The study implied that the use of faces that have positive impressions are perceived as attractive, whereas advertisements using text-based information and faces that have neutral expressions are perceived as purely unattractive. Noticeably, neuromarketing has illuminated the cognitive process behind buying decisions to help understand what motivates people to buy both tangible and intangible goods. Further research in neuromarketing has gone beyond exploring end consumers’ decision making to tackle more complex areas such as trust, pricing, and negotiation. Neuroscientific studies have provided significant insight into the nature and development of trust. Neuroimaging techniques have detected that the caudate nucleus, which is often in action while learning about stimuli-response relations, is highly concerned in experimental games calling for some kind of trust. Understanding and investigating the nature of trust will lead to greater ability to examine the antecedent factors to trust, and hence help firms build trust with customers and collaborators for mutually beneficial outcomes. Despite the huge amount of behavioral research that often relies on consumers’ assumptions to explore pricing, neuroimaging studies are likely to offer considerable insight into the nature of price information. Neuroscientific studies have evidenced that the price of a basic product such as sugar differs in nature from the price of a conspicuous product such as a Nike sports shoe or even a Porsche sports car, which has been proven through changes in the location of activity in the brain once the prices are perceived along with their associations. Such research offers substantial insight into situations where outwardly rational information is processed in decision making. Neuroimaging has already begun to explore negotiating behavior; a study by Sanfey et al. has demonstrated that emotion along with rational cognition highly influences negotiation, particularly when offers are regarded as unfair. Such fMRI studies will help ascertain when and how consumers let their emotions dominate their rationality when negotiating prices or deals. Therefore, exploring the neuronal activity underlying suboptimal behaviors related to trust, price, and negotiation will give clear insight into consumers’ decision making and will increase mutually beneficial outcomes.