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Neuro marketing: Why You Should Not Ignore Neuroscience in Marketing

All of us would be familiar with the term neuroscience which in simple English means the science which studies the brain. And just like business models have over the years utilized advances in mathematics (or economics) and programming (think Big Data or AI), the time has come for neuroscience to shine now. A simple search online will throw up new terms like Neuromarketing & Neuro branding, a great number of research studies conducted and their reports. But what is Neuro branding/marketing? Let’s explore…


How does neuroscience help predict market/consumer behaviour:


Neuroscience focuses mainly on the structural and behavioral aspects of the brain, thus giving us a clue as to what clicks with humans and what does not. Needless to say, such data is of utmost importance from branding and marketing perspective, because who wouldn’t like to predict how a product will be received by the market?


But we cannot all hire neuroscientists or fund our own research. Thankfully the results of existing research are here for us to understand and base our marketing strategies on. 


Most of the studies done in this field use Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) and have shown us the link between emotions and actual behaviour. Many advanced studies have used SST – steady-state topography and EEG -electroencephalography to show which brain areas are involved in decision making and how we can predict the decision based on things like increased heart rate, expanded pupils or sweaty palms!


How will knowledge of neurological behaviour help me in branding?


The time has come for marketing professionals to stop treating branding and marketing as a form of art alone. Here are some examples of what neuroscience has delivered to the world of marketing:

  • Did you know that diners often pick healthier options if they are located to the left of the menu?
  • Pricing a product at $29.99 will make it appear way affordable than a price tag of $30
  • Yellow, orange and red colours are often linked with appetite (McDonalds anyone?)
  • And finally-90% of the time, consumers make the choice to buy anything subconsciously!

Many of us would have already used such simple strategies while designing advertisements or marketing campaigns. So unknowingly we have been using neuromarketing principles already. And no wonder since this field has been around since 2002!

All this knowledge is now in the hands of marketers thanks to neuroscience research. 


Concept of triune brain and how its used in marketing:


For using the neurological data to our advantage in marketing, we often make use of the rather simplistic model of the human brain called the triune brain model. This model dates back to the 1960s when  Paul D. Mclean first used it. 

Lets see what is the 3-brains model and how it is relevant to marketing.

  • Old brain- the primitive or reptilian brain is located at the base of the skull and controls primitive emotions like aggression. The fight or flight response call is taken by this part of the brain.
  • Middle brain- the mammalian brain is mainly used when taking social decisions like parenting or dealing with emotions.
  • New brain- the neocortex takes care of logic and analysis and is responsible for all higher decision making activities carried out by humans.

As we can clearly see, each part of the brain is involved in some form of decision making-be it reaction to a dangerous situation, how to conduct oneself in societies or making higher order decisions with respect to our well being. If we knew how each part responds to specific stimulus or situations, we can easily predict the outcome of every scenario. This application of neuroscience is called neuromarketing.


  • Fight or Flight response

One may believe that the old brain has a minor role in decision making; on the contrary it often governs the first call to action taken by our minds. The first aim of marketing is to capture the attention of the old brain. Subconsciously most of the decisions are taken by us in split seconds when it comes to our safety. Marketers make use of this response to appeal to consumer’s old brains by making it seem that buying their products will save them somehow! Don’t believe me? Take a look at the cosmetic or health industry-most of the ads and products call out to our innate fears-hairfall, body image issues and basically the overall feeling of not being healthy enough. Once engaged the reptilian brain convinces us that to avoid risking our health or beauty standards we must buy this product. 


  • Fight response

The first part of the ad usually addresses our fears but the next part is meant to allay the same fears and provide a clear and simple solution. So this influences the middle brain or the mammalian brain and evokes an emotion of relief and a sense of control in consumers. So mostly ads will use an emotion evoking form of data; like testimonials from happy clients, visuals of a happily-ever-after when someone uses their products.


  • Emptying the pocket

The final decision, the one involving finances, is taken by the neocortex and can be achieved only after the consumer is gradually convinced to some extent on an emotional level. So here comes the logic and reasoning where brands can now display their pricing, the long term benefits of buying this particular brand of product and usual statistical data to convince the consumer. 

And sold!

The skill in good marketing and branding lies in understanding the human brain and identifying the key benefits that would interest the consumer and engage them for a longer period of time. But even then there are chances of a campaign not reaching its full potential because the market did not behave in the predicted manner. This is where experience and a good hold of market behaviour comes into play. We at TIG Media don’t just employ the textbook practices but also derive knowledge from our experience and use it to craft the perfect online marketing strategies customized for your products. Contact us today to get a quote on our marketing packages.


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