What is Neuromarketing?
According to Philip Kotler, “Marketing is a subject that is easy to pretend to understand but difficult to practice”.
The primary objective of all marketing initiatives is to enhance sales. Trillions of dollars are spent every year to attract consumer attention and boost sales. Advertisers are yet doubtful about the effectiveness of those advertisements. At the same time it is also impossible to measure the effectiveness of those advertisements. Consumers on the other hand consider advertisements as a source of entertainment and information.
Do you know that our brains work as supercomputers? It receives and processes zillions of information each day.
That we receive most of that information through our eyes, but all the other senses like hearing, touch, smell, taste, and spatial sensations contributes equally to our understanding?
That part of our thinking in which we are aware of our thoughts is processed in our conscious brain. This conscious brain processes only 40 bits of information per second. And the rest is processed subconsciously.
The challenge for marketers and product developers is obvious. “How do I get into that 40 bits of consciously considered information?”
The answer is- only by catering to the conscious mind through neuromarketing. So now the most obvious question is how to cater to the conscious?
There are several ways to do so but to me the primary method is by being a purple cow. As cleverly suggested by Seth Godin in his bestseller Purple Cow: Transform your business by being remarkable, human brain reacts to anything that is different. Our brains are hardwired to notice the unusual. Global advertisers are vying for consumer attention through neuromarketing. Most of the leading advertisements today, pass through neuromarketing tests before being launched.
Neuromarketing is defined as a new branch of marketing that makes use of scientific technology to determine a consumer’s internal, subconscious reaction to products and brand names with the objective to plan effective marketing strategies. According to Kenning and Plassmann, “Neuromarketing is that branch of neuroeconomics, which is an interdisciplinary field that combines economics, neuroscience and psychology, to study the functioning of the brain in decision-making situations.
Neuromarketing starts with assessment of human consciousness and then strategizes on how to cater consumer minds by being different. From product packaging and interior decor to multi sensory stimulation, neuromarketing involves all our sensory organs to penetrate consumer minds in the most effective way. In a nutshell, neuromarketing sells to our brain that in any way affects our cognitive behavior. At present, most large business houses are resorting to neuromarketing for better product development and user experience. From wafers to cola to online games- business houses are pushing the precincts of neuromarketing in order to create evolved product and service categories. Neuromarketing also unveils hidden aspects of our brain by using EEG and fMRI. Pepsi- Coca Cola blind test by John Sculley was also an example of neuro marketing strategy.
Father of Public relations, Edward Bernays along with psychoanalyst, Abraham Brill– used his uncle, Sigmund Freud’s complex idea of human consciousness and psychological motivation to serve his client, Ligget & Myers. He organised a contingent of women to smoke on road in the ‘Torches of freedom’ campaign in 1929 at Easter parade in New York. Objective of the campaign was to boost sell of cigarettes among American women. However the campaign did garner huge publicity in media as well as boosted cigarette sells manifold all across the country.
Bernays is also famous for revitalizing all American breakfast of toast and coffee with eggs and bacon.
Similarly Jordan Wheat Lambert and his son, Gerard revitalized an archaic Latin word- halitosis in order to sell a surgical antiseptic as an effffective mouth wash. Listerine was invented in the year 1880 and was primarily used as surgical disinfectant for cleaning feet and scrubbing floor. In 1920, Lambert marketed the product by catering to fear psychology of consumer mind and intimidated consumers with the evil effects of bad breathe. Sell of Listerine soared to an extent where now it is used as one of the leading consumer products, even after 100 years.
Neuromarketing can be an effective tool for boosting sales or creating indomitable brand awareness. Hyper retails and MNCs even in India are vastly relying on neuromarketing strategies to augur business.
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