Gaining competitive advantage through neuromarketing

12 Jul 2018

  • Innovation
  • Strategy
  • New thinking

In a nutshell, neuromarketing is the use of brain science to optimise and measure the impact of marketing and advertising. When used well, it is highly effective for marketers aiming to rise above the noise.

According to Arron Child, Head of Neuromarketing at digital and product innovation studio Studio Etch, who will be speaking at ADMA Global Forum in August, neuromarketing is the merging of three disciplines: neuroscience, behavioural economics and psychology.

He says: “Neuroscience teaches us how the brain processes information while behavioural economics teaches us about the shortcuts that the brain takes; the different biases and heuristics. And then there are elements of psychology as well.”

The reason the application of these skills is so effective, according to Child, is that the bulk of human decisions are made subconsciously.

Use of these techniques can range from the simple – having an object in a TVC move toward the viewer or the talent on screen pointing to something the brand wants us to see – to the more advanced.

For example, if a whisky brand wanted you to taste the wood notes in its product, it may apply a woodgrain finish to its packaging or kit out the bar where you are being served with wood panelling, fireplaces full of burning logs and the sound of crackling wood.

While these practices may seem new and cutting edge, Child says they’re already being used – we just might not have noticed.

An example he cites is a bread company that wants consumers to think its product is extra soft and fresh and so creates a specialty lacquer that gives the impression of softness when shoppers squeeze the loaf.

The use of these practices for commercial purposes often raises the question of ethics – should psychological cues be exploited to help influence consumer decisions?

The argument has long been that advertising is an accepted practice to persuade consumers to purchase things so why, then, in the words of author Richard Shotton, shouldn’t that advertising be effective?

Studio Etch’s Child says he developed an interest in neuromarketing to make better decisions and help consumers do the same. He says: “I wanted to know how memory was created and stored, how the subconscious guides decision making, why some things stand out more than others.”

Curious to hear more about how neuromarketing can be applied to your strategy? Arron Child will be presenting on the topic at ADMA Global Forum in August. Find out about how to apply decision science to marketing, the difference between emotive versus rational marketing campaigns and the campaigns from across the globe that have used these techniques to great effect.

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