Questioning Consumer Neuroscience: Benefits and Limitations

In Customer Engagement, Featured on App, Marketing and Sales, Technology by Juliette

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Neuroscience makes marketing more than skin deep

The human brain has already long been an object of study. Techniques used by neuroscientists to detect and reveal the motives and processes behind our behaviours range from EEG and fMRI, to facial and eye-tracking techniques, bio measures (heart rate, skin-response, etc), and clever psychological tests.

The ability for marketers to gain insight into consumers’ decision making process (e.g. why they do what they do, or buy what they buy) sounds like an extremely valuable prospect. Current market research techniques are not always reliable in this regard, as most of the time people aren’t conscious of their implicit emotional reactions to a product.

Although nobody is pretending it’ll replace traditional market research, integrating consumer neuroscience into a marketing strategy has proven to present many benefits. Beyond combining neuromarketing and traditional market research to enhance a campaign, combining different neuroscience techniques seems to be the way forward “in the quest for understanding human behaviour”, as highlighted by Gabe Samuels.

Now, allow me to emit some reserves. Using neuroscience insights to inform the way we sell sounds clever indeed. Still, many are expressing doubts and scepticism regarding the validity of the results and conclusions communicated by those who try to apply brain science in business. As Samuels noted in his article, the fact that most of the consumer neuroscience providers today are both data collectors and analysts, might represent an additional challenge. In fact it casts doubt on either the validity of the results, or its interpretation and the consecutive advice given by the same people who provided this data.

I think we must admit that there still are challenges to overcome and maintaining an alive dialogue might help, so please have your say on consumer neuroscience benefits and validity issues by leaving a comment below.

You could also learn much more about how to integrate neuroscience techniques into your marketing strategy, and combine them with traditional market research methods, at the Neuromarketing Briefing, on 26th June in London:

You can book your tickets to attend now.

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