What is Neuro Marketing? Benefits, Implications & More…!

If you can understand what your potential audience is thinking you can get inside your customers head and influence their opinion. If you can do this then you can then control their behaviour and where they spend their money. Neuro marketing is a form of market research that helps do this.

What is Neuro Marketing? Neuro marketing is the science of understanding how people feel about your business, products, campaign by observing prospects visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic reactions in a controlled environment. This includes taking brain scans, tracking eye movements, biometrics and facial coding. With the simple aim to understand what they like and dislike.

In this article, we will go through Neuro Marketing and explain how it can be used to positively influence people.

1. What Is Neuro Marketing?

Neuro marketing is the process of measuring physiological and neural signals in a persons brain to acquire insight into the motives, interests, and decisions of your consumers. Neuro marketing is one of three market research methods available for collecting data on your customers.

Research methods include:

  • Traditional Market research – a way of collecting data through focus groups, questionnaires and general observation
  • A/B Testing – a way of collect data by tracking peoples paths online through the flow of webpages they visit
  • Neuro marketing – a way of collecting data whilst observing the behavioural characteristics by monitoring the cognitive response.

In these controlled experiments people are shown specific advertising, marketing, packaging and content. They are then assessed by their response using brain scans and body language.

2. Why is Neuro Marketing Important?

The types of decisions that people make are heavily influenced by strategies that are employed from market research. Neuro marketing is another form of market research and can help us discover our customer needs, motivations, and preferences that surveys and focus groups can’t reveal. This in turn helps us inform creative advertising, product development, pricing, and other marketing areas and more effectively communicate to our customers.

3. Passive Frame Theory

In Martin Lindstrom’s book, Buyology, explains that our subconscious unwillingly makes decisions, whereby, the consumer has less control over conscious decision-making. For example, at its most simplistic, when a person smells something, the body motor control steps in to perform the action of sniffing, which is done unconsciously, even unwillingly, whilst it was the smell in the air that triggered this behaviour.

This works the same for marketing. When a person sees a colour they like or a branding visual that stimulates a positive emotion can trigger a desire. This concept can, in turn, explain the results to the blind taste challenge between Cola and Pepsi. When asked the majority of people said they preferred Coke to Pepsi. However, when the result were in the the most preferred drink was Pepsi.

It is interesting to point out, that the human subconscious processes 40 million bits of information per second, whilst the conscious can only process 60 bits per second. Because of this the conscious will only access what it regards as important enough information to make the buying decision. In addition, A Forbes’ study points out that 95% of consumers’ decisions are made in a split second in their subconscious. Meaning 5% of all purchasing decisions are made in subconscious mind.

This is important because we rationalise in our conscious mind, whilst spontaneity happens more in our conscious. With neuro marketing we can start to begin to understand the triggers needed to stimulate more subconscious decision making. In turn, making our target audience more impulsive, and remove any barriers to purchasing that item.

4. Deeper Analysis than Traditional Methods

Many studies have demonstrated the advantages of neuromarketing over traditional market research strategies. Traditional research have substantial flaws. For example, respondents aren’t always honest about their experiences, sentiments, and preferences. In addition, people have poor recall; they lie to please others or to avoid embarrassment; and their perceptions can be swayed by how a question is phrased. According to Platt adds, “What we say isn’t necessarily a great representation of what’s going on in our heads”. Neuro Market research can compensate for these flaws. However, it can be costly to conduct, and can only be done late in the development phase (when production and distribution infrastructure are already in place).

5. Tools

The most prevalent methods of measuring are through brain scanning, and physiological monitoring. Brain scanning measures neural activity, whilst physiological monitoring, which measures eye movement and facial expressions. In this section, we go over some of the tools used to measure peoples minds.

fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging)

fMRI Detects increased neuronal activity and increased blood flow in the brain. It displays consumers’ emotional responses in detail, their level of involvement, and their memory / recall ability.

It’s used to determine price and boost brand awareness. However, it is the most expensive and invasive procedure; it is less detailed than EEG, but it is the gold standard for assessing specific emotions, and it must be done in a lab. Making it more difficult for firms to forcefully expel people.

EEG (electro-encephalogram)

EEG works by electrical signals from neurons in the brain are recorded on the scalp. It’s used to figure out how engaged consumers are when they interact with marketing collateral, as well as how effective recall is. As a result, it’s perfect for improving advertisements and branding.

It is more expensive and invasive than physiological approaches, and it does not provide as much detail as fMRI, but it can assess changes in smaller time intervals.

Eye tracking: gaze

Eye tracking is used to detect where the individuals’ gaze is directed. The eyes connect directly to the brain and gives away many tells what a person is thinking . it is used to determine what what grabs their attention, what confuses them and speed of recognition.

Used primarily to improve website design, ads, and packaging. it is relatively inexpensive and easy to administer, best used in conjunction with biometrics. however does not does not measure emotions. Has many ethical implications as it can be easily employed without consent.

Eye tracking: pupilometry

it is used to determine what what grabs their attention, what confuses them and speed of recognition. and used to measure level of engagement only.

Used primarily to improve website design, ads, and packaging. it is relatively inexpensive and easy to administer, best used in conjunction with biometrics. however does not does not measure emotions. Has many ethical implications as it can be easily employed without consent.


Skin conductance, heart rate, and respiration are all measured using biometrics. It’s used to figure out how engaged people are and whether they’re responding positively or negatively.

This makes it ideal to improve ad content. However, it works best when combined with other techniques like eye tracking.

Facial coding

Facial coding is used to identify facial expressions. It is good to measure delight, surprise, fear, and so on are examples of general emotional responses.

This makes it ideal to improve ad content. Making it relatively inexpensive. Problems can be that it can be monitored through cameras such as phone forward facing camera making an easy way to exploit consumers by big tech conglomerates.

6. Physiological Signals Vs. Brain Scanning

Indeed, the insights that physiological tools are particularly useful for designing advertisements as there is clear evidence that neuroscience-based marketing research methods can indeed make advertising more effective. The neuromarketers have been quicker to embrace less costly tools, such as eye tracking and facial coding. For example, eye tracking is used to help brands ensure that customers’ attention is focused at the right moments and on the right things (a logo when it appears, for example), and facial coding to help ensure that an ad actually triggers the response it was designed to elicit.

Brain scanning is more effective proxy to measure customer behaviour but them being more expensive makes physiological measuring techniques to remain popular. In addition, physiological tools have been around longer, require less technical expertise to administer, and can easily be paired with more-traditional marketing research tools, such as surveys, focus groups, and so-called implicit association measures (for example, the time it takes to respond after being asked a question).

7. Ethical Implications

Although some may find neural manipulation disturbing, if not dystopian, proponents argue that marketers already utilise strategies to influence customers without their knowledge. “A man will be impacted by the extraneous model if he sees an advertisement for a truck with a gorgeous woman standing in front of it, even if he doesn’t understand it,” says Michael Platt, whose organisation just hosted a conference on neuroethics. “In order to have these talks, we should engage professionals who work in law and consumer protection.” But at this time, I’m not really concerned.” He and others argue that

Using neuroscientific brain scan methods to physically change people’s brains without their consent is currently nearly impossible. However, because of big tech physiological signals are already being used without people knowing about it. Corporations likes Facebook, Google, and Amazon have already come under fire for conducting experiments without user agreement. Facebook influenced the moods of almost 700,000 users without their knowledge in 2012 by modifying their newsfeeds. They have also been forced to admit they spy on people using the camera to monitor facial expressions when scrolling through news feeds. They are yet to admit that they are spying no people through accessing the microphone.

As technology advances there is only going to be more and more ethical barriers broken by big tech conglomerates on a physiological level. In addition, even though i see the use for brain scanning methods to be more popular it is harder to abuse and exploit people unlawfully.


The main purpose for marketers is to be influential in the marketplace and aim to be the leader that particular niche for the products and services they sell a method to achive this is through neuromarketing.

Consumers can think both rationally and irrationally. Which happen in either the conscious or subconscious. The rational-thinking is based on factual insights that clarify a purchase. This would mainly influence a prospect to make a purchase once they know the product or service will fulfil its purpose. The irrational-thinking happens more on a subconscious level. This includes how you feel towards a product as opposed to how well it functions.

By using the neuro marketing tools, be it either brain scanning, or physiological monitoring we can begin to more clearly understand how to stimulate impulsive behaviour.

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