Understand what Neuroscience applied to Marketing is – WAU

The neuroscience applied to Marketing allows professionals and companies to understand in depth consumer behavior in relation to brands, campaigns, ads and products. Unlike traditional market studies based on testimonials and mass analysis, neuromarketing is focused on individual cognitive experience.

Neuroscience applied to Marketing is not new. The works and studies that use concepts from neurology and psychology to understand consumer behavior are among the types of content that most contributed to the dissemination of the area.

While your greatest advances arouse the feeling that science fiction tales will soon gain chapters in the real world, many of your ideas have been influencing the daily lives of businesses and consumers for decades – perhaps you have used them and never even realized that!

The truth is that neuroscience is still full of mysteries and, speaking specifically about consumption, a curiosity is inevitable: you can create a marketing plan infallible, something capable of hitting the “buy button” in the brain of any individual? What would be the implications of this?

Stay with us and discover the potential and impacts of this great science and how its concepts can be applied in your campaigns!

What is neuroscience and what are its potentials?

Neuroscience as an academic field of study officially appeared in 1970, but there have been writings on the subject since antiquity. It was the recent technologies of laboratory and image analysis, however, that promoted the great expansion of the area in the last decades.

The “flagship” of academic research remains the biological and human sciences, but other areas of study, such as people management, sociology, politics and, of course, Marketing, are often related to the topic.

Currently, one of the most ambitious projects in the field is the “Human Brain Project”, a scientific effort funded by the European Union, which aims to develop a huge research infrastructure based on ICT (information and communication technology) to assist and gather discoveries from scientists from all over the world.

Neuroscience and its influence on technologies

An interesting aspect of neurosciences is that, although their first studies are focused on pure science – that is, with no social appeals or commercial goals involved – their discoveries are promoting unprecedented transformations in relatively “distant” areas, such as computing and engineering.

In advanced Digital Marketing applications and tools, for example, one of the most talked about features is “Machine Learning”. This technology uses a computational model based on the central nervous system: RNAs or artificial neural networks.

Like information in the human brain, which is built and stored in networks of interconnected neurons, RNAs allow software to recognize new patterns and interconnect that information to its database. These inputs, in turn, are able to influence the functioning of the system as a whole.

Another technology that promises to shake the market and the industry soon is the “Brain-Computer Interface”, which aims to establish a direct connection between an individual’s brain and an external device, such as a computer or a computer. machine.

The 3 in 1 brain

To understand the biological principles involved in individuals’ behavior and decisions, we need to know 3 regions of the human brain and their functions. This is called the “3 in 1 brain”, a didactic representation that illustrates the functioning of the central nervous system.

The reptilian brain: the primitive

It is the “oldest” portion of the brain in evolutionary terms. Its structure is directly linked to survival and regulation of internal organs, and he controls thirst, hunger and other basic needs.

The limbic system: the emotional

Brain area related to our emotions and sensations, from the mildest ones like discomfort and well-being to the most intense ones like passion and fury. It is precisely this “sensitivity” that makes the limbic system the main target of Marketing campaigns.

The neocortex: the rational

Located just behind the forehead, the neocortex is the place where the most complex mental processes occur. He is responsible for the logical analysis and for our social, mathematical, psychological and philosophical perceptions.

How is neuroscience applied to marketing?

Neuroscience applied to marketing is often referred to as neuromarketing and consists of using concepts and tools from neurobiology and cognitive psychology to understand market phenomena.

The neuromarketing study methodology

Contrary to what many people think, the great differential of neuromarketing is not neuroscience itself, but the methodology used in studies. Their methods allow consumers to be analyzed as individuals and not merely representatives of a large audience.

While conventional market research is based on interviews and questionnaires, neuromarketing studies biological and psychological phenomena in people, that is, their subjective reactions and judgments, and they do this through sophisticated tests and equipment.

Therefore, these studies tend to be more faithful to human behavior, as they seek to identify exactly what the consumer feels and not what he “says he feels”, two approaches that usually present different results.

Buying decision making

Taking the 3-in-1 brain model as a principle, the region responsible for making the purchase decision is the limbic system, that is, the area responsible for evoking the feelings and emotions of individuals.

However rational a person thinks himself, his choices and conclusions will always be based on his emotions. This system works as an “unconscious guide”, an impulse that leads us towards new pleasurable sensations.

The neocortex, which controls our rational side, also participates in the purchase process, but only starts to influence the consumer after the action of the limbic system, generally, elaborating a justification for the decision already taken.

Note that people often decide to buy a product long before they actually complete the purchase, and only complete the transaction when they find a good reason for the investment.

This means that many of your prospects, for example, have already decided to hire your company or buy your product, and just need a good clarification to complete the purchase journey, something that a good sales letter can solve.

Brands that become God

One of the most controversial studies in neuromarketing is covered in the book “The Logic of Consumption” by Martin Lindstrom, a Danish author who followed the experiment closely.

Two thousand people, including a group of Carmelite nuns, participated in tests conducted by scientists at the University of Montreal, Canada, and the University of Warwick, England.

The researchers asked the nuns to pray and think about God while their brain activities were monitored. The rest of the group, in turn, was exposed to commercial images of world famous brands such as Apple and Ferrari under the same conditions.

When analyzing the participants’ brain activity during the experiment, the researchers concluded that the brands were able to arouse the same emotions generated by the nuns’ prayers, which means that, perhaps, consumers see their favorite brands as a “sacred symbol” or a kind of God!

The study, of course, was the target of several criticisms about its conclusions and methods, but it helps us to illustrate the power of influence that some companies are able to exert on their consumers.

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The surefire marketing strategy

As there are still many gaps to be filled, several myths have gained space on the internet and in the media, such as the “creation of a great system of manipulation of consumers” or the “development of unfailing marketing and sales strategies”.

London neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel once commented on her blog that she was overcome by a slight feeling that she was “cheating on her audience” when she learned that a company’s Marketing Manager had used “suggestions” that she presented on her board in Fantastic program to increase sales.

His intention was just the opposite: to protect citizens from highly persuasive advertising campaigns. However, as the researcher herself pointed out, neuromarketing studies do not only serve the interests of companies – they also have the purpose of alerting consumers to abusive actions.

Another important point is that the market is constantly changing and the changes are increasingly critical and fast. Today’s “foolproof strategy” would not work tomorrow, and soon, we would need a new magic formula to keep sales up.

The challenges of neuromarketing

Didactic models and experiments help professionals and entrepreneurs to develop more accurate and efficient campaigns, but, unfortunately, they are far from describing the reality.

In fact, there are many studies that address neuroscience applied to Marketing, but most of them use very limited methods and sampling and, in addition, cultural, educational and physiological factors are not always considered.

This does not mean that the data is invalid, but it does make it clear that there is still much to be studied. Neuroscience alone is already an area full of mysteries and discussions. Research seems to suggest that we are on the right track, but science is still far from fully understanding how the brain works.

Despite this, neuromarketing has a lot to add to your business. Several studies can serve as a reference for your campaigns and some techniques, even, were already used in the market successfully and, now, they are only gaining a scientific guise.

How to apply neuroscience in your campaigns?

Basically, what neuroscience can really do for your company is to improve your communication with the customer, make your campaigns more attractive and stimulate loyalty by working on people’s emotional responses in a more precise way.

Here are some ways to do this!

Make images your first word

Intuitively, we know that images are more efficient than texts to attract attention. While articles and books need prior understanding for emotions to flourish, images reach our limbic system instantly.

In pages and posts on the internet, the image and the title are the first information that the reader absorbs and, therefore, work as a “sample” of what is to come.

Therefore, consider images as the first word of your content, regardless of whether it is an article, an ad or a campaign, and ensure that it will be perceived as an invitation.

Use the mental triggers

Mental triggers have been used by advertising for a long time and are now gaining their place in Content Marketing strategies. They can be visual, textual, sound or olfactory stimuli, and their function is to promote an intuitive decision.

According to data from Forebrain, the first London neuroscience research company applied to Marketing, about 90% of the information we receive is processed unconsciously. Mental triggers are thus true weapons of persuasion, but they must be used with caution.

The frequent and indiscriminate use of these resources can affect their efficiency. Very common expressions like “last chance” or “limited vacancies” are examples of widely used triggers that are losing their credibility.

Work colors in your communication

The red of Coca-Cola is not there by chance. The color in its perfect shade arouses excitement. Facebook’s blue, another good example, inspires confidence.

Our brain reacts to colors in different ways, so it is possible to create a kind of subjective communication by working with the right colors in your brand, products and campaigns.

Color psychology is the area that describes this knowledge, but although there are predefined guidelines on the subject, A / B tests are essential to identify important audience preferences.

Arouse the right emotions

According to Ivan Izquierdo, one of the greatest neuroscientists in London and the world, there is no type of thinking or mental construction that does not bring an emotion, and they are the main responsible for the purchase decision.

Thus, your job as a marketing or communication professional is to discover the elements, words, contexts and ideas that most arouse relevant emotions in your audience such as trust, appreciation, respect, joy, security or any other positive feeling about your brand or product.

Make your consumer happy

And, speaking of emotions, we could not finish the article without mentioning the most desired of them all, happiness. We are all looking for it, and now you have one more reason to search for it and promote it.

A study published in the Journal of Advertising Research analyzed people’s emotional response to television commercials and matched that data with the sales performance of the advertised products.

The result could not have been different: campaigns that managed to arouse feelings of satisfaction and happiness in viewers were responsible for the largest number of sales.

This is the neuroscience applied to Marketing: not an attempt to promote a kind of mass manipulation, but a great scientific and market effort to understand why people buy. The studies have started and the results are already surprising. What remains for us is to wait for the next discoveries.

In the meantime, enjoy being here and read this post on writing science to find out how web content impacts our brain!