Pretend we can travel back in time for a moment. How would you explain how marketing has changed to someone in the 1990’s?
You’d have a lot of information to cover. Even more if you time traveled after you read the following marketing news.
One of the newest marketing trends is so tricky, it’s mental. Neuromarketing is the newest development in marketing psychology and it involves an MRI machine, of all things.
In fact, the results with neuromarketing are so fine-tuned, some people argue it’s unfair. That’s a decision you can make before you integrate it into your Charleston marketing strategy.
Start making up your mind below.
What is Neuromarketing?
Okay, so imagine that you have a neuroscientist that can read MRI tests. Usually, this doctor presents the patient with an array of situations, to watch how their brains process stress. Or other, more positive emotions.
It’s also how doctors check for normal brain functioning after an injury or when they suspect a problem.
Neuromarketing is like that – but on a shallower level. Instead of checking brain function, marketers show people a set of images.
The images can be anything related to marketing. Product package design, different types of products, ad copy, ad content, and even radio ads.
They present them with different versions, then compare their reactions on the brain scan. Which version of the ad made them the happiest? Which lit up the part of the brain that controls impulses – drives them to buy?
It’s like having a focus group, on the most complex level. Once marketers see a trend, they know what content to go live with and funnel money into.
What’s the Controversy?
Well, some people think that using neuromarketing is unfair because it’s like using the brain against itself. Maybe a person really doesn’t want a purple sock, but the marketer’s advertisement made them think they did.
On one hand, that’s what marketing is supposed to do – make people want things they didn’t necessarily know they wanted. On the other, it’s a pretty high level of deception.
There are some sectors where we can see the “it’s unethical” argument more than others. Like alcohol advertising or tobacco. These are already addictive substances, so it seems especially unfair to make the brain want them more.
What if the company tried to target younger people instead of those who have the ability to make well-formed decisions? We know that tobacco companies can’t directly market to kids – but can they neuromarketing?
It’s a new industry and there are lots of discussions that need to be had.
The Benefits of Neuromarketing
Now that you had a quick look at the cons of neuromarketing, let’s look at the positives. A word of caution – the practice isn’t that budget friendly, but if you have the capital, go ahead!
1. It Concretes Brand Loyalty
If you’re working on building your brand identity or building brand loyalty, you need to target emotion. Emotions are exactly what neuromarketing tests and tries to activate.
Think about the first advertisement you ever saw that really moved you. Or even whatever your favorite touching Superbowl ad was last year. You at least thought, “Oh I really liked their Superbowl commercial” the next time you saw their product.
You may not have bought the product right then, but it did strengthen your emotional opinion of the brand. Maybe in the future, you’d pick that brand over a competitor if they were closely priced.
The reaction is more extreme if they’re already warm customers. If they already had a positive correlation with your brand, that commercial would just concrete their positive feelings more.
2. Non-Biased Results
If you do a normal focus group and present things to people, they have to think about them and come up with an answer. Asking them how they feel about something is a lot of processing.
Why not just watch how they’re feeling? Then they can’t change their answer or misrepresent it.
You could test out different crisis-responses and see how their brain-feelings changed after you presented them with A, B, or C.
3. Reveals New Perspectives
Imagine how many “oops” ad campaigns there have been in the last couple of years. Kendall Jenner with a Pepsi? Yeah, that was a big mess.
You know how it could have been avoided? If Pepsi’s marketing team had done neuromarketing testing on it first. Admittedly, they’d have to had run it by a diverse group of people – which we assume they didn’t do the first time.
But if they had, they would have seen that the idea that a Pepsi could fix racial divides and cop brutality caused people to feel angry.
Better to spend the money up front preventing a crisis, than having to play catch up when the building is burning.
Neuromarketing in Charleston
Let’s make the idea of neuromarketing a little more targeted. Think about Charlestonians and the types of tourists that visit.
How could you better use marketing psychology to target the right type of people? Even if you don’t have access to an MRI machine, there’s still a lot to learn from other people’s findings.
That’s why it’s so important to work with a marketing company that keeps up with the latest trends.
Marketing News: Don’t Get Left Behind
As you can see, marketing is a complex and psychological animal. You don’t want to approach it alone. You want someone with professional experience on their side.
When you’re shopping for a marketing industry for your Charleston business, make sure they keep up with marketing news. That way you’re getting the best advice – always.