Neuromarketing is just beginning to have an influence on companies

Wesley Contrino

Over the past few years, marketers have been studying a new way of retailing their products to consumers through neuromarketing. Neuromarketing is applying neuroscience towards marketing through studying brain scanning and imaging of a subject’s response to an advertisement, packaging, and/or product. The result of the brain scans can then help produce better quality products tailored to the consumers’ unconscious opinion.

Neuromarketing studies two parts of a person that being brain scanning which measures neural activity, and physiological tracking which measures emotional responses. There are two primary tools for brain scanning which are functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalogram (EEG). The fMRI method measures brain activity through a strong magnetic field that detects changes in blood flow. The subject lays down in a machine that continuously measures their brain activity. The increase in blood flow in the brain show which parts of the brain are in use. The EEG method measures electrical activity in the brain. The subject places the sensor on their scalp which detects fractions of a second of electrical activity. The brain cells communicate through electrical pulses that can be measured. Both methods have their pro and cons of detecting and scanning brain activity. The fMRI is very bulky and inconvenient while the EEG is small and convenient. The EEG can not detect exact locations of the activity but is very affordable only being about $20,000 while the fMRI can detect the exact location can only do it for several seconds and is much more expensive costing about $5 million. Physiological tracking involves many methods of measuring different parts of a person. Eye-tracking measures the attention, pupil dilation tracking, heart rate, respiration rate, and skin conductivity measures the arousal, facial expression tracking measures the emotional response. The physiological tracking methods are all very affordable and convenient.

A guy who is freaked out about the implications of Neuromarketing, presumably.

Neuromarketing is very early in its development stages but looking into the future there are many uses for neuroscience to help marketers influence consumer behavior. Neuroscience could help produce better segmentation, sleep nudging, hormone manipulation, temporary neural inhibition. Segmentation is traditionally performed from demographics including age, wealth, etc. but now can be performed using neuroscience because they have found people’s brains can be more prone to be influenced by marketing cues. Sleep nudging was found that through neuroscience people could be influenced in windows of their sleep. Hormone manipulation was found through brain activity is influenced by neuromodulators, brain hormones such as testosterone, which can be altered to influence a consumer’s behavior. Temporary neural inhibition can affect a person’s social behavior by stimulating or depressing nerve cells in the brain. Neuromarketing is just beginning to have an influence on companies by showing them new ways of targeting their audiences and consumers through scientific methods and how people physically and mentally interact with their products.
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