How to Use The Neuromarketing Strategy to Boost Your Sales
Are you aware that consumers subconsciously define their needs and wants based on what appeals to them in their everyday lives? They also define how much they are willing to pay for products and what activities they engage in based on this concept
Marketers are now more interested in advertising and marketing that will yield better results with lower and lesser money.
Neuromarketing has come to the rescue and has been able to solve that need. With neuromarketing, you understand how your customers’ brain works and how your marketing strategies will affect your customers. Using neuromarketing, marketers and companies have created smarter and better marketing strategies that will yield amazing results and boost their efforts effectively.
This article contains a complete guide to neuromarketing and how to effectively use it in your marketing strategy. You will also see real-life examples of how companies implemented the neuromarketing strategy.
WHAT IS NEUROMARKETING?
Neuromarketing is a secret weapon many brands use to attract more customers. It is a combination of neuroscience and marketing. Neuromarketing is the latest marketing trend that uses medical technologies such as Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to study the brain’s response to marketing stimuli.
This marketing strategy helps marketers determine why customers make certain decisions and the part of the brain triggering such decisions.
Most marketers use a broad scope of traditional promotion techniques. But marketers should go beyond old tricks to win over new customers.
Tobias Foster, Digital Marketer and Content Creator.
Look at Netflix; they use a neuro-tracker to predict a show’s success, and other shows that their subscribers might like to watch on their platform. That explains why when you click on a show to watch on Netflix, after watching or before proceeding to watch, you see similar movies recommended for you to watch. Most times, this leaves you scrolling and watching through their recommendation.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to know and learn about your customers’ behavior is to apply neuromarketing strategies to your business. Neuromarketing strategies beat the traditional survey of customers. The technologies allow you to determine how your customers’ brain acts while choosing any product and the part of their brain that is activated to complete the product purchase.
The neuromarketing strategy makes use of the knowledge of neuroscience to identify the needs of your customers, their preferences, and desires. Neuromarketing studies customers’ response to marketing stimuli and their non-conscious reaction to certain advertising campaigns, designs, packaging, and recommendations.
All this is done to develop effective and efficient marketing campaigns and strategies that resonate well with your target audience.
Many marketers may ask why neuromarketing, why target the brain stimuli? However, this is based on a lot of factors that have been tested and true over time, some of which include:
1. 90% of customers’ purchase decisions are made unconsciously.
Customers often think they know their decisions, but that is not the entire truth. As a customer, you are not immune to adverts and campaigns. Many products have been purchased at a glance. Most purchases are due to your unconscious mind, not even necessary.
2. It takes 50 milliseconds for a brand to make an impression in customers’ minds.
Now the question here is, what kind of an impression can your brand strike in customers’ minds within 0.05 sec? Customers don’t need to research your company before making up their minds about your company.
Captivating people lies in the appealing designs, visuals, and organizations that can be achieved within 0.05 secs. Humans use 50% of their brains for visuals, implying their visuals and aesthetics are vital in marketing.
3. Emotions guide human decisions.
This is the heart of neuromarketing. Emotions are key to marketing. You tend to take decisions and actions when you feel a certain way. Emotion in marketing guides human behavior in response to campaigns and adverts.
When shopping for products, you use your guts to determine whether you want something, not necessarily because of how it will make us feel. You trust your instincts to guide you through every decision rather than spending many hours in decision-making.
Learning and understanding how the brain functions is a great way of building marketing and a brand’s identity.
4. The average attention span of any human since 2015 is an average of 8.25 seconds.
Attention span has drastically reduced. Earlier it was 12 seconds, and now it is 8.25 seconds. It is because people want to consume information quickly. In the world of social media filled with various content, how do you get your content to be seen and acknowledged by your audience within 8.25 seconds?
Customers are always in “low involvement processes” This means that they unconsciously take in the stimuli in their environment. And this is where neuromarketing comes in, determining the exact strategy to gain your customers’ attention.
One major thing about consumers is that they hardly tell you what they do or like; sometimes, they are indecisive about what they do and like. Customers’ choices are made in the subconscious minds, and how best to understand this non-conscious thinking than through neuromarketing.
A Harvard professor by the name of Grelad Zaltman made a discovery and found out that 95% of the buying rationale occurs subconsciously. A huge feat of neuromarketing is marketers’ ability to better understand their customers’ decision-making with less influence from the brand style, product, market, design, or genre.
In simpler terms, neuromarketing takes insight from neuroscience, behavioral economics, and social psychology and applies them to marketing strategies, branding, and product design. Imagine you could see the part of your customers’ brains that lights up when they talk about your brand to people? Also, imagine what happens in your customers’ brains when they come in contact with your product and marketing campaigns?
HOW TO USE NEUROMARKETING
Neuromarketing entails research and the use of scientific laboratories and techniques to decipher how customers respond to certain marketing strategies and prepare for better strategies. Neuromarketing laboratories are built where human body monitoring technologies derive qualitative and quantitative data that can be used in proper marketing strategies.
For neuromarketing to be used, certain techniques and research must be applied through modern technology. There exists;
- The neuroscientific techniques register the physiological activities of the Central Nervous System (the brain).
- The neuroscientific technique which registers the physiological activities of the Peripheral Nervous System and
Other neuroscientific techniques register other behavior and conduct.
Electroencephalogram (EEG): is a technique used in marketing that provides valuable information on brain activity. EEG is one of the most used methods in neuromarketing. It detects changes in the electrical current of the brain waves. This technique provides information on the marketing stimulus by obtaining data metrics on attention, memorization, and engagement.
Functional Magnetic Resonance (FMRI): measures the brain’s activities through change detection associated with blood flow. In this method, participants lie in a bed with their heads surrounded by a scanner that tracks the variations in blood oxygenation in the brain, which are correlated to neuronal activity.
Dr. Roeland Dietvorst, a scientific director at Alpha, made the following statement to the Neuromarketing Science and Business Association;
“Normally we use EEG for the measurement of dynamic stimuli, like video, TV shows, commercials, online user experience. In such cases, it is interesting to see the brain responding momentarily. We use fMRI mainly for static stimuli, like packaging design, campaign slogans, pay-offs, outdoor messaging.“
Magnetoencephalography (MEG): neuromarketing registers the brain’s magnetic activity with a helmet containing 100-300 sensors. This method detects changes in magnetic fields that the brain’s electrical activity has induced.
Eye-tracking is a technique in neuromarketing that registers and follows the eye movement of the participant and gaze patterns. These gaze patterns are used to obtain information on visual patterns and attention.
Other techniques used include Electrocardiogram (ECG in neuromarketing), Coding in neuromarketing, Electromyogram (EMG), Implicit Response Test (IRT) in neuromarketing, and Indoor positioning techniques (Indoor-GPS in neuromarketing).
Using neuromarketing techniques provides answers to questions bugging your mind. You get reasons why some campaigns and adverts were unsuccessful, and you also rethink and create smarter marketing strategies for your brand. Neuromarketing can be used in the following ways:
1. Design Optimization
Before neuromarketing, companies and brand designers use standard design principles and assume it is the best option. With the inception of neuro-scanning technology, designers can detect where a customer’s gaze falls in any design.
With this knowledge, marketers can push out prints, ads, and campaigns that ensure that the customers’ gaze falls on the most important piece of information.
For example, a design that agrees and corresponds to the natural way that the brain scans and skims content can direct visitors to a CTA that will invoke conversions.
Also, the different intensities at which visitors look at the different parts of a design and website should be considered.
2. Ads Testing
Ads are being tested before being pushed into the market and on various platforms. The testing of the ads is to solidify the tendency of that advert to make maximum impact and encourage the consumers to take the required actions.
Most brands don’t allow their major ad campaigns to reach consumers without first undergoing group testing.
In group testing, people’s brains are scanned while being shown an ad. Now, scientists observe and monitor what part of the brain lights up, revealing excitement, boredom, pleasure, sadness, teary, upset, and other ad-invoked emotions. This gives a more accurate reading of how people react to ads rather than just expecting them to say how they feel.
3. Improvement in Packaging
Some products are nice and amazing, but the packaging is nothing to write about. A product’s packaging can be a turn-off for any consumer. However, this is where neuromarketing comes in. Neuromarketing helps markers determine a product’s packaging appeal to the customers before the products hit the shelves in the mall.
According to an article by Medium, Frito-Lay company experienced a similar case. In 2009, Frito-Lay launched the baked version of all their snacks and created many healthy options to appeal to female customers. The company, however, discovered that although women snack twice as much as men, most of their customers are men.
This made the company resort to neuromarketing.
The company appointed the Juniper Park firm to conduct neuro-based marketing. The firm used brain scans to understand and learn the customers’ responses to products. After a research series, conclusions were drawn, and changes were made.
To attract the women community, the company created an image of Healthy Snacking = Frito-Lay after discovering that women needed their attention on the positive aspects of the products. Also, the product packaging was changed. The shiny packets got replaced with a matte finish; in terms of colors, fresh green, beige, and light blues were now used to draw the attention of female customers.
The company recorded jaw-breaking sales growth by applying the results obtained from neuro-based marketing.
4. Color Choice
Neuromarketing will always let you know that colors are tied to human emotions. Marketing experts have used this to advertise the right product to the right audience.
Colors are 85% of why you purchased a product. — Neil Patel, Digital marketing expert
For example, blue shows royalty and trust, making people calm and relaxed. However, too much of it can induce depression.
- Green is a relaxing color. It gets rid of the feeling of anxiety.
- Black signifies power and authority, while white shows innocence and purity.
- Yellow and orange signify brightness, optimism, and excitement.
- Purple is a calm yet powerful color. It shows authority, royalty, elegance, and uniqueness.
- Pink signifies innocence and kindness.
With this knowledge of color choice in neuro-based marketing, brands can determine their official color based on what their brands represent. A common brand associated with the pink color is Barbie, and little girls’ clothes come to mind. Cars manufactured must come in black, signifying authority before any other color. The colors you choose represent your brand and what you stand for.
You can also use neuromarketing in pricing. Marketers use it as a kind of psychological pricing. Ever walked into a restaurant and discovered the currency sign not included in the numbers associated with the products? That’s neuro-pricing, and it has elevated sales.
Another way of using neuromarketing in pricing is through discounts, raffles, special displays, vouchers, gift cards, and volume discounts. Another aspect of neuromarketing used in pricing is what is known as the decoy effect.
In the decoy effect, consumers tend to change their purchasing preferences when presented with a third option. In clearer terms, a customer knows that product A is less expensive than product B and is making plans to purchase product A. However, the customer changes his mind when presented with a third option, C, which appears between A and C.
From the above image, the medium popcorn, which is the decoy makes the customer opt-in for the highest-priced popcorn, even if the customer does not need it.
The customer purchases with the mindset that he is winning and making the best choice. Here, a purchase is based on the customer’s interpretation of prices, not on the product’s real value.
HOW TO BOOST YOUR NEUROMARKETING STRATEGY?
Companies have replaced their regular marketing plans with neuromarketing strategies to ensure maximum output. These companies have remodeled their strategies, and they are still remodeling them. These strategies that need to be booted can be done through:
- Figuring out how customers make purchasing decisions.
- Tracking how customers’ brains respond to marketing stimuli
- Discovering why a customer chooses your product or service over your competitor.
- Figuring out how to make engagement on all contents and platforms
- Encouraging users to perform certain actions like pressing the CTA button and making a purchase.
Neuromarketing has come to produce better marketing and product design results. To boost your neuromarketing strategy, the following ought to be done;
1. Use Images in Your Ads
Adverts with images captivate people better than plain-text ads. Images with people on them, especially babies, tend to attract attention and focus. Imagine an advert where the image in the ad is looking or pointing in a direction; you become automatically prompted to follow the direction and read the information on the ad.
Marketers must pick images that will create a natural eye flow to the accompanying text and content you want your reader to know rather than draw them away from the copy. Imagine picking an advert image that is attractive but has no focus.
Your audience may look at the image but not bother to check out the contents of the image. Therefore, the best way to ensure a maximum result is achieved through the use of images that point to or have their gaze at the content or copy.
2. Ensure You Use Appropriate Packaging
It has been proven over the years the effect neuromarketing has on the packaging. It is without a doubt that the poor packaging of products can affect your sales growth. Your packaging is what sells your strategy and your product. Neuromarketing has shown that consumers respond to marketing stimuli even in terms of packaging.
It is also pertinent to remember that packaging does not have to be the same for people of the same gender, age, location, or tribe.
It is possible that a 6-year-old girl would love to have every property she owns be in pink color. That’s the target campaign for products for little girls of that age. Now, imagine that same child as a 30-year-old woman. Do you think the color pink will still appeal to her when making purchases?
3. Play the Scarcity Card
Ever noticed that people respond more when there is a scarcity or a limited number of products? Marketers have discovered this strategy and now use it on virtually every product as it encourages and pushes people to make purchases.
An example is this; you can display a message saying “Only 17 slots remaining” or “Only eight pieces left on stock.” Displaying such images shows and convinces people that the product is popular and in high demand. This pushes them to make instant purchases.
5. Emotion Response Analysis
Facial coding is a neuromarketing technique that uses webcam technology to analyze your customers’ facial expressions. These analyses measure your customers’ emotional response to the contents and brand itself.
To achieve optimum results, marketers are to use data that detect key emotions such as sadness, anger, disgust, fear, surprise, joy, agony, pity, and contempt. Using emotion response analysis, marketers can now tweak their marketing campaigns to be more productive.
This strategy is currently being applied in the world of UX designs, where developers use facial recognition software and emotion response analysis to determine people’s emotions as they navigate a website or an application.
The eye-tracking technology is solely concerned with measuring consumers’ visual focal points and the excitement that correlates with pupil dilation. These reveal a customer’s emotional response to marketing campaigns and advertising. Eye-tracking technology is made up of software like gaze plots and heat maps. This software’s data can improve creative advertising and branding.
The eye-tracking strategy answers the question:
- Which marketing components can grab your customers’ attention
- Which features drive your customer’s decision-making process and
- What are the relevant and irrelevant parts of your content copy?
For example, the GSK healthcare company uses this technology. GSK has a consumer sensory laboratory where products are tested using eye-tracking and monitoring devices. The GSK “Shopper Science Laboratory” is designed to feel and look like a real store. Customers walk in to browse and shop for products while they are under analysis.
The eye-tracking devices help GSK monitor how customers interact with the different products on their shelves and what packaging the customers are most drawn to. In return, the company can plan and develop future products based on the insights and data obtained.
For instance, a high level of fixation on a particular product shows that the product copy is difficult to process or unnecessarily complicated.
One thing that attracts people to certain posts and copies is using numbers for substantiation. Numbers make the post or campaign feel tangible and trustworthy. Look at these two copies below;
- How to increase sales in your business growth?
- How to increase sales by 20% within six months in your business?
The second option is the obvious copy people will go for; why? It looks more realistic and promising. It is targeted toward a specific objective.
REAL-LIFE EXAMPLES OF NEUROMARKETING
PayPal and speed are the modern way to handle money. PayPal researched the best way to position their brand online and what will make their customers’ experience easy and speedy transfer with them.
They turned to the neuromarketing company NeuroFocus to track the subconscious activity of a group of customers as related to their product. The company uses an electroencephalograph (EEG) to understand how customers responded to their brand; they are a money transfer site.
PayPal believed its “high security” strategy would appeal to online shoppers, but it turned out that its one-click payment methodology was the real attraction. The result from the electroencephalograph revealed that customers resonate with the word “fast” than with the word “safe.” The result further proved that the word “speed” generated positive feelings in frequent users.
After this rebranding, PayPal had its click-through rates and responses rise to 400 percent.
Neuromarketing was used to refocus and rebrand a large company like PayPal. Rebranding is never an easy feat, especially for large corporations and establishments, but when you look at the result, it is worth it.
PayPal is a good example of how neuromarketing can be used to understand audiences better than forms and surveys.
Yahoo had a major obstacle to overcome. They wanted to come to the top of people’s minds over other search engine giants. They decided to employ neuromarketing to create something that will make them unforgetful people’s minds.
Yahoo used EEG to encourage more people in the United States to use their search engines instead of their competitors. The company created a 60-seconds ad of people dancing and celebrating an occasion. This advert was first played to a group of people who agreed to wear EEG caps so that their brain activities could be measured.
The result of the ad was that yahoo was able to invoke positive emotions and even stimulate the memory part of the brain. The result was that the ad would be memorable and elicit a positive feeling from everyone who watched it.
The secret to this campaign’s success was to instill a favorable impression of Yahoo in the viewer’s mind while also making the company more memorable. The ad encouraged people to use the search engine whenever they are online. This advert worked and became the best performing piece from yahoo to date.
Chips Ahoy, America’s favorite cookie company, decided to identify how customers reacted visually to their products and packaging. Nabisco, the owner of Chips Ahoy, used the eye-tracking element from the electroencephalograph to test their old packaging and discovered that customers had a negative response when looking at their packaging.
The consumers complained that the wording on the packaging was difficult to read due to the colors used and the picture of the cookie in the packaging gave them a neutral feeling towards the brand. This led to the makers of the Chip Ahoy going back to their drawing board and strategizing using the result from the EEG to redesign their packaging.
The new package includes a cookie image that is fun and engaging, a resealable tube, better wordings, and colors (the package color was changed to light blue). The brand redesigned and repackaged the product, which resulted in more consumers purchasing the products.
The takeaway is that if people like your packaging, it attracts them and stays in their hearts. Other food companies frequently employ this research to create the packaging for their cookies, confections, and crisps. It’s likely that your favorite companies purposefully chose the packaging you’re so accustomed to, which may be the reason you choose to purchase them.
Campbell’s marketers discovered a problem; consumers didn’t think much about their soup, and not just that, the traditional marketing techniques were no longer working. This made them resort to neuromarketing.
Naturally, people warm up to soups, especially when they are sick or cold. Perhaps these customers must have purchased Campbell’s soup. However, biometric monitoring revealed that people’s warm emotional feelings about Campbell’s soup faded in the supermarket soup aisle. This is because the consumer is conflicted with identical designs of many red and wine cans.
After the neuro techniques and biometric testing came out, new displays and packaging were rolled out to connect better with your customers’ emotions. These new displays came with:
- Smaller logo
- Soup pictures will be more vibrant and steamy
- Different color packaging for each different line of soups.
Hyundai used neuromarketing techniques to evaluate designs while allowing customers to examine car prototypes. In 2011, Hyundai researched neuromarketing with 15 men and women to view a new automobile. The men and women were instructed to stare at specific car parts while hooked to the EEG device.
The EEG devices recorded and captured their brain activity while they examined the car. Hyundai used the EEG result to understand the preferences and stimulation types that lead to purchasing. According to the findings, Hyundai later made some exterior design adjustments.
The concept of SEO has been revolutionized by google. SEO is prone to manipulation; rather than focusing your gaze on it, google is forcing website owners to fix their gaze on social engagement optimization.
Are you aware that the decision-making part of humans lies with the primitive part of the brain? Are you also aware that consumers have little or no interest in your award, brands, features, and benefits? Google has discovered this and is now aware that it pays to listen to the human brain.
Google has become more sophisticated in how it crawls webpages to locate content that is most likely relevant, interesting, and engaging. The search engine rewards those websites with a coveted page one placement when they have strong visual appeals, original content that solves the pain, and emotional involvement that retains users on the site longer.
If you don’t emphasize your brand much and still fail to create that strong emotion or alleviate pain, suffering is consigned to search engine obscurity.
The move toward online content that is unique, readable, emotionally engaging, and social proof all points to the key brain stimuli for persuasion and influencers.
It is very obvious that the coke bottle has evolved over the years, yet it may have never occurred to you to ask why the product is still in marketing. Despite undergoing a lot of challenges, the bottle design has always been similar though one consistent thing there is the cola scripted logo from the very first sighting of him.
Coca-cola has strong confidence in neuromarketing and has commenced the experience as a volunteer subject of its own internal lab. Brain activity is measured to determine which activities generate the best results through advertising.
If they were to conduct an oral survey asking consumers if they liked an ad, the chances that the consumer will lie are very high. Neuromarketing gives you an unbiased result from the neural activity.
Facebook is one of the most popular social media handles. Facebook taps into the human brain to respond to each marketing tactic through functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, scans.
Applying your findings to the platform’s features and design allows Facebook to expand enormously without encountering hindrances buried in the human subconscious mind.
Neuromarketing techniques created are used to ensure that visitors come to the site often and they stay to browse the contents in their newsfeed. This is applied in the areas of layouts, color schemes, and contents that keep visitors glued to the site. For example, the blue layout on Facebook elicits trust and worthiness.
Facebook tracks its user’s anniversaries and birthdays, which creates a connection in the brain of its users. Visitors and users alike frequent the site to make posts, which is rare, though. Most times, it is to keep a continued friendship going. Neuromarketing also helps increase the effectiveness of any adverts.
German Financial Institution
The German Financial Institution in 2011 Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience to figure out which of their ads gathered the most audience. This was achieved using EEG measures to assess how emotionally involved viewers are when watching two different versions of ads.
The two ads feature one playing a classical and the other one playing a modern note. Neuromarketing assesses how well the advert has communicated to the consumer subconsciously. One can resign to google analytics to get all the data needed for marketing campaigns, though little can be done.
The result revealed that classical music outperformed modern notes. This could be because classical instruments are associated with stability, while modern music could invoke excitement and risk.
Microsoft needed to test the effectiveness of its campaign on Xbox, and also Microsoft’s 30-second and 60-second TV ads performed compared to in-game ad runs on Xbox.
Microsoft collaborated with the neuromarketing firms Mediabrands and EmSense on a project. Microsoft provided test volunteers with a headband to monitor their brain activity, breathing rate, head motion, heart rate, blink rate, and skin temperature.
With that, the business runs three different kinds of commercials for the Kia Soul: a 30-second TV commercial, a 60-second TV commercial, and an in-game commercial. The results were encouraging and proceeded to say:
The first half of the TV ad stimulated the brain the most, and the recurring image of KIA created a high activity in the brain in Xbox live advertisements, which suggests viewers will remember the ad better on Xbox. The Xbox Live advertisement generated a 90 percent unassisted brand recall rate compared to 78 percent for the conventional TV spot.
HP produced an advert that featured a father trying so hard to get the attention of his teenage daughter, but all to no avail, so he thought. By the end of the commercial, he discovers that the photo he has been printing from his HP device over the years has been displayed in her room, which gets him emotional.
Neuromarketing revealed that the people who saw the ad responded empathetically and were moved by emotions. The commercial made the audience engage and care about the brand.
Breaking through the clutter has become an issue of increasing concern today, and marketing professionals are always looking for a competitive advantage.
Understanding the most fundamental basis of human emotion is critical for understanding a consumer’s purchasing behavior.
The beauty of neuromarketing is that it can be used in both inbound and outbound marketing strategies.
From offering a potential customer a warm beverage and seating them in a soft seat during a sales conversation to advertising with pictures of babies. All of these are tactics to which our brain subconsciously responds.
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