Marketers should focus on targeting the emotional brain and then the primitive brain, which will pass on information to the rational brain
At present, the market is very competitive and challenging. It is very tough for marketers to continue their businesses in a highly competitive market without proper knowledge about consumer behaviour.
Every day, customers are bombarded with thousands of advertisements but their brain can only process a limited amount of information from that advertisement. Marketers' spending on total media advertising has reached $691.7 billion worldwide in 2019.
Measuring the effectiveness of an advertisement by self-reported methods i.e., questionnaires, face-to-face, telephone interviews is a problematic task for advertising agency because there is a huge difference between what the customers think and what brand they finally buy.
Marketers can formulate a more effective marketing strategy only when they get accurate information about why and how the customers make their buying decisions. Several global research demonstrates that most of the customer purchase decisions are made in the subconscious mind.
Now, marketers are very much aware of the subconscious process in the mind of customers to develop a new brand. To serve this purpose neuromarketing can be the best tool to know about customer subconscious process.
Neuromarketing developed by Gerry Zaltman is a commercial marketing communication field that applies neuropsychology to marketing research, studying consumers' sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli.
Neuromarketing uses several neuroscience techniques to record the brain's electrical activity and metabolic activity, such as the electroencephalography (EEG), Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Magnetoencephalography (MEG), Positron Emission Tomography (PET).
Indeed, human's brain activity is mainly irrational because 80 percent of the buying decisions are made either subconsciously or unconsciously. Therefore, marketers should focus on targeting the emotional brain and then the primitive brain, which will pass on information to the rational brain.
There some interesting insights come from the neuromarketing research which changes the adverting landscape and gives us a novel way to rethink about the advertising campaign. In 2008, Lindstrom researched the warning messages i.e. "Smoking kills" or "Smoking causes cancer" and the finding was amazing.
The warnings messages and images on cigarette boxes do not affect smokers rather it encourages smoking. As a result, billions of dollars wasted for these warning messages. According to the research results, all these warnings and images on cigarette packs stimulate the part of the brain known as the "point of desire".
Therefore, it is high time to use neuromarketing tools in the ethically correct way that will give maximum benefits and create a win-win situation for marketers and customers. Few guidelines need to follow to use this novel technique successfully.
Firstly, a good brand image will activate the emotional brain which transmits information to the rational brain changing the perception of the brand. Hence, marketers should build a strong, favourable and credible brand image in the minds of target customers through cause-related marketing programs, sponsorship etc.
Secondly, the advertising messages should be short, simple and attractive so that customers can easily understand the messages and the emotional content of the advertisement needs to place at the beginning and end of the advertisement.
Finally, the advertising message must create deep emotions of the receiver which will trigger the emotional brain responsible for the decision-making process and the cognition of rewards.
Md Hafez, Assistant Professor, School of Business, Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org