Confessions of a Neuromarketer Part 1: What is Neuromarketing and why does it matter?

“Consumers don’t think how they feel. They don’t say what they think and they don’t do what they say.” (Ogilvy)…

Neuromarketing is a hyped term that describes the use of neuroscience in advertising and marketing. It was first used by the BrightHouse Institute in Atlanta in 2002, when the company announced the opening of a new market research department that used fMRI as its basic research tool. Today, there are more than 120 neuromarketing agencies around the world, with even more companies offering neuro-based research among their services. Needless to say that, despite the harsh criticism against neuromarketing, this new field is here to stay. And, it is growing at a fast pace. 


All marketers want to understand consumers and their purchase decisions. Yet, 95% of the decision making process takes place at the non-conscious level. That explains why often people are not aware about the inner processes that drive their reactions and decisions. The latest economic theories, like behavioral economics, emotionomics, and value-based marketing (Marketing 3.0), don’t give much credit to this reality of human psychology. Neuromarketing, in my opinion, does a good job in acknowledging that there is more to consumers’ behavior than they are aware of, and this is the trigger that sets me on my quest!

Neuromarketing researchers record each participant’s brain activity, eye movements, and biometric reactions (heart rate, respiration rate, skin conductivity, etc.) in real time by using specific devices that were initially developed for the medical world. The technology employed varies among companies, but most specialists use a combination of biometric measurements, EEG, and eye-tracking.

The Electroencephalograph (EEG) is a headset that records people’s brain activity (comprised of several brain waves that are present simultaneously). It is used in neuromarketing research to measure longterm engagement and to identify the specific elements (discrete features of the packaging or TV commercial, for example) that appeal to or are rejected by the consumer.

Read the rest of my published article right here.

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