Assignment 2 Neuromarketing By Giuseppe Rohr, 1297528 What is Neuromarketing? Neuromarketing is a new field of study, which combines neurosciences and marketing. It studies consumers’ sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli, by using medical technologies, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG) and steady state topography (SST).
Researchers aim to measure brain activity in response to certain stimuli and changes in consumers’ physiological state (heart rate, respiratory rate, galvanic skin response) to learn and understand what actually happens in consumers’ brain, why consumers make the decisions they do and what part of the brain is telling them to do it. Neuromarketing enables us to obtain a more objective insight into human information processing and emotional phenomena.
In 2005 VBS, the advertising sales operation for MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon, presented the results of an interesting neuromarketing study. The study was conducted at a London hospital, using a group of people aged between 18 and 34. The experiment measured brain activity while TV ads were screened. It found that advertising content that is relevant to the programme environment in which it appears is on average is 24% more likely to generate brain activity in the areas of the brain commonly associated with advertising effectiveness.
The study also found that advertising generates more brain activity than the programming in which it appears, if it is relevant. Nick Bampton, managing director of VBS, said: “We are all too concerned with relative price rather than focusing on advertising effectiveness, which is the key driver for return on investment. ” This study clearly shows at least one way how neuromarketing could improve the effectiveness of advertisement. This is a really simple application, though.
Hopefully, as the studies will go on, there will be more important findings on how our brain works. Criticism There are two main questions concerning neuromarketing. Is it ethical or could it be a way to round on people rational discernment and convince them to buy what marketers want (or more than what they are already doing! )? On the one hand, some consumer advocate organizations, such as the Center for Digital Democracy, have criticized neuromarketing’s potentially invasive technology.
Jeff Chester, the executive director of the organization, claims that neuromarketing is “having an effect on individuals that individuals are not informed about. ” Further, he claims that though there has not historically been regulation on adult advertising due to adults having defense mechanisms to discern what is true and untrue, “if the advertising is now purposely designed to bypass those rational defenses… protecting advertising speech in the marketplace has to be questioned. On the other hand, proponents of the technique say neuromarketing is simply a more accurate barometer of consumer response than traditional focus groups. Moreover, at this point, neuromarketing probably isn’t sophisticated enough to realize some of its critics’ worst fears. Is it really useful or is it just another marketing tool? Some people are skeptical. Joseph Turow, a communications professor at the University of Pennsylvania, consider neuromarketing as another attempt for advertisers to find non-traditional approaches toward gathering consumer opinion. Major corporations and research firms are jumping on the neuromarketing bandwagon because they are desperate for any novel technique to help them break through all the marketing clutter”, he said. Paul Root Wolpe, a bioethicist who is director of the Emory Center for Ethics, thinks that the enthusiasm for neuromarketing is based on a mistaken belief that triggering certain brain activity can be a more real and powerful influence than people’s behavioral responses. He thinks that neuromarketing at best may provide cues and clues on how companies can better position products. The idea is that somehow neuromarketing is going to be so much more powerful that, like zombies, we are all going to go out and buy soap,” Professor Wolpe says. “But that is just not realistic in terms of the way the brain works. ” Others tend to be more optimistic and think that neuromarketing research should go on. Neuromarketing may be better at measuring consumers’ preferences and help businesses design products, services and marketing campaigns more effectively and closer to, often unconscious, consumers’ desires.