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CAN SCIENCE FORESEE THE FUTURE OF A PRODUCT; THE ADVANTAGES AND

DISADVANTAGES OF NEUROMARKETING
Sharon Sue Ann Netty
Center for Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) Programs
HELP College of Arts and e!hnology
"uala Lumpur# $alaysia
Email% sharonann&'(gmail)!om
*ashad +a,danifard
Center for Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) Programs
HELP College of Arts and e!hnology
"uala Lumpur# $alaysia
Email% rashadya,danifard(yahoo)!om

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ABSTRACT
Neuromar-eting is gradually e.panding throughout the mar-eting industry during the !ontemporary
era and it has many /enefits and limitations of its own) 0n this essay# the advantages and disadvantages of
the neuromar-eting field are un!overed and dis!ussed) 0t was !on!luded that neuromar-eting has its fair
share of /enefits and limitations altogether)
"eywords% neuromar-eting# advantages# disadvantages
1. Introduction
0n the mar-eting world# many /usinesses are !ompeting with one another to gain lots of !onsumers) A !ompany
will have to put in tremendous amount of effort to -now the finest way there is to sell and advertise their produ!t
to the !onsumers) 0f only there was an easier way to do it1 2ell# there is and it is !alled neuromar-eting)
A!!ording to Lee et al) (3445) whi!h was !ited in 6Evolutionary Neuromar-eting% 7arwini,ing the
Neuroimaging Paradigm for Consumer 8ehaviour9# :;ar!ia < Saad# 344=# p) '4'> 6neuromar-eting as a field
of study !an simply /e defined as the appli!ation of neuros!ientifi! methods to analyse and understand human
/ehaviour in relation to mar-ets and mar-eting e.!hanges9) 0t is !lear that neuromar-eting is the future and all
of us will have to adapt to it no matter how mu!h we may feel un!omforta/le with it) Neuromar-eting is very
important /e!ause as ?uoted /y $indla/ !ited in the @ournal# 6he $ar-eting of Neuromar-eting% 8rand
7ifferentiation Strategies Employed /y Prominent Neuromar-eting Airms to Attra!t $edia Clients9# :$!7owell
< 7i!-# 34BC# p) CB> 6Neuromar-eting measures /elow the surfa!e# li-e the i!e/erg /elow waters) 2e only use
a/out 34D to C4D of our /rain and thatEs why neuromar-etingF with its !utting edge te!hnology will help
!ompanies to -now their !onsumers with a deeper understanding) Hen!e# this will ensure a /etter way to sell and
advertise a !ertain produ!t)
0ndeed now neuromar-eting is /urgeoning slowly) 0n fa!t# the word Gneuromar-etingE was @ust a few hits on
;oogle in 3443 /ut it in!reased rapidly with thousands of hits in 34B4 ($orin# 34BB)) $any resear!hers have
found out that neuromar-eting have a fair amount of advantages and disadvantages) Although neuromar-eting
helps mar-eting resear!hers to find out different -inds of te!hni?ue to /ring in more !onsumersF /ut it !omes
with ris-s and mis!on!eptions (;reen < Hol/ert# 34B3))
. Bot! "#rti$% &#in '$n$(it%
he most important advantage that neuromar-eting !an give to the mar-eting se!tor is that it is a tool to help
!ompanies distinguish the !onsumerEs desires# wants and needs and most prominently to find out what they will
really /uy ($ar!el# LH!rHmioara# 0oana < $aria# 344&F Ariely < 8erns# 34B4)) A!!ording to Augate (344=) as
!ited in 6he Contri/utions of Neuromar-eting in $ar-eting *esear!h9# :Hammou# ;ali/ < $elloul# 34BC>
neuromar-eting helps !ompanies understand the !onsumerEs /uying de!isions /y loo-ing into their !ognitive
pro!esses) here are many e.periments done to /e used as eviden!e that neuromar-eting does !ontri/ute to
-now what !onsumers re?uire) Ine of the e.periment done and written in the @ournal 6Using Neuromar-eting to
7is!over How 2e *eally Aeel A/out Apps9 ensured that users of apps favours a more simpler and !onvenient
app with a lot of visual imagery (Adhami# 34BC)) Even $i!rosoft !ame to neuromar-eting to measure how
effe!tive !ertain of their promotions on the J/o. platform are (;reenfieid# 34BB)) As !ited in 6Case Study% How
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$i!rosoft has ra!-ed 8rain A!tivity9# :;reenfieid# 34BB> ;inny $usante# dire!tor of mar-eting at $i!rosoftKs
J/o. Live advertising /usiness said that# 62e -new intuitively from our own /ehaviour that when we are on a
gaming !onsole we are highly engaged# /ut the resear!h on their effe!tiveness also showed us an in!redi/le lift
in the traditional /rand metri!s L favouri/ility# awareness# memora/ility L on J/o.9 (p) B=)) hese resear!hes
done now !an tell us that neuromar-eting !an let a mar-eter -now what produ!t or !ampaign ad !an trigger the
/rain of a !onsumer (Andre@evi!# 34B3))
Neuromar-eting opens doors for !ompanies to /oost the ?uality of the produ!t and to !ome out with easier
methods of user e.perien!es (Adhami# 34BC)) hrough f$*0Ls!anning# mar-eters !an narrow down the other
possi/ilities and they !an ,oom into the ones that the !onsumer desires (Eser# 0sin < olon# 34BB)) Companies
will /e /etter e?uipped through neuromar-eting and they !an !hoose the produ!ts la/elled as winners without
any !lutters (Eser# 0sin < olon# 34BB)) 8y using this te!hnology# !ompanies are motivated to ta-e more
@eopardy to engage more /oldly with their !onsumers and hen!e this in turn will !aptivate their !onsumers
(;reen < Hol/ert# 34B3))
). Su'con%ciou%*+ #ccur#t$
A!!ording to NeuroAo!us (34BB) as !ited in 68rain 2hisperers% Cutting through the Clutter with
Neuromar-eting9 :Andre@evi!# 34B3> with neuromar-eting# mar-eters now !an dig deeper into the
/rain and -now how the /rain of a !onsumer really respond to a !ertain produ!t or advertisement) he
su/!ons!ious or the /ehaviour of the !onsumers !an /e predi!ted more effi!iently /e!ause of the
te!hnology availa/le (Page# 34B3)) As an e.ample# fa!ial !oding !an reveal the true emotion of how a
!onsumer feels a/out a !ertain produ!t when in surveys they are unwilling to tell /e!ause of their
politeness (Page# 34B3)) P* Newswire (344&) as !ited in 68rain 2hisperers% Cutting through the
Clutter with Neuromar-eting9 :Andre@evi!# 34B3> identified that a personEs /rain a!tually !hanges the
original material it re!orded when as-ed a ?uestion /ut when loo-ing into the su/!ons!ious part of the
/rain# the original information !an /e a!!essed) herefore# neuromar-eting is a tool that helps
mar-eters and advertisers to tap into the wants# needs and desires of the !onsumers (Andre@evi!# 34B3))
As e.plained /y 8urne (344C) and Shah (344M) !ited in 6Per!eptions of $ar-eting A!ademi!s#
Neurologists# and $ar-eting Professionals a/out Neuromar-eting9 :Eser# 0sin < olon# 34BB>
neuromar-eting depends largely on images of the /rain a!tivity during vital moments of retail
sele!tions) A retailer will -now whi!h produ!t or advertising te!hni?ue with @ust a light up in !ertain
areas of the /rain (Eser# 0sin < olon# 34BB)) Unli-e traditional te!hni?ues su!h as surveys# modern
te!hnologies su!h as f$*0 monitors what !onsumers really thin- a/out a produ!t and how their
de!isionLma-ing pro!esses are (Stoll# 8ae!-e < "enning# 344=))
0n a nutshell# neuromar-eting provides information of a produ!t at su/!ons!ious level of a !onsumer
than the traditional te!hni?ue) As o/served /y $artin Lindstrom# the author of 8uyology (34B4) as
!ited in 68rain 2hisperers% Cutting through the Clutter with Neuromar-eting9 :Andre@evi!# 34B3>
GConsumers will never# ever tell the truth ))) 0tEs not /e!ause theyEre lying N /e!ause theyEre not N
theyEre @ust unawareE (pg) B&&)) Now# retailers !an straight away see to the fundamental fa!ts revealed
/y the /rain than-s to neuromar-eting (Andre@evi!# 34B3))
,. I-"ro.$ #d.$rti%in&
he field of neuromar-eting has made advertising more interesting and effi!ient) $any studies had /een done
via neuromar-eting to ensure that the advertising of the produ!t is at its pea-) Christophe $orin# !oLauthor of
6Neuromar-eting% Understanding the 68uy 8utton9 in +our9 as !ited in 6he Contri/utions of Neuromar-eting
in $ar-eting9 :Hammou# 34BC> told that neuromar-eting allows !ompanies to improve their mar-eting s!hemes
and that is in!luding the advertising se!tor) Aor e.ample# re!ently an f$*0 study has helped a !ompany to
in!rease their sales (Oavor# "oller# Lee# Cham/erlain < *ansmayr# 34BC)) he f$*0 study showed that !ele/rity
endorser has a huge influen!e on the produ!tEs preferen!es (Oavor# "oller# Lee# Cham/erlain < *ansmayr#
34BC)) 0n another study# a !ompany found out something that !an was very useful to enhan!e their advertising
strategies (PilelienP# 34B3)) he study found out that the left hemisphere a!tivates /efore the right hemisphere of
the /rain (PilelienP# 34B3)) Hen!e# the pri!e of the produ!t has to /e emphasi,ed /efore the !reative features of
the produ!t (PilelienP# 34B3)) his is /e!ause pri!e is asso!iated with the left hemisphere while the !reative
!omponents are asso!iated with the right hemisphere (PilelienP# 34B3)) Apart from that# in another study
Lindstrom (344=) as !ited in 6he Contri/utions of Neuromar-eting in $ar-eting *esear!h9 :Hammou# 34BC>
has dis!overed via neuros!ientifi! methods that hearing and smelling is more powerful than seeing) herefore#
the advertising strategies !an /e altered to those findings) All these studies related to neuromar-eting have
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helped resear!hers gain more information a/out the reward system of the /rain (Oavor# "oller# Lee# Cham/erlain
< *ansmayr# 34BC) hus# /y understanding more a/out the reward system# advertising !an /e mu!h easier)
Let us not forget that many advertising messages are not only !ommer!ial /ut they are a part of !ampaigns too
($orin# 34BB)) herefore# /y understanding the !onsumersE /rain# many advo!ates !an transform their selfL
destru!tive !ondu!t ($orin# 34BB))
/. A""#r$nt i%%u$%
Neuromar-eting has many o/vious issues that need to /e solved /efore going on to the ne.t stage)
Airst# a!!ording to the Advertising *esear!h Aoundation (A*A) as !ited in the @ournal 6he $ar-eting
of Neuromar-eting% 8rand 7ifferentiation Strategies Employed /y Prominent9 :$!7owell < 7i!-#
34BC> more amount of transparen!y is needed in the neuromar-eting field) Cited in another @ournal
67eQning Neuromar-eting% Pra!ti!es and Professional Challenges9 :Aisher# Chin < "lit,man# 34B4>
Emory University also !riti!ised that there is very limited transparen!y given to the !onsumers in the
neuromar-eting industry) Apart from that# studies regarding the mar-eting a!tivity !annot /e done on
!hildren and minorities as well as ill and disa/led fol-s /e!ause many authorities have argued that they
need spe!ial prote!tion against neuromar-eting (Oavor# "oller# Lee# Cham/erlain < *ansmayr# 34BC))
herefore# some produ!ts that are asso!iated with these individuals will have a lower per!entage of
sales in!rement in the future) Aurthermore# /rain a!tivity is very different when one is in a la/ than
when one is in a mall (NeuroAo!us) 0n!# 34B4)) here will /e limitations on the a!!ura!y of the data
ta-en from the artifi!ial environment in the real world (8ar-in# 34BC)) Neuromar-eting has some
serious issues with its validity whi!h !an !ause the the ris- of the pu/li!Es trust of s!ien!e itself
(Arussy# 344&F $urphy# 0lles < *einer# 344=)) $oreover# through the field of neuromar-eting#
e.!essive redu!tionism will o!!ur ($!7owell < 7i!-# 34BC)) his means that neuromar-eting only
!an o!!ur when the worldEs !omple.ity is de!omposed into smaller and simpler portions ($!7owell <
7i!-# 34BC)) Additionally# most of the studies done in the neuromar-eting field are purely !orrelational
(Andre@evi!# 34B3)) Aor instan!e# !onsumers or resear!hers !annot tell why the /rainEs pleasure !entre
is Gti!-ledE when the !onsumers see a @ui!y ham/urger in a printed advertisement (;ar!ia < Saad#
344=)) Hen!e# even though the data !olle!ted /y the neuros!ientist are relia/le# they still do not -now
why the parti!ular area of the /rain is lightened up (;reen < Hol/ert# 34B3)) Ither than that# in terms
of attra!ting !onsumers in a longLterm perspe!tive# neuromar-eting does not offer the /est results
(;reen < Hol/ert# 34B3))
he !ost of neuromar-eting is very high (Eser# 0sin < olon# 34BBF Aisher# Chin < "lit,man# 34B4F
NeuroAo!us) 0n!# 34B4F Ariely < 8erns# 34B4)) he ma!hines used in the neuromar-eting field !an !ost
up to R B million per hour (8ar-in# 34BC)) Neuromar-eting is also very harmful in many ways)
Neuromar-eting !an /e !onsidered as so!ially harmful /e!ause it may in!rease the sales of !ertain /ad
produ!ts su!h as @un- food (Aisher# Chin < "lit,man# 34B4)) Lastly# neuromar-eting in the /usinessLtoL
/usiness se!tor !an /e limited /e!ause of lesser emotions during the /uying de!ision ma-ing pro!ess
(NeuroAo!us) 0n!# 34B4))
0. Et!ic#* i%%u$%
*e!ently# Lee and others (3445) !ited in 6Per!eptions of $ar-eting A!ademi!s# Neurologists# and
$ar-eting Professionals a/out Neuromar-eting9 :Eser# 0sin < olon# 344=> has pro!laimed that the
ethi!al issues of neuromar-eting are strongly /eing ?uestioned /y neuros!ien!e literature) his is
/e!ause of what neuromar-eting is doing# that is to -now the inner wor-ing of the /rain (Eser et al)#
344=)) he priva!y of individuals who parta-e in neuromar-eting studies in the United States are
highly !ompromised ($urphy# llles < *einer# 344=)) Another ethi!al issue found in the neuromar-eting
se!tor is that information gained from the studies done may /e used to dis!riminate other individuals
(Ariely < 8erns# 34B4)) *esear!hers may use these findings to e.ploit the flaws found only in !ertain
individuals (Ariely < 8erns# 34B4)) Aurthermore# studies in the neuromar-eting se!tor !an /e ta-en
from a small group and used to generali,e the whole population (Ariely < 8erns# 34B4)) he la!- of
regulation during the neuromar-eting studies is another e.pli!it ethi!al issue (Ariely < 8erns# 34B4))
Ainally# !ompanies may use neuromar-eting for their own /enefi!ial gain (Ariely < 8erns# 34B4)) hey
may not /e predominantly !on!erned a/out the !onsumersE wants and needs (Ariely < 8erns# 34B4))
1. Sti** in it% in(#nc+
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Although the neuromar-eting industry has a lot of /enefits# it is still in its infan!y and it is not even B4
years old (;ar!ia < Saad# 344=F 8ar-in# 34BC)) Some @ournals even !laimed that neuromar-eting is
only in its em/ryoni! stage ($orin# 34BB)) ;iven that neuromar-eting is still young# Lee# Senior and
others (3445) as !ited in the @ournal 6Evolutionary Neuromar-eting% 7arwini,ing the Neuroimaging
Paradigm for Consumer 8ehavior9 :;ar!ia < Saad# 344=> the theoreti!al framewor- is still /eing
developed) herefore# resear!h agenda only got a minimum theoreti!al paradigm to !hoose from
(;ar!ia < Saad# 344=)) here are even few e.periments and !ase studies to identify with (mar-eting
maga,ine)!o# 34BB)) he e.periments are mostly !ontained in the private se!tor (Aisher# Chin <
"lit,man# 34B4)) A!!ording to 7r A" Pradeep# one of the worldKs leading neuromar-eting e.perts as
!ited in 6$ar-eting In9 :mar-eting maga,ine)!o# 34BB># !ompanies may not want to give up
information to their rivals and that is why their studies have not /een pu/lished)
o sum it up# neuromar-eting has many years to develop a strong theoreti!al /a!-ground so that things
will not get pro/lemati!al (2iley# 344=)) *esear!h is ne!essary to understand how the /rain really
wor-s and to /uild a strong theoreti!al foundation in neuromar-eting (2iley# 344=F "enning# 344=))
2. Di%cu%%ion
he field of neuromar-eting is the future of the mar-eting industry) Hen!e# resear!hers should !ome
out with spe!ifi! solution to solve these draw/a!-s that the neuromar-eting industry suffers from)
Although neuromar-eting rewards mar-eters and !onsumers with many advantages# its limitations will
eventually stop it from mushrooming throughout the world) Airst and foremost# neuromar-eting is a
field that /enefits /oth the !ompany and the !onsumer) hrough neuromar-eting# !ompanies !an -now
what the /est produ!t to sell is and also how to advertise their produ!t in order to attra!t all -inds of
!ustomers) In the other hand# the !onsumers !an re!eive the /est ?uality of a produ!t as mu!h as
possi/le) his is /e!ause the !ompany !an tra!- the !ustomerEs /rain and loo- into its su/!ons!ious via
the tool of neuromar-eting) Neuromar-eting is still in its infan!y thereforeF resear!hers of this field !an
ta!-le many pro/lems regarding neuromar-eting) 0n other words# there is still room for improvement
for neuromar-eting in years to !ome)
$a@or issues su!h as ethi!al issues should /e solved eventually) he studies done in the neuromar-eting
industry must /e more transparent) *esear!hers should thin- a/out where they should do their studies
in the future /e!ause artifi!ial testing environment (e)g) the la/) is mu!h more different than the real
world) *esear!hers also should ma-e the e?uipment for neuromar-eting more userLfriendly)
;overnment should tighten up the rules and regulation of any resear!h done in the neuromar-eting
field (Hammou# ;ali/ < $elloul# 34BC))
Even though neuromar-eting has a list of o/vious disadvantages# there are other issues !reated /y other
parties that are untrue) Airst untrue issue is that through neuromar-eting# resear!hers !an find the G/uy
/utton in the /rainE (2iley# 344=)) he meaning of that phrase is that there are efforts to tra!e a region
in the human /rain that would trigger during su/se?uent !onsumer /ehaviour while the !onsumer is
un!ons!ious (2iley# 344=)) Currently# there is eviden!e that pro!laim that /uying !hoi!es are multi
fa!torial (Ariely < 8erns# 34B4)) Another untrue issue is that neuromar-eting is a form of Gmind
readingE that !an influen!e a !onsumer to pur!hase a produ!t (Oavor# "oller# Lee# Cham/erlain <
*ansmayr# 34BC)) 0t is said that this is not possi/le today and !an never /e possi/le in time to !ome
(2iley# 344=))
o summaries# neuromar-eting is a tool to that /enefits different party in many ways) 2ithout its flaws#
it !an definitely help everyone in the future /eing) Everyone should read up a/out neuromar-eting in
order to -now that some issues regarding neuromar-eting are un?uestiona/ly fi!tional)
3. Conc*u%ion
Neuromar-eting is the future of mar-eting) 2ith its many advantages# !ompanies will find it easier to
sell and advertise their produ!t) 0n other words# neuromar-eting !an eventually foresee the future of a
produ!t) Neuromar-eting is still a very young se!tor therefore all its limitations !an still /e solved in
the !oming years) Companies should !ontri/ute all their resear!hes done in the neuromar-eting field)
8y this# all the issues !an /e solved easier) Apart from that# these studies are very important to help as a
/asis of further resear!h) he government should loo- into neuromar-eting to in!rease their e.portation
of goods to other !ountries in order to in!rease their e!onomy) Campaigners should use neuromar-eting
to enhan!e the message they are trying to send) Some !ompanies should /e !autious when they loo-
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into the neuromar-eting field to sell their produ!ts) hese !ompanies are the ones that sell produ!ts that
are harmful to the world (e)g) !igarettes and @un- food))
All in all# when used wisely# neuromar-eting !an /enefit many individuals in many ways) he in!orre!t
part of the neuromar-eting se!tor should /e a/olished from our thoughts in order to let neuromar-eting
mature throughout the whole world)
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