Neuromarketingan introduction

Neuromarketingan introduction

³I know that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, I just do not know which half.´
John Wannamaker (1876)


In search for understanding consumer behaviour
³Marketing and environmental stimuli enter the consumer¶s consciousness [and/or subconsciousness]. A set of psychological processes combine with certain consumer characteristics to result in decision processes and purchase decisions. The marketer¶s task is to understand what happens in the customer¶s consciousness« [and/or unconsciousness] between the arrival of the outside marketing stimuli and the ultimate purchase decision.´
Kotler and Keller (2006, p.:184)
Sarah Opitz An Introduction to Neuromarketing

The emergence of neuromarketing 




Defining neuromarketing

³By studying activity in the brain, neuromarketing combines the techniques of neuroscience and clinical psychology to develop insights into how we respond to products, brands, and advertisement. From this, marketers hope to understand the subtle nuances that distinguish a dud pitch from a successful campaign.´
Mucha (2005, p.: 36)


The scientific background (1) 

fMRI - functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
developed in the early 90s apparatus allows the precise tracing of areas activated in the brain responding to stimuli 3D-Encode: activated regions appear in multiple colour originally applied to detect the location of illnesses, e.g. headaches, paralysis and seizures in the human brain

The scientific background (2) 

QEEG ± quantified electroencephalography
(an alternative to fMRI)

Ä«established that aspects of cognition and emotional responses to commercial messages [below the level of conscious awareness], can be successfully monitored in real time and analysed with sufficient depth and accuracy to provide an invaluable window on their [consumersµ] inner decision making process.³
Lewis (2005/2006, p.:5)


Neuromarketingresearching consumer behaviour (1) 

neuromarketing is based on neuro-scientific consumer research and the assumption that the majority of consumer behaviour is made subconsciously what motivates consumers to purchase a certain product?
self-esteem emotions consumption experience goal-directed behaviour external influences  

it starts, where traditional consumer research techniques end± in the consumerµs brain

Neuromarketinglinking science and marketing 

overconsumption and compulsive shopping can be traced back to a dysfunction of the orbitofrontal cortex (ORF)
Leake (2006) 

impulsive buying decisions are based on the emotional state of the buyer (governed by the limbic system), rational buying decisions are processed in the frontal cortex
Mucha (2005) 

memory retention is processed in the amygdale and ventromedial lobes (VFML)
Ambler, Ionnides and Rose (2000) 

irrational buying and selling is associated with the autonomic nervous system
Peterson (2005)

Neuromarketingits potential impact on promotion campaigns
-location -duration

Sponsoring -celebrities

TV/ radio adverts -channels/stations
-time slots

Web adverts -duration

Freebies/ promotion extras
-location -product choice


Neuromarketingits potential impact on advertisement designs
Poster/billboards Radio promotion
size sports person balance information/entertainment music


colour arrangement



TV advertisement
balance information/entertainment length product focus colour arrangement image voice/music

Neuromarketingits potential impact on product development 

flavour smell colour health/fashion trends identifiying new target groups    


Neuromarketingits potential impact on product packaging/design 

logo colour scheme packaging materials packaging size limited editions smell


Neuromarketingits potential impact on distribution 

shelving product grouping special offers smell music general atmosphere availability

Neuromarketingbetween hype and reality (1) 

Technological limitations:
7% of patients/test subjects worldwide are not suitable for brain scans noise and density of apparatus might prevent some test subjects from taking part in experiments falsified results due to apprehensiveness apparatus is large and inflexible (artificial environment) tests require medical supervision due to time and money constraints, only a small number of test subjects can be scanned 

General limitations:
accurate measurements of brain activities are limited certain emotions cannot be clearly differentiated analysis of collected data still remains an enigma neuromarketing without future:
1. 2. 3. 4.

Michel (2004/2005) Kurfer (2006) Reynolds (2006), Ahlert (2005) Walter, Adler, Ciaramidaro and Erk (2005)

Consumer behaviour cannot be recreated in laboratory Time & costs prevent the testing of a great number of individuals Brain activities cannot be measured against the will of test subjects Ethical issues should not be solely reduced to neuromarketing

Neuromarketingbetween hype and reality (2)

³«marketing executives are hoping to use neuroscience to design better selling techniques. [«]fMRI is being exploited by savvy consulting companies intent on finding µthe buy button in the brain¶, and is on the verge of creating advertising campaigns that we will be unable to resist.´
Editorial of nature neuroscience (2004, p.: 683)

Neuromarketingbetween hype and reality (3) 

it appears to be less transforming the existing fundamentals of the marketing discipline, as it is rather a neuro-scientific consumer research technique, with the potential to add significantly to marketersµ current understanding of consumer behaviour it introduces the subconscious perspective with the potential to reform and extend quantitative research it might be the first technique, which allows the inclusion of the environment into quantitative research a response error of test subject is non-existent

Neuromarketingethical concerns
³We can sell these people refrigerators. They may not have room for them, and they will put them on the front porch. They will buy a big automobile and all the luxuries, but they never move up the scale.´
Chicago ad executive, cited from V. Packard (1981, p.: 99)


Neuromarketingethical concerns 

³Consumer rights rest upon the assumption that consumer dignity should be respected, and that producers have a duty to treat consumers as ends in themselves, and not only as means to the end of the producer. Thus, consumer rights are inalienable entitlements to fair treatment when entering into exchanges with other parties´.
Crane and Matten (2004, p.: 268) e.g.: consumer¶s right to privacy, fair pricing and free thought and choice 

³«do«advertising techniques«involve a violation of human autonomy and a manipulation and control of consumer behaviour, or do they simply provide an efficient and cost effective means of giving the consumer information on the basis of which he or she makes a free choice. Is advertisement information, or creation of desire?´
Arrington (1982) 

human beings do not have a so called free will, as the brain reacts to stimuli split seconds before the human being recognises them consciously
an escape from ethical responsibility in general?
Traindl (2005) 19

Sarah Opitz

An Introduction to Neuromarketing


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