Blog Where UX, CRO and design meet machine learning & neuroscience.

If 95% of purchasing decisions are unconscious, why are you wasting budget on focus groups?

Posted by Lorna Crowley

Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

Okay, okay. I’ll admit, that’s a rather inflammatory statement but the sentiment remains. For decades, businesses have facilitated focus groups to directly engage with their customers, with the view of collecting more ‘real’ insight into their opinions and the emotions driving purchasing behavior. Whilst this feedback is highly valuable, many businesses are placing too much emphasis on the results, especially when there may be a more accurate, faster and cost-effective method of using consumer insight at scale to influence marketing decisions. *drum roll please* Introducing the power of neuromarketing…


What is neuromarketing?

Let’s start at the very beginning, put simply, neuromarketing is the fusion of neuroscience with marketing activities in order to identify and study consumer behavior and perception, based on cognitive and affective response to marketing inducements. Over the years, advances in the equipment and technology used to study neuroscience have contributed to significant enhancements in how we now interpret consumer perception. In turn, the insights gleaned from various neuroscientific methods have enabled computer scientists to develop datasets and models that use behavioral predictions to identify how consumers will react to stimuli and process information.  


The most common techniques of studying neuromarketing:

  1. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) - is a noninvasive technique for measuring brain activity. It detects the changes in blood oxygenation and flows occurring in response to neural activity.

  2. Electroencephalography (EEG) - this technique uses small metal discs with thin wires (electrodes) that are placed on the participants' scalp to record the electrical signals of the brain to detect which areas are processing data from different stimuli.

  3. Eye tracking- technology using cameras to record and analyze eye movements and gaze patterns, therefore providing insight into both cognitive and physiological processing of visual information.

  4. Positron emission tomography (PET) - imaging technique which enables in vivo examination of brain functions. It allows non-invasive quantification of cerebral blood flow, metabolism, and receptor binding.

  5. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) - functional neuroimaging technique for mapping brain activity directly by recording magnetic fields produced by electrical currents occurring naturally in the brain, using very sensitive magnetometers.

Photo by Ramón Salinero on Unsplash

How does neuromarketing help marketers?

Let's be honest, as one marketer to another, you never truly know how your customers make purchasing decisions, no matter how many focus groups you facilitate. There are simply too many variations to consider. So what if you focused on the part of the decision-making process that’s intrinsic?  Famously, a researcher from Harvard Business School, Gerald Zaltman, found that an overwhelming majority of purchasing decisions (95%) might be unconscious. To marketers, the unconscious implications of marketing are increasingly significant. Due to the proliferation of communication channels and media, the competition for your consumers’ attention is at the highest it has ever been. Here’s why neuromarketing can help.

I know I’m slightly biased but AI-powered technology like EyeQuant understands your consumer's cognitive preferences and enables you to change creative elements such as the font, color schemes, and the layout of your marketing collateral (packaging, landing pages, ads, billboards etc.) to improve engagement and conversion rate.

What are the benefits of neuromarketing?

  1. If you’ve ever had the privilege of working with truly talented designers or creatives, you’ll know, part of what makes them so great is their grasp of the higher-level meanings of what they are creating. Unfortunately, for many business owners or budget holders, this creative direction can easily get lost in translation. This often results in lengthy design processes and round upon round of iterations which prove frustrating for everyone involved. However, by introducing insights from neuromarketing research or technology from the very start of the project,  you can let the science do the talking and remove the subjectivity from design. Not only does this speed up the time is taken to go to market but it also means you go live with better-optimized designs because the insights guide you design imagery to better capture consumer attention or even how to make key information more memorable in banner ads.

  1. Relying on neuroscience removes the cognitive bias often found in ‘voice of the consumer’ or explicit feedback (Implicit feedback being the experiential or functional form of memory that cannot be consciously recalled. Unlike explicit memories that can be recalled, implicit memories have been linked to unconscious mechanisms). If you collect answers from different people in one sample, there is little way of knowing whether some are unwittingly misrepresenting. Moreover, there is a greater opportunity for the researcher to misinterpret the findings based on their own cognitive bias.

  2. Greater speed, accuracy, and lower costs. Neuromarketing offers research techniques that companies can scale up, often internationally, using comparable methods, and hence gaining comparable results. When you combine neuromarketing with AI, you can get a highly potent mix of marketing that can generate powerful results.


For more information on how you can use neuromarketing insights to inform design decisions, get in touch with a member of the team today.

 

Comments

Subscribe to Email Updates

Get Free Widget