In today’s world, marketing adopts the approach of considering people’s needs and desires instead of just seeing people as “consumers”. Neuromarketing is one of the most concrete method to gain an insight on purchasing behavior of people. This approach is often built on the impulses of the limbic system in human brain. Human nature is in a very versatile interaction and emotions highly affect impulses.
Hence, it is very important to analyze people’s emotional processes, decision making mechanisms and functioning of the brain, while using neuromarketing methods. Decision-making related models are generally mathematical models. According to these models we decide in compliance with the simple equations and possibilities. However current research reveal that, people have a tendency to choose one alternative to another, even though the possibilities and consequences are the same.
According to Prospect Theory, people evaluate gains and losses differently.
Another example is a cognitive phenomenon, called “Framing Effect”, brings forward that people are showing different approaches to the same message, depending on the form and context of it.
Here we are facing with psychological and cognitive phenomena in our decision-making mechanism. We see that, negative psychological effect of the notion of “losing” is twice as strong as the positive effect of the notion of “winning”. Even though the possibilities and consequences are the same, sense of losing evokes a greater emotional destruction in human mind. We decide upon cognitive short cuts based on our ancient experiences and intuitions rather than rational and cautious analyses. But, this cognitive short cuts are commonly and very unsuccessful when possibilities and numbers are involved in a decision making process.
In an evolutionary perspective, cognitive short cuts were highly functional as, our ancestors have very limited time to make life or death decisions with very limited information.
With development of technology, and with the increase of communication tools, people are exposed to thousands of information and advertisements of several different brands every day. As a result of this massive information and advertisement flow, people cannot process the incoming message rationally, when purchasing a product. In this point we are now facing with, cognitive short cuts in neuromarketing area.
People cannot find a decent answer to the question of why they have purchased a specific product. The answer lies behind our subconscious, which is briefly the emotional world of a subject, effecting her/his behavior while consciousness is not active. It is possible to reach people’s desires with subliminal messages. In neuromarketing research, there is an emphasis on subliminal messages, effecting human brain and decision making processes, but this emphasis leads to some misunderstandings such as channeling people to consume or purchase a product totally unconsciously.
Neuromarketing is not an evil method to twist people’s mind to purchase more, it is an area, in which consumer behaviors are measured, in other words consumer behaviors are digitized. Subconsciousness records every little piece of information and event, which are not attainable in our consciousness, and effects our decision making mechanism.
Relationship between brand and consciousness plays a great role in purchasing preferences. However, unconsciousness cannot be accessed by consciousness level questions, such as verbal questions or questionnaires. This accessibility is available with neuromarketing practices. By analyzing how people gather, store and use information, or briefly a better understanding of the brain and nerve system can help and develop marketing field.
For example, eye tracking technique, in which where subjects “look” times are measured, is commonly used in web design. With this technique, it is possible to discover what people are interested in, and how they feel when gazing a web page. Hence information about what effects people, or what they specifically remember at in glance becomes available.
Eye tracking is a much more efficient and effective method than pursuing answers by questionnaires.
Besides, conducting a detailed analysis of the product and precising the target audience will make the analysis more efficient and concrete in my point of view. It is very important which part of brain is activated depending on the target audience and the product. For the sake of scientific nature of the research and increasing it, it is necessary to make an in-depth research on the target audience and make predictions about the results. After these predictions psychologic, cognitive and sensory reactions should be quantitively measured to the stimulants.
In my point of view, hypothesis should be created in order to analyze the human behavior and consciousness, what effects decision making processes as a first step. Followingly, these hypothesis should be evaluated and carried through with technical methods. I believe that changing the stimuli that will determine the behavior of people according to the product and target group will give more effective results and prevent the loss of time.
Just like the research process should be conducted in an integrated way, the results should also be integrated in order to bring the research to an advanced level. For instance, relationship between psychological processes and brain waves can only be completed when EEG method is supported with computer technology. At the same time, by required adjustments between behavioral analysis and data analysis, margin of error can be minimized. Understanding the fundamental roots of human emotions is crucial to understanding the consumer’s purchasing behavior, when there is few subjects or users and more information is needed.
With neuromarketing, it is possible to reach people’s desires, tastes and obtain a high representation rate. So that, marketing mistakes can be minimized and losses in many fields can be avoided. On the other hand one of the beauties of neuromarketing is the ability to integrate both the incoming and outgoing marketing strategies.
Bercea, M.D. Quantitative versus qualitative in neuromarketing research. MPRA, 44134 (2013).
 Rothschild, D. (2015). How people about buying new products. [Blog post] Link: https://jtbd.info/getting-consumers-to-switch-to-your-solution-fa292bb29cea