Charlene Sampilo

What is your take in regards to neuromarketing as an advertising technique?

Do you agree that brain science and marketing really works? Have you applied it?

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2 Answers

Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

I may be incorrectly interpreting what you are asking, so please correct me if that is the case.

I'm not certain about brain science and marketing, but cognitive psychology and marketing are powerful combinations. That is why many things are priced like this, $19.99 instead of $20. Monetarily there is almost no difference, especially when you factor in that after taxes it is going to be over $20 either way.

Also, consumers fall into odd behavior patterns with things like coupons. If I have a retail store and I'm selling a sweater for $35 and no one is buying it, I can add a sale or coupon (in what can sometimes border on manipulation of varying degrees. What if I mark the sweater up to $42 but it's now 20% off (well logically that put the price at $33.60 less than $2 off the original $35 price) but people think they are getting an outrageous deal.

I think online retail is harder to up the experience (at least in terms of physical presence). If I have a physical store, I can change the signage, lightening or even the scent in the store to try to help create an inviting environment. However, online that isn't really an option (but many online stores vary their pricing throughout the day, or offer coupon codes to only specific geographic areas).

I think it is possible to use, cognitive psychology to affect the outcomes of both brick and mortar and online stores. I would like to believe it is being used to benefit the consumer, but most of the time that isn't true.

I do apply cognitive psychology in my designs, but in less ominous ways. The branding (colors, fonts, layout) all can impact the mood of the user. Trying to create an experience that a demographic of users would enjoy and appreciate is always a good thing. I do occasionally test out different calls to action or imagery, but often ask for feedback from users and peers.

I believe that consumers appreciate a company that has a valuable product or service, is transparent about how they are operate, and that they value their customers. Online resources have made comparing you against your competition very easy, and if they were only for a better deal, they can easily jump to one. All it takes to lose a customer is one bad experience (but that is the same for your competition). Focus on delivering great products, with great customer service and be wiling to adapt based on your customer needs rather than business goals (after all without your customers you wouldn't be in business).

People don't like feeling tricked by a company (I know I sure don't). So if you wouldn't be your own customer (if you didn't work there) chances are you need to make some adjustments.

Preetha Siri

Preetha Siri,

Thanks Charlene, Jef and Steve. Interesting topic. So is it right to say that neuromarketing is a way of making the consumer purchase a product or service b... read more
Thanks Charlene, Jef and Steve. Interesting topic. So is it right to say that neuromarketing is a way of making the consumer purchase a product or service by stimulating a strong emotion or any of the five senses. Like brightly wrapped / packaged chocos , aromatic food, the open kitchens in restaurants - would these fall into manifestations of neuromarketing ? $ 19.99 had baffled me for so long. Also wis there any neuromarketing strategy behind setting 10.10 as the default time for watches and clocks in shops all over the world?
Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Aromatic food and open kitchens certainly play a part. Open kitchens lend themselves to customer trust (if I can see in the kitchen and see the people working i... read more
Aromatic food and open kitchens certainly play a part. Open kitchens lend themselves to customer trust (if I can see in the kitchen and see the people working in the kitchen, it must be clean and well run). The $19.99 thing is to reduce price anxiety ($20 seems like significantly more than $19.99 because $20 and above is not seen as an impulse buy price where $19.99 is just within that range). It is a bit crazy really. Customers are incentivized by discounts (or at least perceived discounts). J.C. Penny's is the best example of this. Traditionally they had big sales every week (but also had coupon offers and other special offers like spend $50 and get $10 off your next purchase). When a new CEO took over he focused on eliminating all the crazy sales and coupons and went for "fair" pricing where items were priced lower but went on sale less frequently. Consumers had adapted to the big sale and coupon combination for so long that they lashed back by shopping less at J.C. Penny during the pricing change. This led to the CEO being terminated. I don't agree with the ridiculous sales and coupons every weekend (because if every weekend is the biggest sale you really have no incentive to go out and buy now because you can wait a week). However, that isn't how their customers reacted. Customer reactions aren't always logical or easily explained, but one thing is for sure, changing consumer behavior comes with risks (as that CEO experienced). I'm not certain about the watches set to 10:10. Sometimes there is a hidden joke in why a specific company uses a certain time in an commercial or on packaging. I wouldn't read into that as far. We designers/advertisers like to leave our mark on thins we touch be (Easter Egging) hidden flourishes into the designs either for fun or to prove we did the work.
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Steve Osborne

Steve Osborne , director at Smarthinking

My take is that neuromarketing is less an advertising technique than a market research measurement tool.

Whether the science of studying brain patterns in response to marketing stimuli works or not is a moot point. You either interpret the measurements or you don't.

Various measuring tools have been applied for decades and will continue to be applied for as long as anyone is interested in consumer behaviour and responses.

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