Researchers and organizations have been using interviews, surveys, and questionnaires to find out what motivates consumers and what are their preferences and needs. These methods do not take into account non-verbal gestures and responses but they can offer important details about consumers.
Research into behaviour has repeatedly shown that most people do act as per what they say. Hence, to learn more about what they will actually do, it is essential to delve into the unconscious and unaired preferences of consumers. This is where neuromarketing research comes into the picture.
What is Neuromarketing Research?
This is an innovative method of research and is primarily used in marketing to find out how consumers respond to marketing stimuli. Researchers study cognitive, sensorimotor as well as affective responses of consumers, and that enables them to analyze and find out more about consumer buying behaviour.
There are specialist neuro marketers who use behaviour, neural responses, and physiological responses to find out how consumers will react subconsciously.
Techniques Used for Neuromarketing Research
There is a wide range of techniques to measure changes in brain activity as well as facial expressions, gestures, and physiological changes. These techniques are employed to find out why consumers make a certain decision whether the brain dictates decision-making.
Some of the techniques that neuro marketers use are as follows:
Implicit Response: This response occurs automatically as a reaction to an external stimulus. To study implicit response, researchers use fMRI, EEG, and MEG to study and measure activity in the brain.
A simple example would be a study that participants are asked to watch a commercial and their brain activity is measured with the help of EEG. Based on the changes in brain activity, researchers can find out how different aspects of the commercial affect the participants.
Researchers can also use Galvanic skin response (GSR) to find out if participants are excited, tensed, or bored. When a person is excited, the GSR measure increases while it decreases if the person is bored.
Emotions: Most emotions are expressed outwardly through facial expressions and these expressions are subconscious. Hence, checking the facial expressions of people can reveal a lot of information, more than what the participants in the research would be willing to divulge.
There are automated methods to analyze facial expressions and usually, researchers look for expressions that reveal boredom, interest, or confusion. These expressions are used as a way to gauge people’s appreciation of a product, brand, or commercial. The most common way to read and analyze facial expressions is with the help of FaceReader.
When emotions are assumed to be positive, consumers will make a positive decision. However, if the product, brand, or commercial evokes a negative emotion then consumers will not engage with it and it will adversely affect their buying decision.
Eye Tracking: Usually, eye tracking is used in conjunction with facial expression analysis. It helps to find out more about a consumer’s preference, appreciation, desire, and disengagement with a product, brand, or commercial. Eye-tracking helps to find out more about how attentive a person is and what emotions they are experiencing.
Scans help researchers find out which part of ads, websites, or commercials viewers look at and for how long. This method can easily provide the necessary information and hence, it is ubiquitously used in the field of neuromarketing.
Subconscious Response: Most people are unaware that their subconscious has a lot of influence on their decision-making process and behaviour. When people see something that is positive, it stays in their memory. This positive feeling affects their buying decision. The reverse is true when they see something that is negative and they do not appreciate it.
Neuromarketing research tries to decipher how the brain functions at a subconscious level so that researchers can use the findings to influence consumers buying decisions. This can be extremely important for organizations that are selling in a fiercely competitive marketplace and want to enjoy an edge over their competition. These organizations can alter their marketing campaigns so that they are more effective.
The Bottom Line
Neuromarketing research provides valuable insights into the buying behaviour of consumers, who sometimes do not know why they are making a decision. The findings from the research can be used to improve sales, build brand awareness and loyalty, and influence consumers’ buying choices.