Neuroscience and Marketing: Understanding the Decision-Making Process

Neuroscience in marketing delves into understanding the brain’s role in consumer decision-making. By studying neural responses to marketing stimuli, businesses can grasp how emotions and cognitive processes influence purchasing behavior. This approach enables the creation of more effective marketing strategies, tailored to how the brain perceives and reacts to advertising. It’s a fusion of science and commerce, offering deeper insights into consumer psychology and behavior patterns.

Have you ever had a series of marketing campaigns do poorly and then suddenly you have one go viral? Have you tried to recreate that magic only to find you couldn’t? Don’t worry, you are not alone. Many people have tried and tried to become the next marketing campaign that is the talk of the internet. Many have failed. Some are successful, but it only seems like chance. According to some neuroscience marketers, there is a formula for making the right choices in a campaign.

In this article, we explore the connection between neuroscience and marketing:

Cause and Effect? Action and Reaction?

Many marketers who have had digital marketing campaigns spark positive responses may think it’s a one-time deal. A fluke that they don’t quite understand how they got right. The trick has been triggering people on a subconscious level. The right pictures, headlines, taglines, and a copy may seem to be the reason for it. But you could recreate the same thing again and have no response.

This is where neuromarketing comes into play.

Neuromarketing? What Is It?

To answer this, we need to get a little scientific. So you have this brain and it’s your hard drive of life. The subconscious parts are your operating system. The hard drive is full of files that were written during your childhood, information that gives you a visceral reaction at times, without you knowing why. Let’s say you are in a room with tarantulas and there are 2 other people in the room with you. You may scream and fear the spider. Another will love the spider and the third may not think much about it at all. This is all related to each person’s written file about how they feel about spiders on a subconscious level.

As adults, many of the choices we make are based on what we were molded with before we were 10 years old. We tend to react to make the choice rather than respond and make a choice. Neuromarketers realize the human tendency to react. When we understand what is common among the people in our target market, we can improve our campaigns. Creating content and presentations that are designed to trigger the people subconsciously leads to the desired effect.

Think of neuromarketing as marketing to the primal brain. We tap into the belief systems and by default, tap into emotions. Trigger emotions, and your target market will respond quickly and effectively.

What Are The Six Principles of Persuasion?

The six principles of persuasion are:

  • Reciprocity
  • Consistency
  • Social Proof
  • Liking
  • Authority
  • Scarcity

So how do these work in a marketing campaign? Let’s take a look at reciprocity first. This is the feeling that someone has done something for us, we should do something for them. This is popular with non-profit organizations that serve veterans. Vets have fought for our freedom, have served their country, and now they have needs. Non-profits will remind the public of this when they need donations to provide services to vets in a local area or on a national scale.

Consistency in neuromarketing is presenting your business authentically. Your entity will have a mission statement that reflects the service of the company and what you strive to do in the betterment of the world. If your campaign is in direct conflict with your mission statement, you lose consistency. You want to show that you haven’t lost sight of the mission and you need the public’s help in spreading the word on your consistency.

Social Proof is essentially tied to leadership. If your company does a specific thing and you get others to do the same thing, they will follow your brand with loyalty.  Let’s say that your target market really likes a specific animal rescue. So you donate, hold a rally, or create a fundraiser for that rescue. It may not have anything to do with your business, but the action does. Others see your actions and begin to support you because you support something they love.

Liking is easy. Like your target market. Talk to them frequently. Listen to their thoughts, complaints, and praises. Engage with them. Develop a thoughtful relationship and you will go far.

Authority is another easy one. Humans have been ingrained to respect people and entities that are authoritative. We perceive them as something to be respected. Actors and other celebrities are often used in campaigns to spark an interest in a market. If you present yourself as an authority figure on a subject, model, or project, people will respect you. Make sure to respect them back.

Scarcity is a popular one you see at the holidays and on websites. If something appears scarce to your target market, they will want it more. It is ingrained in our minds that what is not readily available has more value.

So What Is The Right Balance?

There is no simple answer to this. Get to know your target audience. Learn what they are emotional about and you can find the right balance.

Some key things to consider are what was language like when this group was young. If they are an 80s baby, the slang of that era can be used. What was a key belief system of that era and in what area you are targeting? The imagery of belief systems can be helpful in a campaign. This is not necessarily a religious belief system, it can be a belief of how people were supposed to behave. Or it could be the belief of defining hard work or gig economy. Don’t forget to also look at the economic status of the era. That has a big role in how people view saving money, spending money, and tapping into emotions about resourcefulness.

Use the six principles of persuasion in some way with each campaign. You don’t have to use all of them at once, just use what fits in with what your goals are. That is the glory of marketing, being able to pick and choose what works and leaving the rest behind.

What do you think about neuroscience and marketing?

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SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners - helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

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