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Is neuro marketing a new tool for marketers?

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AK Pradeep

Dr A K Pradeep, Chief Executive Officer, Neurofocus, The Nielsen Company

Neuroscience can be defined as “the study of the human nervous system, the brain and the biological basis of consciousness, perception, memory and learning.” Marketing guru, Philip Kotler defines marketing as “the set of human activities directed at facilitating and consummating exchanges.” At first glance, there seems to be no co-relation between these two streams.That is till you hear, Dr A K Pradeep, Chief Executive Officer, Neurofocus, The Nielsen Company.

Speaking at the Twelfth CII Marketing Summit 2012 held in Mumbai, Pradeep said that the basic applications of neuroscience can be utilised in marketing i.e. Neuro Marketing. In Neuro Marketing, a consumer’s reaction to any product can be gauged by scanning the brain’s response to any marketing stimuli.The results can then help us understand the consumer better, their behaviour pattern on what products they buy and most importantly, Why? This could then be used by marketers to design their sales campaigns in such a way that would directly translate to higher sales and volumes.

Pradeep said that “Emotion is a prime driver of purchase.” So when any product is placed in front of us our decision to purchase the product is based on emotions we feel when we see the product. By mapping the individual’s sensory response to a product, marketers should be able to tell if the product will make it to the consumers’ basket and home from the clutter found at the supermarket shelves. By testing brands across seven dimensions of neuroscience, marketers should get an insight into the consumers’ buying habits.

He elaborated that when we hold an iPad in our hands, the visual appeal and feel of the iPad helps us connect to the product. In simple terms, we are pre-programmed to like the product. The feel of holding a cold drink bottle is also the reason why many believe that a drink tastes better out of a bottle than a can.

Pradeep added that purchase is “driven by emotion modulated by reason”; He said that the price we pay is also connected to our subconscious and emotional space. So when we see any product, we subconsciously decide whether we would buy the product or not. If we subconsciously feel that the price points are right, we will immediately pick up the product. However, if the consumer has connected to the product emotionally, but feels that the price is high, even then, it is likely that the consumer will pick up the product. This is because the consumer will find logical reasons as to why he should buy the product even if it is expensive.

The same logic is extended to every sphere of the sales and marketing chain. Right from the logo, which is the face of the brand, to how we feel when we the product is held, to packaging, in-store display, advertising and information, every aspect is mapped, all in an effort to understand the consumer and his behaviour better and more accurately.

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