This post is a summary of the main insights we gained from the “How Neuromarketing Improves Your Advertising Efficiency” webinar hosted by Braindriven-Marketing on 21 April 2021.
About the Company and Neuromarketing
The webinar was skillfully delivered by Niklas Le Fevre, Co-founder and Head of Marketing at Braindriven-Marketing. Braindriven-Marketing use their expertise in neuromarketing and creativity to design creatives for efficient marketing, with a focus on explanatory videos.
What is Neuromarketing?
Neuromarketing is a discipline within marketing that was born in 2004 when Read Montagne, Professor of Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, published his neuromarketing research study in Neuron.
Neuromarketing combines neuroscience, behavioural sciences, and psychology to understand how the human brain works and how we can leverage this knowledge to optimise a brand’s communication activities. While consumer neuroscience is the combination of consumer research with modern neuroscience to understand consumer behaviour, neuromarketing looks at how to influence buying decisions based on this type of data.
The Buying Decision and How to Influence it Using Neuromarketing
After explaining that the buying decision is like an iceberg, where many factors are ‘invisible’ or ‘unconscious’ (like the part of the iceberg that is underwater), Niklas proceeded to discuss Dr. Montagne’s research on how the Coca Cola and Pepsi brands affect consumers’ brains.
Brain scans of people tasting each of the soft drinks revealed that knowing which drink they’re tasting affected their preference and activated memory-related brain regions that recall cultural influences. You can read more in this article.
Areas of the Brain Triggered During the Buying Decision
If you’re a marketer or work with marketing, chances are you’ve heard about the ‘old’, ‘middle’, and ‘new’ brains in relation to how we make the decision to buy a product.
In classic economic theory, consumers make choices after considering all relevant information or arguments provided by the brand, using the ‘new’ brain (the neocortex).
According to neuroscience, however, the buying decision is mostly made in the limbic system (the ‘middle one’), and our decision-making is much more emotional and much less rational than we’d all like to believe. The limbic system is where our emotions are triggered, and it’s the area of the brain most affected by emotional persuasion.
In other words, we make decisions based on emotions and feelings at a nonconscious level, often without being able to articulate why we make the choices we make.
In most cases, brands don’t even reach the state where they can present their arguments or information (neocortex) to customers to convince them to buy. The decision to buy or not is already subconsciously made by the time the consumer is presented with the complete set of cold, hard facts and watertight logical arguments.
How to Reach the Neocortex to Increase the Probability of Conversion
- First, information must pass the reptilian brain, responsible for engaging our attention. Then, it must enter the limbic system.
- Next, we need to emotionalise our target customers. Not everyone responds the same, so we need to know our audience very well to know what will appeal to their emotions.
- Finally, the cognitive load we place on our customers once we reach the neocortex must be low. Complex products require a lot of information to penetrate and pass the limbic system into the neocortex. Therefore, it’s important to present this information in a simple way. This can get tricky in niche industries (like SaaS) where products require a certain level of technical skills, and the same applies to every market the brand decides to penetrate (for Spanish-speaking regions, that’s when you call Crisol Translation Services, the SaaS experts).
Fields of Use of Neuromarketing
The information that neuroscience provides about consumers’ brains can be leveraged by neuromarketing and applied to countless areas. Some of them are:
First of all: what is a brand, from a neurological point of view? Back to the example of Coca Cola vs. Pepsi (same product -a cola drink-, different brands), the brand is everything surrounding the product. Our brain places all information in context or in an environment, and that’s precisely what a brand is.
How do you create a strong brand? First, you need to convey a message. For example “This beer brings you freedom and adventure”. This will translate into grabbing a beer after you finish work for the day. Strong brands make their customers associate their products with the message, which must be consistent across all channels.
Communicating efficiently means conveying the message with as little information as possible, i.e., reducing the cognitive load. Images work great for this purpose.
We did a curious exercise at this point of the webinar: Niklas showed us a 0.5-second clip and then showed us a text with all the information we gathered from the clip: the text would have taken us 16 seconds to read. Fascinating!
The Importance of Memorability
If you’re a regular here in our blog, you know that we speak of memorability very often. Remember this poster we’ve shared before?
Chances are you still remember a particular commercial from when you were a child or a teenager. What is it that you remember about it? Was it the catchy tune that made you feel joyful each time you sang it? Was it a memorable phrase that you’ve been uttering since then to refer to a certain situation? Whatever it is, the brand in question managed to appeal to your emotions (using the principles of neuromarketing) and become memorable through them.
Website and Creatives
We are always talking about how brands that are serious about their global marketing invest time, effort, and money in ranking high on search engines in every market they operate in (through SEO and SEO Translation).
Once they attract their target customers to their website, companies can apply neuromarketing to enhance website design and creative assets. For example, a design that favours the natural way in which our brains scan a page and skim through the content can guide visitors to a CTA that will increase conversion. The bounce rate can also be optimised by decreasing the cognitive load placed on visitors’ brains, which favours dwell time.
At last year’s Creative Language Conference (the second edition is in July 2021, get your ticket!) Giulia Tarditi spoke about something very much related to this: the differing degrees of intensity with which website visitors look at different parts of a page:
She then told us how her department is approaching the localisation of each of these areas of text differently, with the most budget (i.e., professional copywriting or transcreation) assigned to key sections like headlines and CTAs, and machine translation used for footnotes and other types of texts that users don’t tend to read.
If we were not in a pandemic, we’d urge you to visit your local restaurant and look at its menu. You might notice that they’ve removed the $ sign in the pricing section because it could boost their sales by up to 8%, according to neuroscience.
This is called neuropricing. The use of price reductions, volume discounts, special displays, raffles, and vouchers is also part of this way of applying neuromarketing to pricing.
A Fascinating Universe
This webinar gave us a lot to think about. We were reminded of the many take-aways from the 2020 edition of The Creative Language Conference, and we cannot wait to this year’s round, where we’ll also look at the brain in the context of creative stimuli. Do you already have your ticket? 🙂