Updated: May 19, 2020
“Neuromarketing is that shady bollocks, ‘that Cambridge mob’ used to get Trump into power and drive Brexit through, isn’t it?”
…said my less than enthralled prospect client. I quickly moved away from telling stories about nudges and sensory language before his eyes glazed over. We didn’t end up working together, which is probably better for both of us.
There’s absolutely no doubt that neuromarketing opens doors to consultancy contracts and wins pitches and it’s a field that is growing in mystique and more importantly, demand. Good news for Lab & Understood, good news for me!
That being said, like all superpowers, it can be used for good or it can be used for evil. Without showing too much of my geeky side, it is just like The Force… you have your Jedis, like the folks at Lab – and you have your dark side, like the folks at Cambridge Analytica. Whatever its purpose, it’s the same force, it’s the same techniques and processes, it’s the same magic – it just depends who’s wielding the lightsaber!
Let’s cut through the mystique
Neuromarketing is simply about understanding how human beings make decisions. The science bit is all about brains, hearts and balls. We have techniques that help consumers make decisions that allow them to weave wonderful narratives after said decision, providing perfectly feasible logic for exactly why they made that decision!
Neuromarketing allows marketers to run highly engaging, high performing campaigns that are more cost-effective and are actually useful and welcomed by consumers.
So what’s the alternative in a world where we want to spend less and achieve more with our campaigns? Run ineffective, costly campaigns that annoy consumers… sounds great.
In Roger Dooley’s brilliant book, Brainfluence, and I am paraphrasing here, he describes how most marketing departments use marketers’ brains to try and influence outcomes from campaigns. Imagine if we could use the customer’s brain to influence the outcome… that’s neuromarketing!
But it’s more than that. Yes, we are learning more and more about how the brain works, how 95% of our decisions are made by our subconscious, but we are also learning more and more about how our emotions drive our decisions. In recent studies, scientists discuss the neuro network that exists in our stomachs… feel it in your gut, literally!
I love the science, but my passion isn’t what happens in the lab or what appears in the academic journals. My passion is testing this stuff out in the channels. That’s where the ‘balls’ come in. Fail fast, fail early or even better, transform performance with a simple tweak to your campaign. I use neuromarketing as lenses for my multivariate testing methodology, it’s really that simple.
The magic, is deciding which nudges to bundle together and a deep understanding of the audience you are trying to engage and what you want them to do.
That’s how we roll.