A Neuromarketing Perspective on Measuring Marketing Influence at the Unconsciousness Level

A Neuromarketing Perspective on Measuring Marketing Influence at the Unconsciousness Level

Ioana Iancu (Babeș-Bolyai University, Romania)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0953-0.ch008
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Abstract

In a context characterized by an inflation of marketing messages, it is imperious to understand how consumers succeed in making the buying decision. Starting by briefly describing the structure and the role of the brain and the differences between consciousness and unconsciousness, the paper aims to investigate the way neuromarketing can help in comprehending the feelings of the consumers, the way products or services match the consumers' needs, and the way companies can discover the insights of decision-making process. This paper can be perceived either as a guide for the companies that aim to find more on the way people manage information and make decisions or as a comprehensive description on human being marketing behavior that can serve both business, academic environments and consumers.
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Background

An Insight of the Brain

Although representing only 2% of the total body mass, the brain is responsible for all the marketing behavior and it consumes approximately 20% of the body energy (Morin, 2011, p.134). Renvoisé and Morin (2007) consider that the simplified structure of the brain is the following one: the reptilian brain or R-complex (responsible with instinct), the middle brain or the limbic system (responsible with emotions), and the new brain or neo-cortex (responsible with rational thinking). Being entities for which the survival process is the most important one, the human behavior is mostly controlled by the reptilian brain (Morin, 2011, p.134). In comparison with the new brain that is slow in reaction, it effort itself in order to answer to a certain stimulus, it is intelligent, conscious and partially controllable, the reptilian brain is 500 million years old, is the first that reacts to incentives, it is always on, it is unconscious and incontrollable (Renvoisé and Morin, 2007). In the same respect, emphasizing that there are a lot of aspects related to impressions, intuitions and decisions that are far to be deeply understood, Kahneman (2011) splits the brain in two parts: System 1 (reptilian brain) and System 2 (new brain). The two concepts have been initially used by Keith Stanovich and Richard West. System 1 is described as being automatic, permanent, quick, effortless, and involuntary. In contrast, System 2 is the part of the brain that pays more attention to the mental effort, it can realize complex calculus, and it is associated with decision and with concentration (Kahneman, 2011).

The description of the parts of the brain and the way they work and react is important in the marketing context, mainly considering that almost 80% of the information received by a consumer is internalized at the unconsciousness level (Morin, 2011, p.134). Put it differently, although the cognitive functions of the brain are treasured, in a context in which individuals receive more that 10.000 messages per day, a large part of this information is lost unless it addresses the reptilian brain (Morin, 2011, p.135). Therefore, one can conclude that a message in general and a marketing message in particular are efficient mainly if it contains stimuli that can activate mainly the instinctual and unconscious part of the brain, namely the reptilian brain. Based on this issue, this chapter is going to underline the domain of neuromarketing and its several techniques already used by companies or academics, or techniques and experiments that can be used in order to gain business efficiency and knowledge.

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