Conjoint Analysis with fMRI: A Novel Analytical Approach to Neuromarketing

Conjoint Analysis with fMRI: A Novel Analytical Approach to Neuromarketing

Jarmo Heinonen (Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Finland)
Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9989-2.ch009
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Abstract

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a very effective tool in neuromarketing. However, time limits, subject fatigue, fMRI costs, and participants' concentration are problematic. Conjoint analysis and its cards enable shortening the time and providing more attributes for evaluation. Conjoint analysis models of orthogonal matrices keep the amount of conjoint cards to a minimum which shortens the time spent in the fMRI machine and thus lowering costs. All conjoint cards are different and keep subjects concentrated during the test. fMRI is an efficient analyzing method of neuronal architecture and functions for the identification of the brain areas and networks. Conjoint analysis and fMRI are strong, combined methods to analyze customer needs and desires.
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Introduction

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is a very effective tool in neuromarketing research and analysis. However, as subjects cannot remain long inside the fMRI tube, there is the need for a method to shorten the research time. For researchers, limited time, subject fatigue (Nakagawa et al., 2013), fMRI costs (Sample & Adam, 2003), and the ability to keep subjects concentrated (Laufs & Tagliazucchi, 2014) are problematic. Regarding the last issue, one answer or solution may be conjoint analysis and its cards which allow shortening the time by providing more attributes for analysis regarding products and services. There is a way to improve fMRI research techniques by implementing a mixed method approach through conjoint analysis. This chapter introduces these two methods and describes the advantages of this type of research.

Conceptually, conjoint analysis should be examined holistically because it is not limited to just one method but rather combines different procedures. The fMRI is the most efficient method compared to other neuromarketing methods of analysis of neuronal architecture and functions. EEG or MEG may be applied, but they do not provide the deep data on human brain functioning as does the fMRI. As conjoint analysis reveals the most meaningful attributes and their subgroups for the product or service, the fMRI connect these particular attributes (from conjoint cards) in the subjects’ brain. Conjoint analysis and fMRI combined provide a helpful and effective method to analyze customer needs and desires.

Data Collecting Process in Conjoint Analysis

Conjoint analysis can be used as providing methodology for operationalizing the conceptual basis in a conjoint measurement framework (DeSarbo, Huff, Rolandelli, & Choi, 1994; Karabatsos, 2001). A prestudy must be conducted to find relevant attributes for the analysis, and these attributes can be discussed beforehand with customers, employees, or managerial staff. Sometimes the attributes are discussed with employees rather than with customers. In this manner, employees are involved in the study contributing with their own ideas about meaningful attributes concerning customers. On the other hand, researchers may find good attributes by themselves.

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