Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4834-8.ch001
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Abstract

The human behavior results from a joint activity of the nervous system with the sensory organs and endocrine glands. The nervous system plays a decisive role in the behavior and mental processes, coordinating the relationship that the body has with the external environment and ensuring the internal communication of the body. With the evolution of technology and increasing public knowledge of marketing techniques to attract consumers to buy certain products, the Marketing area is currently faced with the need to develop new mechanisms for neurobehavioral interpretation. This, a new sub-area of Marketing begins to emerge designated Neuromarketing. Neuromarketing combines psychology, neuroscience, and economics to help marketers better understand consumer behaviour. Neuroscientific technologies are used in order to understand the consumer motivations and emotions and to study how the brain is physiologically affected by advertising and marketing strategies.
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The History Of Neuromarketing

Research has been done in this Neuromarketing area since 1996, starting with Shizgal and Conover (Glimcher P., 2008), who combined neuroscientific and mathematical theories from the social sciences can make accurate predictions about human behavior. Glimcher ascertains that the new clearly distinct discipline of Neuromarketing seems to be emerging from the study of neuroeconomics. Neuromarketing is the field that applies technology that scans the brain to marketing (Glimcher P., 2008). In 2012, Hsu explains how he uses MRI to study different regions of the brain to “anticipate and respond to competitors’ behavior” which can be used in marketing. His work has led to an understanding as to how people learn and act in “complex social and strategic settings” (Hsu, 2012).

Most of the work done in this area is using the electroencephalography (EEG) signals to the study of variations on this signal whenever the user is subject to a particular stimulus, or even through functional magnetic resonance imaging to the study of oxygenated blood in the different activities that the individual is carrying out. However, it begins to be aware of the scientific community that other physiological signals are also the person's emotional state indicators. For example, in 2008 Kim Jonghwa developed a tool for emotion recognition that music aroused a subject through electrophysiological variations using electromyography sensors, electrocardiography, skin conductance activity and respiration. From these signals a correlation between the biosignal and the emotional states can be observed, concluding that skin conductance activity and electromyography are correlated with changes at the level of excitement while electrocardiography and breathing are more related to the valence.

Thus, a need exists to develop new disruptive models that can assess the emotional state of the person using the neurophysiological technology to realize not only individual behavior towards a particular stimulus, but also the relationship between the electrophysiology and the ability to memorize thus developing a new marketing-communication methodology.

Neuromarketing has been studied from a variety of viewpoints: how relates to an aging population, Wall Street traders and risk-taking, chemical influence on the brain and decision-making, loss aversion, and decision making under uncertainty. All of these viewpoints have value for marketers in creating marketing strategies for certain target populations.

The emerging fields of neuroeconomics and Neuromarketing merge customary economic models with innovative “mental models of behavior” (Hsu, 2012). Hsu states that researchers should not only look just at the “static structure” of the brain, but also how brain responses vary over time when responding to choices and possibilities that consumers are presented. Researchers have combined disparate fields using the latest advances in brain imaging and genetics to determine the biological basis for human behavior. According to Brown (Brown, 2012), Zak feels that economists have a stereotypical view that human beings “are highly rational and primarily motivated by self-interest”, but on the contrary, people help strangers all the time. According to Brown (Brown, 2012) Zak asks questions such as “Why would two people ever trust each other if they’re strangers?”. In restaurants, we eat meals that are prepared by someone we have never met. “Why is trust is a kind of social glue that sustains societies and economies?”. We fly on airplanes piloted by people we don’t know (Brown, 2012). To study the biological basis of trust, Zak focused on a “chemical in the brain called oxytocin which was believed to be released only during childbirth and sex”. Rodents use oxytocin to tolerate their burrow mates. Zak determined that the same mechanism is at work in both humans and animals; he took blood samples of participants to see whether the brain “would release oxytocin if someone sent them money via computer in a lab experiment” and whether the oxytocin effect would motivate them to reciprocate. Zak found that when there is trust, the brain releases oxytocin. When people are hugged, “their brain will release oxytocin” (Brown, 2012). Humans “have biology for reciprocation” (Brown, 2012).

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