Upgrading Marketing Research: Neuromarketing Tools for Understanding Consumers

Upgrading Marketing Research: Neuromarketing Tools for Understanding Consumers

Anka Gorgiev (The University of Sheffield International Faculty, City College, Greece) and Nikolaos Dimitriadis (The University of Sheffield International Faculty, City College, Greece)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8459-1.ch017
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Abstract

The following chapter focuses on the recent developments in the marketing industry resulting from the rise of neuromarketing. It offers analysis of the problems initiated by the traditional marketing research approaches and how these problems are being resolved by implementation of neuromarketing techniques. Moreover, both physiological and neurological measures are explained, providing advantages and disadvantages of all available neuromarketing tools that may be used in overcoming previously mentioned problems. Finally, the authors provide initial insights from a small scale qualitative research conducted among representatives from all segments of marketing industry.
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Background

Generally speaking, behavioral science promises to provide the knowledge necessary to predict future behaviors. In the realm of economics, the entire system of economic theories has been based on the Homo Economicus assumption, which implies that people make rational and conscious decisions (Rubinson, 2010; De Vroey, 2009; Morgan, 2006). However, for some time now, it has been clear that people do not follow the rational economic postulates; rather, important ingredients in human decision making are emotions (DellaVigna, 2009; Lee, Amir & Ariely, 2009; Damasio, 2005). Empirical findings in this area are challenging many rules-of-thumb and establishing new confidence in the knowledge of human behavior.

Social psychology complements this knowledge by adding the social influencers into the equation. It has been a common understanding that people's answers, thoughts, choices, preferences and even attitudes and beliefs change depending on the fact if they are alone or in presence of others. Apart from the fact that acknowledging this phenomenon can have significant value to the marketing professional, understanding of such observation contributes vastly to the holistic construct of human behavior.

If behavioral economics and social psychology represent the front office of the behavioral studies, then neuroscience dominates the back office, by supplying the knowledge about the neural activities involved in particular behaviors. Brain science has received significant popularity in the recent years, mainly due to the two high profile projects that have budget of $2.3 billion since they joined forces (Reardon, 2014). The BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative in USA and the Human Brain Project in Europe are expected to provide detailed map of the brain and its neural network in a computerized simulation (Blau, 2013; Wolf & Morrissey, 2013).

While all these findings impose new perception of the world, they also call for new methodologies and tools to be used in order to investigate this new world. Put together, at the intersection of these fields is the newly formed neuromerketing area that can help marketing academics, researchers and practitioners to overcome the problems and get closer to reaching the ultimate goal in marketing - delighting the consumers - and have more effective approach towards issues of societal significance.

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