Friday, 4 January 2013


A new four-part series of articles by CBC News investigates a new science called neuromarketing.  Imagine if you could produce advertisements for your jewellery store that you knew would tickle the brain in a way that compelled them to come-in and immediately buy diamonds.  That’s the “brass ring” of this new area of study.  What if Zales, Future Shop or Home Depot can afford to pay-for and implement tactics from neuromarketers to sway consumers their way instead of yours?

One of the reasons they want to use MRI and EEG monitoring to see inside consumers brains as they respond to ads and merchandising is, "It's really giving you a lot of insight into his emotional response, much more so than if you were just to ask him how he’s feeling.”  The first of two insights I gained from this article is that consumers won’t always tell marketers and salespeople what they’re truly thinking.  They might “pull punches” to avoid insulting the salesperson, or they might want to placate the marketer by half-heartedly agreeing with their assertions.  Sales training and relationship building are the two ways to increasingly break-down those boundaries between us and our clients.

The second insight I gained was from their experiment with the classic “Coke vs. Pepsi taste-test.”  When neuromarketers monitored brain activity during a blind taste-test, they witnessed brain-activity consistent with sensory analysis, and the results were even.  When the samples were labeled as “Coke” and “Pepsi”, activity was also seen in parts of the brain having to do with memory and experience.  Preference leaned towards Coke in this scenario.  What this tells us is that everything you’ve always been doing in your jewellery store forms an indelible impression in your client’s mind.  That cumulative impression can override subtle differences in product “taste,” tipping the scales in your favor.

Despite marketing mind-tricks discovered by high-tech wiz-bangs, a history of happy customers will serve you well in the long-run.

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