Neuro marketing, the latest form of marketing study and practice, is the study of the brain’s responses to advertising and all the messages and images that they are associated with by using the functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). It assumes that the human brain has discrete functional areas and that consumer behaviour is largely driven by the subconscious. In today’s hyper competitive markets even a slightest of insights is grabbed by companies to improve the effectiveness of new product introductions and marketing communications to their target market. It is true that traditional consumer research techniques, such as surveys and market research groups, help in this regard. However, these techniques do suffer from important limitations, as consumers are not always able or willing to provide the required information. For decades, market researchers have attempted to address these shortcomings by either trying to access the consumer’s subconscious through motivational research and projective techniques, or by analyzing how consumers seek and process information by tracking eye movement or galvanic skin response. However, these efforts have been only partially successful in helping to understand consumers. One of the latest techniques, which incorporates both of the above mentioned approaches and is hailed by many as one of the most important marketing research breakthroughs, is neuro marketing. This in turn allows marketers to develop a more effective marketing mix and ultimately satisfy consumers better, the main objective of marketing function. Further, since consumers tend to react differently towards stimuli, there is also the possibility of using neuro marketing for segmentation purposes, beyond mere demographic and psychographic variables. Taken to an extreme, and subject to development of technology, neuro marketing could also eventually be used to customise products and marketing communications according to brain type of the potential customers, perhaps some day even in real time.
(Globsyn Business School)