In a world dominated by human needs and desires, having insight into how people think can be the ultimate recipe for brand success. The million dollar question: will neuromarketing be the tool that is able to provide a customer experience that is second to none?

In a nutshell, neuromarketing is about understanding the psychological drivers and triggers that make people respond in a certain way. This understanding allows marketers to design products and services and position them in a way that makes them appealing to consumers. Although there is unlikely to ever be a one-size-fits-all approach to successfully grabbing consumer attention, neuromarketing is about successfully providing insights into the marketing stimuli that consumers are most responsive to.

While it may sound a bit like science fiction, neuromarketing as a concept is in fact not new. Many organisations and brands, including PayPal, Frito-Lay, McDonalds and even tequila producer Patron are using neuromarketing to draft effective brand strategy and guide product development.

At the most recent Future of Media online event a panel of experts, moderated by Siya Sangweni, discussed how neuromarketing bridges the gap between cognitive psychology and behavioural economics. In addition to exploring the subconscious and explaining how neuromarketing can – and should – be incorporated into marketing strategies, they also provided insight into better understanding how the human brain processes decision-making, measures emotion and what kind of information grabs attention.

Thom Noble, president and chief strategy officer at Cloud Army, said that a growing understanding of how the brain works and processes information is helping marketers to better understand the role of emotion in decision making. The ‘Iceberg Theory’, he explained focuses on the fact that there is a great deal from a behavioural science perspective that is going on below the surface that we don’t yet understand. This explains why we don’t always make rational and logical decisions. Essentially, the Iceberg Theory maintains that we all two different ways of thinking: above the water thinking takes time and effort; below the water thinking, on the other hand, is intuitive, automatic, effortless and very fast. In order to better predict how people will behave it’s important to understand both these systems and how they interact. Until recently, however, it has bene hard to measure the latter.

Jackie Dhaeyere, market research consultant specialising in implicit and other non-traditional techniques, said that the single biggest success factor when it comes to understanding why some adverts or campaigns are more successful than others is emotion. Adverts that elicit an emotional response – even a very subtle emotional response – connect better with consumers.

Mark Drummond, co-founder of Neural Sense said many brands miss a trick because they don’t understand how the consumer feels at every touchpoint. Brands need to realise the power of owning an emotional experience at every touchpoint. However, they will only be memorable if they are personally relevant. Repetition and consistency are key, he added.

Brand loyalty, agreed Dr David Rosenstein, co-founder of Neural Sense requires consistent and authentic connections between the consumer and the brand. At the same time the brand’s attributes need to resonate with the consumer.

The panellists encouraged brands and marketers to investigate the field of neuromarketing, particularly given the potential competitive advantages it can provide for brands.

To watch the full discussion, click here.

Thanks to our digital conference series partners, VodaMedia, Primedia Outdoor, The MediaShop, TILT, The FM Redzone and The Media Online, the Future of Media series has been able to provide relevant insights to the industry.

The next online event, ‘How influential is media in defining Africa’s story?’, will be taking place on 13 July 2021 at 16h00. For more information, or to register, click here.