So, what’s new in the world of neuroscience? On the plus side, more B2C brands are waking up to the ability to pre-qualify campaigns prior to launch. This gives a little bit of reassurance that your big investment should pay off. On the down side, the complexity of the human brain means there is still much we don’t know about how it works. This means that we can see the outcome but do not fully understand how it happened. Read on to find out about neuroscience in practice to keep an eye on your marketing health.
This is part 3 in our series dedicated to UK National Heart Month in February.
Neuroscience in practice
Neuroscience in practice means many different things to marketers. The consensus on what it is ranges from eye tracking to surveys or fMRI scanners. The truth is that neuroscience in practice means a range of sciences brought together under the banner of the nervous system. In practical terms, it means research and studies from people trained in the field.
We like to explain the practical aspects of neuroscience applied to marketing as follows:
- fMRI – The top-tier that remains the preserve of specialist facilities and generates a highly accurate scan of how the brain responds to stimuli. At present, this simply isn’t practical or affordable to use for marketing purposes so we leave this to scientific institutions.
- Studies – The mid-tier that is deployed as part of a scientific experiment using people that match a target demographic. With the current limitations on face-to-face interaction, this is largely restricted to browser and app-based tools to measure response to stimuli.
- Research – The base-tier that uses a combination of studied knowledge and the results of other neuroscience studies and fMRI scans. This is a cost-effective and rapid methodology using trained neuroscientists to predict how the brain is likely to respond to stimuli.
How does neuroscience help my marketing health?
Neuroscience helps your marketing health by giving you a higher probability of success based on insights into how the nervous system responds to marketing stimuli. In layman’s terms, it is a better predictor of success based on science rather than opinion and is less prone to our biases.
There is a tendency in popular neuroscience to add ‘neuro’ to the beginning of every area. To filter this down into services that you can buy, we like to describe the relevant areas as follows:
- Neurobranding services – Enhancing the emotional response and positive association with a brand.
- Neuromarketing services – Predicting the valence of the brain’s response to marketing campaigns.
- Neuroexperience services – Smoothing the customer marketing experience to lower cognitive load and increase response.
It is also worth noting that many large corporations, in this case Ikea, use neuroscience to help them create new strategies and propositions. The logic behind this is that neuroscience enables an element of ‘prediction’ of what customers will love.
What can I do in practice to keep an eye on my marketing health?
In practical terms, neuroscience is just one tool in your marketing armoury. The foundation remains a strong emphasis on traditional marketing techniques including strategy, planning and research to drive the marketing mix. The input remains an allocation of marketing resources towards the growth opportunities in the market. The output continues to cover digital, traditional or omni-channel approaches to communicate your value proposition to your audience.
Martech, analytics and good old-fashioned measurement of MROI act as a bellwether for marketing health. Top-line revenue and margin growth are not as closely correlated but are still loosely linked to healthy marketing. However, are all of your brands, campaigns and experiences operating at an optimal level? Are you struggling to stand out? Do your campaigns have a brief or little increase in sales? Is your customer retention a concern?
Neuroscience plays a vital role in giving you something scientific on which to base your decisions. A rebranding can be something less reliant on what you think ‘looks good’. Campaigns could be based on a fairly accurate reflection of the physiological and emotional response you desire. Experiences are open to enhancement to encourage more engagement, less frustration and more conversion. These can be a combination of standalone studies or ongoing research and studies to support recognition, positive association and brand loyalty.
Why do I need to keep an eye on neuroscience?
You need to keep an eye on neuroscience because when your competitors wake up to the possibilities, you may find that they become talk of the town.
Creativity, inspiration and artistry are key to the distinctiveness of a brand and campaigns. This is also an area that is challenging to directly correlate with MROI for obvious reasons and is sometimes left to third-party creative agencies. However, that ability to create something unique often clashes with the burden of driving effectiveness and MROI to the board.
This is one way in which neuroscience can help you enhance the creative process by:
- Measuring the pre-response to a campaign – Thus de-risking the campaign for the creative team who stepped up to deliver something ‘fresh’.
- Refining the design techniques used – Also known as neurodesign, where slight tweaks based on scientific results may yield a better response.
- Enhancing the journey for more engaging experiences – Thus providing more access to customers to engage with more awe-inspiring creations.
Where do I go to get my neuroscience booster?
In summary, neuroscience is a fascinating and complex area that we do our best to explain for the benefit of all. It gives you a better insight into how the brain influences behaviour to create brands, assets, messages and journeys that delight and drive brand loyalty.
If you would like to know more about our neuroscience services, simply fill in our quick contact form.
In part 2 of our series, we looked at how to increase brand loyalty through experience.