The human brain became the focal point of all marketing in 2002 when social experiments became more science-driven by implementing MRI’s, EEG’s and biometrics. This scientific approach to marketing became known as neuromarketing: “the examination of the intersection of consumer behavior and neuroscience to determine how a consumer responds to an ad, brand, or campaign”. The ultimate purpose of advertising is to get consumers to pay attention to your brand. Now, with a neuromarketing approach, marketers are able to narrow consumer behavior to psychological function and understand whether a consumer will pay attention to an ad in the first place.
Now that we understand what neuromarketing is, let’s clearly define what it isn’t. According to the AMA, marketers aren’t able to tap into consumers’ minds and “push the buy button”, nor are they sending consumers subliminal messages. Neuromarketing companies are ultimately trying to narrow down their target market more effectively, so consumers see less ads they don’t care about and more ads that are relevant to them, leading to overall higher conversion rates.
Let’s Talk Ethics
There are mixed opinions about whether or not neuromarketing is deemed ethical advertising. Many people feel that any advertising is ethically moral as long as advertisers are doing so in an honest non-deceptive way. Advertisers should always ask themselves “am I promoting a product or service that is good for the consumer?”
Ultimately, advertising will have limited impact, because as humans, we have the ability to rationalize. Although people will tell you they make decisions rationally, most make decisions based solely on emotions. Consumer purchases such as cars, jewelry and food are often based on irrational components because we buy specific brands established by our emotions. Purchasing a lightbulb because your lamp went out is a rational purchase. While spending half a million dollars on a sports car (no matter how much money you make), is not. Effective advertising is what strengthens consumers’ emotional attachment to a specific brand, enhancing their likelihood of making a purchase.
The end goal of neuromarketing is to eliminate ads in front of the wrong audience by allowing advertisers to make their ads appear only to those who might find it relevant, leaving them with a better ROI. Now with the easily tracked digital footprint, marketers, like ourselves, can give consumers a more personalized experience. While some may disagree, neuromarketing is not a subliminal message, but rather a tool to enhance an ad’s effectiveness in front of the right consumer.
About The PM Group: The PM Group was founded in 1988. Over the past 30 years, the agency has continued to grow and is currently listed as San Antonio’s Largest Advertising Agency by the San Antonio Business Journal. The PM Group’s client roster spans numerous industries including automotive, CPG, entertainment and sports marketing, legal, business services, non-profit, real estate and fitness. In addition, the agency hosts an annual Charity Gala every February that to date has raised over $3 million for local San Antonio area non-profit organizations in the last 15 years! It is our way of giving back to the community that we so humbly serve.