TNN | Posted July 25, 2023 01:41 PM
Today, there are numerous products available for customers to select from, whether they are using a physical store or an online shopping platform. Almost every product or brand has its own USP, packaging, colour combinations, and more as marketing tactics, which they use to market themselves to the customers in a unique manner. Brands find it increasingly challenging to engage consumers as their attention spans (of the order of seconds) are dwindling at an accelerated rate. With so many choices, making a purchasing decision in such circumstances becomes very fast not explicitly thought of, and it allows marketers to trick them into believing they must make a decision when none is required.
Professor Gerald Zaltman, at Harvard Business School, claims that subconscious thought processes account for 95% of our purchase decisions. As consumers' purchasing decisions are now subconsciously influenced, it has become imperative for marketers to use implicit research methodologies in addition to traditional research to understand consumer preferences. As a result, a new field known as neuro-marketing has emerged, which could help to access consumers’ non-conscious preferences quantitatively and reliably.
Significance in domestic and international markets
What: The application of neurological and cognitive science to marketing strategies is known as "neuro-marketing." In contrast to qualitative surveys, it studies how our brains react to stimuli.
Why: The main objective of marketing is to change a user's behaviour, and neuro-marketing offers the most direct route to doing so. Focusing on behavioural sciences allows one to spot automatic responses, which helps marketers comprehend their target market more effectively.
How: Neuro-marketing is typically carried out through physiological trackings, such as eye movement measurements, facial coding, body temperature and heart rate measurements, or brain scanning using FMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) or EEG (electroencephalogram) technology.
The field first emerged in 2002 as an unconventional marketing method. However, after being popularised by Roger Dooley and accepted by the Neuro-marketing Science & Business Association (NMBSA) as a vertical in 2012, its usage only surged among organisations. Since then, neuro-marketing has continuously gained significance in domestic and international markets, and as a result, new career avenues are opening.
Neuro-marketing is a multidisciplinary field that integrates several disciplines, including psychology, marketing, neuroscience, and market research. Therefore, knowing what to study while majoring in neuro-marketing is crucial due to the variety of programme options. To enter this career, students can attend programmes that are available for marketers, researchers, and anyone else interested in delving deeper into the world of consumers.
Although working for a neuro-marketing consultancy firm is the expected career path, many people choose to work for brand marketing intelligence departments or conventional market research firms. However, three domains in neuro-marketing can be pursued: careers in science, marketing, or data. With the right education and experience, one can pursue a wide range of lucrative careers in these fields, including those of marketing research analyst, research and development coordinator, and neuro-marketing researcher, among many others.
Given its large potential, Joe Willke, president, consumer neurosciences, Nielsen, said that India is currently one of the top five markets in the world adopting market research based on neuroscience. Additionally, he stated that businesses are increasingly combining traditional research with neuroscience research for marketing purposes.
New and interesting field
As neuro-marketing becomes more commonplace in businesses and revolutionises marketing strategies, there is a demand for people with multidisciplinary skill sets who can comprehend customers. As new studies of the brain emerge, new domains will open up in this field. With constant growth and innovations, the neuro-marketing market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 8.9% and reach USD 21,218 million by 2030, according to a report by Straits Research.
The study of neuro-marketing and its relevance to the Indian context is still in its infancy. However, there are numerous opportunities for those who can use these modern tools to overcome organisational challenges. Therefore, it can be a lucrative career choice for Indians who want to grow in a new and interesting field of marketing.
(The author is dean, Corporate Relations, FORE School of Management)