One thing I learned on a recent trip to Istanbul is that females notice toilets. No, really, they do, and they don’t find them romantic, who’d have thought it. I’m not sure if men find them romantic or not because they simply don’t notice them. Typical.
As introductions to cutting edge market research go it was a memorable example and a great introduction to the science of how people think and how they emote, and for once I use the word science in relation to marketing correctly.
Neuromarketing, as the name suggests, is the study of how the brain reacts to certain marketing stimuli. Science understands that certain parts of your brain control different parts of you, from motor skills to language to emotions and so on. Neuromarketing measures your response to various events. We were shown a couple of actual studies, the first one was a product design for a tin of soup. On a shelf that tin has to work hard, very hard, to get picked up. It is surrounded by similar products, some literally almost identical, so the design of the label on the tin is vital. The initial design looked fine, but when tested using Neuromarketing many flaws were discovered. A new design evolved, a better design and one that has proved very successful since launch.
The second example was a print advertisement. It was a standard generic shampoo ad for a large multinational brand. The sensors monitored where people looked on the ad and, unfortunately for the brand, they didn’t look at the product. The solution though was actually quite simple. The ad featured the face (and hair) of a beautiful woman looking directly at the reader. One subtle change later and the campaign was saved; have the woman look at the product, not the reader. It sounds simple but conventional testing didn’t pick this up, mainly because the consumer wasn’t actually aware they were doing it in the first place.
So much of what we do is instinctive, we react to certain things without thought, we make certain snap judgments based on a feeling inside our heads a feeling that we’d often struggle to recognise far less articulate.
Neuromarketing is still expensive, but not prohibitively so if the campaign requires it. There aren’t that many practitioners of it either yet so it is still quite rare. We were given our introduction to Neuromarketing by Ana Iorga, of Lemon Studio  a qualified doctor and a professional marketer Ana is uniquely placed to develop this field. And develop it most certainly will. Whilst the sensory headgear you need to wear looks like it came from a bad 60s sci-fi movie the technology and, more importantly, the understanding of the results is improving all the time and it is only a matter of time before most campaigns will go through some sort of Neuromarket testing initially.
If you’d like to know a bit more about Neuromarketing this You Tube video from the author of ‘Buy.ology’ is a good start . Alternatively we’d be happy to spend 45 minutes running through this in a bit more detail.
And if you are wondering about the toilet I mentioned earlier it appeared in an emotionally charged scene in a recent James Bond film. When asked, after the viewing, what part of the scene they hadn’t liked, most of the respondents didn’t mention the toilet, but their subconscious told a different story.
But then we already know that many people think one thing  but say another!