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Neuromarketing research continues

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Thursday February 4, 2010 )

Back in 2008, I wrote about an emerging technique called neurologically optimal advertising. 2 years later, it’s still being developed and is now more widely known as neuromarketing.

If you are paranoid, read no further :).

In 2008, researchers were tinkering with a combination of eye-tracking, galvanic skin response (GSR) and electro-encephalograms to gauge response to ads. Today, it’s still being tweaked with various levels of success so far.

According to a very interesting article on MarketingVox, hooking people up to various gadgets including MRI’s is great for determining what triggers fear and anxiety, but it’s not so good on determining how to enhance an advertisement’s effectiveness.

Neuromarketing technology isn’t being explored by fringe companies dabbling in the bleeding edge of advertising either; big names such as Yahoo! and Microsoft are reported to have given it a whirl as well.

It seems that 85% purchase decisions are made at the non-conscious level, but traditional marketing analysis depends upon research that focuses on the cognitive 15%. If that is true, it’s easy to understand why neuromarketing is capturing attention and dollars.

Says CEO for advertising and marketing agency Bark, Anders Hageskov:

“With this advanced neurotechnology, we are leveraging science to target the emotional reactions that advertisers wish to arise in their consumers.”

Much of marketing has to do with exploiting fears, hopes and dreams of people already I feel. I’m guilty of manipulating those emotions as much as anyone, but there’s an ethical dilemma here – should there be some limits in how far we can go in order to sell people stuff?

Or probably a better question to ask – and perhaps not really one suited to this blog – would having such powerful tools improve humanity or send it flying headlong into self destruction (even faster)?


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