Friday, 21 November 2014

Wandering Eyes

As marketers, our greatest goal will always be to find out why consumers do what they do; be it to purchase a certain item, chose to support a certain brand or not do either at all. Sure, every business keeps track of their sales, products and loyalty members, etc. But, analysing that data only gives us basic trends which simply aren’t enough to tell us what makes you tick. That’s why we now have ‘neuromarketing’ or ‘consumer neuroscience.’ With the perfect combination of neuroscience, marketing, advertising and psychology, marketers and scientists are getting closer to understanding why we are attracted to the things we buy and what it takes for us to make them even more attractive moving forward. You can find a good example in the video below by Seren (London) featuring both Apple and Samsung:

Specifically, neuroscience can help us understand the decision making pathways in the brain in addition to the parts of the brain that register pleasure (an indication of attractiveness). Once scientists can trace the keys to activating certain parts of the brain, typically based on eye movement data made across ads or other materials, marketers can implement the knowledge into new ads to make them the most pleasing and engaging they possibly can be. If you notice in the picture below, your eyes will tend to scan the website page for key information first, such as titles, pictures and copyright information. They will also tend to come back to those critical points in order to make sense of the information over all. This is interesting because it helps website designers, for example, to determine the best layout that makes the scanning process the easiest on your eyes and the most engaging.


One key attribute of combining neuroscience with marketing is that when it comes to advertising, you’re ultimately trying to moderate someone’s behaviour without telling them they have to do something. See, marketers are a little bit more clever than that; they want you to ‘want to do’ the activity they have to share. As we similarly learned throughout our Marketing Communications course with  industry professional, Kate Charlton, you have to understand your target audience so well that you can predict their behaviour. And lucky for us, ‘neuromarketing’ allows for a better understanding of the human brain and behaviour - which then makes me extremely grateful for my psychology and neuroscience background.

Christine Drpich
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

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