Firstly within this neuromarketing blog. I want you to think back through the life of your business or your personal sales career...
Have you ever been in a scenario when you felt that you proposed the ideal solution for a client or customer, yet you still lost the deal?
That is okay, because in such a highly competitive marketplace we are constantly battling against competition, thus we learn from our failed acquisitions.
However, selling in the modern world has become even more difficult, this is because...
- Sales cycles tend to become longer
- Customers/clients are increasingly more sophisticated and are bombarded with fresh information from competitors
- Competition is more aggressive
- There is more resistance to traditional closing techniques
Nevertheless, with the understanding and knowledge of neuromarketing, you can enhance the chances to convert a client/customer.
Neuromarketing is a fascinating concept within marketing and consumer behaviour. One that I personally enjoy and relish when enhancing my knowledge.
Researchers have proved that consumers make decisions through an emotional manner rather than justifying them rationally. In addition, as marketers we now known that the consumer decision making process is initiated from the old brain, which doesn't even understand words!
Neuromarketing: Understanding the human brain
Before we discuss the benefits of neuromarketing and why it is helpful for marketing practices. We need to understand the human brain first and foremost.
From my prior research, when we discuss neuromarketing and understanding the human brain. The brain can be segmented into numerous ways as can be seen below:
Major divisions of the human brain and cerebral Cortex
The human spinal cord is connected with the hindbrain where it is the region of the brain which coordinates the process of incoming and outgoing information of the spinal cord.
The hindbrain organises the most indispensable functions of life which include:
- Motor skills
Whereas, within the hindbrain comes three anatomical formations that subsequently make up the hindbrain such as:
- Medulla - is an annexe of the spinal cord into the skull that synchronises heart rate, circulation and respiration
- Cerebellum - manages the fine motor skills whilst also coordinating the appropiate chain of movements of fundamental motor skills
- Pons - a structure that conveys information from the cerebellum to the majority of the brain. It fundamentally acts as a 'relay station' or connection between the cerebellum and alternative structures of the brain
The Midbrain is positioned on top of the Hindbrain. The Midbrain is somewhat petite in humans. However, it is the host to two main structures such as:
- Tectum - Familiarises the human being with its external milieu. The Tectum collects stimulus contribution from the eyes, ears, and skin and moves the organism in a harmonised style towards the stimulus
- Tegmentum - This structure is concerned in association and excitement, and also assists to acquaint an organism in the direction of sensory stimuli. Whilst on the other hand, fractions are caught up in gratification seeking and inspiration
The uppermost echelon of the brain - factually and metaphorically. The Forebrain controls complicated cognitive, emotional, sensory and motor tasks which are alienated into two main sectors. The Cerebral cortex and the Subcortical structure.
- Cerebral cortex - is the remotest sheet of the brain, perceptible to the exposed and naked eye. Whilst being separated into two hemispheres
- Subcortical structure - This region of the Forebrain plays host to the Thalamus, Hypothalamus, Pituitary gland, Limbic system and the Basal ganglia. These structures participate a significant responsibility in relaying information right through the brain, as well as performing definite tasks that allow humans to think, feel and behave
The four lobes of the human brain
The Frontal lobe tends to be involved in engaging with working memory, decision making, and motor behaviour whilst being the control centre for the individual's personality. The right hemisphere of this lobe is responsible for the left side of the human whereas the left hemisphere controls the alternative.
The Occipital lobe can be found residing in the rear of the cerebellum. However, similarly to the other lobes it lacks any clear boundaries separating it from the other lobes.
The Occiptial lobe is tasked with being responsible as the processing centre for visuals as within this lobe in the cerebral cortex, it is the host of the visual cortex.
This lingual gyrus is an imperative structure to the Occipital lobe as it receives the stimuli from the contralateral inferior retina to gain an understanding in regard to the field of vision.
The Temporal lobe sits in the medial part of the cerebellum covering the right and left hemispheres. The Temporal lobe is imperative for processing auditory stimuli and storing visual memories.
The Temporal lobe supports the Occipital lobe in regard to vision as part of its function is to recognise objects.
For the vision to make sense to the user, the Temporal lobe aids the the understanding of what is being seen.
Therefore, it can be concluded that this region of the brain works conjointly with the process of vision within the Occipital lobe.
The Parietal lobe is the processing centre for the sensory receptors that have been aforementioned: taste, touch and temperature.
It is situated top and centre of the cerebellum with the Parieto-occipito sulcus that detaches it from the Frontal lobe, and the lateral sulcus divides it from the Temporal lobe.
The Triune Brain
In the 1960s, an American neuroscientist named Paul MacLean formulated the 'Triune Brain' model through subsequent research. The Triune Brain is based on the division of the human brain into three distinct regions.
The Triune Brain model suggests the human brain is organised into a hierarchy, which itself is based on an evolutionary view of brain development. The three regions are as follows:
- Reptilian or Primal Brain (Basal Ganglia)
- Paleomammalian or Emotional Brain (Limbic System)
- Neomammalian or Rational Brain (Neocortex)
According to MacLean's research, the hierarchical organisation of the human brain represents the gradual acquisition of the brain structures through evolution.
The triune brain model suggests the basal ganglia was acquired first, which is thought to be in charge of our primal instincts, followed by the limbic system, which is in charge of our emotions or affective system, then the neocortex, which is thought to be responsible for rational or objective thought.
MacLean's model claims that activity in the three brain regions (basal ganglia, limbic system, and neocortex) is largely distinct when we are engaged in each of the mental activities outlined above.
For example, when we are in danger and must respond quickly, as an act of self-preservation, the reptilian structure is aroused, preparing us for action by initiating the release of chemicals throughout the body. When we are watching a shocking news story or receive an upsetting message, the limbic system is stimulated and, again, chemicals are released, which create our experience of emotions.
Finally, when we are making decisions, solving problems or reasoning, the neocortex is engaged, without the involvement of the other brain structures.
Modern advances in brain-imaging have shown various regions of the brain are active during primal, emotional and rational experiences. These findings have led to the rejection of MacLean's notion of a triune brain in neuroscience.
However, while this model is undoubtedly an oversimplification, the concept of a triune brain provides us with a useful way of assessing human analysis of sensory information, in addition to the relationship between the structure and functions of the human brain.
Utilising neuromarketing as a tool for SMEs and startups
Previously in marketing, before content and social media marketing, you may have had your marketing budget increased in order to purchase more ads, sponsor additional events, or throw your logo on a bus stop.
Nevertheless in today’s world, the biggest challenge for marketers is getting better results while spending less money.
How can we solve for this challenge? Neuromarketing.
Through the implementation of neuromarketing, you can rethink your marketing strategies and create smarter marketing that will boost the effectiveness of your efforts.
The goal of it is to understand how your customer’s brain actually works and what affects your marketing will have on the population of consumers.
There are three fundamental methods of tracking your customers’ brain activity each with their own advantages and disadvantages: functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG) and eye-tracking.
Utilising fMRI involves using a powerful magnet to track the brain’s blood flow as subjects respond to audio and visual cues. This allows researchers to access a deep part of the brain known as the “pleasure centre” and lets marketers know how people are really responding to their work.
The main disadvantage of fMRI is its price tag and inconvenience. Equipment is very expensive to operate (up to $1,000 per machine per hour) and subjects must lie completely still in a large machine.
EEG, on the other hand, is much cheaper than fMRI and by using a cap of electrodes attached to the sample’s scalp, it also allows for movement.
These electrodes measure electrical waves produced by the brain and allow researchers to track instinctual emotions such as anger, excitement, sorrow, and lust through fluctuations of activity.
However, unlike fMRI, EEG does not grant access to deep parts of the brain where the “pleasure center” is located.
Eye-tracking research can be conducted in two ways 1. portable 'spy-glasses' or 2. static research where the participant is shown visual stimuli through a computer in a pseudorandom manner.
Neuromarketing has been around for roughly a decade, and only seems to be growing in popularity.Despite its skeptics and naysayers, major corporations have used this technology when designing their products, packaging, and advertising campaigns.
Why invest in neuromarketing?
In summary, neuromarketing as it is a relatively contemporary marvel is an expensive tool for marketers and businesses.
However, it is a great method to truly understand your consumers and can give you an insight on how to increase your sales.
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