People are creatures of habit for a reason. They buy things in a fairly predictable manner, based on the emotional pitter-patter of chemicals, neurons and hormones that slide through the grey matter in their skulls. Scientists have known and understood this for decades. Marketers have too, just not as well as their white-jacketed counterparts. However, with the recent creation of neuromarketing, a science that’s more marketing than medically oriented, the key to understanding consumer behavior is within our grasp. Roberto Álvarez, a researcher from the IE Business School, defines it as “the fusion of knowledge of neuroscience, economics and marketing.” In other words, neuromarketing is the science of how people think, act and behave, and most importantly, what makes them spend money. Since 95 percent of the decisions people make are emotional, it just makes sense from a marketing viewpoint to understand and use that information. The potential economic payoff is, well, incredible.
Neuromarketing the science is new, but being persuasive is not. In fact, everyone (you included) uses it all the time. The next time you are at a diner and ask for a cup of coffee (and get it), you just used persuasion to make the waiter get it for you. You gave a directive and you imply a reward will occur if he complies—you will pay the check and give him a tip.
So while the ability to persuade is ingrained in the fabric of humanity, the recognition of it as a legitimate marketing method is new. It is kind of strange when you think about how long it's taken to make neuromarketing a recognized science when we’ve known people can be influenced by the right combination of marketing practices. But perhaps the lesson here is to make the use of Neuromarketing a conscious practice and to learn why some things work and others don’t. Understand why you’re doing what you do and why it works. By making yourself aware of how and why certain actions will consistently bring certain results, you can optimize your marketing. You may be pleasantly surprised at the difference one well placed word can have.
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