Brain science is changing how business managers handle marketing.

Chalkboard with the word 'Neuromarketing' written on it.In their quest to sell as many products as possible, marketers have always tried to see into customers’ minds. But now they can literally see into people’s brains.

It’s called neuromarketing and it’s an increasingly popular method for testing new products and determining consumer tastes. If you’re in business management—or are considering going through management training to become a manager—you should have a good understanding of how neuromarketing works. It could help you lead your business to greater success.

What Is Neuromarketing?

Neuromarketing uses brain-scanning technology—such as MRIs and electroencephalography (EEG)—to observe how people’s brains respond to a specific ad, packaging design, product design, etc. Marketers take the results of the scans and use them to create marketing consumers will find more appealing or motivating. Typically, marketers hire neurologists or other scientists to help conduct and interpret the tests. As such, neuromarketing is at the intersection of commerce and science.

How Is Neuromarketing Used?

Over the past decade, neuromarketing has been used by many top companies seeking new insights into what consumers want and don’t want. Here are a few ways neuromarketing is being used:

  • Testing Ads: Major ad campaigns don’t reach the consumer until after they complete focus group testing. Now, some marketers are using neuro-scanning to add a second level of scrutiny. When people’s brains are scanned while being shown an ad, scientists can see what parts of each person’s brain “light up” with activity, revealing whether the person is pleased, upset, excited, bored, etc. This can give a more accurate reading of how people are responding to an ad than simply relying on focus groups.
  • Optimizing Design: Prior to neuromarketing, most designers followed standard design principles and assumed that was good enough. But with neuro-scanning technology, designers can learn exactly where a consumer’s gaze is falling on any particular design. This has helped marketers better lay out print ads and websites to ensure consumers’ gazes are falling on the most important information first.
  • Improving Packaging: Neuromarketing can help marketers determine the appeal of a product’s packaging before it even hits the shelves. One famous case of this involves Frito-Lay.1 When the company wanted to improve sales among women, they learned that many women didn’t buy potato chips because they felt guilty. But through the power of neuromarketing, the company discovered that packaging that used softer colors and pictures of the ingredients in the chips lessoned the sense of guilt. Frito-Lay used the results to redo the packaging for most of their product line.
  • Choosing the Perfect Color: Neuroscience tells us that colors are deeply tied to our emotions. Experts in marketing have taken this research and refined it for the purpose of attracting the right consumer to the right product. For example, cold, dark colors (violet, navy, etc.) connote stability and quality and are good for automotive companies and government agencies. On the other hand, cold, bright colors (silver, turquoise, etc.) connote modernity and professionalism and are good for health and cosmetic products.2
  • Product Placement: We want choice, right? Well, neuroscientists have learned that when we’re presented with a lot of choices, we often opt to make no choice at all.3 This discovery has helped stores and marketers better engineer displays so that consumers stop and look rather than become overwhelmed by the options and move on.

How Can You Learn to Apply Neuromarketing to Your Business

As neuromarketing has gained prominence, many of the best business schools, top MBA programs, and top DBA programs have incorporated neuromarketing coursework into their curriculum. Earning an advanced business degree or management degree is one way you can learn how to apply neuromarketing—and many other proven techniques—to the management of your business.

In particular, you should consider earning a Master of Business Administration (MBA degree) or a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA degree). Not only can a master’s of business administration or a doctorate in business help you gain expert management skills, both of these business administration degrees can be earned online. That means, instead of having to attend classes on a campus and at specific times, you can earn your master’s or doctorate in a much more convenient format.

Both online MBA and online DBA programs will let you complete the majority of your coursework from home. Plus, online MBA programs and online DBA programs provide excellent flexibility, allowing you to schedule your studies for the time of day that works best for you. These advantages have made online graduate degree programs popular among working adults. With an MBA online program or an online DBA degree program, you can improve your understanding of topics such as neuromarketing that can help you lead your business to success.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering online Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Business Administration degree programs. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


1 Source: www.nytimes.com/2009/02/25/business/media/25adco.html
2 Source: www.maistro.com/blogs/impact-colour-advertising-marketing-design
3 Source: www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/your-money/27shortcuts.html?_r=0%20

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.