Coursera – An Introduction to Consumer Neuroscience & Neuromarketing

neuromarketingVery interesting introductory course!  The course has just enough deep explanations of the brain structures not to intimidate an average marketer, and plenty of curious examples of experiments.  Discussion about ethics of neuromarketing is also fascinating – this subject is still little known even in the marketing industry.

Consumer neuroscience is located in the middle of the intersection of Neuroscience, Economics, and Psychology. It is interesting to see other new development in the field – behavioral economics in a relatively close proximity.  As the field is increasing in popularity, more interesting subjects will probably populate the triangle in the future.


Thought marketers know that people are influenced by advertising, if we ask consumers, they will typically say “non, I am not influenced by advertisement…” The example below shows eye tracking related to a specific product.  control group have not been exposed to the advertisement and the test group was.


Test group also bought more product.  However, everybody in the test group said that the advertisement had not effect on them 🙂

Neurovision – a tool allowing to determine what people will see automatically, without trying to pay attention to anything specific.  The tool is 85% accurate; based on science and validated eye tracking. Relatively inexpensive, DIY tool.



Linking… is stronger for simple positive association compared to factual association


How do people look at the financial reports when they evaluate companies?  People state that they look at the bottom – revenue numbers.  However, the eye-tracking study indicates that they are looking at key profit numbers more 🙂


Eye-tracking experiment showed that when people are asked to look at the abstract art, they will be distracted by pictures of food (more if they are hungry).  However, the images of high-calorie food are very tempting, but the healthy food not so much.



Typical approach: a problem > a resolution > brand exposure

This approach might be not the most effective as from the perspective of the human brain, the resolution might signify a “conceptual closure;” or “mental door” from one memory “room” to another.

Ad below was analyzed in its impact on memory formation.  At the point of the transition to the product (screen turns white) – neuro-scientists saw a dramatic drop in memory encoding.  “…It was classic conceptual closure…”  The ad was very popular, but sales went down for Avian brand that year and the brand lost market share.

If the popularity of viral video could result in any behavior changes, it would be reasonable to expect an increase of the interest to the brand, and the drop in market share would probably not happen…

Memory encoding for advertisement depends on the environment where the advertisement appears.  If a high-level emotional ad appears in the TV program where people are expected to pay attention to details the impact will be less compared to a situation where the ad matches the environment.

journalExcellent class – highly recommend for any marketer!


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