Customer’s Mind – Who knows it best?


I am an intuitive person. Most of my life’s major decisions were based on intuition. 

Though I apply intuition at work too, I spend some extra time to validate my intuition with data. They translate into insights. That just helps me make more informed and consensual decisions. But with impulsive purchases, I don’t go through this cycle of the deliberate thinking process. 

Jessica Bowler’s quoted, “Humans are emotional; first, we buy because of the way we feel and then (misleadingly) justify the reason with logic.”

This is true with most of you and your customers too. 

Customers don’t always tell you why they made a purchase — not because they don’t tell the truth, but because they don’t know, why?!

Reading a customer’s mind remains the marketer’s responsibility. It is left to them to somehow know what the consumer thinks and wants. 

Neuromarketing has been able to read purchase patterns

Impulsive purchase decisions are mostly felt to be intuitive.

Intuitive or not, the thought process and determinants of a purchase decision are sometimes apparent and conscious, while at other times they are hidden and subconscious.

Neuromarketing takes the aid of some tools and mechanisms in neuroscience to tap the subconscious mind of a consumer. The insights from such research empowers a marketer to make better decisions that will help in pruning channel costs, employing resources only for aspects that lead to a sale, and discovering purchase patterns.

With neuromarketing, attribution to the money spent on subjective matters like branding will no longer be wild guesses. Inputs need not be based on sentiment and superficial scoring tools. 

Though with digital media, big data, and better attribution tools, marketers are able to study online consumer behavior better, neuromarketing has been able to help with insights about a customer in the offline realm too. 

I’m referring to sectors like retail, politics, and other murky marshlands that look like a distant dream to an attribution obsessed marketer. Here are some interesting stories.

  • In a retail store, using brain signals researchers were able to predict which option the consumers would choose seven seconds before they consciously made their decision.
  • Our brain apparently is looking for something simple, and it’s happiest when it finds what it’s looking for. Visual clutter really does matter. Don’t frustrate the brain while organizing shelves.
  • There was another experiment that measured heart rate, breathing, how much they sweat and motion responses – as well as what they focused on using eye-tracking technology. Using the results, researchers could predict box office hits.

An Honest Opinion

By now, you would have guessed that neuromarketing as a research process requires you to spend a great amount of your marketing budget into it. Until now, neuromarketing agencies have some of the larger business behemoths on their client list. For these large companies, neuromarketing is a good solution to save a few millions of dollars. 

It is expensive (though relative), hence, when should you deploy?

It is best to add neuromarketing to your marketing mix when you have figured out the cost formula and its relationship with revenues across all channels and when you are trying to optimize cost and time by perfecting the purchase process.

– Nischala Agnihotri

On the brighter side, the good news for startups is that, with micro-mini budgets, they can simply apply published neuromarketing insights to their marketing work. Although, this may involve customization and further experimentation. 

I will soon be addressing the next most obvious question — How to use neuromarketing for your business?

Sources and References:

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