Neuromarketing: The Future of Advertising?

By: Shayna Herszage  |  May 23, 2021
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By Shayna Herszage, Managing Editor

When you are watching a commercial that elicits an emotional response, your focus is hardly on the biological responses happening within your body. However, when viewing an emotionally significant stimulus, many biomarkers, such as changes in skin conductance and heart rate, are present. With the necessary neurological and biological assessment tools, these biomarkers help companies and entertainment platforms to improve their marketing techniques.

Neuromarketing, a term coined in 2002, is the application of neuroscience to the world of marketing. With these assessment tools, advertisers are able to understand the internal responses of consumers and, as a result, are able to capitalize on the responses that will result in an increased number of consumers.

One highly effective assessment tool is eye tracking, in which a sensor analyzes where a person’s gaze is focused when looking at visual stimuli. Eye tracking developers such as iMotions have contributed to deeper understandings of various aspects of marketing strategies by analyzing what a viewer sees, focuses on, and remembers when shown visual stimuli..

For example, in one study, participants were shown an advertisement with a picture of a baby beside a few sentences of details about a product. Some participants saw an advertisement featuring a baby turning to gaze at the words, whereas other participants saw an advertisement featuring a baby facing the viewer directly. The eye tracking component of the study helped the researchers to determine that, when the baby was facing the viewer, the viewer did not look at the informational sentences as much as when the baby was facing the sentences. As such, the viewer-facing baby distracted the viewer too much, rendering the advertisement less effective than the advertisement with the sentences-facing baby. By analyzing where the viewer’s gaze is most focused, researchers and marketers alike are able to find empirical indications of which advertisements are effective and which are too distracting.

With the introduction of neuroscientific and biological assessment tools to marketing, the field has the capability to take on a scientific component that may greatly improve marketing strategies. While the technology is still improving in its accuracy and the ethics of the field are heavily contested, one thing is certain: the development of neuromarketing is a significant step in the world of marketing — one that could change the game entirely for advertisers and their platforms.

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