When I submitted my application to complete my marketing major abroad a little over eighteen months ago, I didn’t expect to end up studying one of the industry’s most revolutionary fields of research at a university ranked among the top ten in the world. Yet, in June 2016, I packed my bags and embarked on a nine month exchange semester to Copenhagen Business School. I had a unique opportunity to study neuromarketing research, which until my enrolment, I had never heard of before. Little did I know, this course would lead me to a crossroad between market research and brain science, and ultimately, changed the way I think about thinking.
Neuromarketing research uses the methods and techniques of brain science instead, or in conjunction with, traditional market research. Neuromarketing research has the capacity to reveal consumer responses that occur below the level of conscious awareness – insights previously unimaginable to the typical survey marketer.
The subject, context, budget and desired data will determine the neuromarketer’s research method, but the various techniques generally fall into two categories: approaches that measure responses of the body, and approaches that measure responses of the brain. Eye tracking, electrodermal activity, facial recognition technology and electroencephalography are among the more modern research methodologies, with the later being particularly popular due to its relatively low cost and manageable equipment requirements.
Neuromarketing research data can help us as communicators decipher how emotions and judgement heuristics impact consumer behaviour and the role of nonconscious goals in the decision making process. Neuromarketing insights would dramatically change a company’s research and development, guide sensory marketing campaigns, and measure the emotional responses to the brand necessary to evaluate brand equity. I also learned to identify the judgement heuristics, or mental shortcuts, that facilitate habitual buying behaviour and more importantly, how to disrupt this pattern and build new favourable ones.
Personally, I was drawn to the tangibiltiy of neuromarketing research data. Whether it be brain imaging (fMRI) showing precise spatial acitivity or involuntary micro-muscle movements that are otherwise unobservable to the human eye – neuromarketing research provides an objective, yet fascinating representation on the consumer’s cognitive processing.
I would like to continue my study in this area to encompass communicating for social change, either through advanced study or future employment opportunities. If you have any questions about my experience at Copenhagen Business School or my studies in neuromarketing research, please contact me via email or the social links provided at the bottom of this page.