Why the Marketer should meet the Neuroscientist

Today’s marketer can learn a lot from neuroscience. There is significant body of scientific evidence that conclusively reveals how the mind works. The key finding in all of this evidence is the role played by emotions in prioritizing reasons and behavioral choices. This activity happens in the pre-frontal cortex where emotions, reasons and decision choices come together. This scientific discovery has a profound effect on marketing. No longer do we as marketers need to look at emotional and rational separately. We now need to look at them together, understanding that they commingle to arrive at a decision, which is how behavior happens.

If the goal of most marketing programs is to affect behavior then these new scientific findings are critical to marketing success. They will be instrumental in helping most marketers adopt a new way of positioning their products and building messages that will cause the right behavior among prospects and customers.

It started with Dr. Antonio Damasio in the mid 90’s and was furthered by Dr. Walter Freeman in the early part of this decade. His book entitled “How Brains Make Up Their Minds” is a pivotal review of his 40 plus years of research on this topic. The results are conclusive. If you want to affect behavior you need to understand what reasons are most emotional to your prospects and customers. While certain issues are more intensely emotional for some groups versus others, make no mistake emotion plays a role for everyone when a decision is being considered.

The key is recognizing that emotions and thoughts are integrated. Emotions provide the direction and intensity, and thoughts provide the reasons to make a choice. If these two dimensions (emotional and rational) are not understood together as an interdependent unit then marketers are missing the key to fulfilling the mind of the audience (we provide this through our Emotion Drivers® service).

Obviously, savvy marketers since the beginning of time have been effectively manipulating the emotions of customers, but in most cases this activity has been more luck than science.

Historically it has been difficult for marketers to look at emotional and rational drivers as one unit. As a result they have had to rely on blunt instruments and in most cases looked at the two separately leading to a less than precise view of the “mind of the market”.

Brain Surgery created the methodology based on the latest findings from neuroscience with the intent to rigorously measure the emotional intensities associated with cognitions. This method has proven to be predictive, and has been used in 29 countries among a variety of audiences. It delivers data that has helped marketers fulfill their audiences through an understanding of how the pre-frontal cortex works and how emotions affect reasons to cause behavior.

In market research terminology, our emotion-based survey allows qualitative insights (reviewed by in country psychologists) with quantitative accuracy (3 measures of predictive validity). Our insights are consistent with how brains process real-world stimuli. These findings are then applied to positioning and messaging strategies. Because of the many Neuroscience breakthroughs, a marketer can now understand how to optimize brand performance.