Traditional vs Neuro marketing: an insight from Europe’s leading expert


Dr. Benny B. Briesemeister, one of Europe's leading Neuromarketing expertsDr. Benny B. Briesemeister is Grey Sphere’s Neuro Marketing Associate. Awarded the NMSBA NeuroTalent of the Year 2015, Dr. Briesemeister has devoted his career to obtaining a deeper understanding of the physiological processes that underlie decision making – especially shopping decisions, and especially those at the point of sale. He has conducted numerous studies, both in physical and digital stores, answering both academic and applied research questions. As founder and CEO of Neurospective, a neuroscience marketing research and consulting agency, he works with major companies globally.

He also founded the most successful German neuromarketing blog to date; discover-neuro.de, and his recent book “Die Neuro-Perspektive: Neurowissenschaftliche Antworten auf die wichtigsten Marketingfragen” which provides answers to the central questions and challenges in marketing with a new, practice-oriented approach to solutions, combining classic marketing practice with a neuroscientific perspective.purchase decisions

What drives the customer’s buy decision?

We are brought up to believe that we are logical beings that use the power of our intellect to figure out the best deal, that we carefully weigh the pros and cons before coming to a conclusion. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth, scientific evidence shows that we are basically feeling beings who think, not the other way around i.e. that we decide first based on the outcome of our subconscious information processing, following which we rationalise with our conscious faculties.

The impact of this notion is groundbreaking for a person whose purpose it is to encourage the customer to pick one brand over another. Dr. Briesemeister shares with us some of his basic tenets and findings surrounding the new and exciting field of neuro marketing.

What is Neuro Marketing?

Dr. Benny B. Briesemeister: To put it simply, neuromarketing is the inclusion of neuroscience methods and insights into marketing and marketing research. For example, when going through a supermarket, there are many instore elements, that capture the customer’s attention and try to persuade him or her to buy the presented products. But are they really effective? In fact, most so-called sales-drivers at the point of sale are surprisingly often overlooked. Neuroscience provides the means to a) investigate where the customer journey through retail stores or websites is effective/ineffective, and b) understand how it can be optimised to suit their needs and expectations.

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How does it compare to traditional marketing?

Dr. Benny B. Briesemeister: well consider this example, we know based on neuroscientific research that people do not need to consciously focus on an ad for it to have an impact. Even if we are distracted, the human brain processes almost all the information that is accessible to it without our conscious intervention within a fraction of a second and then makes decisions based on this information. It is therefore no wonder that traditional marketing research sometimes reaches its limits. How should a consumer, in his opinion, ask for some information that he is not aware of?

Since understanding the consumer’s brain is at the heart of your research and practice; in your opinion, what is the most important thing for marketers and sales people to know about their customers and why?

Dr. Benny B. Briesemeister: The most important insight from neuromarketing studies is that decision making, not only in business contexts, is based on emotion. Shoppers, therefore, have great difficulties to talk about the real reasons why they bought what they bought and whether they would buy what they see. This is where the neuroscience approach has proven to provide the missing piece of the puzzle. Neuromarketing can show how to engage the consumer, how to surprise him and to engage him emotionally, which is the core of a successful business relationship. When we talk about marketing management, we talk about communication management. What messages must be sent in order for a product to find its buyer? Which target group is addressed by the product, what needs does this target group have and how can they be best met and satisfied? For which values ​​does my brand have to stand, in order to distinguish itself from the competition? When answering all these questions, marketing always works best when it responds to the consumer’s emotions – and this does not mean smiling faces and cute babies. Strong brands address and satisfy evolutionary biologically anchored behavioral patterns – precisely when the customer expects them.

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An insight into his methodology

Dr. Briesemeister goes on to explain how he works by supplementing classical surveys with established neuroscientific procedures in order to arrive at a completely new view of the customer brain. Many of the processes that are important for marketing, such as the attentive information processing of the consumer, the storage of memory contents and the necessary motivation to make a decision about the product, the service or the advertising measures can be measured reliably and in real time, according to Dr Briesemeister. He works within the framework of an A / B test, where a reliable neuroscientific methodology is used to check which of the tested alternatives best addresses the needs of the client’s target group. Here the client will get everything they need to make an informed decision: the customers’ opinions, key figures on the decision-making process, and action needed.

How important is Neuroscience for business today and will the application of it to business increase in future?

Dr. Benny B. Briesemeister: Most of the leading companies in the world, if not all, work together with neuromarketing vendors and consultants to improve their businesses. Even though most of these operations are done outside the public eye: As soon as a business reaches a certain size, chances are high that neuromarketing is involved. So neuromarketing already is very important for marketing, sales and business development. International studies have also shown that neuroscientific marketing research allows for better prediction of real market figures than established procedures – despite smaller sample sizes and therefore comparable costs. In addition, current developments indicate that neuroscience can also add to other fields, such as finance, security, HR, and so on. So yes, it is very likely that it will also increase.

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Do you want to find out what drives your potential customer? How he/she makes choices? Find out more here.