The Importance of Neuromarketing––and Why Brands Should Challenge It
Getting consumers to remember ads long-term is good, but it’s not the ultimate goal.
One litmus test for whether advertising is effective is if consumers recognize the ad years down the line––and associate it with the correct brand. For centuries, transforming information into an impactful message has been a central focus of human psychology. Now, a neuromarketing study conducted by Neuro-Insight and commissioned by ThinkBox takes a closer look at how TV advertising influences our ability to remember marketing.
First, though, you might be wondering: what exactly is neuromarketing? Many marketing strategies use cut-and-dry data (quantitative surveys, for example) to determine how a message will be transmitted. This inherently takes on an emotional slant. Neuromarketing, on the other hand, analyzes whether communication is imprinted on the brain in a more permanent way, placing focus instead on the scientific aspects of advertising.
Findings from the study suggest that ads rooted in scientific or mathematically based data are not as readily remembered as ads that are humorous or have an emotional twist. These types of ads are much more often implanted in the long-term memory. Storytelling is another key element. An ad that blends product with a “plot,” a storyline, and unexpected highs and lows is more likely to remembered.
Additionally, the study showed, the end of an ad matters. If there’s a “reveal” or some sort of surprise turn of events, the long-term memory is more engaged.
One ad ingredient that doesn’t necessarily impact memorization? The use of celebrities throughout the spot. That said, when a celebrity shows up at the end of an ad encouraging the consumer to do something (go to a store, go online or order the product now), the rate of memorization goes up by a full 13 percent.
While neuromarketing offers an important glimpse into the effectiveness of ads, it’s not a one-size-fits-all panacea, nor does long-term memory of an ad guarantee better sales. Consumers buy products, not marketing, and they’re probably more likely to remember details about the product itself rather than which song was used or even the brand name.
Consumers also buy different things for different reasons, whether it’s a utilitarian, function-based purchase, or for a more emotional, romantic reason. In the end, a blanket approach to marketing would do a disservice to both marketers and consumers.