Last Wednesday, Aurélie and I were exhausted from our previous days (since London we haven’t stopped talking, writing and working), so we decided to buy some easy cooking meals at Delhaize (our closest supermarket – 100 meters) and watch some TV to change our minds while relaxing on the sofa.
We then saw a documentary about the future of advertising on the RTBF (Belgian french speaking public TV station). What kind of publicity will we have in the future?
Then a new concept appeared: NeuroMarketing. I was already familiar about NLP, but I never heard of NeuroMarketing.
So what was all this about? Let me give you a little definition of NeuroMarketing before we continue (source: Wikipedia), or if you prefer you can read one of the ost recent scientific articles about this s:
Neuromarketing is a new field of marketing which uses medical technologies such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to study the brain’s responses to marketing stimuli. Researchers use the fMRI to measure changes in activity in parts of the brain and to learn why consumers make the decisions they do, and what part of the brain is telling them to do it.
Marketing analysts will use neuromarketing to better measure a consumer’s preference, as the verbal response given to the question “Do you like this product?” may not always be the true answer. This knowledge will help marketers create products and services designed more effectively and marketing campaigns focused more on the brain’s response.
Neuromarketing will tell the marketer what the consumer reacts to, whether it was the color of the packaging, the sound the box makes when shaken, or the idea that they will have something their co-consumers do not.
With the advancements of technology it is clear that this kind of technology would arise one day. Watching the documentary, it reminded me of the propaganda methods uses by the Nazis during WW2 that we studied at the University. Propaganda was a way of manipulating the masses to a political purpose. Neuromarketing looks very similar to me, it can be very easily be used as a mean to manipulate consumers. Who is going to use it? The biggest corporations that have the means to study this field and experiment… Dangerous, isn’t it? So for me, the bottom line is that all experiments and findings of NeuroMarketing should be made public and available to everyone. Politicians should also look into this and make laws to prohibit going too far (as it has been done with subliminal advertising).
But thinking about NeuroMarketing I started to wonder about Web Analytics. Is there a difference between NM & WA? Where’s the frontier?
Web Analytics is studying what happens and then optimize based on findings. So Web Analytics is not manipulation but interpretation! For sure some rules need to be set, but I don’t think that we face the same kind of dangers for the general public than with NeuroMarketing.
What makes them different?
Once again I hope that everything around NeuroMarketing will be published and available. But well, I guess that you’re going to think that we all wish peace in the world, or at least in the Middle East… and we get… well you know… What we have.
Food for thought? What do you think?