Armchair neuroscience enthusiast that I am (is there anything as fascinating as the way our brain works?), I was greatly looking forward to the Big Brother in Your Brain: Neuroscience & Marketing. I left with interesting and actionable tidbits to consider implementing in my own marketing plans and some overall cool brain candy.
The information was interesting and right on my admittedly incredibly low level of understanding (still not completely in touch with the scholarly scientific vernacular yet) – but I definitely noted some very interesting creative / scientific tension from the audience and even between panelists. Always makes for a lively panel
All in all a great panel – it started off slow and I briefly considered jumping ship
given the awkward question and response flow that I felt was limiting
some great free flowing, but am hugely glad I stayed. Dr. Pradeep (who
was what really kicked off the panel – he had a fantastically bumpin' Neurofocus video – see below – and an engaging presence) and Roger Dooley really made it for me – great information
and very easily digestible to fiercely curious newbies like me. Thanks
to all the panelists!!
Here are my rough notes – if I'm missing anything please fill me in on the comments!! There was an awful lot to digest:
Gary Koepke, Modernista!
Eric Kogelschatz, shark&minnow
Dr AK Pradeep, NeuroFocus Inc
Dr Danielle Stolzenberg, Ph. D., University of Virginia
Roger Dooley, Hobsons
Panel moderator Dr. Danielle Stolzenberg begins the panel with a story of her first high school road trip, stopping at a rest stop to catch a quick nap in the middle of the afternoon. Surrounded by families and kids playing, she should have felt safe… except she felt anything but. Seconds after locking her rear passenger door (the only one unlocked) a trucker began vigorously trying to open the door.
Locking that door was a subconscious emotional response that motivated her to act — she tied this into the ways that such emotional response motivates consumers to act and react to marketing messages. A… rather dark kick off, yes?
But why should science be used in marketing research? Many don't know that Advertising God David Ogilvy started career as researcher, "statistics are used as a drunkard uses a lamp post – for support, rather than illumination". Numbers can only go so far.
The science of Google – 'the database of intentions – a living artifact of immense power' (John Battelle – of Federated Media).
Gary: On discussing our decision making process – perhaps we have many brains working in a body (like the concept of chakras) to help make decisions.
Dooley: GoDaddy ad Super Bowl researchers found GoDaddy to be the least effective ad (from brain scans), but market researchers found it o be the most effective from an ROI / traffic driver. Sometimes scientific explanations, we are very complex.
No such thing as 'Super-Ads' take over your brain type commercials – (The Advertised Mind – Plessis) 20% of ads had no effect and another 20% had a decline in share increase of bran market share.
Iceberg – 88% hidden / Brain – 95% hidden, there's a lot of uncertainty and hidden complexity in our brains. fMRI show brains responding to sublimal messaging.
Kogelshcatz: Neuromarketing shows more results than ad psychology, but it's not the death of market research. Needs to be a triangulation of research methodologies. Combination of methodologies and approaches to effect brain behavior and decsions — MUST use multiple methods of branding (print / web / etc.) to really get to someone. Nothing new.
Kopke: Sex and humor – Modernista + Cadillac commercial — let the beautiful model do the objectifying ('when you turn the car on, does it return the favor?') — tough reaching out there because everyone finds something different to be funny or sexy.
39% sales increase for that .Cadillac campaign. Irreverence helps advertisers play with some of these uneasy moments — Old Spice commercial a great example of making fun of marketing tactics, but still benefiting by them. The easy laugh isn't always the easiest way to go – nor is overt sexuality.
Dooley: Choice architecture (element of web design), test on having consumers select from 4 tents online. Changed the order each time (each tent had product differences) and the 1st choice presented ALWAYS scored 2.5x higher than any others.
Subconscious influence driving decision making process — 1st option is the hot one.
Decoy product — want to drive more sales to expensive product? Make your least favorite product as expensive but obviously inferior as the expensive product you want to make. It will make your preferred product (to sell that is) appear that much more fantastic.
Smiling faces are powerful – direct mail piece with attractive smiling woman on loan offer got consumers to choose the 3 point higher interest rate that appeared on that ad.
Pradeep: Never tests anybody under 18 for his neuromarketing research – EVER. He respects this as a boundary, just because you can doesn't mean you should. One should not market or try to influence young minds. Why advertise to children? His challenge: don't advertise to young people, social messaging yes — but no jeans, clothing, toys. They are children, leave them alone.
Gary: Creativity is key, look at the pet rock and snuggies. No research would have guessed that would've worked. We can only measure what we know, but we must discover what we don't know. Pet rock is proof :) Anything can catch on in peoples' consciousness and become successful.
Pradeep: Art vs. Science — what is creative design? Doesn't believe there is a conflict, no VERSUS there. All scientists are artists and all artists are scientists. We love our iPhones, so many little design decisions that just plain work in our brains.
Brain finds it hard to count more than 3 objects — 3-5 is the max. On the Web, more than 3-5 image groups means you lose visitors. Must understand how the brain receives design – how does design seduce us? That which is attractive appeals to different parts of our brain.
According to Dr. Pradeep — smiling faces on billboards tell brain to pay no attention. What's more intriguing? A face whose expression is hard to decipher commands more attention. Emotion reveals intent, we are constantly evaluating faces to see what people are going to do. Smiling makes it easy to know – but undecipherable expressions makes it hard to know. So our brains open its memories of emotion templates (what kind of face is this — and what emotion is connected?)
Super models walking down the runway – they always look a little pissed. It makes them memorable. The Mona Lisa – she's not really smiling. She's memorable and it's lived on beyond a 'nice painting'/. Great artists have figured this out — they have brought in the science into their art. It's the same thing.
* 3 big facts we have learned from neuromarketing that we couldn't have learned from behavioral science? - this question came in from a big dog in the behavioral science world (Dan Ariely) who was sitting immediately behind me… and also gave me this condom (see my Tweet here – hah). The question wasn't really answered and was obviously posed as a continuation of some bloody ongoing battle. Or something, says Katie the clueless outsider.
Dr. Pradeep's response: neuromarketing doesn't necessarily discover new principles, but let's us identify what part of an experience that made an impact. Think of a chips and salsa experience – what is the part that makes a difference. DIp the chip into the salsa and lift it, that action on its way to your mouth (a moment between moments) — very evocative to your brain.
This should have great implication on how you design your salsa and chips – too chunky may not work, a little impression in a chip holds the liquid in. Much like Steven Jobs – the iPhone design elements show that every little thing counts. So not newer principles, but newer attributes. That is purpose of applying neuroscience to marketing.
Dooley: There is no conflict between behavioral marketing and neuroscience
*Product line up, is there a sweet spot in numbers to present to increase conversion?
More important than order or number is context – primacy is not position of item, but how it relates to what has come before. Numerosity (sp?) concept – living in jungle and see herd coming 'is it big enough to run or big enough to have dinner? Have developed mechanisms in our hardware – 3-5 is king.
— Marketing to children – possible to give messaging to a child for some sort of inoculation against these marketing tactics? Whatever you saw last gets consolidated first in first REM cycle.
Legoclick.com – balance of art and science, a very interesting video shown at TED from Lego.