Thursday, July 22, 2010

What's the Intersection of Neuromarketing and Market Research?

If you haven't done much reading on Neuromarketing, I'd recommend that you pick up any or all of these books -- because you'll need it.

There are tons of other books out there, but these three are a great start.  The short skippy is that the advancement of fMRI technology has allowed science to literally map how our brains work and react when we are exposed to a variety of pictures, products, or other stimuli.  It's almost like a shopping lie detector in a way.  Whereas the market research we've been used to has huge swings of error based who the respondent is and how they perceive the question.  The other inherent danger is just plain "lying"  -- even though it may be unintentional.  Human beings will think one thing and do another.  We already know that.  But Nueromarketing has sort of blown back some of the smoke and mirrors and allowed us to see some of the seedy side of our human nature.

In a recent article in Research Access, Tim O'Connor does a wonderful job of explaining the practice of "priming" or asking leading questions in a survey.  He brings out how critical good clean question design is to actually getting valid survey results.  For example -- phrasing a question with "Is it important" will lead the respondent toward a YES answer.

Still more interesting Neuromarketing stuff for you to chew on - are women more perceptive than men?







This video clip was featured in the blog "Neuromarketing" and it shows the actual biometric readings from both men and women and their reaction to Tony Hayward's speech after the oil spill.  Please note that this was NOT a reading of men and women turning knobs -- these "respondents" were actually hooked up to biometric sensors that measured their heart rate and sweat and other biometric readings.

While having respondents hooked up to equipment doesn't quite qualify as market research the way we've known it in the past -- how long before this idea of asking questions becomes obsolete?
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