Neuroscience: A New Perspective
The merits of neuroscience-based techniques continue to spark debate. New papers and articles persist in asserting that scientists' increased understanding of the brain will change marketing and the way we measure its results.
Martin Lindstrom's 2008 book Buyology
makes a similarly strong claim: that neuroscience will play a revolutionary role in research and marketing in the future. As a result, many marketers are challenging accepted modes of advertising development and research on the grounds that "neuroscience says" that what we've done before is wrong.
However, we don't believe that marketers need to turn their backs on tried-and-true research techniques in favor of the apparent objectivity of neuroscience. Rather, marketers should use neuroscience-based research in conjunction with established techniques when (and only when) it adds value. If used in isolation, such methods can be hard to interpret, but when combined with qualitative or survey-based research, they can add a powerful new dimension of insight.
Which Methods to Use
In choosing among neuroscience–based techniques, we have found it useful to ask the following questions:
- Does the approach tell us something meaningful about brands or marketing?
- Does it tell us something we don't already know, and enough to justify its cost?
- Is it practical and scalable?
From among the many new techniques that have emerged from recent learning on the workings of the brain, we have identified three that meet all three of these tests. These are: implicit association measurement, eye-tracking, and brainwave measurement. When used in conjunction with established methods, these techniques can yield insights that lead to more effective marketing.
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