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Neuro-marketing in Action: Key Insights

31st July 2014 | Anne-Sophie Bayle-Tourtoulou, Michel Badoc

Part 1: Bayle-Tourtoulou and Badoc discuss this new trend

Neuromarketing in Action (9780749469276)In this 2-part series, authors of Neuromarketing in Action discuss the new trend and its applications.

Knowledge stemming from neuroscience is on path to shake up traditional approaches to marketing. There is growing interest in the Anglo-Saxon world, particularly in the USA, in their applications in this specific management discipline. They have become commonplace in many leading consumer goods, distribution and services companies. They have an impact on all marketing-related actions. Since the publication in 2012 of eleventh edition of the famous Deloitte study of the “main trends that will shape technology, the media, telecommunications” - very closely monitored by managers of multinational companies - mentioning the emergence of neuro-marketing for the first time, this new approach has become increasingly popular around the world. After Anglo-Saxon firms, European and Asian companies are beginning to see these techniques as new tools to increase market shares and develop customer loyalty. They help firms improve their knowledge of the behaviours of consumers, who have become neuro-consumers and even consumer-actors, with the advent of the Internet and social networks. The neuro-marketing approach makes product and service presentation, sales, point-of-sale organization and customer relationship management more efficient.

Neuro-marketing: a new trend in marketing (1).

Neuro-marketing is not a science in itself, but rather an evolution of marketing methods and tools. It does not aim to replace traditional marketing, but to complement it when its scope and techniques meet their limits. Its distinctive feature is that it deals with the human brain’s direct reactions, often subconscious, when stimulated by product presentations, sales, distribution channels, communication… As far as studies are concerned, neuro-marketing focuses on the observation of the brain’s reactions by doing away with any direct or indirect interviewers, from whom interviewees might hold back information for fear of being judged. It is often the case when questions address touchy issues such as racism, sex, money, death, fear, risk or danger perception, family relationships…Interviewees might also simply have a hard time expressing in words or in writing what their senses are feeling. Addressing the brain directly is a relevant idea as it does not lie, and shows the depth of emotions felt by the subject more clearly than traditional studies do. Neuro-marketing uses the range of knowledge on how the human brain works that has appeared in a large variety of publications. This knowledge can prove useful when the organ commands our actions- especially our decisions to buy - instinctively, without any input from our conscience. This is the most frequent situation, as explained by neuroscientists who base their results on a variety of experiments and research (2). Neuro-marketing professionals use techniques borrowed from neuroscience. They range from complex, costly studies, using MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan), EEG (Electroencephalography), hormonal secretion… to more simple and less costly tools: telemetrics, eye tracking, micro-sensors, ethology, ergonomic diagnostics… There are various cognitive experts and firms specialised in neuro2marketing in Europe, in the USA and Asia, frequently called upon by many B2C (Business to Consumer) marketing departments. These applications are not frequently published as the companies that use their services generally request the utmost levels of confidentiality from their partners. One complementary application of neuro-marketing is sensory marketing. It consists in attracting customers, retaining them and placing them in the best possible disposition to buy, by trying to appeal directly to one or several of their senses. A high number of applications of sensory marketing have already proven their effectiveness through increased sales in those places. It is also highly successful in the creation of sensory brands.


Quoted Bibliography.

(1) Georges, G, Bayle-Tourtoulou, A.S. and Badoc, M (2014), Neuromarketing In Action- How toTalk and Sell to the Brain, Kogan Page.

(2) Eagleman, D (2012), Incognito- The Secret Lifes of the Brain, Pantheon Books.

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