Neuromarketing, the new intelligent advertising

Our consumer society is evolving at a dizzying pace, as do the sciences and especially the technologies. But in essence it continues to maintain its principles: an economy that has one of its fundamental pillars in which its citizens buy and consume the goods it produces regardless of our need for them.

An essential tool of this gear is advertising, which marketing has been doing for a while and from 'already' neuromarketing, the new intelligent advertising.

Neuromarketing involves the application of research techniques from the neurosciences to traditional marketing research. Through Techniques for measuring brain activity, as rmagnetic resonances, also with electroencephalograms, heart rate measurements, respiratory rhythm or even the skin conductivity (Galvanic response), the respondents' "responses" to different stimuli (for example, advertisements) are read directly from their brain activity.

The neurosciences allow, by this method, to find out what level of attention is being paid to an advertisement by the analyzed subjects, second by second and plane by plane. In this way, decisions can be made, for example, to remove a certain plan of the final announcement or to add an additional sequence. Many other concepts can also be measured, such as the subject's activation or emotional state when the product appears on the screen.

Therefore, when the object of research is a sensitive issue that can provoke false answers, neuromarketing is able to directly obtain neurophysiological responses from the interviewees, without verbalization or written expression, which makes it practically the only one methodology that can get reliable answers.

Applications of neuromarketing to everyday life

The applications that these new techniques are already having in our daily life are very varied, although we are not fully aware of them. So some companies use very complex techniques of neuromarketing to determine which of the two spots they have designed for their campaign will provide greater benefits. Another example is to use a type smell, that is, a scent that identifies the brand. Something that has long been in restaurant chains and now also included in the stores of major clothing brands.

Purchase decisions belong to the subconscious

Neuroscientific techniques allow us to obtain information about mental processes that we do not consciously perceive. It is estimated that 85% of our purchasing decisions are they take subconsciously and that only 15% are really conscious decisions. These types of decisions are mediated by subconscious stimuli that no subject will verbalize in a study with conventional techniques.
The evolution of marketing is largely due to the research work that big brands have always promoted, with the aim of designing more attractive products and more effective advertisements.

The impact of neuromarketing on adolescents

Neuromarketing is a science so recent that it is not even 25 years old; As has happened and continues to happen in the history of humanity, progress will continue. What depends on us is to provide ourselves and our children with the critical spirit necessary to not leave the decision making to that vulnerable percentage of our self that feeds on the subconscious.

Adolescents are beginning to develop their critical judgment and are easily manipulated, and even if they think they "freely make all their decisions", their criteria are generally supported by the democratic majority of their gang of friends. Developing critical judgment is what leads us to know how to question the principles, values ​​and norms that offer us to be able to form an own criterion that allows us to make our own decisions.

The critical spirit: an antidote to neuromarketing

The critical spirit has two extremes: the blind obedience to the opinions, ideas, principles and norms imposed on the individual from external instances; and the rebellion by the rebellion, that is opposed by system to any principle, idea or norm suggested by external instances.

The person with a critical spirit questions what others propose, analyzes it, submits it to the scrutiny of their reasoning, contrasts with other information, analyzes from common sense and reality, and ends up accepting it, reformulating it or rejecting it, totally or partially.

The critical spirit contains four main activities: contrast data and information, consult various sources, deepen the facts and subject them to the scale of their own values.The critical spirit is especially important so that our children can face with maturity and serenity the pressure of the environment, of a hyperinformed world and, probably, with a huge amount of offers of different ideologies and stimuli related to consumerism, the follow-up of certain fashions or, more specifically, the siren songs of drugs.

Mª Jesús Sancho. Psychologist Master's Degree in Marriage and Family from the University of Navarra.

Video: Neuromarketing for ad engagement in connected TV viewers

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