Marketers have seen trends and theories come and go over the years. Neuromarketing—or the use of neuroscience tools and theories to better understand consumers—is the new kid on the block. Does it have staying power? Will it revolutionize how we think about marketing?
It's too early to say whether neuromarketing will revolutionize how we communicate with consumers. But having worked in the field since its early days (about 15 years ago), I think neuromarketing can definitely help us think differently in some ways.
Neuromarketing can give us a new perspective on some old issues and confirm some things that we might have always suspected but lacked the hard evidence to prove.
Here's a look at what neuromarketing can teach us.
Persuasion isn't rational
It's debatable whether those effects can be called persuasion at all.
If you ask three-year-olds why they want something, such as an ice cream or a toy, they typically say something like "because I do."
By the time these children turn five, they will start to give reasons. Is that because they suddenly have reason motivating their behavior? Or have they just learned to put verbal rationalizations on their emotions? I would argue the latter.