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Affordable neuromarketing? Here is how you do it

Thaisa Appelman
March 5, 2024
11 minutes

Did you know a staggering 95% of our purchase decisions occur subconsciously? Neuromarketing, an innovative blend of neuroscience and marketing, is key to unlocking these hidden consumer behaviours. It goes beyond traditional marketing methods such as paid advertisement, offering deeper insights by analyzing brain activity and physical responses. Learning how to approach neuromarketing effectively can significantly enhance your understanding of consumer behaviour and improve your marketing campaigns. 

This field is not just about creating ads and products; it’s about forging genuine connections with customers by tapping into their subconscious needs and desires, changing how we understand and influence consumer choices.

What's neuromarketing and why should businesses care?

Consumer behaviour plays a vital role in shaping marketing strategies and driving business success. To gain a deeper understanding of why consumers make certain choices, marketers have turned to the field of neuromarketing. This is an emerging field that combines neuroscience, psychology, and marketing to understand how consumers make decisions and respond to marketing stimuli. 

Neuromarketing explores the mysteries of the human brain to uncover the underlying motives behind customer behaviour and preferences. This knowledge is highly valuable for companies, as it enables them to create advertisements, products, and shopping experiences that resonate with customers on a subconscious level. By tapping into what the brain desires, businesses can enhance their marketing efforts, drive higher sales, and foster deeper brand-consumer relationships.

Example of neuromarketing

Common neuroscience methods for marketing research 

Neuromarketing utilizes a range of methods to comprehend how consumers behave and make decisions. These methods are based on the fields of neuroscience and psychology, with a focus on assessing physical and brain responses to marketing cues. Below are some important techniques employed in neuromarketing.

1 - Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) 

This technique measures brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow. When an area of the brain is more active, it consumes more oxygen, and fMRI can detect these changes. It's particularly useful for understanding which parts of the brain are involved in making decisions, processing emotions, and responding to various marketing stimuli.

fMRI used in neuromarketing

2 - Electroencephalography (EEG)

EEG involves placing sensors on the scalp to measure electrical activity in the brain. This method is useful for assessing consumers' immediate responses to marketing stimuli, like advertisements or product designs. It can provide insights into attention, engagement, and emotional responses.

EEG used in neuromarketing

3 - Eye tracking

Eye tracking technology follows the movement of the eyes, indicating where a person’s attention is focused. This technique is commonly used to test the effectiveness of website layouts, advertisements, or packaging designs by observing which elements attract the most attention.

Eye tracing used in neuromarketing

4 - Galvanic Skin Response (GSR)

Skin conductance serves as an indicator of both psychological and physiological arousal. It reflects the intensity of emotions such as excitement or fear. It could be something as simple as an anticipated release of a new game console or being frustrated by the slow internet. Consequently, the amount we sweat due to emotional arousal may go unnoticed by us but can still be accurately measured through GSR technology.

5 - Facial coding 

This method examines facial movements to determine emotions. By utilizing cameras and specialized software, it can identify subtle shifts in facial expressions that signify different emotions such as joy, sorrow, or disgust. This proves particularly beneficial when assessing emotional reactions towards advertisements or product interactions

6 - Heart rate monitoring

By monitoring changes in heart rate, marketers can understand levels of arousal and engagement in response to different stimuli. An increased heart rate might indicate excitement or interest, while a decreased rate could suggest disengagement or boredom.

7 - Implicit Association Tests (IAT)

These tests measure the strength of associations between concepts in the mind. For example, they can be used to understand subconscious attitudes towards brands or products by measuring how quickly and accurately consumers associate these with positive or negative attributes.

Top neuromarketing strategies to improve your marketing efforts

By incorporating neuroscience principles into your marketing efforts, you can significantly enhance the impact and scope of your strategies. Below, we explore five important ways in which neuroscience can elevate the success of your marketing campaigns.

1 - Improve your advertisements with neuromarketing

By using eye-tracking technology and EEG (electroencephalography), advertisers can develop more captivating and memorable advertisements. By studying how consumers visually engage with ads and the emotional responses they evoke, it is possible to create advertisements that effectively grab attention and make a lasting impact.

Example: Microsoft used neuromarketing techniques to test its Xbox advertisements. By analyzing viewers’ brain activity, they identified which parts of the ads were the most captivating and engaging. This helped them fine-tune their ad content to better capture the attention and interest of their target audience.

Xbox neuromarketing example

2 - Increase emotional engagement

Understanding the emotions that influence consumer behaviour is essential. Developing marketing campaigns that strike an emotional chord with audiences can establish a stronger bond, ultimately impacting brand loyalty and buying choices.

Example: Coca-Cola’s "Share a Coke" campaign, which personalized bottles with names, tapped into emotional engagement by creating a personal connection with consumers. Neuroscience studies suggest that personalization can trigger positive emotional responses, enhancing brand recall and loyalty.

Coca Cola neuromarketing campaign

3 - Create effective product designs and packaging 

Using what we know from brain science to change how products look and are packaged can make them more attractive to customers. By knowing how people react to what they see, touch, or feel, and what emotions they connect with, marketers can design products in a way that really grabs people's attention and makes them more likely to buy them.

Example: Campbell’s Soup used neuromarketing research to redesign their soup cans. By measuring consumers' brain activity, they identified designs that evoked stronger emotional responses, leading to a packaging design that resonated more with customers.

4 - Optimize your user experience

You can utilize knowledge of how the brain works to improve user experiences on digital platforms, such as websites and mobile apps. This includes improving the design, color choices, ease of navigation, and how content is presented to make it more enjoyable and fulfilling for users.

Example: eBay, the online auction and shopping website, utilized neuromarketing research to enhance their website's user experience. By conducting studies using eye-tracking and EEG, eBay was able to understand how users emotionally and cognitively interacted with different website layouts and features. This research helped them identify the most intuitive designs and functionalities that made shopping and bidding easier and more enjoyable for users. By applying these insights, eBay could make data-driven improvements to their site, leading to a more user-friendly platform that better catered to the needs and preferences of their customers.

5 - Understand your consumer behaviour

Exploring the hidden thoughts and desires of consumers enables marketers to attain a deeper comprehension of what influences their choices. This insight surpasses what consumers can express verbally, offering a more holistic perspective on their preferences and actions.

Example: The Walt Disney Company used neuroscience research to gauge viewer responses to their movie trailers. By employing EEG (Electroencephalography) and other biometric measurements, Disney could understand how different scenes and elements of the trailers impacted viewers' emotions and engagement levels. This neuroscientific approach provided Disney with valuable insights into what types of content and storytelling techniques were most effective in capturing audience interest and excitement, guiding them in both movie marketing and content creation strategies.

5 common neuromarketing tools to get started 

If you're interested in diving into neuromarketing research, there's a variety of software tools available to help you get underway. From analyzing consumer behaviour to tracking eye movements, these tools provide invaluable insights. Here's a list of 5 user-friendly and effective software tools that are perfect for those starting out in neuromarketing research.

1 - iMotions

iMotions integrates various techniques like eye tracking, facial expression analysis, EEG, GSR (galvanic skin response), and surveys. It offers a complete overview of consumer engagement, providing deep insights into how customers react and feel about products or content.

Neuromarketing tool for eyetracking

2 - Nviso 

Nviso provides emotion recognition software that analyzes facial expressions in real-time. This tool is particularly useful for marketers to understand viewers' emotional responses to advertisements, products, or any visual content.

Emotion recognition neuromarketing tool

3 - Affectiva

Specializing in emotion AI, Affectiva uses advanced facial expression analysis technology to give detailed insights into consumers’ emotional reactions. It's widely used in understanding consumer behavior and improving customer experiences.

Neuromarketing tool for consumers emotional reactions

4 - Shimmer Sensing

Shimmer offers wearable technology for GSR and motion sensing, which is crucial in measuring emotional arousal and physical reactions. This tool is particularly useful in real-world settings, providing insights into how consumers react in natural environments.

Wearable neuromarketing tool

5 - EyeSee

EyeSee is a behavioural research platform that uses eye tracking, facial coding, and virtual shopping environments to test consumer responses to various marketing stimuli. It's beneficial for testing the effectiveness of packaging, advertising, and in-store layouts.

Neuromarketing tool for behavioral research

These platforms provide scalable solutions, catering to the diverse needs of businesses, from small startups to large enterprises. They offer valuable insights into consumer behaviour, enabling companies to make data-driven decisions in their marketing strategies.

Neuromarketing strategies for every business size

Neuromarketing strategies can be tailored to fit businesses of any size, offering valuable insights regardless of your company's scale. From small startups to large enterprises, there are specific neuromarketing techniques and tools that can be adapted to meet your unique business needs and goals

1 - For small businesses

Focus on cost-effective methods like using free versions of analytical software or conducting simple A/B testing with different marketing materials to see what resonates more with your target audience. Small businesses can also leverage social media analytics to understand customer preferences and engagement. 

Participating in online forums and communities related to your industry can provide valuable insights into consumer behaviour and trends. Additionally, small-scale surveys and feedback forms can be a great way to gather direct input from your customers without significant investment.

2 - For medium-sized businesses 

Invest in more sophisticated analytics tools and consider forming partnerships with universities or research institutions that have access to advanced neuroimaging equipment. This can lead to mutually beneficial collaborations. Medium-sized businesses can also start experimenting with more advanced techniques like eye tracking or basic facial coding using affordable software solutions. 

Engaging with market research firms that offer neuromarketing services can be a cost-effective way to access more complex data analysis without the need for in-house expertise. Hosting focus groups and customer workshops can also provide deeper insights into consumer psychology and preferences.

3 - For large enterprises

Establish a dedicated neuromarketing team and invest in state-of-the-art technology like EEG headsets and eye-tracking devices. Conduct comprehensive studies across various product lines and markets to gather actionable insights at scale. Large enterprises should consider integrating neuromarketing data with their existing big data analytics to gain a more holistic view of consumer behaviour. 

Collaborating with global research institutions and leading neuromarketing firms can help in tapping into cutting-edge research and methodologies. Furthermore, large enterprises can pioneer new neuromarketing applications, such as virtual reality (VR) environments for testing consumer reactions in simulated real-world scenarios.

Real-world neuromarketing example

One of the most famous neuromarketing case studies involves the "Pepsi Challenge," a campaign that dates back to the 1970s but gained new insights through the lens of neuromarketing in the early 2000s.

Pepsi neuromarketing challange

Background of the Pepsi challenge:

Originally, the Pepsi Challenge was a direct marketing campaign by PepsiCo to compare Pepsi to Coca-Cola directly. Consumers were blind taste-tested on the two sodas. Invariably, more people chose Pepsi over Coke in these tests, which was a marketing win for Pepsi.

Neuromarketing insights:

The neuromarketing aspect came into play years later when neuroscientist Read Montague recreated the Pepsi Challenge as part of a study. He was interested in understanding how people's preferences were affected by brand information. Participants were given the same blind taste test, but this time their brain activity was monitored using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).


When participants didn't know which brand they were tasting, they showed a slight preference for Pepsi in both taste and brain activity. However, when they were told what they were drinking, something interesting happened. If told the soda was Coca-Cola, participants' brain activity changed. The medial prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with thinking and judgment, became more active. This suggested that the participants were letting their knowledge of the brand influence their preference.


This study highlighted the power of brand influence on consumer preferences. It showed that consumers don't just respond to the product itself, but also to the marketing, brand reputation, and other associative elements. It was a groundbreaking case because it used scientific methods to demonstrate the impact of brands on consumer behaviour, underscoring the importance of branding and marketing in addition to product quality.

Difference between neuromarketing and traditional research 

Traditional research methods have relied on surveys, focus groups, and direct customer feedback. These techniques have been the foundation of marketing strategies for many years. However, neuromarketing offers a fresh perspective on comprehending consumer decisions. We will compare these two approaches and shed light on how neuromarketing's cutting-edge methods are reshaping the way businesses approach marketing.

1 - Data collection 

In traditional research, data is collected through surveys, focus groups, and observation by directly asking participants about their preferences, opinions, and behaviours. Neuromarketing takes a different approach by using neuroscience techniques such as brain imaging and biometrics like eye tracking and heart rate to gain insight into consumers' subconscious reactions and emotional responses.

Tools like Tobii for eye tracking, Empatica E4 wristbands for monitoring heart rate and skin conductance, and Hotjar to visualise visitor behaviour using heatmaps are common in this field. These technologies provide a deeper understanding of how consumers feel and react beyond what they can articulate.

2 - Data types collected

Data collected for traditional research primarily consists of qualitative or quantitative information gathered from people's verbal feedback, questionnaire responses, or behavioural observations. However, neuromarketing focuses on physiological and neurological data, which involves observing how the brain and body react without conscious filtering.

3 - Understanding consumer behaviour

Traditional research methods have their limitations when it comes to understanding consumer behaviour. While they can provide valuable insights, they rely on participants being able to express their thoughts and feelings accurately and being self-aware. Neuromarketing, on the other hand, goes beyond these limitations by providing a deeper understanding of consumer behaviour. It taps into unconscious reactions that participants themselves might not even be aware of, offering unique insights into their true motivations.

4 - Cost and accessibility 

Traditional research methods are generally more economical and convenient to carry out. They can be adjusted to fit the specific needs of the research, whether it requires a larger or smaller scale. On the other hand, although neuromarketing is becoming more widely available, it still typically demands specialized equipment and expertise, making it a pricier and less accessible option for smaller businesses or studies.

5 - Where is it applied?

Traditional research is flexible and applicable to various inquiries, such as market trends and customer satisfaction. However, neuromarketing is particularly effective in deciphering the emotional and subconscious factors that influence consumer behaviour. This makes it highly valuable in domains like advertising, product development, and packaging.

Ethical considerations

Ethical considerations in neuromarketing are crucial, as the field involves looking into the human brain's responses. Here are some of the key ethical issues to consider:

1 - Consumer privacy

Ensuring the privacy of individuals is paramount. Neuromarketing research can uncover deeply personal preferences and emotions. It's crucial to handle this information with care, respecting individuals' privacy rights and ensuring data security.

2 - Consent and transparency

Participants in neuromarketing studies should be fully informed about what the research involves and how their data will be used. Obtaining informed consent and maintaining transparency about the methods and intentions of the research are essential ethical practices.

3 - Manipulation concerns

There is a risk that neuromarketing insights could be used to manipulate consumers, exploiting subconscious desires or fears. Ethical neuromarketing avoids such manipulative tactics and respects the autonomy and decision-making rights of consumers.

4 - Data misuse 

The potential for neuromarketing data to be misused is a significant concern. This includes targeting vulnerable groups or creating addictive products. Ethical practices require strong safeguards against the misuse of sensitive data.

How Sarah, our AI content marketer, can help with neuromarketing

Our AI content marketer automatically enhances your neuromarketing strategies. With her no-nonsense approach and advanced algorithms, Sarah is designed to understand and apply neuromarketing principles at scale. 

What does this mean for you? Precision targeting, for starters. Sarah analyzes vast amounts of data to identify patterns in consumer behaviour that humans might miss and will help you create content that appeals to your target audience's emotions and desires. 

AI content marketing by Typetone.AI

With a wide range of features, she is here to boost your marketing strategy. Let's dive deeper into how she can transform your campaign and take it to the next level.

1 - Emotionally resonant content 

Sarah excels in creating content that deeply connects with your audience. She uses neuromarketing insights to craft messages that stir emotions, from excitement to trust, ensuring your brand resonates on a deeper level by implementing your tone of voice. It’s not just about words; it’s about creating feelings that lead to action. 

2 - Data-driven strategy 

Sarah’s approach to marketing is rooted in data. She analyzes consumer behaviour patterns, understanding what works and what doesn’t. This means your campaigns are based on solid insights, not just hunches. With Sarah, you’re making informed decisions that align with your audience’s preferences.

3 - Targeted messaging 

Sarah’s advanced algorithms allow her to segment your audience effectively, ensuring that your messages are tailored to the specific interests and needs of different groups. This personalized approach significantly increases the relevance and effectiveness of your campaigns.

Incorporating neuromarketing strategies into your marketing efforts can give you a competitive edge. With the help of our AI content marketer, Sarah, you can take full advantage of these strategies to create engaging and persuasive content that resonates with your target audience on a subconscious level.

6 key insights into neuromarketing

  • Neuromarketing blends neuroscience with marketing to analyze consumer decision-making.
  • Neuromarketing utilizes brain imaging and biometrics for insights, unlike traditional methods that rely on surveys and interviews.
  • Neuromarketing techniques include fMRI for brain activity, eye tracking for attention analysis, and emotional response measurement.
  • Neuromarketing aids in creating more effective advertisements and products by tapping into genuine consumer desires and responses.
  • Ethical considerations emphasize the importance of maintaining consumer privacy and using data ethically and responsibly.
  • Sarah, our AI tool, leverages neuromarketing principles to craft content that resonates well with target audiences.

Want to see what AI can do for your marketing? Give Sarah a try.  She is designed to help you create great content, understand your customers better, and make your marketing strategies really shine. Discover more information on Typetone.AI today!

Thaisa Appelman

Thaisa is Typetone's content marketeer who focuses on AI digital coworkers and GPTs.

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