21 Oct 2009

Exploring Neuromarketing

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As a cognitive psychologist practicing marketing research, the world of neuromarketing is especially exciting to me.  In fact, it gives me a sense of being “home.”  Like many, I have an insatiable curiousity with the methodologies/technologies being employed in consumer research, but also a great deal of skepticism. This skepticism is rooted in having a working understanding of the technologies being used and, more importantly, the fear of its misuse and misunderstanding.  However, I hold an optimistic skepticism -  careful and thoughtful research design in both arenas can benefit all.  I look forward to further educating myself and, hopefully, participating in this growing body of research.

I invite you to join me in my journey to better understand the technologies and applications of neuroscience in marketing and consumer research.

The article linked to here is a working paper from several co-authors from Aston University in the UK, published in Nature Precedings. This article gives an overview of the regions of the brain involved in reward (regions often referred to in the neuromarketing work you read about), a description of two functional mapping technologies that can be used – fMRI and MEG (functional magnetic resonance imaging and magnetoencephalography, respectively), a brief review of the pros and cons of these techniques, and case studies to help give some perspective and better illustrate its applicability to marketing – specifically as it relates to McClure’s 2004 research comparing Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola.

Next up…. my search for a good overview of EEG technology.

Stephanie Fraone, PhD
Senior Research Associate