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March 16, 2004


James F

Hello Everyone and Jennifer

Permit me to comment on the topic if I may.
When you look at the recent US election, you probably have noticed new human evangelism.

Neuromarketing has been misunderstood from the beginning and that's a natural human reaction. We, humans when we're face with the "new" we're always apprehensive. it is a quite common human behavior.

Before we see Neuromarketing as another marketing tactic, simply because The Neuro has marketing in it. Let's just ignore the work marketing and focus on the neuro part, you'll discover that the meaning behind it has nothing to do with marketing.

In fact let's understand the "NEURO" there are so many derivatives attached to it: neuro cybernetics neuro ophthalmology neuro psychiatric neuro transmitter neuro oncology neuro imaging neuro degenerative

As you can see, the world of Neuro is so vast and and limitless, then why are focusing on the marketing part. Humans have hate the work due to its devaluated nature
and bankrupt meaning that was built up for decades. the reason it lost its meaning is because humans have this manipulative nature of taking something and depreciate it and it depreciate it loses its value and from the when Neuro.... was born, we immediately, raised red flags.

Let's look at from an interpersonal perspective before organizational.

Let's just say a girl who's descent: lost of moral values intellectual, sweet of great upbringing is seeking a potential partner for a long term relationship (marriage), she goes out there, making herself available, then suddenly so many prospects come knocking on her door... Being a good girl not shallow, deep and seeks similar attributes, went out with let's say 10 guys then she decided no there nothing that ignited her interest. most are looking for a one night stand , she of on the other hand was not looking for short trip hitchhikers.

One day she was out with her girl friends and someone noticed her from afar, he approached her and said the right sentence at the right time, Suddenly she turned blue and she whispered to her girlfriend OMG!!! his words are like a melody in my ears, mind you the guy who approached her in by the way not her type, physically, suddenly her eyes light up, her body shivering left speechless. He understood she whispered to her girlfriend, how??? how did he know that....

To keep the story short, they connected or better yet he CONNECTED...

The question is for all of you: have you ever experienced similar situation? And if so was your reaction the same? if So, it's because you connected on an emotional, spiritual and intellectual I left out physical for a reason, because to date there is no psychologist, no novelist not even the most renowned book best sellers had been able to define BEAUTY_
Why? it is because beauty is abstract and we all see it with different lenses, but, when we meet someone nice, we can all agree that he or she is truly a nice/girl well liked by everyone.

neuro-m..... connect with you on a value-based approach it connects the brand with your value system it uses multi dimensional layers (logical/emotional/physiological to present you with a brand that will add a value to your life and not despair.

I invite you to download this presentation that I have put together so you better understand how neuromarketing works and I hope that by reading it, it will shed some light on the future of consumption.

God bless and happy shopping


Michel Kleistra

I am also a believer of neuromarketing. But people should not think of it as the "holy grail". But just,in the future, a part of the marketingmix.
Also by not following this path and embrace it we constrain us from future benifits which may evolve from this.


Couple of thoughts:

John Moore: Not sure what your in-quoted "Insight" covers. Account planning? Depth Interviews? Spoonbending? What are focus groups, etc but consensual poking and prodding of customers? As for "neurosis," I can attest that I've wrestled a few clients to the floor, and turned down a lot creative work from teams, each who've felt compelled to feed their own innate need to be seen and heard, and not the consumers. (And succumbed myself on occasion.) But I can say from experience I was tapping into Neuroses specifically in order to get 40 year old attorneys to spring for a Benz and not a Volvo, Lexus, Beemer or Acura. How else do you sell $10-50 grand's worth of difference measured by fresh air? My point is it's deeply personal first, then business. And people are messy. Understanding their baggage and perhaps lightening the load is what makes billionaires.

More conversation? Damn right. But with real listening and the real insight that results. Too many in marketing are checking off boxes and not listening to what's really being said. Sure, the MRI idea is an odd one, but who knows. As for the other Rocket Scientists in the business, I'd just as soon see them dumped first. They and their sliderules are doing far more harm.

Rob Pattterson: I agree. Long live the Bullshit Meter, for the above pro-organic reasons.

(Just proofread. Whoops. End: neurotic rant.)

Jennifer Rice

Rob, I see where you're going on that... I've just seen too many people looking for the 'magic bullet' and am concerned that this technology -- taken out of context -- is going to be yet another diversion from doing the tougher (but more rewarding) work of getting close to customers. And there are effective and non-effective ways of learning what customers are thinking! Which gives me an idea for a new blog post...


As you can expect, I disagree. First of all I think it is becoming more and more difficult to get accurate marketing data. Too many people aren't honest. They tell you what they think you want to hear, or what they think they *should* tell you. For instance, my dad got to do the Nielson thing a few months ago. You know what he did? He didn't really put down what he watched. He just wrote down the things he thought others should watch in hopes he would help them stay on tv. So he put down PBS, Discovery Channel, and all that even though he doesn't watch it. When it comes to neuromarketing, you can't lie or fake it.

Secondly, let's say you have two ads. Both are great, both would work and get people to buy your product. Neuromarketing might have the ability to show which one was slightly better, or slightly more appealing in some way. Even if you are talking a 1 or 2% better response, when you look at a large target market that can add up to a significant profit.

To say that neuromarketing is a fad and that you can tell whatever you need to know by psychological or other methods is like saying that you don't need an MRI on your knee if a physical exam will give you a pretty accurate diagnosis.


Robert  Paterson

I am going to do a "Rob" here but isn't this a sign of the end of marketing? Where the underlying reality of the offering is not the point but the impact of the pitch on the mind of the consumer is?

On an alternative track, word of mouth - not technique based on peer to peer - has huge power on the ability of people to receive a message. We believe that P to P uses the Amygdala, or the mammal relationship brain, which is our bullshit and trust detector. If a message gets by the Amygdala, it can access both the intellect and the action. No wonder Southwest are delighted with their reality show on A & E - prime time P to P

Tom Asacker

Why did I post this twice? Hmmm . . . .

Tom Asacker

I'm with you folks on this one! We are already awash in insights.

But this stuff sells. Just like new self-help books and diet fads. Or exercise magazines which continue to describe how to do crunches and bench presses. ;-)

Marketers are WAY too caught up in their own thoughts and images. Put down the books marketers, and get to the gym and work out (metaphor . . . ha!)!

Tom Asacker

I'm with you folks on this one! We are awash in insights.

But this stuff sells. Just like self-help books and the latest diet fads. If it works, why do we continue to need hundreds more. Or exercise magazines, which continue to reprint how to do crunches and bench presses.

Marketers are WAY to caught up in their own thoughts and images. Help yourself! Get to the damn gym and work out (metaphor).

John Moore

I SO agree with you Jennifer.

The idea that these maps of our synapses somehow provide a "deeper" insight into our thinking is absurd. The pseudo-objectivity is laughable; this technology will produce data but the data has to be processed by, guess what, a human being. The idea that this human being will somehow have a better interpretation than the one in whose head the synapses are firing is, well, laughable.

What's more, this is just the latest instalment in marketing's obsession with so-called consumer insight, which is really just another, more expensive way for so-called experts to project their own fantasies and neuroses onto the poor old consumer.

This "Insight" stuff has been in vogue for a few years now. Am I alone in feeling that I am less well understood by most brands and businesses than ever?

What's more, there is something quite loathsome to me about treating customers like laboratory rats to be prodded and poked like objects. How about engaging me in a conversation, for crying out loud?

I think the most important area for marketers to get insight is probably to start questioning their own motives for buying into this stuff. Have they truly no better ideas for how to create trusting relationships?

David Foster

This stuff may have some value in assessing response to images, etc, but is unlikely to have any transformational impact on marketing. As far as deep understanding of human behavior goes, it seems to me to be at the wrong level...kind of like trying to analyze your operating system problems by using a voltmeter...

David St Lawrence

Once again, you are a calm voice of reason. I think neuromarketing will remain a pointless curiosity and most executives will see through it.

Neuromarketing will consume millions of research dollars and hundreds of thousands of manhours without producing valid results. On the other hand, it will provide years of employment for consultants, psychiatrists, and marketing people who don't know any better.

Yes, the responses to stimuli are generated at the unconscious level, but those who search for the unconscious mind in the brain are wasting their time.

Experienced marketing people will easily outperform this pseudoscience by relying on their native ability to observe and test for desired reactions to advertising stimuli.

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