Forthcoming in Journal of Consumer Marketing
Reviewed By: Sharad Agarwal, IIM Ranchi
Review Subject: Neuromarketing For Du...
Neuro Marketing for Dummies
In the last few years, neuromarketing is seen as one of the most hyped concepts which is also ...
and products to our choices and behaviour as consumers” (p.105).The authors rehash the role of
brands in acting as primes ...
ready reference for the readers who want to further explore these topics. Chapter 18 summarizes
the range of consumer brai...
Neuro marketing for dummies book review
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Neuro marketing for dummies book review

  1. 1. Forthcoming in Journal of Consumer Marketing Reviewed By: Sharad Agarwal, IIM Ranchi Review Subject: Neuromarketing For Dummies Stephen Genco, Andrew Pohlmann, Peter Steidl Publisher Name: John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd Place of Publication: Mississauga, ONTARIO Publication Year: 2013 ISBN: 978-1-118-51858-8 Price: US $22.99 Article type: Review Pages:408 pp.
  2. 2. Neuro Marketing for Dummies In the last few years, neuromarketing is seen as one of the most hyped concepts which is also slowly and steadily gaining ground in the mainstream marketing research. This book brilliantly integrates the concepts from cognitive psychology, social psychology, behavioural economics, neuroscience and cognitive neuroscience to look beyond the hype and appraise the readers of the scientific foundations of this upcoming field in marketing and business. The book consists of 24 chapters divided into six parts. Part 1, “The Brave new world of Neuromarketing” consists of four chapters. Chapter 1 briefly defines neuromarketing and outlines the topics discussed in further chapters of the book. The authors use the term “Brain Science”, to refer to all the scientific fields that underlie neuromarketing which primarily includes neuroscience, behavioural economics and social psychology. Chapter 2 discusses about the “Rational Consumer Model” and the “Intuitive consumer models” used to understand the decision making process of the consumers. The authors explain their point through Kahneman’s system 1 and System 2 decision making models (Kahneman, 2003), which are also referenced in later sections of the book. Chapter 3 revolves around the process of brand perception by human brains. The authors discuss the process, how brands catch consumers’ attention and are recalled at the point of purchase leading to the sales of product. They also provide some suggestions for the new products: “What are the product innovators to do? Neuromarketing says the best approach to combine moderate levels of innovation with recognizable element of familiarity” (p.44). The authors explain their point with an example of iPad, explaining how the product (iPad) despite being novel is able to incorporate features similar of being a computer. Chapter 4 deals with the contributions neuromarketing can make to the marketers, “Neuromarketing can help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing, reduce the number of product and campaign failures, and ultimately make marketing more responsive to the real needs and wants of the consumers” (p.59). The authors also opine that neuromarketing enables the consumers to make an informed decision. Part 2, “The Essence of Neuromarketing: The Nonconscious mind of the consumer”, consists of four chapters. Chapter 5 revolves around the role of human brain’s unconscious processes in their decision making process. The authors lead the readers to dwell upon the role of unconscious information: “Brain scientists are slowly displacing the conscious mind with the nonconcious mind as the center of human mental activity” (p.79). The authors further discuss about how advertisements act as primes which in turn influence consumers’ buying behaviour later on and also makes a point that though these primes influence consumers’ buying behaviour, it is not easy to create much hyped “Zombie Consumers”. Chapter 6 centers on the role of nonconcious emotions and conscious feelings in consumer responses. The authors relate the importance of consumers emotions with their buying behaviour: “Experiencing emotional responses to products and brands stimulates and reinforces learning which can shape our responses (as consumers) to future experiences with those products and brands, creating habits and preferences that can last a lifetime” (p.98).Chapter 7 examines the role of consumer’s goal and motivation on their product preferences and choices. The authors mention that, “Goals are the motivational divers behind the decisions and actions and are extremely important to marketing and neuromarketing” (p.105) and further suggest that “They (goals) are mechanism by which we connect our perception, emotions and preferences for brand
  3. 3. and products to our choices and behaviour as consumers” (p.105).The authors rehash the role of brands in acting as primes and triggering nonconcious goals and exemplify their point by suggesting that Apple primes creativity while Disney primes honesty in the minds of the consumers. Chapter 8 takes a deeper dive into previously discussed Kahenman’s system 1 and system 2 models of decision making and also introduces the readers to “Judgement Heuristics” which are shortcuts and biases built into the human decision making system. As 90 percent of human decision making is intuitive, authors suggest that neuromarketing would help marketer to understand this part of their decision making. Part 3, “Neuromarketing in action” comprises of six chapters. Chapter 9 emphasize the connections of the brands to the consumers’ unconscious mind which even the consumers themselves may not be able to articulate completely. This fact suggests that the traditional methods which capture the conscious brand awareness among consumers do not suffice to explain the brand consumer relationships. Chapter 10 elaborates upon the applications of neuromarketing in the process of new products and package development which would please the consumers’ brain. The authors present the example of Apple’s products to explain how good design can transform into exceptional performance in the marketplace: “Apple design across its product lines consistently embody the three aesthetic principles that contribute to processing fluency: conservation of information, symmetry, and contrast and clarity. Apple favours rounded corners, too.” (p.168). Chapter 11 deals with the effectiveness of television advertising. Authors make their point by identifying two routes to advertising effectiveness: “The direct route to advertising effectiveness” and “The indirect route to advertising effectiveness”. Chapter 12 explores the multisensory nature of shopping to enhance the readers understanding on why and how the consumer shops. The authors classify the shopping pursuit into two categories: “Represented by the common phrases ‘doing the shopping’ (which captures the idea of shopping as a chore) and ‘going shopping’ (which captures the idea of shopping for pleasure)”( p.193). Chapter 13 recognizes the difference between online marketing and traditional marketing and explains how consumers’ brain process webpages. Authors provide the neuroscientific reasoning of the success of social networking sites such as Facebook : “Talking about ourselves to others is intrinsically rewarding. It activates the same reward circuitry in our brains as eating, receiving money, and having sex” (p.214). Chapter 14 examines the role of “mirror neuron system” in appreciating the power of stories to entertain and persuade and adds to our understanding on why our brains are attracted to movies and video games. “In a good story, we can literally feel what’s happening and the emotions experienced by the characters, thanks to our mirror neurons” (p.220). Part 4, “Measuring consumer response with Neuromarketing” covers four chapters. Chapter 15 deals with the traditional approaches of market research .Through the explanation of several biases it make the readers aware of the risk in asking the consumers about their preferences, as done in traditional methods. Chapter 16 elaborates upon the neuromarketing measures from the body and the brain. The authors explain the neuromarketing body measures such as facial expressions , facial muscle movements, electrodermal activity (EDA), heart rate etc. to understand consumers’ response to difference kind of marketing initiatives. The authors also explain the brain measures such as positron emission tomography (PET),Electroencephalogram (EEG), functional magnetic resonant imaging (fMRI), used to capture the neuronal activities happening in the brain. Chapter 17 provides the readers with relatively inexpensive applications of neuromarketing for marketers such as online webtracking etc. It also includes web links of some of the tools and service providers which acts as a
  4. 4. ready reference for the readers who want to further explore these topics. Chapter 18 summarizes the range of consumer brain response measured by neuromarketing. Table 18.1 (p.288-289) depicts the applications of different neuromarketing techniques used for addressing business problems and is helpful in empowering the marketer to make an informed choice in choosing correct neuromarketing approach. Part 5, “Living with neuromarketing: Practical and Ethical Considerations” again comprises of four chapters. Chapter 19 explains the reliability and validity of the neuromarketing studies. It also talks about the statistical significance of the neuromarketing research. Through the concepts of “forward inference” and “reverse inference”, it provides an understanding of the logic behind the inferences derived in the neuromarketing experiments. Chapter 20 provides general guidelines for both academic and professional neuromarketing researchers to make their neuromarketing research experience more meaningful for addressing managerial problems. Chapter 21 provides some advice which the businesses should follow before hiring their neuromarketing partners or consultants while initiating a neuromarketing projects. It cautions the businesses to carefully scrutinize the competencies of neuromarketing consultant: “After all, anyone with a Rolex and a fancy suit can call himself as a consultant” (p.334). Chapter 22 deals with the policy and ethical implications of the neuromarketing studies. It talks about the industry associations such as The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), ESOMAR and The Neuromarketing Science and Business Association (NMSBA) which have crafted general principles and ethical guidelines for neuromarketing studies. Part 6, “The part of the tens”, is described as “fun facts” part of the book. It comprises of two chapters. Chapter 23 educates the reader about the truth behind the recent hypes created by the neuromarketing research especially the claims about having found the “Buy Button” in the consumers brain: “If people insist on using the ‘buy button’ metaphor, we believe they should be ready to talk about a ‘don’t buy button’”(p.362). As its titles implies, Chapter 24 talks about the ten scientific pillars underlying Neuromarketing. It reiterates the principles discussed in earlier sections of the book such as Kahneman’s System 1 and System 2, priming, emotional ‘Somatic Markers’, Processing fluency etc. to assert the science behind the applications of neuroscientific techniques in solving complicated business problems. The biggest challenge for any author to write a book involving topics from several academic disciplines is to engage the readers of all disciplines, who might not be an expert in all the disciplines. I believe that the authors have very well succeeded in their attempt and the reader becomes more and more curious to understand the psychology and brain science behind the consumer behaviour. It helps them understand why the consumer actually buys what he/she buys? All in all, the book is a much needed one stop reference guide for both the beginner as well as advanced readers of the subject. The book can very well be used as a textbook for the postgraduate courses on neuromarketing and consumer neuroscience. It is at the same time an indispensable guide for the marketers and managers planning to adopt the neuromarketing techniques in their respective business areas. , Reference: Kahneman, D. (2003). Maps of bounded rationality: Psychology for behavioral economics. The American economic review, 93(5), 1449-1475.