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Neuromarketing proves what PR experts already know

Posted on 7/03/2019 by SuperUser Account in brand customer Emotional Branding Story neuromarketing
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Neuromarketing is an emerging field and applies principles from neuroscience and psychology to marketing. The aim is to use learnings from these fields to increase the effectiveness of traditional marketing tactics...

Neuromarketing is an emerging field and applies principles from neuroscience and psychology to marketing. The aim is to use learnings from these fields to increase the effectiveness of traditional marketing tactics.

More specifically, neuromarketing is defined as: “a commercial marketing communication field that applies neuropsychology to marketing research, studying consumers' sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli”.

The rising popularity of neuromarketing is interesting from a PR perspective, as it encourages the use of techniques that many PR professionals already employ. In this week’s article, we will look at how PR experts are using these methods to generate results for their clients.

Once upon a time

The importance of stories is recognised by plenty of communication experts, and neuroscience may provide us with the reason why. Neuroscientific studies have found that mirror neurons light up when a person listens to a story. These mirror neurons prompt an individual to mirror a storyteller’s emotional responses while they listen to them tell the story. If you’ve ever heard a story about a friend accidentally slamming their fingers in a car door, then you’ll understand how these mirror neurons can create a visceral reaction. These strong emotional responses can be an effective way to connect with an audience or customers, which is why storytelling is so effective when selling a service or product. 

I’ve been here before - I recognise that tree

Neuromarketing emphasises the effectiveness of repetitive branding. The concept has been explored by Robert Zajonc, who demonstrated through experiments that individuals are prone to like a symbol more if they have seen it several times. In line with this finding, PR professionals often aim to maximise brand exposure through media coverage. By ensuring the same key messages, tone and branding are repeated across media statements, social media content and in media interviews, PR professionals can maximise the chances of their brand being recognised and respected.   

From little things, big things grow

In his book Influence, Robert Cialdini proved that consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that they have previously made a small commitment to. The freemium business model is an example of this. It allows potential customers to engage with a brand and try some of its services for free, usually for a limited time, in the hope of converting them into paying customers. We also see this in PR activities through the creation of frequent touch points with target audiences and requests for small commitments from audiences, such as completing a short opinion survey. From these small actions, PR professionals try to ‘hook’ in audiences and turn them into a supporter of the brand.

Loyalty versus rivalry

PR professionals often define what a brand is by focusing on what it isn’t. Consider the age-old war between Microsoft and Apple, in which users are so supportive of one or the other that they are willing to debate in detail why the other is sub-par, despite having no real investment in the brand other than owning its products. Neuromarketing research indicates that this happens because our brains are hardwired to want to be part of ‘the tribe’. By positioning a brand against its competitors, audiences are welcomed into the brand’s ‘tribe’ and made to feel as though they belong, which then creates a sense of loyalty and a willingness to invest in the brand.

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If you’re interested in finding out more about how Cole Lawson can help your brand become more memorable, feel free to get in touch with us today at www.colelawson.com.au or (07) 3221 2220.