In the book Buyology, Martin Lindstrom explores the neurological activity using scientific studies and consumer statistics to get to the bottom—or rather the brain—of marketing. Our brains are running a mile a minute and the scary thing is that we are only conscious of a fraction of what’s going on up there.
Belief vs. Buyology
In one study participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire that gauged their responses to cigarette warning labels. Unsurprisingly, most answered that the warnings deterred them from smoking. That’s it then, right? If they say it then it must be true because, really, what reason would they have to lie? Their buyology couldn’t possibly say anything to the contrary.
Well none, but their brain knows something that they don’t know it seems. In the second part of the experiment participants were again showed the warning labels, but this time they were also hooked up to an fMRI. As the participants observed the gruesome images on the screen, the fMRI scanned the brain for signs of activity. The results were astounding.
It was found that the nucleus accumbens—also known as the ‘craving spot’—was actually stimulated when subjects were introduced to the warning labels and the diseased images that often accompanied them. It seemed that all the warnings and the anti-smoking paraphernalia with its valiant intent of keeping people from smoking actually ended up being a killer marketing tool.
Buyology At Work: Is The Customer Always Right?
You’re flipping through channels after a long day at work, just trying to find something that really strikes your fancy. So what do you pick? Well you might not know, but you’re brain has a good idea of what it wants.
Quizmania was a game show in which viewers were invited to call in to guess the identity of the singer behind the curtain in which the reward for the correct answer was a cash prize. Before it could get picked up though, it had to be vetted by a consumer group. SST (Steady State Topography) caps were placed on the participants’ noggins and Quizimania got under way.
The results? Once again staggering. In the questionnaire, participants stated that they would rather watch anything but the game show. They hated it, loathed it even, and absolutely would not be subjected to another minute of it. The SST results painted a different picture though with viewer engagement (measured in the frontal lobe of the brain) being consistently high amongst participants; chalk it up to buyology.(Quizmania ended up a success, eventually airing in the UK as well as Australia, Brazil and a slew of other countries.)
Neuromarketing is just one facet of the innovative and diverse marketing world. Take a look at all of the different subsets having to do with Buyology, including the always growing multi-level marketing and what it has to offer! For another good read just like Buyology, check out this red-hot seller.