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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Exploring the Brain of the Consumer

Just now completing a read of Neuromarketing: Exploring the Brain of the Consumer.   by Leon Zurawicki of  the University of Massachusetts

I had the pleasure of chairing a session with Professor Zurawicki at the Neuroconnections Summit in Cracow Poland in 2009.   I followed up by reading his 2010 book on the subject.  This is a example of where a book has to cover a rapidly changing topic and provide background for the specific application of the innovation as it evolves.  A tough task.  This textbook style,  but largely non technical overview is an excellent place to start your journey.

Professor Zurawicki does an excellent job.  The first chapter, Exploring the Brain, provides a thumbnail overview of the neuroscience involved.    It then follows with a number of theories of brain research methods.  He also covers such recently applied techniques like tracking activity in  mobile settings and the integration of eye-tracking methods.

In the second chapter he covers the influence of multiple senses to emotions,  mood and behavior.  A topic we also experimented with in contextual experiments.   He mentions in particular how our own decision procession behavior can be influenced by apparently rational rules that can be triggered by nonconscious sensory inputs.  He cites Procter & Gamble's Febreze Strategy work as a example of the integration of sensory cues and overt decision processes. 

He specifically addresses the linkage of neural activity and consumer behavior.  And the curious linkage of how behavior breeds emotion and emotion breeds behavior.    I like too the coverage of the memory-learning connection in chapter 3, which links to our own exploration of associative memories.  I am sure there are hints here of how consumers can be convinced in their ultimate behavior.

I have utilized this book and its bibliography a number of times since its publication for explanation of theory and practice.  It is invaluable for the shelf of the marketing emergent technology practitioner.

He completes his journey in Chapter 5: Applying Neuroscience and Biometrics to the Practice of Marketing. Where he outlines the  methods by which many companies are now exploring this approach.  By its nature it is still very complete.  How must we ultimately integrate these learnings with classical marketing techniques?  How are those results implemented in the retail aisle?   There are plans to follow up this book with another that explores some of the specific applications underway in this space.  I look forward to reading that as well.
Enjoy.  I will continue to use this book as a reference. 

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