NEW YORK: Estée Lauder, the cosmetics giant, believes the insights derived from neuromarketing can help brands deliver truly "cutting-edge" marketing.

Daniel Yarosh, the firm's svp/basic science research, told delegates at the Neuromarketing World Forum – an event run by the Neuromarketing Science and Business Association – that this discipline holds enormous potential.

"You can't do cutting-edge marketing – and, I'll add here, cutting-edge neuromarketing – any more without understanding biology," he said. (For more, including how neuroscience can fuel innovation, read Warc's exclusive report, How Estée Lauder enhances the "human brand".)

"This means that marketing is becoming a biological science. The brain comes from somewhere, and you have to understand human evolution and genetics to understand the brain."

According to Yarosh, the promise of neuromarketing rests to a significant extent on the fact it intersects a diverse range of subjects, all of which are of use in analysing human behaviour.

"Neuromarketing is the convergence of evolutionary biology, neuroscience, psychology, genetics, economics and marketing," he said. "Neuromarketing is a biological science."

Estée Lauder itself has leveraged this activity to uncover several "deep rooted" biological needs that are intrinsically related to beauty.

"A closer inspection of this reveals some aspects that are not common in other businesses, and call out for an explanation," he said.

More specifically, humans typically have complex attitudes towards facial appearance – such as finding it far easier to agree on someone else's level of attractiveness than to judge their own.

This type of knowledge is vital for cosmetics brands that are hoping to communicate the distinct benefits of their products to consumers.

"You need to understand your customers, their genes and their brain before you start showing them advertising to pull their levers," said Yarosh.

Data sourced from Warc