MANAGEMENT SLANT

  • The inclusion of neuroscience and psychology has benefited researchers’ understanding of consumers and communication effects.
  • Conceptual inconsistencies, poor business practices, and a lack of academic rigor have hampered the emerging fields of consumer neuroscience and neuromarketing.
  • Applied research needs to provide a way to ensure that basic research is translated, validated, and tested against the initial claims.
  • The language of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience should be employed, because it has the longest and most substantial research on the faculties of the mind.
  • Collaborative efforts are needed to reduce conceptual confusion and increase the validity of neuromarketing and consumer neuroscience.

INTRODUCTION

When the term “neuromarketing”; first officially was published in academic journals (Ariely and Berns, 2010; Hotz, 2008; Lee, Broderick, and Chamberlain, 2007; Wilson, Gaines, and Hill, 2008), it was preceded by both academic research and commercial attempts to employ neuroscience to provide answers to challenges in business practices, especially in advertising and marketing research. Around the same time, a novel breed of research firms that offered neuroscience tests to corporations emerged, selling solutions that purportedly measured true, subconscious emotional and cognitive responses. This line of thinking stems back at least 40 years (Kroeber-Riel, 1979), when studies used different neuroscience and physiology measures to test the efficacy of advertising. Although these early steps failed to consolidate, probably because neither the technology nor the science was sufficiently mature at the time, the initiatives at the turn of the millennium and especially since 2010 have had much more success, both commercially and academically.