In the pursuit of greater efficiency and effectiveness across the marketing mix, marketers are exploring new means of assessment and measurement to ensure performance, with neuroscience emerging as a key approach in this context.

In a WARC Best Practice paper, How to use neuroscience to improve your advertising, Heather Andrew of Neuro-Insight addresses the implications of a changing research landscape and how neuroscience principles can help deliver more effective brand communications.

“By focusing on the subconscious drivers of behaviour, neuroscience offers a way of understanding the link between creative and media choices and the ultimate effectiveness of a campaign,” she explains.

It does this by giving a direct view of underlying subconscious processes – with biometric or brain-imaging methods capable of revealing details of engagement, emotional response and memory encoding that may not feature at all in terms of people’s conscious awareness.

In this way marketers are able to look beyond consumers’ claimed motivations to understand what is really going on in people’s heads and the likely impact on future actions and decisions.

The findings can then help marketers better understand and plan for the two sides of communications planning – content and context – identifying the triggers that work for a brand and delivering them consistently across media and channels.

There is no recipe for the perfect ad but there are key ingredients that can boost an advertiser’s chances of driving memory encoding – a key metric for marketers, because it correlates with decision-making and purchase intent and, as a result, is a strong indicator of advertising effectiveness – around their brand and key messages, says Andrew.

“Understanding these can help maximise the effectiveness of any advertising, turning an averagely creative ad into a good one, and potentially making a good one great.”

Added to this, neuroscience explains the relationship between media environments and the content they deliver. In TV, for example, aligning content with context can boost levels of memory encoding by around 25%.

Many creatives understand neuroscientific principles intuitively, Andrew adds, “but there are clear benefits where branding can be woven in a natural way throughout an emotional, engaging narrative, and an applied understanding of some fundamental subconscious responses will maximise the chances of delivering a more effective outcome”.

Sourced from WARC