Mo’ Brainwaves, Mo’ Questions?

Mo’ Brainwaves, Mo’ Questions?

iModerate Author

Mar 30, 2011

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Broadly speaking, neuromarketers measure how the brain and body react to certain stimuli, then extrapolate from that information whether an advertisement, brand, product, or package is having its desired effect. – Fast Company 3.21.11

Nueromarketing is all the rage in the research world. Last week we attended ARF re:Think 2011 in NYC and you couldn’t escape the presence of brainwaves. Of course we are referring to the type of brainwaves being tracked by devices to decode consumer behavior, not the kind used for Jedi training as seen here. (We have this device in our office and I am currently a Level I Padawan.)

But seriously, let’s think about this for just a minute. Maybe the holy grail of market research isn’t figuring out brand sentiment and decoding chatter in the social space, but rather figuring out how to leverage electroencephalograms (EEGs) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRIs) to understand the real emotional why behind consumers’ decision making processes.

While neuromarketing techniques might still be at the ‘fuzzy front end’ of legitimacy, they are without question extremely intriguing. Just imagine being able to avoid the pitfalls that come with relying on respondents to put their emotions into words, and instead acquiring the purest form of feedback.

The ARF Neurostandards Collaboration Project, the first study of its kind to conduct an independent peer review of neuro-and biometric market research, didn’t exactly give us the definitive yay or nay on neuromarketing that many of us wanted. Essentially the review board said that neuromarketing shows promise, but advised it still only be used as a supplement to other research. Moreover, the results of a test project based around a campaign for Colgate, and participated in by 8 different nueromarketing firms, were inconsistent.

So is nueromarketing going to change research forever? Will actual communication with respondents be a thing of the past? Is this shiny futuristic research for real? One thing is for sure, for nueuromarketing to gain mass acceptance it needs collaboration from all of the key players, some serious vetting and some industry-wide standards.

What’s your take on it – Biggest methodological breakthrough since the survey or research’s version of the CueCat?



iModerate Author

Our research work with iModerate over the past several years has developed into a true partnership. Their unique fusion of both qualitative and quantitative methodologies in a single study has offered new insights into key topics and markets of interest for our organization, which in turn, we are able to quickly turn into action steps. They are flexible, responsive, and extremely engaged in the entire project process, from conception and design to final data processing and delivery. They have even gone above and beyond by volunteering their time, resources, and expertise to assist with a special target market project on women. iModerate has their finger on the pulse of the research industry and consistently provides creative suggestions and solutions to enhance our current work. This ultimately allows us to provide our leadership with the strategic insights and opportunities that helps us to advance the common good.

Kristin Thomsen, Manager, Market Research, United Way Worldwide