Neuromarketing 101

ideal-clientsWhat’s better than getting into your customer’s shoes?

Getting into their head.

Neuromarketing is a relatively new field of marketing research that studies consumers’ cognitive, sensory and affective response to marketing stimuli.

Now before you start thinking that this is some sort of brainwashing scam, remember this: most of the time neuromarketing is simply backing up what marketers have believed for years about consumer behaviour. The field of neuromarketing is not about controlling the consumer’s mind; it is about understanding how it works and how that affects their buying behaviour. Neuromarketing basically taps into the way the brain naturally reacts and
behaves. Note: this is an extremely simplified view around the ethics of neuromarketing, there is much more available to read on this topic as a quick Google search will show you.

While the field is rather new, there is already so much for us, as business owners, to take from neuromarketing. Luckily for you, I’ve put together some of the most useful insights neuromarketing has revealed (or confirmed) right here to save you time and sore eyes from reading scientific papers!

So, how does neuromarketing help you sell ‘smarter’ to your customers? Here are some of the most useful take-aways neuromarketing has to offer for business owners:

When something is rare or ‘stock is running low’ the human mind lights up. It has been shown that when there is a perceived scarcity of a product we tend to rate the ‘rare’ product as more desirable than if there was an abundance of it.

How could I apply this in my business?
● Sell a limited edition run of a product: “Only one of 50!”
● Let potential clients know you only take on XX amount of clients one-on-one: “I limit my coaching clients to three a week, book in now.”
● Limit your affiliate numbers: “Our affiliates are hand-picked advocates of our brand and we never have more than 25 at any one time.”

You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. Yes, that old adage has proven to be true.

Research has shown that when someone offers ‘kindness’ (or on the other hand ‘unkindness’) to someone, the person is predisposed to reciprocate that kindness (or in the other case, unkindness).

How could I apply this in my business?
● Offer a free but valuable opt-in gift for your mailing list: “Sign up to receive updates as well as a copy of my newest eBook for free!”
○ Top tip: research also suggests a ‘bigger’ gift amplifies the reciprocity effect.
● Up your customer service game. Can you give a free sample with a purchased product? What about a handwritten thank you note sent to your client?

Building a tribe
Turns out that the feeling of belonging we get when we are part of a group effects our buying decisions. Just think about how many raving Apple fans there are (myself included) who are willing to go into bat for the technology giant at the slightest inference that Microsoft is better. Research has shown that when we are part of a group (even an artificially constructed one)
we tend to develop group loyalty.

How could I apply this in my business?
Start your tribe, whether it is a membership site, a Facebook page or a mailing list. You want to cultivate a loyal band of brand advocates who love your brand so much they are predisposed to purchase from you (and to tell others to do the same!).

Avoiding buying pain
When we hand over our money the area of our brain that lights up is the same area that comes on when we are experiencing physical pain. This ‘buying pain’ is contextual as we hurt less when we believe something is good value. As you might of guessed, credit card companies have been exploiting this for sometime by removing the need to hand over physical money (money on credit is also not seen as ‘our own’ money, therefore adding more distance from the buying pain).
How could I apply this in my business?

● Remove pain points from your purchasing process. Try packaging your products so your customer only has to ‘hand over the cash’ once.
●  Tell your customer how valuable your product or service is. Even better, show them!

There is so much that neuromarketing can offer us as business owners. It is a discipline that is allowing us to service our customers in more individualised and tailored way. Win, win!

Which of these insights can you implement in your business?

You can find Katie online at or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

About Katie Smyth

Katie is a communications consultant with a flair for wrangling words, brainstorming branding strategy and manhandling marketing collateral (she likes alliteration too).

She has been studying and working in communications for over seven years and has been known to speak about good communication to a room of eager ears.

Katie works with her clients to discover simple and direct messaging which speaks to customers and ultimately brings in more sales.

You can find her online at or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. If you would like to chat send her a note via email.

Feedback & Comments:

  1. Thanks for the tips Katie they are excellent suggestions! I love being in the tribe for just the reason you mentioned.

  2. I’m a big student of neuroscience, it fascinates me. These are super tips that take advantage of what we continue to learn about the brain and how we are wired.

    • It’s an absolutely fascinating subject isn’t it! I love that the science is now backing up lots of those things we, as marketers, intuitively believed in all this time.

  3. Wow, fascinating concepts. It seems like a lot to wrap the brain around, but I guess if we take it one step at a time we can make a brain shift that then translates to the business. I’m going to have to think about this one some more.

    • It is a lot to take in Mira. But as you said, if you can just implement one thing at a time gradually your mindset will shift and these things will become second nature when you are making business/marketing decisions.

  4. Understanding your clients and customers is the key to marketing
    to them, closing the sale and creating excellent delivery of your service.

  5. Love this aspect of marketing and I’m familiar with these approaches but enjoy the fresh spin and great examples – thanks!

  6. Indeed… we should always create our marketing messages to “continue the conversation our ideal clients are having in their head”.

    Write on!~


Speak Your Mind