By Professor Debdutta Choudhuri, Visiting Professor

What is Neuromarketing?

Neuromarketing is a new field to understand consumer psychological response to marketing stimuli. It aims to understand the consumer decision process to buy based on marketing stimuli by measuring consumer psychological and neural responses.


The earliest neuromarketing technique used is the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET) in the 1990s by Herald Zaltman and Gemma Calvert by exploring human sub consciousness through images to elicit purchase decisions. The term “neuromarketing” is coined by a Dutch Professor Ale Smidts in 2002. From the beginning of this century, marketers and neuroscientists are using various tools like MRI scans to understand customer responses to various marketing stimuli like colour, image, packaging etc.

Why use Neuromarketing?

It has been widely established that the conventional marketing research techniques do not always provide the right indicators since consumers consciously give certain responses based on prevailing political, social and economic expectations and that may not actually reflect their beliefs. Neuromarketing on the other hand uses sophisticated equipment like Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Electroencephalogram (EEG) and Eyeball tracking to understand the true reaction of a certain marketing stimulus. Researchers then try to determine whether the responses received through the readings are linked to positive responses. Therefore neuromarketing investigates consumers’ neural responses rather than self-declared data and this helps researchers understand the actual emotions of customers. This may later lead to development of behavioural marketing theories and could also help corporates to accurately frame their marketing campaigns.

 Applications of Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing is used by companies to understand the following aspects of consumer behaviour

  1. Eye Ball Tracking to understand consumer attention to images and videos.
  2. The reaction to various colours.
  3. The response to packaging.
  4. Reaction to advertisements.
  5. Response to multiple buying choices leading to Decision Paralysis.
  6. Measure Satisfaction.
  7. Understand Anchoring as a parameter of buying decision.
  8. Response to speed and convenience.
  9. Prototype and beta testing
  10. Pricing decisions.
  11. Designing Marketing collaterals like brochures, website etc.