Neuromarketing studies aim to understand the perception and approach components that occur in the subconscious of consumers by interpreting the physical reactions – in other words the physical and brain signals – of consumers. Through this method, it is attainable to capture and understand the correct target audience for businesses by creating their own perception maps and position their products more successfully in the minds of consumers. Therefore it is possible to utilise more than one tool during studies. The expertise lies with selecting the most appropriate tool, whether to measure brain signals, body reactions. Which ones are most commonly preferred?
The first technique that is used for brain signals is the fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) technique that identifies movements occurring in the brains of individuals based on the level of oxygen in certain areas of the brain. With this technique, it can be observed at a speed as quick as a millionth of a second, that when purchasing activities are undertaken by consumers, an increased amount of blood accumulates at the areas of the brain coordinating these activities. Another technique that is used to measure brain activities and the rhythmic waves between neurons is the EEG (Electroencephalogram) technique. With this technique a measurement of unspoken emotional reactions of persons, psychological reactions to products can also be determined. A more advanced version of this technique, SST (Steady State Typography) – with its possibility to measure immediate reactions – allows for the real time recording of brain activities’ reaction to any stimulant. PET (Positron Emission Tomography Device) is another technique that has lead to many developments in brain imaging, but is costly. This technique sheds light on which areas the cognitive activities of the brain take place. For example, it has been determined that the left frontal lobe of the brain is responsible for the coding of information that is to be retained for a long period of time and which is fairly detailed.
On the other hand, in order to interpret physical signals, techniques such as measuring eye movements, facial expressions, skin conductance and heart rhythm are utilised. One of the tools used for these purposes, the Galvanometer, aims to measure the electricity conductivity of the consumers’ skin. With the galvanic skin reaction technique, as the sweating that is caused as a result of an emotional reaction and as the electric resistance of the skin increases, the increase in excitement and interest can also be observed. Similarly, with the eye tracking technique, the observation of the changes to the iris and the determination of what it is focusing on, the level of interest in the product can be determined.
Author: Asst. Prof. Pınar BACAKSIZ