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The new challenges of neuromarketing at the NWF

We talk about artificial intelligence and improved research methodologies in this new article by Luca Florentino // CEO of Ottosunove

The Neuromarketing World Forum, held this year in Berlin from 28 to 30 September, confirms its status as the benchmark event for the global neuromarketing community.

Leading experts in the field shared the results of their latest research and discussed methodologies and new applications of neuroscience to marketing and communication. In short, it was a unique opportunity to reconnect, after a two-year forced hiatus, with numerous friends, speakers and contributors from Certamente.

Starting with Gesa Liscka, this edition’s master of ceremonies, and Carla Nagel, Executive Director of NMSBA, who hosted two days full of content and ideas for the future of a sector that is in full development, in terms of science and technology as well as business.

What are the leading trends that emerged from the Neuromarketing World Forum?

1. Neuromarketing and new technologies

Artificial Intelligence, robotics, augmented realty and virtual assistants are gradually becoming part of our lives and can represent a strategic touch point for brands too.

The application of machine learning to neurometric research undoubtedly represents an interesting opportunity to make the use of neuromarketing tools faster and more flexible, during the development of a creative concept or the production of a TV commercial for example.

Ingrid Nieuwenhuis, of, has, for instance, proven that an eye tracker based on an AI algorithm can guarantee reliable research results, without collecting data from live participants but by applying machine learning to a solid database of previous research conducted on similar communication items.

Aline Simonetti and Nikki Leeuwis focused on the application of neuromarketing to Augmented Reality and the Metaverse; Gaia Rancati, Ph.D. Middle Tennessee State University, shared an outstanding piece of research on the impact of digital voice assistants on online shopping environments, analysing the biases, particularly in terms of gender, that influence the relationship with Alexa and Ziggy, her male alter ego.

2. The evolution of research methodologies

Neuromarketing is now 20 years old, so it is a young science. It was 2002 when Ale Smidts, Professor of Marketing Research at the Rotterdam School of Management, coined this neologism. Research methodologies are evolving all the time.

Rich Timpone shared the outstanding results of IPSOS in measuring the cognitive conflict of people who have to acquire a new form of behaviour. Analysing the strength of brain resistance in adopting a new habit is strategic not only for marketing but also for public and social policy, especially in times of great uncertainty such as those we are currently experiencing. Manuel Garcia-Garcia, on the other hand, presented the results of a mapping of the terms that define the main emotions in the world’s languages and cultures. A true comparability of research results, especially for multinational brands, depends on a precise definition of terminology.

Elissa Moses, one of the most authoritative protagonists in global neuromarketing who has spoken at various editions of Certamente, innovates qualitative research by introducing into focus groups the use of neurometric tools for measuring the emotional involvement of participants in real time. This is an incredible evolution, which can enrich the results of
qualitative research, making them more complete and reliable, bringing together the unconscious and the declared, the two fundamental elements of people’s decision-making process.

Lastly, Ale Smidts (the father of the word “neuromarketing”) closed the forum by addressing the relationship between the number of participants and the reliability of neurometric research results, a central theme for both neuromarketing researchers and clients.

3. The integration of neuro and other disciplines

Human decisions are influenced by numerous factors, the impact of which can be measured by neurometric tools. The integration of neuromarketing with other disciplines, such as aesthetics or sensory marketing, therefore, becomes natural.

Aoife McGuinness spoke about neuroaesthetics, analysing how our brains relate to works of art and how some of the insights gained from these studies can be used to create truly effective and engaging marketing campaigns.

Malgorzata Jakubowska and Gusang Wong, on the other hand, investigated the power of the sense of smell to recall memories and mental associations stored in our memory, unconsciously influencing people’s purchasing choices in the field of personal and home care.

4. Companies on stage of Neuromarketing World Forum: where’s the beef?

Fronterra, Deloitte, Mars: more and more companies have in-house neuromarketing laboratories and university collaborations to gauge the impact of advertising, packaging and shelf layout on potential consumers.

The point of view of stakeholders who are more attentive to the impact of research on business and sales highlights the fact that insights must be effective as well as reliable.

Tomasz Soluch, of Fronterra, shared his company lab’s expertise in combining traditional and neuro research methodologies to create a store layout capable of drawing attention, guiding the choices made by consumers and translating into growth in terms of sell out.

Sorin Patilinet, of Mars, presented the extraordinary work of the multinational company, which, after years of research into advertising around the world, has succeeded in defining the relationship between the ability of advertising to attract the attention of the public and product sales results, summarising some very interesting “dos and don’ts” for companies and creatives.

Benni Briesemeister, of Deloitte, and Roger Dooley on the other hand, explored the effectiveness of communication in the digital world, where people’s levels of attention and engagement are even lower and blurred.

Digital communication tools, like newsletters, can become effective again thanks to the use of neuro and behavioural marketing insights, which can present content in an easy and brain-friendly way, overcoming the barrier of a lack of attention.

The focus on business and the effectiveness of a neuroscientific approach to marketing and communication has always been the hallmark of CERTAMENTE, which will continue hosting the contributions of the experts present in Berlin, working together with NMSBA to popularise a science that can improve the impact and effectiveness of communication for
both brands and people.

To learn more about CERTAMENTE, read the story here.