Why Is Everyone Down On Neuromarketing?

I really admire Evelyn Rodriguez for her ability to make deep connections between business and other aspects of life, and make it interesting at that. But like everyone else, I think she is missing the point of neuromarketing. (Jennifer Rice and I disagreed on this topic a while back. her post and mine). It seems that people have one of three responses to neuromarketing. Either a)you don't need it, just listen to your customers or b)it's dangerous and we don't want to deal with the ethical issues it could raise or c)it doesn't work. To point b I would say tough luck, we have to deal with it because it's coming. To point c I would say look at the research. So that leaves point a. Do we really need neuromarketing?

Yes.Yes.Yes. Why? Because you can't fool a brainscan. I don't think neuromarketing is the search for a magic button that makes people buy, rather, it is the search for how people really feel about a product or service. Everyone has a different worldview based on his or her past experiences, and while listening and engaging them may help us understand how they think, we can never be totally sure we are getting the truth. Why not? Because we ourselves don't always know the truth. We don't always know what we want. We can't even explain our own actions sometimes.

Part of the reason so many new products fail is because marketing people vary in skill just like people in every other profession. Some marketing pros are amazing when it comes to understanding what customers want, and others are… less than amazing. Neuromarketing is a tool that helps improve interaction with customers and makes every marketer smarter. A brain scan can tell you if a customer is truthful, influenced by peer pressure, or just telling you what you want to hear. It allows you to get an uncensored initial reaction to something, as opposed to the censored version a customer actually speaks.

I know 90% of the blogosphere doesn't agree with this, but neuromarketing isn't going away. You might as well embrace it and figure out how best to use it.

Disclaimer: I will say that from Evelyn's post it is difficult to tell if she is opposed to neuromarketing as a whole, or just the presentation and use of it in the UTNE article.