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Since the dawn of marketing, branding professionals have relied on their understanding of human motivation and behavior as a means of appealing to the right customer. In recent years, we’ve used these strategies to develop user personas based on specific demographic and psychographic information. However, with the market for consumers’ attention becoming increasingly more competitive, success is ultimately reliant on our ability to drill down and identify what influences our consumers’ decisions.

According to Catharine Hays, executive director of the Wharton Future of Advertising program, 80% of the decisions or choices people make are based in their subconscious (Knowledge@Wharton). The implication is clear: to crack the marketing enigma we must understand how the mind works. That’s where neuromarketing comes into play.

So, what is neuromarketing?

At its core, neuroscience is an area of research that studies how our brains react to the world around us. In neuromarketing, the focus is on discovering how the brain responds to certain marketing stimuli. It seeks to help marketers understand how and why we tick, and how those insights are applied to their work.

The more we learn about consumers from a scientific perspective, the more we can adjust our advertising and marketing strategies to ensure we’re appealing to the right audience in the proper context.

How will neuromarketing transform advertising?

No more focus groups

Traditional research methods, such as customer surveys and focus groups, may not provide genuine insights into behavior because people’s responses often derive from the rational, conscious part of the brain rather than the unconscious portion that drives our decision-making.

While there will always be a place for traditional survey research, neuroscience-based methods will help provide a deeper and more meaningful layer of understanding. From easy-to-implement technology such as eye-tracking or implicit reaction times to more advanced techniques like biometric testing or brain scanning, 2019 will see brands big and small adopting scientific approaches that yield results.

Simple but substantive strategies

For most individuals, their procedural memory can only handle five to seven items at any moment (The Human Memory). Which is why simplified designs have been linked with better usability and brand favorability.

If your audience perceives your content as complicated and time-consuming, they’ll move on to your competition. Being mindful of potential barriers, such as poor font choices or complicated graphics, is essential when targeting consumers. Aim for content that offers value in a simple and accessible way.

The rise of micro- and nano-influencers

Influencer marketing is a concept that has taken off in recent years, and for good reason. Neuromarketing reminds us that people are reluctant to try new things unless they have compelling social proof from a trusted source (Relevance). In general, humans tend to defer to those they view as experts, and the more interaction someone has with them, the more they value their opinions.

When selecting an influencer keep in mind their popularity. Influencers who have a follower base of 500,000 or more won’t have the bandwidth to heavily interact with their audience, meaning their views may hold less power.

However, micro- and nano-influencers (those with a following of 1,000 to 100,000) are likely to engage with their followers and reply to comments. This type of interaction helps bolster their image as a trustworthy source. If you can get them to believe in your brand, you’re likely to convince their audience to give you a chance. Tapping into the powerful relationship dynamics of micro-/nano-influencers will be a toolkit staple for marketers in 2019.

Personalization of content and delivery

As behavioral targeting continues to increase in complexity, the battle for consumers’ attention also increases. It’s no longer enough to simply segment your audiences and target them with content you suspect matches their interests—everyone else can do the same. To stand out, you need to gather specific data on your target audience, then utilize that data to create content that offers value and speaks to their motivations.

The method by which you deliver content has a large impact on an audience member’s motivation. 78% of US Internet users said personally relevant content from brands increases their purchase intent (Marketing Insider Group). 2019 will be the year we see strategies built on that insight.

Campaigns will be born from unconventional methods

Neuroscience isn’t just affecting how brands approach consumers. Companies have begun using neuromarketing’s findings to inform their strategic planning and design creations.

The use of neuroscience allows marketers to develop concepts focused on intuitive, emotional, and visual concepts rather than traditional rationale. Using a more visual approach enables you to gain a new understanding of how consumers perceive your business, product, or service.

While discussing what a brand would be if it were a color, a season, or a day of the week may feel bizarre, it allows you to tap into the unconscious mind—the part of our brains that drives decision-making.

To reach your audience in a unique way, prepare for campaigns inspired by intuitive feelings over objective facts in the coming months.


Neuromarketing is a powerful way to reach your target audience. The more strategies you employ, the more you can cultivate your approach and connect with your customers on a deeper level. Interested in implementing neuromarketing strategies in your next campaign? Reach out to MOSAIC’s team of knowledgeable marketing experts.

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