A new research suggests that brain scans could be used as marketing tools in the future.
According to the analysis, done by Dan Ariely, the James B. Duke professor of psychology and behavioural economics at Duke and Gregory S. Berns of Emory's departments of psychiatry, economics and neuropolicy, scans of the human brain may help marketing experts to test a product's appeal while it is still being designed.
"Neuromarketing" takes the tools of modern brain science, like the functional MRI, and applies them to the somewhat abstract likes and dislikes of customer decision-making.
Ariely says, even though this raises the specter of marketers being able to read people's minds (more than they already do), neuromarketing may prove to be an affordable way for marketers to gather information that was previously unobtainable, or that consumers themselves may not even be fully aware of.
Ariely and Gregory have offered tips on what to look for when hiring a neuromarketing firm, and what ethical considerations there might be for the new field. They also point to some words of caution in interpreting such data to form marketing decisions.
Neuromarketing may never be cheap enough to replace focus groups and other methods used to assess existing products and advertising, but it could have real promise in gauging the conscious and unconscious reactions of consumers in the design phase of such varied products as "food, entertainment, buildings and political candidates," Ariely points out.
The report has been published online in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience. (ANI)