Using Neuromarketing Techniques for B2B Solutions

b2bneuromarketingWe’ve looked at a lot of different ways that solutions marketing differs from product marketing. A lot has been written about thought leadership, more outcome-oriented value propositions, simulation centers, and other solutions-appropriate marketing approaches. But what about neuromarketing? This is seen as one of the new frontiers of marketing today. Using it to understand how customers react to consumer product marketing initiatives has proven to be pretty compelling. Brands such as Campbell’s Soup, Gerber, and Frito-Lay have used neuromarketing to restyle their packaging designs. Consumers were exposed to a product’s packaging piece by piece, and their response was recorded as positive, neutral, or negative. Frito-Lay discovered matte bags with pictures of potatoes trigger a negative response, whereas shiny bags with pictures of chips on them did not. Within months, new bags were designed and the shiny ones were scrapped and sales increase by 7% in a month. With outcomes like this, it’s no wonder that demand has spiked for business-oriented psychologists and neurologists.

Neuromarketing is a Cool Term – But What is it Exactly?

The literature on neuromarketing is piling up like snow in Boston this winter. But what is this new futuristic field of marketing? The literature describes it as the science of understanding human behavior using phycometric, biometric and neurometric tools. Since that definition likely didn’t help you very much, here’s another way to describe it. According to Wikipedia, it is: “A new field of marketing which uses medical technologies to study the brain’s responses to marketing stimuli. Researchers use these techniques to measure changes in activity in parts of the brain and to learn why consumers make the decisions they do, and what part of the brain is telling them to do it. This knowledge will help marketers create products and services designed more effectively and marketing campaigns focused more on the brain’s response”. This suggests that understanding and predicting consumer behavior must include the perspective of neuroscience. In fact, the combination of “neuro” and marketing implies the merging of two fields of study: neuroscience and marketing. Neuroscience and behavioral sciences like Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) believe that the unconscious mind drives how a consumer responds to any visual or aural marketing stimuli -- ads, website content, PPT presentations, etc.

It Seems to Work for Supermarket Products…But What About B2B Solutions?

The initial applications of neuromarketing have been for B2C products. It’s been used to address issues such as how does the brain react when it sees certain product packaging, and what is the level of simulation when a specific TV commercial is shown. The million-dollar question for solutions marketers, however, is whether these techniques and neural tools can be used to better position and market B2B solutions. We believe that the answer is “yes”. After all, at the end of the day, buying decisions are made by people. B2B, by definition, is a commercial relationship between two organizations, but people represent these organizations. While a B2B model doesn’t allow for impulse buying, B2B buyers still have impulsive reactions to solutions marketing messages.

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Examples of How Neuromarketing can be Applied to B2B Solutions

Research has shown us that solutions buyers usually first self-educate themselves about their options by visiting websites of potential vendors. However, creating highly effective web content is difficult regardless of the industry. This is a potentially great opportunity to understand customer behavior. Some companies have been using eye tracking and EEG measurements to analyze the brain response to the content, aesthetics and setup of their websites.

Here are some examples of how B2B companies have started to apply neuromarketing:

Microsoft has become one of the pioneers in using eye tracking techniques to engage a number of clients in a wide range of industries from supermarkets such as Carrefour to oil field service companies such as Schlumberger. IBM has been used neuralinguistic programming to appeal to their clients and tap into the next era of computing with Watson, a cognitive computing system that learns and interacts with people naturally. Using Watson to analyze and interpret complex Big Data in real time and merge the outcome with the latest research in neuromarketing and NLP is used to exploit the success rate in various B2B markets. Rather than being programmed to anticipate every possible answer, through intelligent machine learning, Watson is trained to sense and predict customer preferences. This capability provides B2B companies a better picture about what the customer actually values and therefore enables them to fulfill this need ahead of their competition.

The Next Battlefield in Gaining your Customer’s Mindshare

Over the past 5-10 years, we’ve seen a marked improvement in how solutions marketers have developed and implemented solutions-focused marketing messages and campaigns. Inbound is now dominant over outbound. Thought leadership content has exploded in the blogosphere and through better structured white papers. Now that you and your teams know what to do, is it time to invest in neuromarketing to better understand how to do it?

Contact Us

Would you like to learn more about how to apply neuromarketing tools and methods to your solutions marketing programs? Contact us – we’d be happy to help you out.

Used sources:
http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/07/does_neuromarketing_work_poor_data_secret_analysis_and_logical_errors.html http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/9984498/Neuromarketing-can-science-predict-what-well-buy.html http://www.fastcompany.com/1769238/neurofocus-uses-neuromarketing-hack-your-brain http://www.smivision.com/en/gaze-and-eye-tracking-systems/applications/neuromarketing.html
Lee N, Broderick JA, Chamberlain L. What is ‘neuromarketing’? A discussion and agenda for future research. International Journal of Psychophysiology. 2007;63:199–204 whats neuro focus have been done http://www.salesbrain.com/neuromap-overview/ http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/marketing-message-neuro-linguistic-programming-nlp http://www.salesbrain.com/ http://www.forbes.com/sites/hbsworkingknowledge/2013/02/01/neuromarketing-tapping-into-the-pleasure-center-of-consumers/ http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/6950.html http://www.salesbrain.com/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCo2xCjecKA&list=PLfwyXLS950OB4StF5c35aM9qz5-wM5-Ea http://www.nlpcoaching.com/nlp-strategies-the-mind-body-connection-to-behavior/ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/9984498/Neuromarketing-can-science-predict-what-well-buy.html

Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UBRSgS0aGA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaLCLVSBlfc
Author: Steve Hurley, Managing Director at Solutions Insights
Athina Martinez

MBA and Mechanical Engineer originally from Venezuela with three years of experience in Project Management in the manufacture and oil field industries. In recent role, contributed to achieve business which increased revenue by 35%. Led the launched of the first Mitsubishi SUV assembled in Venezuela.

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