Neuromarketing for B2B
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 question is: these techniques and neural tools can be used to better position and market B2B solutions?
Neuromarketing is the scientific study of how the brain responds to branding and advertising. Neuromarketing uses insights from neuroscience, behavioral economics, and social psychology, applying them to measure and improve the effectiveness of product design, branding, and marketing practices.
What if you could see the neural light show when customers interact with your brand? What if you could see exactly how consumers respond to your marketing campaigns, sales teams, and customer service reps – or any aspect of your business? What areas of their brain light up when they talk to their friends about your company?
Neuromarketing is a topical, emerging & disciplinary field in marketing that employs the sub-conscious or implicit emotions of the customers in order to target them. Non-conscious decisions have often a much bigger impact on the decision-making process than explicit emotions.
The concept of neuromarketing combines marketing, psychology & neuroscience. Implicit motivations of the customers are researched to delve deeper into their decision-making process. The process involves non-invasive psychoanalysis of the prospects’ brain activity using methods such as
- electroencephalography (EGC). Subject wears a cap of electrodes while being assessed
- magnetoencephalography (MEG) & functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). A powerful magnet tracks the human brain and its pleasure center.
- eye tracking & electrodermal response measures.
Deeper understanding and empathy for your customers will enable you to predict their behavior more accurately and deliver the best possible customer experiences. Neuromarketing is bigger than creating catchy ads and compelling cues. Insights gained into human behavior can be applied across your organization, from achieving executive alignment to stronger cross-function communication and collaboration to improving employee and customer experience.
There are three types of neuromarketing:
- Visual: Based on how we perceive a product or service with our eyes.
- Auditory: Based on what we hear and how we perceive that sound.
- Kinetic: What we perceive through taste, touch or smell.
What does neuromarketing measure:
- Attention: We can get it through advertising, although we must impact quality users.
- Emotion: Based on what emotions the ad generates to users during their viewing.
- Memory: This is the most complicated aspect, since we must try to make users remember the brand, product or service.
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 question is: these techniques and neural tools can be used to better position and market B2B solutions?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.
B2B marketing is gradually adapting to customers’ behavioral insights and applying the personas’ sub-conscious choices along with the underlying brain activities & integrating it with data generated from inbound marketing endeavors which help marketers achieve their ultimate goal of Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO). Neuromarketing elps create effective marketing strategies and therefore better marketing ROI.
How Neuromarketing can be applied to B2B
- Web Content. 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 analyse the brain response to the content, aesthetics and setup of their websites.
- Leveraging Simplicity According to the Brain Preference. Paraphrasing complex sentences in your content to simpler ones, helps in engrossing the users’ attention for a longer duration. The same philosophy can be applied while writing a content heading, an introductory or concluding paragraph & while creating a clutter-free website design to generate maximum website conversions.
- Developing Models of Customer Behavior. Marketers can use insights from neuromarketing to determine whether their products, services or advertisements are evoking positive responses in the mind of customers. These insights along with the explicit insights gathered from demographic data, technographic data, firmographic data, & other intent signals can help marketers develop models of customer behavior &, in turn, can also be used as a basis to segment prospects by including their theoretical emotional aspects into the equation.
- Test-running the Impact of Marketing & Branding. Marketers can test-advertise the product amongst small cluster audiences & track the different predictions of choice to find out how different choices suffice the needs of specific clusters; before launching a brand or a new marketing strategy to a bigger niche.
- Blending Neuromarketing & Big-Data. Neuromarketing can also integrate with Big Data which helps in understanding modern-day advertising channels such as social networking, search behavior & website engagement patterns. Rather than being programmed to anticipate every possible answer, through intelligent machine learning, cognitive computing system can be 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.
- Employing better strategies to Upsell to the Price-Sensitive Prospects. When it comes to culminating sales deals, price plays an imperative role & should, therefore, be not only competitive but should also have additional features to make a greater impression in the minds of prospects, as:The price should reflect what additional features are being provided in that particular price, apart from the basic ones.
Ideally, it is wiser to have either just 3 buying prices or to bundle costs into one. Providing too many customised options & break-up of costs tend to scare away the price-sensitive persona.
When it comes to deciding about the final price, practical aspects of designing & relevance of content hold a definite edge over just a beautiful design.
- Aligning the Images on the Website with Call-To-Action Button. A website having well-designed images that are aligned with the context of the landing pages & also divert action towards a Call-To-Action button, generate greater conversions than the websites that are having no synchronization between their landing page images & CTA buttons. Also, the brain is habituated to read information from left to right-hand side & hence it is advisable to place the CTAs on the right-hand side of a landing page.
- Using Fonts that Can Be Processed Faster by Brain. Certain fonts like Helvetica, Roboto, Calibri & SF UI are processed faster by the users’ brain & ensure that marketing information is passed on easily to the audiences. Furthermore, certain types of fonts are best-suited to specific purposes like Times New Roman is for academic or professional set-ups while Disney font is for children-centric pieces.
- Creating Personalized Content. Personalisation is an indispensable element of B2B marketing particularly when it comes to personalised content creation. Content needs to be relevant to the users & in order to optimise users’ experience hyper-targeted pieces of content need to be served to them at each stage of their individual buying cycles. Personalization can help make or break the deal when it comes to email marketing. Drafting personalized pieces of content can help in engaging & converting a higher number of prospects.
- Making the Most Apt Color Selection & Testing the Website Loading Time. Some colors create a better perception & engagement in the mind of prospects. According to a study published in alore.io, color can increase brand recognition by 80%. As per the same report, 93% of customers are swayed by visual stimuli. The study also stated that colored ads are likely to notice 42% more than black & white ads & that people often make a judgment about a product within 90 seconds of getting visually attracted & 60% of that perception is based on color alone. Neuromarketing can be used to deduce which colors are engaging users better. For example, pink is a color which is preferred by traditional shoppers, while blue represents calmness & confidence. Furthermore, page load time also is an important benchmark in engrossing users’ attention, engaging & converting them.
- Load time. The ideal page loading time shouldn’t be more than 2 seconds & if it exceeds 3 seconds up to 40% of the users will abandon your website (Source: Gomez.com). Moreover, a study by radware.com, shows that around 85% of users expect websites to load faster on their mobile than on their desktop. Along with website load time, many components impact a user’s experience such as website layout & hierarchy, intuitiveness, ease of use, and more can be tested by neuromarketing technics & can be improved by the best inbound practices, content marketing & other strategies.
- Building & Cultivating Trust. Prospects are unlikely to sign up for newsletters if there is even an iota of doubt. Tracking the subconscious behavior of users on the landing page, scrutinising which components of the landing page are diverting them away & which ones on an average are driving maximum conversions, can play a crucial role in optimizing the conversions on the website.
- Net Promoter Score. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) measure is computed from answers to the question: How likely are you to recommend brand X to a colleague using a scale from 0 to 10 where zero means not at all likely and ten means very likely?The score is computed by taking the percentage of people who give a score of 9 or 10 out of 10 (the promoters) and subtracting the percentage of people who give a score of 6 or below (the detractors). Crucially, those giving a score of 7 or 8 are ignored (the passives). NPS can be improved by taking a neuromarketing perspective with new measures of loyalty assessment work and the depth of insight it provides.
- Getting Better Results in Tests while Spending less Money. A test using neuroscience methods like EEG does not need thousands of people to produce accurate findings. It only requires a sample of just twenty people. The low sample number is because our brains are remarkably similar, although there are differences between gender difference and age difference are some of the variables.
- Avoid Internet Surveys. Many sales and marketers are using Internet surveys to improve customer satisfaction. But surveying customers while they are using a product or service actually harms satisfaction and reduces useful feedback. This is because when consumers expect to report about their satisfaction with a product or service, they adopt a critical attitude. They search for things that are wrong. This leads them to have a less enjoyable experience.
- Develop Nurturing Campaigns to Win New Accounts. In B2B is extremely important to nurture prospect by building a trust based business relationship. To do this particularly for a prospect, you must nurture the account with regular touches. Now, this is important the touches are not sales letters or product demos or special pricing deals. It is necessary educate the customer on things that interest the prospect. Articles on their industry trends, case studies showing how other companies solved issues similar to the prospect’s issues, white papers showing a third party research or testimonial regarding things that are important to the prospect. By the way, when I started selling it only took about four or five visits for the prospect to know who you were and what or how you could help them.
- Uses Brain to Increase Productivity and Efficiency Rate. Neuromarketing is useful for detecting customer trends. Whilst companies often seek to portray a sense of safety and security but speed and efficiency may be what customers are after. For example, PayPal has discovered that the promise of convenience activated the brain more than security. Neuromarketing combines research in consumer behavior and cognitive neuroscience to understand judgment and decision making. It focuses on attention, memory, rewards and risk aversion.
- Rapid-Response Rate Which Boost Motivation and Confidence. Neuroscience has shown that most of our decision-making is automatic, intuitive and instinctive and ‘rapid-response’ part of our brains. After that initial ‘autopilot’ response, we then rationalise those decisions, the brain the reflects the logical section which automatically gives more confidence. This gives more reason to the customer to believe in your company because you are providing informations that goes directly into their subconscious mind.
- Helps to Understand Emotional Reaction which Ultimately Lead to Higher Profit. One interesting thing utilised by neuromarketing is that people really don’t want to lose out! People are more worried about what they might lose to what they might gain. For this reason “buy before it’s gone” strategies are highly effective. When the alternative option is posed as a loss, consumers are much more likely to buy. A concept called “framing” is highly important in neuromarketing. This technique is teaches how to present decisions to consumers in a way that makes them more likely to splash the cash. Unlike back then where brain imaging was purely reserved for use the academic and scientific purpose, neuromarketing, has tapped into the incredible potential of fMRI imaging to grant us insights into human behavior and consumer habits. With that, you can compare advertising campaigns before releasing them to the general public. This gives an incredible potential and advantage for enhancing marketing strategies, increasing engagement and action. Simply said, bringing in more cash.
- Selling to the Price Sensitive. Neuromarketing talks about how a site visitor can be lead onto reading your CTAs. The key here is the direction of the eyes used in the imagery of your site. Also, a majority of us are trained to read from left to right (Unlike Arabic or Japanese Tategaki of course). It means we are subconsciously programmed to scan any content left to right. So its best to have the CTA to the right unless you have a really powerful design to guide the visitor otherwise. There’s a very popular research example to share here. Researchers experimented with two landing pages for a diaper brand. Everything was kept the same except for the baby image which had the baby having eye contact with the user and the other with eyes towards the Landing page’s copy. Thereafter the heatmaps tracked showed the following results.The CTA that worked better was the one which had the baby looking towards the CTA. Decide what effect you’d like to have with the image. e.g. if it’s a Blog’s featured image that needs to stand out, have the image with a person having direct eye contact with the reader. They click rates will increase. However, if you’re on a landing page and want the reader to read a certain CTA or copy – have the image’s hero look towards that direction.
The Future of Neuromarketing
Neuroscience and the technologies available to neuroscience and marketing continue to develop. This makes the confirmation of existing knowledge look a lot like confirmation of the potential for a more developed and mature neuromarketing.
A productive use of the meantime would be to figure out the inevitable ethical and regulatory questions including data privacy and security, especially with the GDPR and ongoing data breach scandals so fresh in our digital cultural memory.
The potential for neuromarketing to further innovate the digital transformation of business and elevate what it means to be an intelligent enterprise is vast. With an exponentially deeper understanding of your customers’ needs, wants, desires, intentions, and behaviors integrated into your already robust customer profiles, it’s hard to overestimate the competitive advantage afforded by this new dimension of customer insight.
Creating exceptional emotional experiences that are individualized on an unprecedented scale, in an appropriate and ethically transparent way that pleases your customers while understanding, respecting, and aligning with their values and their expectations – that’s the potential of neuromarketing to usher in the next generation of CX as the values and emotion economy continues to evolve. Closing the experience gap is only the beginning.