Marketing Neuroscience

Prijzen en aanbiedingen?

Afgelopen maandag kwam de Consumentenbond met de roe voor speelgoedwinkels. Het blijkt dat de aanbiedingen die een aantal speelgoedwinkels nu promoten duurder zijn dan de prijzen van de zomer.

Eigenlijk is dit helemaal geen verrassing. Vanuit inzichten uit de Neurowetenschappen blijkt al langer dat consumenten de exacte prijzen van producten niet herinneren en ten hoogste de relatieve prijs weten. Denk bijvoorbeeld maar eens na wat exact een paar sokken kost of een chocolade letter. Ik heb het zelf meestal met groente en fruit. Waar vroeger fruit alleen in het juiste seizoen verkrijgbaar was is het nu zo dat je bijvoorbeeld het hele jaar door aardbeien kan kopen. Buiten het seizoen zijn deze echter redelijk duur. Nu weet ik het seizoen niet precies dus weet ik eigenlijk ook niet wanneer ik veel te veel betaal…

In de online wereld zullen deze prijsverschillen en verschillen in aanbiedingen niet alleen verschillen in de tijd van het jaar. Doordat online marketeers steeds beter weten wie klanten zijn en wanneer zij een koopbeslissing nemen is het mogelijk om individuele klanten individuele prijzen te bieden. Zou de consumentenbond dit ook gaan melden of überhaupt opmerken?


Brain control is here and evolving fast

Using your brain to control objects is gaining momentum. A few weeks back I saw a brain controlled skateboard and today an AR drone that can fly around and take pictures controlled by the mind using an EEG ‘helmet’. Last year DARPA and Johns Hopkins University announced the advanced testing of a brain controlled robotic arm using a chip inside your brain. This arm could be sold in the next three to four years and there are five people at this moment walking around with this arm and a chip inside their brain controlling that arm.



Uploading Your Dreams

Today, investigating the Singularity, I came across this video. Neuroscientists from UC Berkeley, Shinji Nishimoto and professor Jack Gallant, succeeded at reconstructing what people see based on fMRI and computational modeling. The images were blur in 2011 but how will this evolve? Will it be possible to upload your dreams and use technology as a way to store your experiences? Can technology predict what information gets stored in the brain and what grabs our attention based on what we actually store?



Get Smarter: Move Around!

Proof that exercise and overal physical fitness will make you smarter and more productive is getting bigger and more convincing. The other day I was triggered by a post that states that even a short walk can boost executive control (this is what we would call ratio and conscious decision making). Dr Burr claims that movement is good for your brain and sitting around can have bad health consequences. For this last point there is more evidence to be found, for instance at WebMD. The first point is confirmed by studies like these at Harvard and NIH. A while back I came across an article that states that in school when 8 year olds ride a bike for 20 minutes directly before doing a reading test they will score like 9 years olds (on average). And there is a lot more evidence out there on the short term and on the long run. The last meaning that healthy and fit kids have better ‘executive control’. The more innovative meeting places in The Netherlands are experimenting with meeting rooms without seating or with very uncomfortable seating. The concept of a Walk and Talk has gained modest attention but at our office the best conversations are made walking in the park next to the office. Walk and Talk was introduced in 1996 when the surgeon general in the US advocated a minimum of 30 minutes activity every day.

I walk around a lot during  meetings to get my bloodflow running and be more productive. During meetings where the social pressure is to high to standup my energy levels are genuinely lower and I feel the energy flowing away. During the working day I want to walk around as much as possible. Remaining seated for more than an hour feels wrong and it is!

What do you do to stay in shape and have better executive control?


Looking inside your brain

David Rock shared a post from science daily about a video showing the traffic inside a single neuron. Scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) used a new imaging technique to show the movement of proteins inside the cell. Proteins are used in the communication between neurons and therefore play an important role in our brain. I guess this is a nice example of the way the study of the brain is progressing and enabling us to know more and more about the most complex organ in our body.


Neuroscience Publications

Pre-order our new EIM book now!

eimAmazon started the pre-order process of our new EIM book, with the nice subtitle ‘When information becomes inspiration’. The launchdate is set on friday 3o november 2012. In this book, edited by my colleague Paul Baan and written by a number of my smart colleagues, I made a number of small contributions including a chapter on Neuroscience.

Content Management Neuroscience Presentations

Presentation on the impact of Neuroscience on UX

July 5th I delivered a presentation on the impact of Neuroscience on User Experience (UX).

[slideshare id=14043059&w=427&h=356&sc=no]

Neuro en ux from Robbert Homburg
Neuroscience Reviews

My Message inside your Brain 3

Yesterday I visited the International Conference on Neuromarketing, My Message inside your brain. This was the third time this conference was held. The goal was to provide the latest insights from the field and academic research.


During the conference three techniques were covered: fMRI, EEG, facial coding and IAT. There are a number of differences in these techniques, the foremost is cost. fMRI is the “holy grail” but also the most costly where as IAT is the most cheap. All these thechniques try to uncover our brain activity and thereby our emotions of the automated brain, but all based on a different assumption. fMRI tracks bloodflow in the brain, EEG tracks electrical activity in the brain, facial coding identifies micro emotions in our face and IAT tries to reveal our implicit assumptions.

Why do we need these techniques

People make only a small amount of rational decisions, the estimates are around 5% or the difference between a cubic meter and the milky way. There seems to be no correlation between what people say they will buy or do (a conscious decision) and what they actually buy or do (a unconscious decision). This means a questionnaire with you clients if they want to but your product is useless because that does not give you insight in the actual behavior. A conscious buying decision only occurs when the choice is simple, that means a small number of choices and very clear differences between the choices. In our world today these choices are practically extinct. During the conference we got a number of studies that could predict actual succes (the bigest blockbuster movies in the US or an Effie) based on a 30 person trial with either fMRI or EEG. This means the researchers can link specific brain activity during a commercial to the actual succes of a product. If my brain reacts in a specific way to an add, the chances are a lot bigger that I will buy this product.


The speaker that stood out most was Margriet Sistkoorn. Her presentation on emotions and the brain worked around Threat, Reward and Wisdom as the three basics of the brain and played a number of tricks on our brains to make us humble about our own ability to control our brain.

There were speakers from three cognitive neuro labs in the Netherlands: University of Amsterdam (Victor Lamme & Andries van der Leij), Erasmus University (Willem Verbeke & Ale Smids) and Tilburg University (Margriet Sitskoorn).  And speakers of four commercial neuromarketing agencies: Neuro Intelligence Group (Roland Dietvorst), Neurensics (Walter Limpens), IPM (Aartie Rambaran Mishre) and NeuroLeadershipInstitute (David Rock).

Neuro Information Sciences

What is there to learn for information management from neuro sciences. Well a lot! We at Incentro believe that the last step in making information more productive is that information should be interpretable. Neuroscience can help us figure out what types of information, channels or contexts work best to help the unconscious brain make decisions or store information for later use.

PS thanks wikipedia for the image


Dick Swaab at EIM2012 on Brains and Information

Yesterday at EIM2012 the honorable mister Dick Swaab gave a presentation on the Brain and its impact on our character and our behaviour. His message was that we cannot change very much about who we are because this is formed in our brains during pregnancy (he appealed for a ban on smoking, drinking and drug use during pregnancy) and just after birth.

But what does this mean for information processing. I can imagine we actually cannot change very much in our capabilities for information processing. The only real way is to add neurotransmitters, for instance oxitocin to increase trust and reduce fea, to change the way we process information and make decisions.

We can be more aware about the way we present information to our brain. Our senses are wired to our brain differently and our eye’s perform best, this means that listening is slower to supply information to our brain than reading. So an audio book is a great way to ‘read’ a book in your car but will take a lot longer and possibly the listener has a lesser recall.

Another way is for the sender to prime a reader better or avoid priming. For instance in the way we present options. The first option always prime your response to the second and so on. A response to a question primes the answers of others. The sender of information can think of ways to prime the receiver in word choice, options and context in which the information is received. The receiver would want to avoid priming as much as possible the make a more conscious decision.

Evoking the conscious/rational mind to process information instead of the subconscious or system 2 over system 1 if you have read Daniel Kahnemann. Our rational thoughts are lazy and remain dormant as long as possible but can be enabled. One trick is to make text a little fuzzy and therefor harder to read. This requires more attention and turns on your ratio!

Conclusion is that our brains cannot be changed for information processing but the context of information and the information itself can be presented in a smarter way to enable better processing. This requires more understanding of the way our brains work by sender and receiver of information to start using these insights!


Great TED video by Daniel Tammet: Different ways of knowing

For me this video is about the power of association in the brain!