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Neuroscience applied to marketing & sales, what are we talking about?

neuroscience marketing sales packaging

Among current marketing and sales innovations, neuroscience is holding a leadership. Why? Just two words: efficiency and performance. Efficiency, because neuroscience techniques exclusively rely on science. Performance, because they make marketing and sales strategies more powerful. In this post I describe various applied neuroscience techniques.

 

 

TECHNOLOGICAL TOOLS

 

Whenever neurosciences and neuromarketing are mentioned the same mental pictures often come to mind. Pictures of technological tools taken from sci-fi movies, of researchers in lab coats, and of nonsense brain scans. Recognize any of your own mental shortcuts? Indeed, neuromarketing sometimes consists of measuring consumers’ physiological responses when placed in various situations and under various stimuli.

 

neuroscience marketing sales packaging

Magnetic Resonance Imagery (MRI), for instance, helps determine which brain areas fire when consumers are exposed to these stimuli. Eye-tracking consists of identifying what customers gaze at and pay attention to when watching adverts or looking at supermarket shelves. Skin conductance is considered as a measure of stress and focus.

 

 

 

TALKING ABOUT EFFICIENCY?

 

Technological tools are probably the most well-known neuromarketing techniques. Yet, their relevance should be toned down a little. Indeed, these tools are mainly descriptive, and only slightly functional. Concretely, it means that their main purpose is often to measure customers’ unconscious reactions, such as emotions, to various stimuli.

 

These measurements’ predictive value on intentions and behaviours is often weak. For instance, as dramatic and shocking as road safety or anti-tobacco ads can be, their impact on people’s behaviour is rather weak.

 

Eye-tracking techniques helps determine what elements of adverts or packaging consumers place their attention on. This is an interesting tool for branding. For instance to understand how to increase brand familiarity. From a strict functional point of view though, determining where customers gaze is of little interest to influence their judgments and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

 

 

 

 

In conclusion, technological tools are probably part of the most well-known neuromarketing techniques. Their use and efficiency are still restricted to a very limited array of situations and contexts.

 

 

MASTERING CUSTOMER PSYCHOLOGY

 

neurosciences marketing ventes

Customer psychology refers to the techniques, and our knowledge, of how people perceive information, memorize it and adjust their behaviour accordingly. Contrary to technological tools, customer psychology techniques are less familiar, but more functional and directly applicable.

 

For instance, at ANALYTICA, we have developed CogniMenu, a menu engineering service aimed at boosting restaurants’ sales. To this end, we anticipate how customers make decisions when facing several options. With that in mind, we work on the menu’s layout and pricing so as to encourage customers to pick the highest-margin meals. Thus increasing restaurants’ average benefits.

cognimenu logo menu engineering

 

This is possible because the way that people process information and make decisions is to some extent predictable. CogniMenu organizes information on a menu in a way that guides customers’ towards buying the meals restaurants want to promote.

 

 

IMPROVING CUSTOMER STUDIES

 

neuroscience marketing sales packaging

The benefit of neuroscience-based customer studies is to avoid ineffective, traditional methods that record people’s subjective verbal statements. Contrary to general belief, people do not say what they do, and do not do what they say. In contrast, neuromarketing enables us to understand customers’ perception, representations and judgments whilst avoiding the biases of traditional studies.

 

 

 

Neurosciences vs. traditional marketing: customers do not say what they do, and do not do what they say... Click To Tweet

 

 

It is an alternative method aimed at determining what customers really think about a product, beyond unreliable verbal statements. In a traditional customer study for instance, customers can be asked if they would buy UK-grown tomatoes (verbal answer). Instead, a neuroscience-based study would first assess consumers’ perception of vegetables’ origins from the packaging. Then be asked about their preference between two products. One in which the packaging mentions the tomatoes’ origin and one in which the packaging does not.

 

 

neurosciences marketing sales packaging

 

 

NEUROSCIENCE-BASED PACKAGING

 

neuroscience marketing sales packaging

“Vice product” corresponds to the biscuits, and “Virtue product” corresponds to the fruit juice

Scientific literature is full of neuroscience studies showing how small packaging details affect consumers’ unconscious perceptions and judgments. By understanding how these details influence buyers’ intentions and behaviours, you can set up a marketing and sales strategy that is more powerful and efficient.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEUROSCIENCE-BASED SEGMENTATION

 

neuroscience marketing sales packaging

Taking customers’ personality into account can help you communicate better and more efficiently. Do you think that you should communicate with a whole age category the same way? Then think again. Scientific studies show that whatever the segment you target (age, geographical location, socio-economic status), it is more efficient to adjust promotional messages to your target’s personality to generate sales.

 

 

 

 

 

In conclusion, neuroscience offers many innovative methods to improve your marketing and sales strategy. This enables you to reach your target more efficiently.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr Morgan DAVID   

A former academic and behavioural sciences expert, Dr Morgan David is the founder and director of ANALYTICA, a consultancy agency based in the UK and in France. ANALYTICA uses the way our brain works to design better products and better services in the realm of neuromarketing, webmarketing, customer experience, sales strategy and pricing tactics. ANALYTICA created CogniSales, a neuromarketing sales service, CogniMenu, the first new-generation menu engineering service, Predicta Sports, a science-based talent identification tool for predictive recruitment in sports, and the neuromarketing service applied to packaging CogniPackaging.

 

 

predicta football recrutement mental

How to predict young footballers’ future performance

predicta football recrutement mental

Only about 0.5% of academies’ players reach their club’s first team. Football clubs would benefit to a great extent by predicting their young player’s likelihood of success at a professional level. But is it already possible? And if it is, how?

 

 

 

 

Let’s start with some questions. Why is this figure so low? Why won’t most of an academy’s players, despite massive investment by football clubs, achieve a decent career at the professional level?

 

 

predicta football scouting recruitment

The reason is simple. The more one attempts to identify talents at a young age, the less their future adult skills are predictable. Growth and maturation occur in-between and cards keep being reshuffled continuously. More than that, studies show that the most skilled players during teenagehood turn out to perform worse than others at adulthood.

 

 

 

 

The most skilled players during teenagehood turn out to perform worse than others at adulthood Click To Tweet

 

 

SCIENTIFIC DATA

 

I’ll repeat it again as this might sound unbelievable. We are talking about those teenagers who reach maturity before others, who jump higher and run faster. Well, those teenagers show worse adult performance than teenagers reaching maturity at a later age. A scientific study run by a team of European researchers have shown that teenagers reaching maturity later than others were more likely to play in one of the Big Five’s 1st division clubs (La Liga, Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A or Ligue 1) at 22 years old, or in a national team.

 

 

predicta football recrutement mental

 

 

THE LIMITS OF TRADITIONAL SCOUTING

 

But that’s not all. Biases related to traditional scouting methods are directly observable through a relative age effect. The relative age effect is the observation that the majority of professional footballers are born in the first six months of the year. This finding runs across the five major European championships.

 

 

relative age effect football

Percentage of professional players born in different months of the year, across the 5 big European championships

 

 

Let’s imagine that young players’ month of birth does not bear any sort of importance. We then should find equivalent proportions of professional players born across different months of the year. But it is not the case. The relative age effect is the outcome of talent identification at teenagehood based on physical, morphological and technical criteria… At a period of life when a few months difference has a tremendous importance on performance. The result? The professional players of your squad were the best among others when identified and selected… at 14 years old!

 

 

The relative age effect is the outcome of talent identification at a period of life when a few months difference has a tremendous importance on performance Click To Tweet

 

 

To sort these scouting and recruitment biases out, methods like bio-banding and the ordered shirts technique have been developed. These methods can be efficient to counteract some traditional scouting biases, but require substantial organization involving several clubs.

 

 

So what solutions should you adopt, if physical, technical and morphological skills are not reliable criteria of assessment in young footballers? Let’s take cognitive and mental skills into consideration.

 

 

SCOUTING: A ROLE FOR COGNITIVE & MENTAL SKILLS

 

The benefits associated with psychological assessments of footballers is that they are more reliable than physical assessments. Cognitive and mental skills may vary between teenagehood and adulthood. But often, between-player differences are stable over time. In other terms, a player who is more creative than the average at 14 years old is likely to also be more creative than the average adult.

 

 

predicta football scouting recruitment

 

 

Thus, cognitive and mental skills are good targets of predictive recruitment. Scientific studies’ findings, by the way, went beyond expectations. Typically, these studies assess psychological dimensions in young players between 12 and 16 years old. They then follow the same players’ performance and career in academies and in the professional world.

 

 

Psychometric assessments are sufficient to predict a young player's likelihood of success at the professional level Click To Tweet

 

 

Results? Some psychological dimensions, as assessed during teenagehood, predict performance at a professional level, such as number of goals scored or number of matches played in the first national division. The outcome of psychometric assessments is then sufficient to predict a young player’s likelihood of success at the professional level. Autonomy, creativity, individual commitment, competitiveness are part of the cognitive and mental skill set that predicts adult performance.

 

 

predicta football scouting recruitment

 

 

IDENTIFYING FUTURE TALENTS WITH PREDICTA FOOTBALL

 

Taking advantage of these scientific findings, we have created PREDICTA FOOTBALL, which is the 1st science-based talent identification tool for predictive recruitment. This tool consists of young footballers’ psychometric assessments. Players first complete a set of psychological and cognitive trials. Individual scores are then analyzed using home made algorithms. Finally, players are ranked based on their computed likelihood to succeed at the professional level in the future.

 

 

The aim of PREDICTA FOOTBALL is to identify future talents before they become obvious to your competitors. We consequently help professional clubs to make the best decisions related to which players to invest in.

 

 

predicta football scouting recruitment

 

 

Does that mean that traditional scouting and recruitment methods are outdated? Not exactly. The factors determining young footballers’ future performance are manifold. Why invest in a young player with excellent psychometric scores, but who misses half his/her passes? Conversely, what about a young player who shows perfect ball control yet attains poor psychometric and cognitive scores?

 

 

In both cases, what matters is the combination of multiple assessments (technical, physical, psychological…). This allows you to make a decision with more certainty and accuracy than with a unique source of data. To conclude, psychometric and cognitive assessments should be used in association with more traditional scouting assessments (morphology, technique, tactical skills…).

 

 

predicta football scouting recruitment

 

 

Nowadays, the competition to identify young football talents turns international and intense. Traditional scouting and recruitment methods are biased and reach some limits. Predictive recruitment tools based on rigorous scientific studies, like PREDICTA FOOTBALL, are the best allies for clubs to identify tomorrow’s talents with scientific accuracy and before others, to make more certain and efficient investments, and to identify hidden talents before they become obvious to all!

 

 

logo Predicta Football

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Morgan David

Dr Morgan DAVID   

A former academic and behavioural sciences expert, Dr Morgan David is the founder and director of ANALYTICA, a consultancy agency based in the UK and in France. ANALYTICA uses the way our brain works to design better products and better services in the realm of neuromarketing, webmarketing, customer experience, sales strategy and pricing tactics. ANALYTICA created CogniSales, a neuromarketing sales service, CogniMenu, the first new-generation menu engineering service, Predicta Sports, a science-based talent identification tool for predictive recruitment in sports, and the neuromarketing service applied to packaging CogniPackaging.

 

 

cerveau marketing psychologie

Why psychology is essential to your marketing strategy

cerveau marketing psychologie

For some companies and some marketers, psychology is nothing but abstract science. Yet for the most informed ones, it is an innovative opportunity to understand and reach their target in an efficient way.

THE ISSUE

The challenge faced by marketing and sales campaigns is to accurately assign customers to different profiles. Campaigns thus either reach a single sociodemographic segment that is irrelevant and too extensive (generation X, Y, socioprofessional category, age, interests, and so on). Or they attempt to reach too wide a spectrum of various prospects in a unique and single manner. The latter strategy bears the risk of not reaching anyone by speaking to everyone all at once…

 

PSYCHOLOGY DECONSTRUCTS TRADITIONAL MARKETING SEGMENTS

Customers of a given segment – socioprofessional categories, sociodemography, age, location – can actually show substantial psychological differences. These customers won’t be sensitive to the same sales and marketing messages. Conversely, customers from these different traditional marketing segments may be sensitive to the same marketing content owing to similar psychological profiles.

psychologie marketing segmentation

The benefit of integrating psychology to your sales and marketing strategy is simple. Psychological segmentation criteria allows you to 1) categorize customers in a more accurate and relevant way than traditional marketing segments; and, 2) adjust sales and marketing content to different psychological profiles. Taking psychology into account enables you to establish new marketing segments that turns out to be more accurate, more efficient, and based on science.

WHAT ARE THESE PSYCHOLOGICAL PROFILES?

segmentation psychologie marketing

Your target can be categorized using psychological variables called psychometric scales. For instance, personality can be assessed following 5 scales – aka the Big Five – which are extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, openess to experience and conscientiousness. These scientifically-validated scales generate a score for every customer that is assessed. Sales and marketing content can then be tailored to different personalities for greater efficiency.

WHICH CONTENT FOR WHICH PROFILE?

In neuromarketing, the prevention-promotion psychological scale helps us identify different types of customers. On one hand, customers can be more sensitive to prevention-based content, such as the reduction of potential risks or uncertainty (ʺThe braking system of this new car model reduces braking distance and thus diminishes crash risksʺ). On the other hand, customers can be more sensitive to promotion-based content which emphasizes benefits (ʺWith a more efficient engine, this new car model allows you to cover longer distances with a single full tankʺ).

CONCRETE RESULTS

Bringing customer psychology to sales and marketing strategies remains underused. Yet, some pioneering companies have already obtained spectacular results. In a 2017 study, British and American researchers assessed the efficiency of tailoring advertising content to customers’ personality. The personality scales used were extraversion and openess to experience. Scientists recorded the number of mobile app. sales when advertising content was tailored to customers’ personality. These sales were compared to a second campaign where advertisements were the same for every customer. Results show that mobile app. sales increased by 79% when advertising content was tailored to customers’ personality.

psychology marketing strategy sales
Psychology applied to marketing and sales strategy in 3 phases

In a future post, we will discuss how to assess customers’ psychology and how to adjust sales and marketing content accordingly.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr Morgan DAVID   

A former academic and behavioural sciences expert, Dr Morgan David is the founder and director of ANALYTICA, a consultancy agency based in the UK and in France. ANALYTICA uses the way our brain works to design better products and better services in the realm of neuromarketing, webmarketing, customer experience, sales strategy and pricing tactics. ANALYTICA created CogniSales, a neuromarketing sales service, CogniMenu, the first new-generation menu engineering service, Predicta Sports, a science-based talent identification tool for predictive recruitment in sports, and the neuromarketing service applied to packaging CogniPackaging.

Dominoes communication

9 psychological effects that can ruin your communication campaign

 

Dominoes communication

Communicating is not enough to influence people. Many communication campaigns are an objective failure. This is because providing information is insufficient to persuade and convince. It is crucial to take the psychology of any campaigns’ target into account for messages to be influential. Yet this fact is often ignored in favour of aesthetic and artistic concerns. A poorly designed communication campaign can even have detrimental consequences. I provide here a list of these consequences to be avoided when designing a successful communication campaign.

 

 

Communication professionals are often misled about which techniques can persuade and convince a given target. This is likely because of a lack of objective knowledge about the way our brain works. Detrimental consequences can be generated by the way our brain treats available information and uses it to make decisions. In a scientific article published in the Journal of Communication in 2007, American researchers Hyunyi Cho and Charles Salmon provided a list of unexpected psychological effects that can ruin communication campaigns1. Their study originally focused on health communication campaigns, though the consequences they mention (listed below) can be expected in many contexts.

 

 

1) CONFUSIONcommunication campaign

Confusion occurs when a message’s true meaning is misunderstood (see poster on the right). Cho and Salmon give the example of a prevention campaign for breast cancer. If you stress the importance of check-ups for women with breast cancer cases in their family, women who this does not apply to might feel overly safe and not book an examination. The wording of the messages themselves can also lead to confusion. Claiming that ‘The motorway is not a bin’ to promote the use of bins does not propose any clear recommendation in terms of good practice and behaviour.

 

 

2) DISSONANCE

Dissonance refers to the anxiety generated by the gap between a promoted message and a person’s situation. For instance, promoting breastfeeding can induce discomfort and anxiety in women who, for whatever reasons (necessary medications, low breast milk supply, etc…), cannot breastfeed their child.

 

 

communication campaign3) BOOMERANG EFFECT

Well known by social psychologists, the ‘boomerang effect’ refers to the adoption of a behaviour that opposes the desired behaviour being promoted by the campaign. As depicted on the poster on the left, showing a cheerful group of friends sharing beers is definitely not the best strategy to prevent binge drinking. Also, insisting on the importance of one group member to stay sober to drive the others home, might encourage the others to drink more than usual. And messages high in emotions, such as ‘fear appeals’, are known for distracting the target from understanding and integrating the core prevention meaning2.

 

 

 

4) EPIDEMIC OF APPREHENSION

Apprehension, related to hypochondria, corresponds to an exaggerated concern for health issues due to the pervasiveness of risk messages. For example, a higher sensitivity to thinking one is ill or has the physical symptoms of an illness, in countries where mortality due to infectious diseases remains low.

 

 

5) DESENSITIZATION

Desensitization is defined as the public’s diminishing response to repeated exposure to the same messages. In such instances pervasive TV advertisement campaigns can lead to a rejection of the message or the brand.

 

 

6) GUILTINESS

Guiltiness is an exaggerated focus on personal causes to explain individual health problems. By ignoring related social and environmental causes, people might experience psychological discomfort, low self-esteem, and interpret their state through the sole lens of individual responsibility: ‘I deserve what happens to me because I made the wrong decisions’.

 

 

7) LIMITED ATTENTION/OPPORTUNITY COST

Competition between different communication campaigns to prevent/promote a given behaviour or product tend to make messages less pervasive. This is because people show limited attention, memorization or empathy skills. In a marketing context, people also have limited money and time. Given all the different campaigns targeting people simultaneously, we cannot expect a particular communication campaign to easily reach its target and influence behaviours accordingly.

 

 

8) SOCIAL REPRODUCTION

Social reproduction corresponds to reinforcing a message towards a target segment that is already aware of this message. For instance, promoting waste recycling will have more impact with environmentally-friendly targets than with people who do not feel concerned about environmental issues.

 

 

communication campaign9) SOCIAL NORMING

Akin to the common “in-group/out-group” anthropological divide, social norming may isolate and put the blame on a target group depicted in a negative way, and marginalized within a majority. So, the slogan ‘Kissing a smoker is like kissing an ashtray’ is genuinely not the best message to make smokers aware of the individual, collective and health consequences of smoking.

 

 

In conclusion, here are 9 reasons to expect a communication campaign to fail. Yet social psychologists have become experts in predicting how successful campaigns can be. The good news is that they have also developed the tools to conceive successful messages and content. Does your communication campaign deserve some brainstorming?

 

 

1 Cho & Salmon (2007) Unintended effects of health communication campaigns. J. Com. 57, 293-317.

2 Witte (1991) The role of threat and efficacy in AIDS prevention. Int. Quart. Community Health Educ. 12, 225-49.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr Morgan DAVID   

A former academic and behavioural sciences expert, Dr Morgan David is the founder and director of ANALYTICA, a consultancy agency based in the UK and in France. ANALYTICA uses the way our brain works to design better products and better services in the realm of neuromarketing, webmarketing, customer experience, sales strategy and pricing tactics. ANALYTICA created CogniSales, a neuromarketing sales service, CogniMenu, the first new-generation menu engineering service, and the neuromarketing service applied to packaging CogniPackaging.

 

neuro-marketing menu engineering

What is menu engineering?

photo bar menu engineering

 

Your restaurant’s menu is your number 1 generator of meals’ sales. Menus and display boards have unexploited sales potential which menu engineering can optimise. Largely ignored by traditional marketers, this innovative tool generates a substantial improvement in restaurants’ average orders and margins. What is menu engineering, then? And how does it work?

 

 

Menu engineering is a technique that reinvents restaurants’ menus and display boards to optimise their sales. We are not talking about replacing current meals, their composition, or the restaurant’s philosophy! Chefs and restaurant owners are the best people to propose meals and services that suit their vision, while menu engineering uses neuromarketing, price optimisation and customer-experience. Once employed, these techniques lead to a powerful and efficient change in a menu’s structure, its layout and the way pieces of information are displayed on it.

 

Previous-generation menu engineering aims to categorize different meals and beverages based on their contribution margin and their popularity. This way you can easily identify the most profitable meals and also those that require more selling effort.

 

figure menu engineering

 

Yet, it is essential to go beyond this limited phase of identification to apply a corresponding tactic that will improve your margins and average orders. How can new-generation menu engineering improve these two essential dimensions of your profits? By developing and reinventing your menu and display boards through four tactics:

 

 

1/ PRICE OPTIMISATION

 

Optimising prices allows you to increase margins and to avoid losing sales opportunities. Decreasing the price of a meal does not automatically translate into more sales. Conversely, raising the price of a meal will not automatically decrease sales. Fast-food and gourmet restaurants follow different rules regarding pricing strategy and price presentation. By carefully analysing any meals’ profitability to determine a price optimisation tactic, you will 1) reach a wider variety of clients, and 2) avoid losing sales opportunities and revenue related to sub-optimal pricing.

 

meals cognimenu menu engineering

Discover CogniMenu, the 1st new-generation menu engineering service in the UK!

 

2/ NEUROMARKETING

 

So far you have improved margins by optimising prices. The second step will consist of guiding your customers towards the most profitable meals and beverages. To this end, neuromarketing is crucial for your price optimisation strategy to be a success. Also called ‘customer psychology’, neuromarketing uses the way our brain takes decisions to guide your customers in their choice of a meal. By increasing the popularity of meals with the highest margins, neuromarketing generates higher profits. This is achieved through reinventing the way information is laid out on your menus and display boards, and through improving their structure.

 

 

meals menu engineering

 

3/ STRUCTURE

 

The structure of your menu or display boards is the cornerstone of your menu engineering strategy. Price optimisation and neuromarketing requires restructuring your menu to achieve efficiency. The structure and organisation of your menu are crucial to guide your customers in their choice of meals. A carefully-built structure will also contribute to a better customer experience.

 

meals menu engineering

 

4/ CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

 

Unsatisfactory customer experience results in less sales and missed repeat business. I better repeat this twice for emphasis: you need to understand your customers’ needs to please them and generate successful sales. For these reasons your menu has to follow basic ergonomic principles. For example, information on your menu and boards must be displayed in a way that customers’ brains will process with ease and accuracy. That may sound simple, but many menus and display boards are nothing but puzzles to be solved by your customers. Most menus do not anticipate customers’ queries and automatic reasoning. The fluency with which information can be explored by your customers is a crucial determinant of their satisfaction.

 

meals menu engineering

 

Are the menus or display boards of your restaurant optimised? Find out with the brand-new and FREE tool developed for you by CogniMenu, the 1st new-generation menu engineering service in the UK! Click here or on the link below to analyze your menu!

www.cabinet-analytica.fr/en/assess-your-menu/

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr Morgan DAVID   

A former academic and behavioural sciences expert, Dr Morgan David is the founder and director of ANALYTICA, a consultancy agency based in the UK and in France. ANALYTICA uses the way our brain works to design better products and better services in the realm of neuromarketing, webmarketing, customer experience, sales strategy and pricing tactics. ANALYTICA created CogniSales, a neuromarketing sales service, CogniMenu, the first new-generation menu engineering service, Predicta Sports, a science-based talent identification tool for predictive recruitment in sports, and the neuromarketing service applied to packaging CogniPackaging.