MIMA attendees had the distinct pleasure of hearing neuromarketing expert, Roger Dooley last Wednesday. Roger is the author of Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Consumers with Neuromarketing. Neuromarketing is a field of marketing research that studies consumers’ cognitive response to marketing stimuli using fMRI, EEG and SST tests.

Roger’s work is to make it applicable to the everyone. Currently, only companies like Google and CBS have neuromarketing departments. The cost of this kind of research is incredibly high and not accessible to 99% of companies. Roger wants to cut marketing waste citing that 95% of new products fail, 98% of direct mail has no response and 98% of sales emails don’t convert. Mr. Dooley presented us with some awesome nuggets of applicable advice below.


People are drawn to familiarity and things that they like. Your marketing needs commonality with your target audience. “Liking and commonality” allow your target audience to relate to you in a way which makes them feel they have something in common and creates brand affinity.

For example, Petsmart uses this likeness effect by showcasing their management team cuddling their pets. You as a pet owner feel an affinity towards the company knowing that the people who run it share the same passion for their pets as you do. Roger suggested that your feature of commonality should be showcased, don’t bury them deep in your website. Creating a feeling of familiarity triggers your consumers’ brains and nudges them in the direction of your product or brand.


Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 2.14.10 PM Using scarcity in your marketing can have an incredible effect on how your consumer thinks and cognitively processes your product. The idea that things are scarce, in-demand and limited can push people to buy in a shorter amount of time and more often.  If your company makes your product seem exclusive, consumers are drawn to these items and deals. For example, if you’ve ever searched for deals on expedia or hotels.com, there are often taglines such as the one to the right, ‘last booked 3 hours ago’ or ‘last deal left at this rate’ to show you that there are other people buying this deal and it won’t last forever.

Some companies even keep sold out items up on their website to trigger this response in consumers. Knowing the store or brand is a coveted one, changes your prospective customer’s viewpoint and showcases your brand as an exclusive one. This scarcity is also known as social proof, knowing that others purchased a product gives a consumer assurance and the mindset that ‘if others want it, maybe I do too.’

Although these ideas don’t seem complicated to implement into a marketing plan, discovering how effective they are on a consumers brains is an incredibly intense and detailed process. Neuromarketing is certainly a field we should keep our eyes on because as the research and technology progresses, we will be able to learn invaluable lessons from how consumer’s brains work.

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