How Neuromarketing Can Help Create Better Apps?

We, humans, have since forever been intrigued by the inner workings of our brains. Numerous studies and researches have gone into determining what makes us choose one thing over other. This, in today’s capitalist world, translates into decoding customer behavior.

And that is how neuromarketing came into being.

In his book, Buyology, Martin Lindstrom explains that emotions triggered in the subconscious mind make up 90% of our decisions to buy as compared to the 10% associated with our conscious, rational brain.
Thus, we often can’t explain why we prefer a particular brand of handbag, smartphone, or restaurant, beyond stating its apparent attributes.

Neuromarketing thus is a great tool to change the way we market anything- by understanding the science behind it.

In this blog, I will be talking about what neuromarketing is, what advantages does it offer to app development and how it can be used to improve apps.

What is Neuromarketing?

Marketing, mistakenly though, since a very long time, was about the superficiality- How your catchy is your slogan, how captivating are the ads, or how unforgettable is your jingle?

Neuromarketing stresses that what makes us buy anything goes deeper than this and has a lot to do with what triggers our brain.

Neuromarketing comes from two words, neuro and marketing. Thus the word means applying principles of neuroscience to marketing.
It involves the use of medical techniques like functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), eye tracking and EEG to study the response of consumers’ brains to a marketing stimulus.

When a marketing stimulus such as a print ad, a video, etc. are presented to an individual, the brain mapping tools study the changes in the activities of certain parts of the brain. This helps us learn why customers are choosing something and what part of their mind is making them.

Many companies have successfully applied this to know about their customers and alter their strategies.

For example, PayPal, in its neuromarketing research, discovered that advertisements focusing on speed and convenience triggered a significantly higher response in the brain compared to the ones promoting functions such as safety and security. This allowed them to design their marketing campaigns targeting speed.

Hyundai too used electroencephalography (EEG) to understand preferences and what kind of stimulation that can lead to the purchasing decision after showing customers car prototypes. They evolved their design to incorporate the results from this experiment.

While fMRI is a cost-intensive process with machines that cost a bomb and the subject having to lie entirely still, EEG can be done through portable equipment like wearables and costs way less than fMRI.
However, both of these have limited scope for startups or SMEs. No small business would be willing to spend such high amounts to know what is making customers’ brains click.
Does that mean neuromarketing is only for bigwigs?
No, because there are still a lot of reports and books you can read and use to your benefit.

Neuromarketing For App Development:

Since apps should be user-centric, neuromarketing can help you design better apps.

Eye tracking helps you understand how users experience mobile websites and apps or how they interact with advertising on mobile devices and tablets.
Using this methodology, you can quickly identify details to be adjusted to optimize the mobile user experience.

In a study by Plastic Mobile, EEG neuro-headsets and eye-tracking glasses were used to study app users’ behavior. The researchers observed as the users downloaded and opened the three apps, browsed products and services, went to check out, and made purchases by entering personal information.

The key finding of the report gives the following insights:
– Time spent on the app was significantly higher for the one with graphics
– Heat maps show users focused on areas with images and prices more than on the details or description of a product.
– The emotional engagement of users at different stages varies with which type of app is being used. Like, a food delivery app (Pizza Pizza) showed the highest emotional engagement at the end of selecting the pizza, whereas for a hotel app (Hyatt) it showed the most senior levels when the app was launched.

Being able to have such insights into user behavior can allow app developers to design apps that can cater to users’ needs. Using eye tracking to test and understand the mobile user experience in apps for games, advertising, and e-commerce provides unique insights into the design and function of your products.

Advantages of such techniques let you know about:

  • How users interact with the interface- the buttons, the icons or switches
  • What is seen and what is being ignored by the user
  • Why some features of the app are never used
  • How content is consumed on different screens (i.e., laptop, tablet, mobile)
  • How people use their smartphones or tablets as a second screen when they’re on the go or while watching TV
  • Why users fail to complete some actions.

If app developers can have such profound insights into their user trends, they are in a better position to take action on the performance of the app.
Another cool infographic by Kissmetrics shows another application of neuromarketing- How do colors affect purchase?
Different colors trigger different parts of brains. Using this information UI/UX designers can improve the design of the app and improve its usability.

Related: An underrated tool for marketing your app

Neuromarketing is a fantastic tool in mapping and hence refine all steps in the customer journey on the app. While using fMRI and other heavy tools to achieve this might be limited to larger enterprises, SMEs and startups can make use of available reports and books such as Buyology to take advantage of this technique and revolutionize their marketing techniques.

Salil Attri Written by:

Salil heads Marketing at Applify. When not working, he can be found doing crunches or sipping protein shakes.

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