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Neuromarketing: a layman's look at neuroscience and its potential application to marketing practice

Douglas L. Fugate (Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 6 November 2007



The purpose of this paper is to briefly cover the origins of neuromarketing, explain the process in layman's terms, enumerate some of the findings in anecdotal form, and suggest future consumer behavior research directions based on these findings.


The discussion of neuromarketing in this paper is based on reports of both a theoretical and applied nature. Their contents have been synthesized and placed into context by showing how they relate to traditional marketing research approaches and assumptions.


While there are no concrete findings, preliminary assessments suggest that traditional, inferential assumptions about consumer behavior might be less powerful and explanatory than once believed. Combining neural activity images with conventional tools may produce more effective marketing practices.

Research limitations/implications

Because this is an emerging field and still controversial, some of the key information is proprietary and/or fairly presumptive at this time. Cautions and criticisms have been included to counterbalance that point.

Practical implications

Understanding what is happening in this emerging field of inquiry is essential for anyone who believes that marketers can change the probability of a favorable response from consumers. The use of neuromarketing, if proven through use, has the capability of fundamentally changing how we design, promote, price, and package our products.


The marriage of cognitive neuroscience and marketing practice is a new field of inquiry. This paper provides a useful, non‐technical introduction.



Fugate, D.L. (2007), "Neuromarketing: a layman's look at neuroscience and its potential application to marketing practice", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 24 No. 7, pp. 385-394.



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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited