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What can neuroscience offer marketing research?

Billy Sung (School of Marketing, Curtin University, Bentley, Australia)
Nicholas J. Wilson (School of Marketing, Curtin University, Bentley, Australia)
Jin Ho Yun (Business School, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Eun Ju LEE (Business School, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, Republic of Korea) (Convergence Institute for Intelligence and Informatics, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Republic of Korea)

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics

ISSN: 1355-5855

Article publication date: 13 September 2019

Issue publication date: 23 June 2020

Abstract

Purpose

Neuroimaging technologies such as electroencephalogram and magnetic resonance imaging allow us to analyze consumers’ brains in real time as they experience emotions. These technologies collect and integrate data on consumers’ brains for big data analytics. The purpose of this paper is to identify new opportunities and challenges for neuromarketing as an applied neuroscience.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors discuss conceptual and methodological contributions of neuromarketing based on studies that have employed neural approaches in market-related investigations, explaining the various tools and designs of neuromarketing research. The authors identify marketing-related questions to which neuroscientific approaches can make meaningful contributions, evaluating several challenges that lie ahead for neuromarketing.

Findings

The authors summarize the contributions of neuromarketing and discuss synergistic findings that neuromarketing has the potential to yield.

Research limitations/implications

The authors ask: do consumers’ self-reported choices and their neural representations tell different stories?; what are the effects of subtle and peripheral marketing stimuli?; and can neuromarketing help to reveal the underlying causal mechanisms for perceptual and learning processes, such as motivation and emotions?

Practical implications

The authors identify marketing-related questions to which neuroscientific approaches can make meaningful contributions, evaluating several challenges that lie ahead for neuromarketing.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no current review has identified avenues for future research in neuromarketing and the emerging challenges that researchers may face. The current paper aims to update readers on what neuroscience and other psychophysiological measures have achieved, as well as what these tools have to offer in the field of marketing. The authors also aim to foster greater application of neuroscientific methods, beyond the more biased/post-test methods such as self-report studies, which currently exist in consumer research.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper was supported by Sungkyun Research Fund, Sungkyunkwan University, 2017.

Citation

Sung, B., Wilson, N.J., Yun, J.H. and LEE, E.J. (2020), "What can neuroscience offer marketing research?", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 1089-1111. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJML-04-2019-0227

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited