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Neuromarketing in India

The last days that I re-initiated my blogging hobie, I was approached in LinkedIn by a PhD student in India, who works on Neuromarketing. She described to me how difficult is the situation about neuromarketing in India, in terms of trust and investment, and I was really surprised, since India is a top player in new technologies and ideas... So I invite her to write an article about the problem she faces right now... and you never know... we may find all together a solutions (or an opportunity).


We all are aware that Change is the only constant. Marketing too has metamorphed and today we are able to redefine the 4 P`s along with 4 A`s. Understanding the buyer behavior has always been challenging for marketers all over the world. The most popular research methods like survey, focus groups etc. have their own limitations. The question put forward is always the same: Are consumers really sharing their preferences? This questions the research quality. The answer to this is in application of Neuroscience, technology to vast field of marketing i.e. Neuromarketing. This term was first propounded in 2002 and has become a buzz word in marketing. We have been taught about existence of psychological needs by The Maslow’s Need Hierarchy theory (1943) pyramid. It’s time to integrate these models with Neuroscience to focus on the consumer decision making process to gain some concrete insights.

Neuromarketing and India:

It has always been my keen area of interest and study to relate the Neuroscience insights to Indian consumers. India changes after every 50 kms; the geography, topography, the way people eat, dress etc. Marketers really experience “Change keeps us ALIVE; while dealing with Indian markets. India is a country with rich CULTURE and vast heritage. Indian markets teach marketers to deal with Diversity which is on cultural, social as well as economical parameters. Thus, Indian markets are distinctly segmented as Rural and Urban. Statistics reveal that almost 70% of Indians reside in villages which differ the urban lot on product preference, pricing, packaging as well as advertising. Rural is totally a unique MINDSET and major focus of Indian organizations as urban markets getting saturated. The definitions of brand loyalty also differ for both cults. The traditional market research techniques have limited results on qualitative front. It is high time that Indian organizations also incorporate Neuroscience methods to enhance their 4 P`s as well as 4 A`s.

India is the fifth largest developing economy in the world; hence MNC`s worldwide are aiming to cater to Indian consumers. India`s majority of population is in the YOUTH segment which adds value to application of Neuromarketing with an objective to know the target audience better. The likes, dislikes, preferences, buying patterns, the decision making variables can be known better if subjects undergo an EEG (electroencephalography) test or GSR (Galvanic Skin Response).Indian market is both traditional as well as modern which is a huge differentiator. “Value for Money” is the mantra to crack the Indian consumers; where fMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) would help in concrete conclusions.

It is not that Indian organizations are alien to Neuromarketing techniques. E.g.: J & J campaign of infusing its baby powder scent in newspapers to trigger childhood memories. Memory plays an important role in our decision making process. The major issue is in acceptance as qualitative form of research, cost may also be a major hindrance. The 4 A`s need to be redefined with a Neuro perspective. The subjects/respondents are still hesitant undergoing these experiments as they have a notion; is it ethical to hack human brain? Researchers find extremely difficult to tackle this issue. Just like product life cycle stages, there should be phases of creating awareness about Neuromarketing to different organizations. They must understand that the scope of Neuroscience is beyond medicine. Both success and failure stories should be studied as there is no sufficient literature documented. Thus, Neuromarketing is a solution to following typical questions of the marketers:

• Why do consumers buy or do not buy a particular product or a service?

• How the consumers decide to buy a product or service?

• What causes brand loyalty?

• What type of decision making do consumers have; rational or emotional?

Think Marketing, Think Neuro…..MIND your business

By Deepa Rele

Assistant Prof. of Management

Mitcoin Institute of Management

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