Can advertisers push buttons in your brain to make you buy? A study reported in The New York Times suggests that advertisers can highjack your brain circuits for memory, decision-making and self image.

Neuromarketing is a controversial practice and I can’t say I’ve ever applied it in creating ads or campaigns. However, understanding buyer behaviour remains key to the success of your business. Few customers are ready to buy, call, or register now. Customers may be unaware that they have a problem, that there are solutions to a problem, or that your company produces a solution that can help them. Sophisticated buyers, such as those in business, may even play different roles — influencing decision-makers, signing budgets, or taking responsibility for a buying decision.

Marketers often talk about moving a customer through AIDA — a cycle aimed at attracting customers, developing their interest, building their desire, and stimulating action. In reality, the buying cycle can be a complex process. If you’re not selling products classified as impulse buys — chocolate bars and potato chips — you may need to manage customers through long, involved buying processes. Aim to map your marketing strategies and tools to your customer’s place in the buying cycle. In developing your marketing plan, consider how you will target customers in different stages of the buying cycle — and how you’ll support them in moving to the next stage. With good strategies and tools, you can convert window-shopping prospects into repeat customers.

(c) 2004 by Andrea Coutu. Vancouver Marketing Consultant. All rights reserved.