We provide a more detailed checklist in Chapter 21 of Neuromarketing for Dummies. But asking the following six questions will get you a long way toward making a good decision about selecting a neuromarketing partner.
One question we are frequently asked is: "how do I assess the qualifications of neuromarketing vendors?" We have come up with this six question checklist that we believe will help separate the wheat from the chaff.
Request CVs or resumes of all principals. Ask specifically about direct scientific experience.
Experienced neuroscientists and experimental psychologists need to be active participants in research projects, not just figureheads. Question the vendor closely about how scientists are involved in your projects.
It is always useful to request direct phone calls with members of the scientific team. Ask them how and when they will be available to participate in your project, and how they will be involved in the oversight and production of your deliverables.
There is a vast literature in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics with direct relevance to the needs of advertisers and marketers. Your vendor should not only be intimately familiar with this literature, they should also be able to show you precisely how and where the techniques they employ are derived from established research models.
IRB approval is not required for commercial research vendors, but it is a strong indicator of serious commitment to ethical research practices. It is important for a number of reasons:
Be aware that IRB approval is more than just getting “informed consent” from research subjects. Find out if your vendor’s research is covered by an IRB. Ask for the name and phone number of the vendor’s IRB and contact them directly to verify.
It is true that some customers prefer to remain anonymous, but most neuromarketing vendors cultivate and rely on reference accounts to convince later customers to give them a try.
Request direct phone calls with at least one reference customer who can vouch for the vendor and the quality of their work. Ask to call the reference yourself, rather than have teh reference call you.