Reviews and Reactions

What readers and reviewers are saying

The three authors all have considerable experience in applying insights from neuromarketing commercially as well as being immersed in research and they have delivered the content with the accessible language and style that is a hallmark of the ‘for Dummies’ brand.

Following a brief overview, the book tackles the intuitive vs. rational model of consumers and the limitations of verbal self-reports. (This is the chapter I need to time travel back to myself in Unilever!

A brisk run through neuromarketing applied to products, packaging, marketing (in-store and online) and entertainment, includes many examples from well-known brands. There is a welcome emphasis on the power of brand over product, including the famous example of the same wine tasting much better from a prestige-branded bottle than a budget-branded bottle.

A tour of technologies and methodologies for measuring consumer response covers both simple and complex techniques and includes guidance on selecting research partners. The section on experimental design and discussion of validity and reliability is a model of clarity. Finally, a review of ethical and legal considerations includes a defence of neuromarketing.

One omission: alongside the discussion of focus group limitations, I would have liked to see the inclusion of analytical tools such as Archetypes, Semiotics and Discourse Analysis as alternative ways to explore consumer responses.

carl-jung-N4DMany of us will appreciate the numerous practical guidelines, tips and checklists for marketers working with limited resources who can’t engage expensive brain imaging studies. The ideas for behavioural studies and simple response time measurements took me back full circle to early experiments in the psychology of emotion.

I am convinced that, if Jung were alive today, he’d still be running his reaction time experiments but he’d have access to better technology and might even be reading Neuromarketing for Dummies.

Sandra Pickering is founding partner of opento, an innovative brand consultancy. See her full review here.

A breakthrough for the field of neuroscience: in September 2013, Neuromarketing for Dummies presented our industry to a wide audience. This book (408 pages in 24 chapters) is the most comprehensive neuromarketing guide published until now. It should be part of the bookcase of anyone interested in understanding the science behind neuromarketing and decision-making.The authors acknowledge that marketing is devoted to influencing people, and because people have brains, marketers actually want to influence their brains. They distinguish neuromarketing from marketing, defining neuromarketing as the field of science that enables its’ users to get an objective understanding of decision making that also allows them to measure the effect of marketingefforts. This science is based on technology and an objective view of the human brain.

This book presents up-to-date case studies and scientific advances that can fundamentally change the way people think about the different aspects of evaluating, preferring, buying, selling or experiencing products. It explains the master variables of neuromarketing research; emotion, attention and memory. The authors also literally dissect the scientific foundations of neuromarketing, treating subjects such as Daniel Kahneman’s System 1 and System 2, the priming effect, the emotional “somatic markers”, approach / avoidance measurement, implicit memory or reverse inference, and much more.

Monica Diana Olteanu writes the popular Neurorelay blog and is a regular contributor to Neuromarketing Theory & Practice magazine. See the full review here.

Becoming Brain Wiser With A Book For Dummies

Neuromarketing is a dual edged sword. On the one hand, we have realized that we cannot do with traditional measures. People simply do not know, remember or want to convey their emotional responses. With our minds being great interpreters and post-hoc sense makers, asking our conscious minds are in many ways like asking your dog to bake you an apple pie. On the other hand, establishing a common knowledge and best practices for non-traditional methods has become harder than once thought. ...

In the book humorously entitled Neuromarketing for Dummies, authors Stephen Genco, Andrew Pohlman and Peter Steidl have brought together a book that will soon become a standard frame of reference for neuromarketers and marketers alike. If you want to understand – or have others understand – what neuromarketing is really about, this is the book.

Several things about the book are worth bringing to the fore. First of all, it provides an excellent introduction to the actual reasons for going into neuromarketing. By comparing the Rational Consumer Model and the Intuitive Consumer Model, the reader is given a road map for both understanding our naive beliefs in our own and consumers’ rationality as well as a new way to understand consumers.

The authors have succeeded in making a book that combines nice to know with need to know, along with an overall gist of the actual thinking that needs to be brought with this field. Neuromarketing is, after all, not just business as usual. It is a very new way of thinking and acting. Seeing that consumers are biological creatures implies a whole new set of ways to understand their thinking and acting. Neuromarketing for Dummies provides a rock solid foundation from which we can start establishing a long needed benchmark for neuromarketing and consumer neuroscience.

Dr. Thomas Zoëga Ramsøy is a PhD in neurobiology and an Assistant Professor in Marketing & Neuroscience at the Copenhagen Business School, where he also  heads the Decision Neuroscience Research Group. Dr. Ramsøy is also Founder and CEO of Neurons Inc., an innovation and tech company that provides disruptive and scalable solutions for business. See the full review here.

Here’s another sign that neuromarketing is becoming a mainstream topic: it now has its own “Dummies” book. But, don’t let the title fool you – Neuromarketing for Dummies is a serious effort and a comprehensive guide to this emerging technology.

Genco and his co-authors cover all aspects of neuromarketing, starting with the science of how we think and make decisions. While you can skip the underlying theory and still get a lot out of the book, most marketers will find topics like Kahneman’s System 1 & 2, priming, cognitive fluency, and many more presented in a very comprehensible way.

The authors achieve a fine balance. The book is fundamentally positive about the potential of neuromarketing, but it avoids hype and over-enthusiasm. Rather, it stays grounded in science. At the same time, there is no alarmism, and ethical issues are addressed calmly and rationally.

Neuromarketing for Dummies is the best and most comprehensive book about brain-based marketing to date, and deserves a spot on every marketers bookshelf. (At 408 pages, it’s likely the biggest book about neuromarketing, too!) Like other Dummies books, this one avoids arcane jargon and emphasizes practical knowledge. Marketers from both large and small companies will find actionable concepts in the book.

Roger Dooley is author of Brainfluence (Wiley, 2011) and the popular Neuromarketing and Brainy Marketing blogs. See the full review here.

"Neuromarketing for Dummies is the most comprehensive and accessible book on neuromarketing available today, providing marketers and their agencies with a fast track to building a neuromarketing competency. This book will be invaluable for executives and professionals who commission research projects, develop communications or media strategies or evaluate their effectiveness, address product innovation or shopper marketing challenges, or are responsible for the development of creative strategies. Do read it."

Peter Cullinane is a New Zealander with international marketing and management experience. Peter was formerly the Worldwide COO of Saatchi & Saatchi before returning to New Zealand where he founded Assignment Group, a creative strategy company.

"I was introduced to the concept of Neuromarketing via Peter Steidl's book Neurobranding and it absolutely fascinated me. It helped me understand how brand memories were created in a way that I found very helpful.

"Now this follow up book Neuromarketing for Dummies by Steve Genco, Andrew Pohlmann and Peter Steidl takes the subject of neuromarketing further and shows how it can be used to build a scientific foundation for what we practice.  You will discover that Neuroscience has delivered insights into how consumers think and make decisions.  It allows us to predict the often irrational decisions consumers make and to understand how we can activate their goals, influence brand choice and develop communications that impact on how they feel about brands and products.

"Neuromarketing for Dummies has the potential to become a key source book for marketing and communications practitioners.  It comes at a time where it makes sense to consolidate our current understanding of neuromarketing to ensure the fresh insights and concepts it delivers are used effectively by marketing practitioners and their agencies."

Kim Boehm is Executive Chairman of Clemenger BBDO, Adelaide. Kim had previously been Managing Director of Melbourne agencies Clemenger Harvie Edge and Young & Rubicam.

"If you've spent the last few years reading various texts on neuromarketing such as Thinking Fast and Slow; Predictably Irrational; Influence, Nudge, Decoded; Buyology  the list goes on  then you'll find a lot of familiar material in Neuromarketing for Dummies, and some interesting new stuff too. But if you haven't read all these volumes, you're in luck. Neuromarketing for Dummies synthesises the slew of recent research into human thinking and behaviour. This book is a compendium of the science over the years summarised into one very succinct and easy to follow paperback.

"Soon neuromarketing terms  such as priming and processing fluency – will be coined as frequently as traditional expressions such as single minded proposition and USP. Neuromarketing for Dummies will help you charter this fascinating territory and remain a staple reference book for marketers for years to come.

"In our business, we are approaching branding with new understanding and are relying a lot less on conventional market research to guide us. And we’ve only just begun."

Kathryn McArthur is Consumer Insight Manager at Colgate-Palmolive

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