Decoding the Irrational Consumer, by Darren Bridger

Subtitled "How to commission, run and generate insights from heuromarketing research," this book is is the first practical, how-to guide to appear in the neuromarkeitng field. An excellent overview of all the most popular methods in use today.

Darren Bridger is a former colleague and one of the most experienced practioners of the neuromarketing arts. He was a key player in David Lewis's Neuroco, the first bona fide neuromarketing company, and later in NeuroFocus, one of the largest, which disappeared into the maw of Nielsen in 2011. He knows his stuff. For more details on this excellent book, check out the IC Blog review, here.

Favorite quote:

The narrative of many media stories on the subject has essentially been: advertisers are homing-in on your brain’s buy-button, and when they find it they will begin pressing it incessantly!

Most of the worries aren’t really unique to neuromarketing or are based on a misunderstanding of what neuromarketing can actually do. For example, all good researchers should adhere to the same, if not stricter, data privacy procedures as traditional market research, and concerns over marketing to children or marketing unethical or harmful products are not unique to this field. Equally, whilst it’s difficult to judge, it seems that a majority of neuromarketing projects are ranking materials produced by creatives, ad producers and designers. In other words the tests describe when the creatives get it right, but the power to produce the material is still in the hands of those creatives (albeit with some insights from neuroscience). Understanding consumers’ thinking and emotions is complex, and there is no single buy-button in the brain. Even if certain regions in the brain are associated with emotional or attentional engagement, or attraction or longing for a product, this does not give a direct mechanism for activating the interest and desires of consumers, that power is down to the work and creativity of product and ad creators. All neuromarketing researchers can currently do is help to hone these messages. 

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