Marketing: Art or Science?

May 25th, 2010 by Rob Berman Leave a reply »

I have always been fascinated with the debate that Marketing is an Art or a Science.  Now Campbell’s Soup is introducing Neuroscience into the discussion.

Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing is a relatively new approach for companies to delve into customer responses to marketing and advertising.

Researchers are divining what small changes in biometrics like skin moisture and heart rate mean.  These learnings are driving the form of advertising and product labeling utilized.

Are We Thinking Too Much?

When asked our reactions or thoughts about a product or service we stop and think.  Neuroscience eliminates the thinking and simply shows our reactions. Neuroscience and biometrics have their skeptics.  Many new techniques have needed to prove themselves over time.

To Tell The Truth

Neuroscience has the capability of separating the wheat from the chaff, to use an analogy.  What we think versus what we feel is shown.

What Campbell’s found was that the positive image people had at home disappeared when they looked a rows and columns of cans in the store.  People were not engaged in a biometric way at the store.

What To Do?

The research is changing the way Campbell’s labels it soups.  Soup, especially condensed soup, is thought by many to be old or “fuddy duddy.”   Product proliferation and line extensions have caused too many choices for consumers.

Here are some lessons learned that you can apply to your business.

  • Color code or create a visual cue for each line of products.
  • Update your fonts so they are not stale.
  • Update your graphics to keep customer interested.
  • Decrease your logo size, if large, to leave more room for other messages.

The Takeaway

Continuing to use tried and true marketing techniques is safe.  However, new ideas like Neuroscience should be explored to add to your marketing toolkit.

Over to you.  What do you think?  Please comment below.

  1. Are you using the same techniques over and over?
  2. When was the last time you tried something new?
  3. Do you believe Marketing is an Art or a Science?
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3 comments

  1. I think introducing neuroscience into marketing (or the ability to see how a product’s design, message or intent physically affects an individual) is overkill in most cases.

    For one, I am sure these are not economical experiments and, secondly, how much more information are marketers really getting versus traditional tests (focus group, in-store observation, survey, etc).

    At the end of the day, marketers are trying to find what combination of messages and sensory experience will most positively move a customer. In truth, no one method of testing effectiveness is perfect, but a lot will do the trick and a combination of methods is always best.

    Even though customers can tell us what they want (through intentional or unintentional means), the job or the marketer is to divine what consumers want in the future. Science will give marketers good information to build a foundation from, but the art will always be in combining the science with ideas and good old fashioned product execution.

    • Rob Berman says:

      Mark:

      Thanks for the comment. Many marketers are seeking an edge in the competitive marketplace. I agree with you about using a combination of methods. I am hoping that Campbell’s gets it right. I find it very confusing looking at all those choices without a visual clue to separate them.

      Rob

  2. Ross Dodwell says:

    Rob,

    Thank you for this post. I think that marketing used to be a science, however, clearly with the creation of social media, it is now an art. It is based on your ability to use the current paints to produce your picture.

    Best of luck to you Rob!
    Ross

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