Buy Buy•ology

Marketing is not yet a science, which means that there’s no guarantee that “if you take this action, you’ll get this result”. You may have a lot of anecdotal knowledge and strong hunches on what will get results. However, if you don’t understand how people react to your message, you are likely to be guessing.

The new field of neuromarketing is attempting to understand how people react to marketing messages. While you can segment your lists and split test, you are spending time (and money) trying to tease out what action produces what reaction.

Buy•ology is similar to Predictably Irrational, which attempts to unravel why people react the way they do to marketing message. However, Buy•ology’s premise is by studying the brain (fMRI and EEG) you can understand how a message gets processed (and by extrapolation, what reaction it’s likely to cause).

While the book doesn’t contain any keys for adjusting your own marketing, it does contain a number of fascinating stories about what works (and doesn’t):

  • Graphic warnings about the dangers of smoking actually increases the desire to smoke.
  • How product placements that are seamlessly integrated into a show work magnificently.
  • How “mirror neurons” cause us to unconsciously want to mimic people around us
  • How subliminal messaging can be used to shift our emotional state
  • How somatic markers trigger our irrational choices for products
  • Why sexual imagery doesn’t always sell
  • What religion can teach us about improving branding (feelings of belonging, clear vision, an enemy, sensory appeal, storytelling, grandeur, symbolism, and mystery)

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