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Neuromarketing: the hope and hype of neuroimaging in business


The application of neuroimaging methods to product marketing — neuromarketing — has recently gained considerable popularity. We propose that there are two main reasons for this trend. First, the possibility that neuroimaging will become cheaper and faster than other marketing methods; and second, the hope that neuroimaging will provide marketers with information that is not obtainable through conventional marketing methods. Although neuroimaging is unlikely to be cheaper than other tools in the near future, there is growing evidence that it may provide hidden information about the consumer experience. The most promising application of neuroimaging methods to marketing may come before a product is even released — when it is just an idea being developed.

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Figure 1: Product development cycle.


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This work was supported by grants to G.S.B. from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01DA016434 and R01DA025045), the Office of Naval Research and Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the National Science Foundation (BCS0827313).

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Correspondence to Gregory S. Berns.

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Both authors have received speaking fees and royalties for books published on topics that might be related to this article.

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Ariely, D., Berns, G. Neuromarketing: the hope and hype of neuroimaging in business. Nat Rev Neurosci 11, 284–292 (2010).

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