Nanomarketing: Is It The Last Frontier Of Neuromarketing?


Nanomarketing: It is nothing new to affirm that we live, in Bauman’s words, in a “liquid” time where technological innovations are continuous with an almost dizzying pace in their appearance, adaptation or substitution and, in which they are increasingly They build new paradigms with a shorter life expectancy.

We all know that the only predictable certainty is the continuous transformation of everything around us. It is paradoxical that, nearly 2,500 years later, we empirically verify what Heraclitus of Ephesus already told us then.

The World Of Marketing Is No Exception.

When we are still celebrating and discovering new applications of our “spearhead” discipline in innovation and technology, neuromarketing, which for what it represents, in scientific terms in the world of marketing, is the overcoming of the subjectivity of the individual in the construction of the speech itself when asked about their preferences or tastes in market research, product design or packaging, then, we guess a new frontier, nanomarketing.

Taking advantage, once again, of the synergies of the multidisciplinary work of different professionals and the advances in another field of science, nanotechnology, and the possibility that this offers us to work on a nanoscale, that is, in a dimension range of between 1 At 100 nanometers, we can develop measurement tools, applied to neuromarketing, that are increasingly more complex and housed in increasingly smaller devices by the mere manipulation of matter that will make nanomarketing a reality before we realize it.

Let’s imagine the possibility of integrating these very small, non-intrusive, and wireless devices that accompany us, in a much less invasive way, in all those experiments focused on knowing what we do or how we feel when faced with a certain stimulus when we walk between the shelves of a hypermarket. , in our role as everyday consumers. How we interact with a merchandising action or place ourselves in front of a container, product, brand, or even measure the emotional reaction to the presence or message of a public figure who seeks our support and vote, if our study focused on the field of political marketing.

Neuroscientists, researchers and “neuromarketinians” are always interested in learning, as much as we can, about the mechanisms that are triggered in our brains when we face situations that require starting a decision and purchasing process.

Understanding what happens when we buy, when we overexpose ourselves to all types of advertising impacts or when we interact with the universe of brands that surround us, is our ultimate objective.

Traditional neuromarketing research always requires a set of tools, devices and human teams of enormous complexity, very sophisticated and, almost always, after having paid a handsome bill (because they are tremendously expensive).

As is well known, one of the most used imaging techniques is functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and its use has provided us with an enormous number of clues and evidence about the role that both emotions and subconscious responses have in perception. , for example, of a product and in the associated and subsequent decision making that we as consumers experience. Both factors have been revealed as determining factors in any evaluation and purchasing process.

However, and as a result of the research process, we know that we face certain limitations that are inherent to traditional neuromarketing and that we can group into the following four sections:

  • A very expensive technology that conditions the very design of the experiments since, as they are necessarily short in time (due to availability and cost), their sample size is also short. That is, they are always small samples and this determines the degree of consistency of the information obtained for statistical reasons.
  • Spatial conditioning. Experiments can only be carried out in laboratories or hospitals for obvious reasons. A magnetic resonator weighs around 4,500 Kg (the Philips Achieva 1.5 T model) so it is impossible to imitate the different external disturbances in real life and which can influence, we do not know in what or how, the final results obtained. And all, without taking into account the possible cross effects of the interaction of the movement of our own body and its effect on others.

It is easy to guess the degree of conditioning that this entails and how it can call into question the scientific validity of the experimental results if we want to make any inferences to the real world.

  • Lack of complementarity in the use of technology. Only one neuroimaging technology, such as fMRI or EEG (electroencephalography), can be used at a time, which can lead to an “incomplete” or partial understanding of the relationships between physiological processes and human behavior, both due to the limitation spatial (cortical depth) as well as the technology applied.
  • Ethical and deontological factors. Nothing new. Since the birth of neuromarketing, this has been an enormously controversial factor. The mere possibility of identifying some mechanism related to the purchasing process itself has aroused all kinds of criticism. The fear of manipulation is always present as a limiting factor of individual free will.

Therefore, nanotechnology and its potential miniaturization process can mitigate, improve and even eliminate some of the limitations that we have just raised and, with this, nanomarketing can represent that last frontier of neuromarketing by helping to strengthen the questioned statistical validity, derived of working with small samples and isolated and not necessarily connected works.

With small, wireless and cheap measuring devices it is possible to design massive research projects and everything that this represents: the long-awaited experimental sample expansion and the incorporation of the multivariability of the real environment in the experiments.

Thus, nanomarketing would far surpass, due to statistical robustness, the current ability to test the effectiveness of certain advertising, the virality of a spot, the convenience of adopting certain changes in a packaging, or increasing the attractiveness of a product compared to its competitors on the line itself.

Although we have not yet reached the molecular level that allows the work and manipulation of molecular structures and their atoms that could lead us to the manufacture of different sensors, we can cite some examples of neuromarketing technology in smaller devices. We already have lightweight glasses to measure eye movement, EEG headphones, and “Galvanic Skin Response” devices, which measure emotional arousal and stress from our wrist.

Also, work is being done on the adaptation of “wearable” technology in portable devices to measure all types of physiological parameters (such as emotional expression) and, through this remote monitoring, collect them in real time and in everyday situations and places

We are aware that a complex web of blood vessels lies just under the skin of our faces. Different emotions cause subtle changes in the blood flow to our faces. The autonomic nervous system, which is outside our conscious awareness, controls these alterations.

Thanks to the combination of the use of algorithms and image processing technology, it has a low-cost, wireless, non-invasive and remote technology that can, for example, detect when we lie with an accuracy of 85%. When we lie, blood flow decreases in the cheeks and increases in the nose.

Some authors who are already proposing these developments help us realize the opportunities that nanomarketing will offer us:

  • A more accessible and multifunctional experimentation. Being significantly less expensive and being able to measure different signals at the same time, it will allow us to collect much more data and, therefore, the reliability, validity and consistency of the results will increase considerably.
  • More real. Or directly real. Since if Nanomarketing devices are more portable, they will be more discreet and can be used on a daily and non-invasive basis, in real life and for much longer exposure times.
  • Multivariate analysis. Multiple neurological, biological and physiological signals can be measured synchronously, which will result in a deeper understanding of emotional states and their relationship with consumer behavior.

The future Neuromarketing seems to be from the Nanomarketing platform that could revolutionize the understanding of consumer behavior and the fundamental principles of our area of ​​knowledge, marketing, such as attitudes, purchase intention, advertising response, consumer satisfaction and a long etc. very difficult to predict at the time I am writing this article.

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