The human mind is one of the last great frontiers in our society. The last few years, there have been great strides in understanding how the brain works. We are going to share the latest studies and news in neuroscience to help our clients better influence consumers through marketing.

To stand out from the crowd, some ads will attempt to pull at your heartstrings while others use humor to cut through the noise. Despite these efforts, many ads miss their mark. With the help of neuromarketing, advertisers gain insight into the study of human response – how people respond to TV spots, print ads, digital marketing and now attention has shifted to the impact of mobile. Through the effective study of neuromarketing, advertisers can discover why people prefer certain products or brands to others.

In order to get inside the human mind, some marketers are using the latest technology advancements like EEG headsets, biometric scanners and facial-and eye-tracking software and combining them with complex algorithms to decipher how deeply people feel when exposed to an ad. By evaluating electrical patterns in brain waves, researchers can track responses such as anger, lust and excitement. At the end of the day, people are largely motivated by what makes them feel good, especially with their purchasing decisions. Uma Karmarkar, Harvard Business School, states, “The more desirable something is, the more significant the changes in blood flow in that part of the brain. Studies have shown activity in the brain area can predict the future popularity of a product or experience”.

Do we really need to literally scan the mind to reinforce the emotions we already feel when we watch a video, see a new product or print ad? We’ve always felt we’ve developed an instinct for what works and have the consistent case studies to back it up. Is the additional investment even worth it or will this help marketers in layered companies support better work to their conservative cultures?

How the brain reacts to a brand message is one part of the equation, the device it’s playing on also comes into play. One interesting Nielsen study revealed that branding resonated less with users on smaller screens – only 29% of users watched a 30-second video ad to the end on their mobile device. Consumers still tend to watch more on a TV (84%) or a desktop computer (83%). It makes sense as TV is a passive medium, while consumers are more active on their mobile devices. In addition to the device an ad is viewed on, timing also plays a huge role in ad effectiveness. As Spencer Gerrol, founder of Spark, states, “Just because it’s in the viewable screen doesn’t mean it’s actually viewed or paid attention to or noticed.” People do not like interruptive ads and are more likely to engage with an ad when it’s an organic experience. For example, television is a more passive technology that consumers relax and watch and are more likely to pay attention to ads as opposed to a mobile experience when people are on-the-go.

Just as important as the where and when is the what – what your content looks like also influences consumer response. In fact, content that is in constant motion like videos or animations keeps our attention riveted. According to the FCC, video accounts for more than 60% of U.S. Internet traffic and will rise to 80% by 2019. By connecting the dots between brain waves, devices, timing and content, advertisers can start to see the marketing value of brain data and unlock the mystery of consumer choice.