Companies Have Figured Out How To Trick Our Brains Into Buying Things

It seems like companies are constantly bombarding us with marketing messages.

As advertising clutter continues to increase, many marketers are turning to science in order to figure out how to influence their consumers. That's right, neuromarketing is more popular than ever, as companies look for new ways to literally get into the heads of consumers.

If you're not familiar with this disciple, let me fill you in.

Neuromarketing expert, Roger Dooley, defines it as,

[T]he direct use of brain imaging, scanning, or other brain activity measurement technology to measure a subject's response to specific products, packaging, advertising, or other marketing elements.

Or, in other words, neuromarketing basically looks at how our brains respond to various marketing stimuli by monitoring things such as brain wave activity, eye tracking and skin response.

While this type of research was once considered a pseudoscience, neuromarketing is quickly becoming an important measuring tool. Now, lots of big name brands are using a variety of neuro-research techniques that range from biofeedback and facial coding to brain wave monitoring devices like MRI and EEG scanners.

So, what's the reason for the sudden rise in neuromarketing?

Scott Lachut of the marketing insights firm PSFK, told OZY,

The industry is changing because the consumer is changing

Lachut goes on to explain that as of 2013, the average human only has about an eight-second attention span. This, in turn, creates the need for immediate data so marketers can provide consumers with relevant goods and service at any given time.

However, there's a lot of controversy over the use of neuromarketing, since — as you can imagine — the thought of being subconsciously influenced by companies to buy things tends to put a lot of people on edge.