What is Neuromarketing and how it can help your startup?

WRITTEN BY BOZHENA KLICHUK

While data-science and data-based decisions are a new normal for marketers all over the world, an even deeper understanding of the customer’s behavior based on scientific research is still a novice.

Have you ever wondered why you liked that song on a Sunday morning or picked potato chips in the red package, not the yellow one? Why do we do things we do? What makes us tick? It might be a coincidence, or an invisible power managing our choices whether it’s chips, a song, or a movie to pick for the night. Neuromarketing.

What is Neuromarketing and how it works?

According to Harward Business Review, Neuromarketing refers to the measurement of physiological and neural signals to gain insight into customers’ motivations, preferences, and decisions, which can help inform creative advertising, product development, pricing, and other marketing areas. Brain scanning, which measures neural activity, and physiological tracking, which measures eye movement and other proxies for that activity, are the most common methods of measurement.

In other words, it’s an application of neuroscience to marketing. The study of how the brain is influenced by marketing and consumerism.

Today brands cannot just predict future behavior but they can also model it by combining AI with neuroscience. It’s not only that technologies went further but that there is a reason to fix it. We have marketers on one side who want to create amazing experiences for us to fall in love with without creeping us out. On the other side, there are us, consumers who want to be charmed and flirt with the brands just not be creeped out. The ‘creeping out’ part is still out there on the billboards, TV and countless ads online. Neuromarketing aims to bridge the gap between marketers and consumers.

Neuromarketing is a science applied to marketing needs.

Meet Neurotrack – Ukrainian startup discovering the emotional and behavioral reaction of the target audience by tracking the conscious and unconscious reactions of the body.

Neurotrack was founded in 2019 by Vitaliy Miniaylo and Alexander Shvets. In April 2020 Vadym Kozhevny joined the team as CEO.   Kozhevniy and Miniaylo have been working together previously and had the matching experience and similar views on neuromarketing development plans.

Vitaliy Miniaylo and Vadym Kozhevny have crossed their paths while working together on developing unusual methods for Internet promotion, such as displaying videos to the YouTube trends. Kozhevniy was searching for ways to improve marketing practices and bring Europen experience and expertise to Ukraine.

Both Miniaylo and Kozhevniy had knowledge in marketing and data science and connections to large clients, suck as local e-betting companies, so that made it easier to start.

“I came up with a question of how effective marketing tools can be used to maximize the quality and efficiency of creatives. We did a little research and found out that there is such a thing as neuromarketing beyond the borders of our country. It has been utilized by almost every major company and university in some way or form,” said Miniaylo.  

Examples of neuromarketing include the use of images and videos with babies or puppies to have prolonged and more focused attention from customers and the use of red color is the most common color for the food industry. (Take a look at the McDonald’s or Burger King’s logos)

Electroencephalography helps to evaluate emotions
Vadym Kozhevniy showing the device for evaluation emotions in the human brain – electroencephalography.

“There are so many ways to manipulate our brains. And all of it is collected into one science called neuromarketing”, said Miniaylo.

Kozhevniy and Miniaylo partnered with the scientists, who helped to shape the way startup worked and the services it provided.

Neurotrack has focused on the usage of two main technologies, such as:

    • Eye-tracking – the motion of the eye is measured with the help of a special device. It helps to create a heat map and subtract the blind sports. The direct and indirect goals of these actions are to increase sales with a certain number of visitors.
    • Electroencephalography is a device that helps to evaluate emotions. Each area of our brain is responsible for certain emotional expressions. And all of the emotions are being shown by the device while the person, who is wearing it, is shown specific visuals or videos. After the evaluations, with help of the same device, the emotions are classified and being worked with for marketing purposes.

      Neuromarketing in action
      Neurotrack team in the process of evaluations emotions that occur in the brain after the person looks at the video or pictures.

How behavioral research is connected to marketing?  

Behavioral research and eye-tracking can make the process of advertising creative evaluation objective. That means, if earlier this process went through a certain number of managers, though they weren’t the target audience, now we can communicate directly with the audience. In other words, these devices simplify and clarify our daily work routine. Instead of wasting time on the team’s opinion, we spend it in a more productive way – by getting the direct opinion of the target audience.

Neuromarketing can be used anywhere. Each and every industry needs it. The highest demand for it has the entertainment industry. All of the movie trailers go through neuromarketing research. In case if somewhere in their process a negative reaction is caught, it is cut off and changed so that the viewers like it. That accordingly affects ticket sales. Music, by the way, works the same way. Mozgi Entertainment, for instance, was one of Neurotrack’s clients earlier. They are testing the quality of the track both on their fans’ and non-fans’ reactions. This could take music production to a new level. Perhaps this is one of the reasons Western music is of better quality and, accordingly, more popular. It has its math inside.

What is the role of neuromarketing in our future?

Miniaylo believes it’s critical for optimization of the content that is produced for both online and offline mediums.

We want it to become a culture of digital marketing consciousness and thus simplify people’s lives. Then all the amount of annoying advertisements both online and offline would switch to quality content. If we optimize this, everyone would feel better”, said Minyaylo. 

How to create a successful business without experience or connections

Bozhena Klichuk talked to Nikolay Lysenko, a Ukrainian-based entrepreneur and the creator behind the networking club InterRegnum. Lysenko truly believes that networking is the key to boosting the startup industry development and believes that everything is possible with the right people and connections.

Please tell me your story. How was your life before InterRegnum? 

I’m 18 now and I don’t have a lot of experience. I used to work on small projects in retail and now have a business on Amazon.

What made you come up with this idea?

We already have a few clubs in Kyiv such as Young Business Club and CEO club. However, the concern I had while looking into those clubs was the absence of young people. I had an impression that everyone forgets about them, so I decided to be that guy that gives them a chance to show themselves and share their ideas. I feel them, I am the same age and that is why I think that I can lead them.

How long was the path from the idea to its creation?

It took me about a year including all the ups and downs.

What were the first challenges you met along the way? 

The main challenge for me was a lack of competency and experience, everything was new and unknown. But you learn from your own mistakes and grow from them. The theoretical knowledge doesn’t help until you test it in real life.

Startup ideas tips

How did you build the connections with companies and mentors that are invited? 

Building the first connections was actually pretty easy due to the help of the Young Business Club. They were mentoring me from the beginning that I am really grateful for! Step by step I kept networking, going to events and meeting new people. You never know how the person next to you can influence your life.

What are the further plans?

The main plans are to expand to the four major cities in Ukraine: Lviv, Kharkiv, Odesa, and Dnipro. The main mission is to promote networking, support, and trust among our Ukrainian youth as we can see from our European neighbors.

What would you advise to the young entrepreneurs that are just starting their path?

Before you get disappointed about your project and want to throw it all away, stop for a minute and think about what you can change. Then change everything except the main idea. Another thing is the perception of your idea. If you do it as it is for fun without overthinking and tension, it will definitely work out.

George Burke, co-founder of Founderpool, on how to launch a successful startup during pandemic.

Written by iryna prysyazhnuk

George Burke is a San Francisco based entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in the startup industry and the co-founder of FounderPool.

FounderPool, Burke’s new project, de-risks entrepreneurs by pooling startup equity. In the first month of allowing for open enrollments and applying, FounderPool got around 60 founders, who had raised almost a billion dollars between them.

FounderPool was ProductHunt’s #1 Product of the Day.  Since its launch in July 2020, the founders have raised billions of dollars for their startups.

How did Burke create such a successful project in a short period of the most uncertain time of the last decade? 

First, there was an idea. However, he didn’t transform the idea into the project right away, as many entrepreneurs do. FounderPool is not Burke’s first startup, but the first one he created differently. Burke explained, that the book “Lean Startup” by Eric Rise made him take a different approach.

“I didn’t want to start up anything until validating it. I’ve had too many startups where I feel like I’m trying to push a good idea onto the community onto consumers or customers, but they don’t actually want what I’m creating,” said Burke. 

Burke’s advice – do not build a thing until you know that you have customers for it.

How would you know something like that?

Talk to your audience. Don’t try to ask anyone if they like the idea of your startup, as most of the people won’t tell you the truth anyway.  Instead, ask questions and learn about the challenges, fears, and needs of your audience.

Burke has taken this exact approach – being pretty immersed in startup culture in San Francisco, he was able to get a short conversation with founders and CEOs of tech companies he knew. However, he didn’t ask them right away if they would be willing to become customers of this new thing he is creating. Instead, Burke asked about their fears and learned that risk, fear of a total loss, and uncertainty about their business was at the heart of investing challenges the founders experienced.

“80% of them said at the end of the call without me even asking: “Hey, can I be a part of this thing, when you actually launching it?”

To Burke that was an indicator that there was a market fit and that he should explore the question and actually make a product around it.

“Create a product around the fears and needs that the people you interview have” – advises Burke. 

The other element in FounderPool’s success was the messaging company used – the messaging was coming directly from the users’ words, the way they described their experience with FounderPool. Burke explained, that the way founders of the company want to present it and the way customers actually interpret what the company is, is not the same.

“We rely on how other people see it for that messaging. Somebody said that we are team Avengers for the founders. And we’re like, yeah, we’re definitely using that!”, said Burke.  

Finding the right niche and the right messaging is great, but not enough for a successful launch.

A personal network was a key element in building trust and attacking the first founders to FounderPool. Many of the 60 first people in FounderPool have been friends of either Burke or other co-founders.

“There’s the right time. There’s the right market. There’s also the right network“,  said George Burke. 

You can join Founderpool by submitting an application on the official website and keep in touch with the company’s updates on LinkedIn and Twitter.