The Difference Between Marketing and Neuromarketing

Marketing has been around for a long time, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. But with the rise of neuromarketing, marketers now have to contend with new science and technology in order to reach their customers.

Neuromarketing: The New Science of Consumer Behavior
Takeaways from “The Difference Between Marketing and Neuromarketing”
1. Marketing focuses on traditional strategies and consumer behavior at the surface level.
2. Neuromarketing delves into the subconscious factors influencing consumer decisions.
3. Traditional marketing relies on observed data, while neuromarketing uses neuroscience techniques.
4. Understanding human psychology is central to both approaches, but neuromarketing digs deeper.
5. Neuromarketing offers insights for more targeted and effective marketing strategies.

Table of Contents

Marketing Is A More Holistic Approach To Reaching Potential Customers And Delivering Your Product, While Neuromarketing Focuses On The Psychology Of Your Customers

Neuromarketing is a more scientific approach to understanding the brain than marketing. While marketing relies on consumer research and surveys, neuromarketing delves deeper into how our brains respond to certain stimuli. 

It’s not just about understanding what consumers want; it’s about figuring out what makes them tick. As such, neuromarketing can be considered a more specific approach to understanding the human brain than marketing generally takes.

Building a comprehensive understanding of neuromarketing involves learning from various sources. Explore our article on 15 Things We Learned from a Rocket Scientist about Neuromarketing to gain insights from a unique perspective.

Marketing Looks At What A Customer Wants, While Neuromarketing Looks At How They Want It

Marketing looks at what a customer wants, while neuromarketing looks at how they want it. This is what makes neuromarketing so different from traditional marketing. It focuses on the psychology of the customer, rather than their demographics and preferences. 

Rather than asking what you should sell, your customers will tell you how they like to be sold and presented with information in order for them to make a decision about purchasing products or services. 

Neuromarketing helps businesses gain better insight into their customers’ emotions and feelings; getting them closer to understanding exactly what drives people’s decisions when making purchases.

Marketers Create Messages Based On What They Think Their Audience Will Respond To, While Neuromarketers Base Their Strategies On How The Brain Responds To Images And Sound

What do you think of when you hear the word “marketing?” You might imagine a group of people working in a boardroom, or perhaps an advertising agency brainstorming ideas for their latest campaign.

In fact, marketing is much more than just advertising it’s about how companies sell their products and services to customers. So if you’re someone who works in this field, it can be helpful to know what makes customers want to buy your product or service over another one.

Selling products effectively requires more than just a good product; it’s about understanding the psychology behind it. Discover how science can enhance your sales strategy by reading How Science Can Help You Sell a Lousy Product.

Marketing Uses Logic And Reason, While Neuromarketing Uses Feelings And Emotions

Marketing uses logic and reason, while neuromarketing uses feelings and emotions. Marketing uses data and research, while neuromarketing uses brain scans.

Neuromarketing takes a multidimensional approach to understanding consumers’ attitudes, preferences, and purchase decisions by measuring their brain activity while they are exposed to products or brands in different contexts.

Neuroscientists use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to record consumers’ brain responses as they view images or listen to sounds that represent a product category or brand name; for example, neuroscientists may measure the activation of the visual cortex when subjects look at pictures of cars or listen to sounds associated with cars (e.g., revving engines).

Marketers Can Learn From Past Campaigns And Make Changes Based On Those Learnings, But Neuromarketers Can Also Learn From Brain Scans About What A Prospect Actually Feels About A Certain Marketing Message

Marketing based on neuromarketing is different than traditional marketing because it’s not just about feelings, emotions and the brain. It goes deeper than that. 

With traditional marketing, you can learn from past campaigns and make changes based on what you’ve learned, but neuromarketers can also learn from brain scans about what a prospect actually feels about a certain marketing message.

Neuromarketing isn’t just about how people feel; it’s also about how they think. That makes all the difference in the world!

A Marketer Needs To Know What Their Brand Stands For, Whereas A Neuromarketer Needs To Know The Most Effective Way Of Delivering That Message

Neuromarketing experts, like all marketers, need to be aware of their target audience, but they take a different approach to understand their customers. 

Instead of looking at what a marketer thinks the brain is thinking, neuro marketers look at how people’s brains work when they’re making decisions.

Neuromarketing focuses on the buyer persona as an individualized representation of your ideal customer a fictional character whose name, age, and preferences are based on real statistics from your company’s database. 

Marketing focuses on whom you want to reach with your sales message the target audience who constitutes an aggregate group that represents all potential buyers within a specific demographic.

Successful marketing is rooted in understanding the complexities of human behavior. Learn more about this connection in our post titled Understanding Marketing is Understanding Human Beings.

Marketers Tend To Focus On Profits And Returns, Whereas Neuromarketers Tend To Focus On The Brain Mechanisms Behind Desire And Buying Habits

Neuromarketing focuses on the psychology of customers. Marketers tend to focus on profits and returns, whereas neuro marketers tend to focus on the brain mechanisms behind desire and buying habits.

One way neuromarketing differs from marketing is that it looks at how products affect the brain. This can be anything from an advertisement on TV or online, a product sample in a store, or even an experience with your company’s customer service representatives over the phone. 

The goal of this approach is to identify which types of stimuli trigger certain reactions in customers’ minds so that you can use them to create positive experiences for your target market.

Marketers use metrics that show who has bought what and where (marketing analytics). They also look at what types of advertisements are getting attention from consumers (media analytics). But these aren’t necessarily indicators of success; they’re just proxies for sales data a measurement tool used by marketers who don’t have access to direct feedback from their customers’ brains as neuro marketers do!

Your brain plays a significant role in the decision-making process, especially when it comes to purchasing. Explore the factors that influence buyers’ decisions in our article: 11 Reasons Why Your Brain Will Win Your Buyer’s Decision.

Marketers Look At The Metrics That Show Who Has Bought What And Where, While Neuromarketers Look At The Science Of Why People Buy

There is a big difference between the two. Marketers look at the metrics that show who has bought what and where, while neuro marketers look at the science of why people buy. Neuromarketing looks at brain scans, while marketing looks at metrics.

Neuromarketing studies people’s reactions to products in an attempt to understand why people buy something or not. 

For example, if I were selling a new kind of peanut butter, I could use neuromarketing techniques to see whether potential customers like its taste before deciding whether the product is worth launching. 

Or if I am trying to sell someone on my blog post about this topic by pointing out how many other bloggers have shared it on social media (metrics), then I would be practicing marketing instead of neuromarketing!

Marketers Look At Buyer Personas As Fictional Representations Of Real Consumers, While Neuromarketers Look At How People’s Brains Work When They’re Making Decisions

Neuromarketing is a hot topic right now. It draws on the latest advances in neuroscience to find out what motivates people to buy, and how they make decisions. 

Marketers use personas as big-picture representations of their target audience: middle-aged men, young mothers, or millennials. 

Neuromarketers look at how your brain responds when you’re making decisions and then use that information to create more effective messaging and advertising.

To understand the difference between marketing and neuromarketing, let’s take a look at one of the most basic ways we make decisions: buying something at the store. When you walk down the aisle toward a particular item on your grocery list, what’s going through your mind? 

Maybe it’s “Gotta get milk.” Or maybe it’s “I need chocolate syrup for my pancakes tomorrow morning.” But even if those labels were there (HINT HINT), would they have any effect on whether or not you decide to pick up that product? Probably not!

Neuromarketers would say that we don’t need labels; all we need are to trigger the things in our environment that remind us of our goals or desires without us even realizing them. 

The trigger may be seeing someone else eating pancakes with chocolate syrup (a little bit of peer pressure never hurt anyone!), but it could also be hearing laughter coming from another aisle (“Hey honey! Did you hear about Dave getting married?”). 

Those cues spark an emotion within us based on previous experience in this case happiness over seeing friends happy together which translates into an intuitive feeling-based decision: I want some too!

Building trust with your audience is a cornerstone of effective marketing. Discover how to utilize neuromarketing techniques to foster trust by reading Neuromarketing Posts to Build Trust with Your Prospects and Customers.


Ultimately, marketing and neuromarketing aren’t mutually exclusive. They can be used together to help you make better decisions about your brand and products. 

While it may take some time to learn the ins and outs of neuromarketing, marketers can still use it as a tool in their arsenal. If you’re interested in learning more about how to combine these two disciplines into one cohesive strategy, contact us today!

Further Reading

Neuromarketing: Why It’s Essential for Marketers: Explore the importance of neuromarketing in the digital marketing landscape.

Distinguishing Neuromarketing Research from Other Marketing Research: Learn about the unique aspects that set neuromarketing research apart from other forms of marketing research.

Neuromarketing vs. Traditional Marketing: Understanding the Differences: Gain insights into the distinctions between neuromarketing and traditional marketing approaches.

Now, here’s the “FAQs” section:


What is neuromarketing and how does it differ from traditional marketing?

Neuromarketing is a field that employs neuroscience principles to understand consumer behavior and decision-making. Unlike traditional marketing, which often relies on surface-level observations, neuromarketing delves into the subconscious factors that influence purchasing choices.

How can neuromarketing benefit marketers?

Neuromarketing provides a deeper understanding of consumer preferences, allowing marketers to create more targeted and effective campaigns. By tapping into the subconscious motivations of customers, marketers can tailor their strategies for better engagement and conversions.

What are some common techniques used in neuromarketing research?

Neuromarketing employs various techniques such as eye tracking, EEG (electroencephalography), and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) scans to measure brain activity and eye movement patterns, providing insights into consumer reactions to marketing stimuli.

Can neuromarketing help improve user experience (UX)?

Absolutely. Neuromarketing insights can be applied to enhance user experience by identifying elements that engage users on a subconscious level. This can lead to more intuitive designs, better usability, and increased customer satisfaction.

Is neuromarketing limited to digital marketing, or can it be applied to other industries?

Neuromarketing can be applied to a wide range of industries beyond digital marketing. It has proven valuable in retail, product design, branding, and even political campaigns. Any context where understanding consumer behavior is essential can benefit from neuromarketing insights.