Neuromarketing in the B-to-B-Sector (Book Review)

On January 26, 2013
b2bBelow you can read the book review of Neuromarketing in the B-to-B-Sector: Importance, potential and its implications for Brand Management (by Friedrich Gentner) that I wrote for publication for the fourth issue of Neuromarketing Theory & Practice Magazine (published by Neuromarketing Science & Business Association).
Market evolution makes us search for strategic competitive advantages over the competitors. So using new neuroscientific techniques to identify and explain the neural processes within the brain responsible for specific options, or for the final decision, allows scientists to consider marketing as a market-oriented, decision-making behavior within companies.
Brand managers or a students interested in business administration, brand management or neuromarketing, you will find Friedrich Gentner‘s book an excellent resource. The book’s contents are the result of the author’s research concerning decision making and neuroscience during his MBA studies.
Gentner published the book in 2012 to draw a theoretical perspective on neuromarketing and brand management in the business-to-business sector, not from a critical point of view, but rather by presenting information and results from the academic research literature, dissertations, the internet and market studies. German researchers are renowned for providing rich scientific results in the area of consumer neuroscience, which may explain why most of the references in the book are German authors. The book also cites many quotes in German, so being able to understand the whole content requires knowledge of the language.
The book presents aspects of neuroscience findings concerning corporate decision-making. Although the purchase decision is made by the “Buying Center” in the Business-to-Business market, the author assumes that findings from neuromarketing can still be applied because this group also consists of humans.
“Since its inception, business adminstration theory has dealt with the issue of providing practical support to corporate decision-making”
, considers the author. When trying to understand how buying decisions occur and how they may be influenced, deeper analysis using neuroimaging techniques offers insights into the brain’s processes. The objective of this book is to consider the findings of neuromarketing in the light of particular instances of B-2-B Marketing and to understand the extent to which neuromarketing is relevant for brand management in this area.
The author defines the relevant subject areas presented in the book, and by presenting the distinctions between other related areas. He also presents neuroscientific principles involving the structure and functioning of the human brain in order to understand the processes that lead to a purchasing decision and offers examples as illustrations. Friedrich Gentner states that neuromarketing findings reveal that feelings and emotions play a much greater role than previously supposed, and that these can be addressed through brands. He offers examples of applications of neuromarketing in the Corporate Communication Sector, at Siemens; four advertising prints are used to illustrate different approaches.
You may find it interesting to understand how a buying decision is processed in the brain. Its point of origin is the perception of sensory signals, which are processed within the sensory areas. These stimuli are enhanced with stored knowledge by the hippocampus, memory’s organizer, and with emotions by the amygdala. If experiences gathered in the past correlate certain situations with a negative valence, rejecting emotions are triggered within the limbic system; positive experiences cause the development of an expectation within the reward system. All this information is linked and assessed within the prefrontal cortex and based on that a decision is made, which leads to a behavioral reaction.
As the author considers,
“Traditional marketing and branding have only looked at the explicit conscious level, and consumer behavior research ignored until recently the unconscious and automatically information processing, although neuroeconomics provides proof that implicit-unconscious effects are more important for decision-making. As brands are the most valuable intangible asset in the B-to-B segment, they should be managed in a professional way.”

This book is a good, compact addition to your library to help you familiarize yourself with neuromarketing and its applications for brand management.

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