Sunday, May 16, 2010

Book review of Buyology about neuromarketing

Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy and the New Science of Desire Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy and the New Science of Desire by Martin Lindstrom

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I was very interested in the neuromarketing that this book was about. Neuromarketing is a new method of market research in which people are asked questions or shown images or other stimuli while they are scanned by an MRI machine. This allows scientists to see which areas of the brain are being activated. Through this technique, clues about what people are really experiencing, especially as motivations, are often revealed. For example, neuromarketing shows that cigarette smoking warning labels actually trigger smoking cravings. Even though the subjects say the labels act as deterrents, physiologically the story is the opposite.

This book was somewhat disappointing to me because I wanted the actual research results, which were buried in lengthy chapters that had no subheadings. The book was mostly packed with examples of marketing to build the case for what a specific neuromarketing experiment was going to test. Then the last few paragraphs of a chapter might reveal some findings from neuromarketing. I wanted less discussion of traditional marketing/advertising forms and more discussion of neuromarketing research results. The style of the book was mostly a long form rambling essay with no subheadings to help me find the juicy bits. So I ended up not really finding much information. The book felt padded. I think a 6-page report just about the new technique of neuromarketing would have been sufficient.

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