Neuromarketing and Genetics

Is using genetics for targeted marketing going too far?

Here’s the thing about all studies. They are biased and they are missing something they probably don’t even know they’re missing. Right now neuromarketing studies are hot . Advocates and critics go toe to toe about whether neuromarketing is a legitimate enough science that can tell us anything about buying behavior. And answering that question just brings up more contention because if we really can predict (and therefore influence) buying behavior, we start to get into ethics territory.

So Willem Verbeke’s upcoming talk on how genetics skews the neuromarketing data sufficiently enough to recommend larger samples for fMRI studies AND his suggestion that genetics could be the next factor in segmented target marketing ought to get some jaws flapping.

And you the marketer? What do you need to know about this?

  1. The reason there’s no definitive buy button in the brain is precisely because of confounding factors like this.
  2. Neuromarketing advice is not perfect so listen up but test things with your own audience.

What do you think of the idea of being able to target market by genetic information? Too far? Or helpful for everybody? Discuss!

Image from IvanWalsh on flickr.