Sunday, 16 August 2015

Advance Review: Decoding the Irrational Consumer by Darren Bridger

One of the exercises brands like to do is the consumer journey. This basically consists of outlining a pretty linear process of how the consumer eventually gets to purchasing your product. For some brands this makes sense, and for others less so. Regardless, consumer behavior in reality has a pesky tendency to stray away from that neat model. Decoding the Irrational Consumer by Darren Bridger outlines how consumers don't always behave in the most rational way and offers neuromarketing methods to help account for and understand these messy purchasing processes.

The book is essentially a tour of all the current neuromarketing capabilities out there and their benefits and how they should be deployed. Bridger is an experienced neuromarketing consultant and a very capable guide through the likes of facial action coding and psychometrics. Each chapter dives into a different neuromarketing tool and the science behind them and use cases. It is a great way to learn about how brands are actually leveraging such tools, such as how the retailer Tesco used eye-tracking studies to identify undervalued print placements and improve the efficiency of their media buys. Concrete examples help marketers reading this book actually envision how they can incorporate such studies to their own brands.

Bridger isn't afraid of science or academia and he frequently references studies from a variety of disciplines in demonstrating the benefits of such services. While one would naturally expect him to be bullish on all such research, he is very fair-minded and describes the pros and cons of all methods, such as how EEG studies are great for immediate feedback but can't really measure long-term effects particularly well.

Decoding the Irrational Consumer is definitely designed to be a practical and instructional read and I think it does a fine job at that. And if you are really interested in marketing and getting the lay of the land of some of these cutting-edge tools this makes for a pretty good pleasure read as well.


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