Neuromarketing intrigued me even during my undergraduate studies when some of the professors at School of Economics and Business Sarajevo started mentioning this concept to the students. Of course, 4-5 years ago we did not have it in our textbooks but today students are dealing with neuromarketing as a genuine part of business and marketing science. I was skeptical on whether it would be a good idea to focus my research on the region of Bosnia and Herzegovina because I was not sure and aware of the presence of this marketing trend in my home country.
The aim of the research itself was to investigate neuromarketing, but not from the consumer side of the story but rather from the companies point of view. It aimed at examining neuromarketing as a research technique and its connection to the success of the company. It started with an exploratory qualitative research through which I had a chance to interact with academics and experts in the field. This was done through series of in-depth interviews mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This research was also supposed to uncover advantages and disadvantages of neuromarketing, compare them to the ones of traditional marketing research techniques and examine possibilities of optimizing these techniques for the success of the company.
When talking about Bosnia and Herzegovina, through this research I tried to get an insight into the usage of marketing research in general, and then awareness and usage of neuromarketing. I deliberately mention how skeptical I was because results showed that there are agencies that are actively providing services of neuromarketing research for their clients. It is a new trend in Bosnia and Herzegovina, nevertheless it is present and companies are becoming aware of its importance for the success of their companies. It was also evident that general perception of marketing and marketing research is not on the level on which it should be and this is probably the greatest drawback for domestic companies. They are starting campaigns and implementing marketing activities without prior marketing research. In cases when they do conduct the research it is usually not done properly and they focus only on some traditional marketing techniques. The results are non-effective campaigns, investments in activities without return, and inability to reach their target. This is all attributable to the lack of knowledge about the importance of marketing research for their success.
The research also showed that the best way to use neuromarketing techniques is in combination with traditional marketing research techniques. This provides a clear and comprehensive image of the target market for the companies. Besides this, it came across that neuromarketing research techniques are most useful if used for the purposes of advertising. Even though they are not only connected to this field of marketing, its greatest effects were noticed in this area. There are agencies in Bosnia and Herzegovina that are devoting a lot of their time and activities to marketing research for their clients. Moreover, they have been conducting pure neuromarketing testing and the notion is that its results, so far, have been most useful for advertising activities and that through usage of both neuromarketing and traditional marketing research techniques, companies finally have a chance to find all the potential gaps in their approaches and optimize them to the maximum level. This provides useful insight for both sides of B2B equation.
From my point of view the main problem of this market in terms of marketing research is lack of knowledge. There are many agencies with qualified experts that provide services for domestic and international companies, but in a lot of cases companies decide to conduct the research themselves. They are focusing on cutting costs and they are not aware that but doing this they are jeopardizing success of the company. With neuromarketing this becomes impossible, because trained staff is an imperative in this type of research. It will show its potential even more in the upcoming future as soon as companies understand that even though it’s costly, investment in neuromarketing may give them great returns and insights into their consumers’ minds. The results in full can be found on the following link.
Together with the industry growth and more precise consumer requests, we expect the shift towards modern approaches even more in the years to follow. This applies to developing markets as well, such as Bosnia and Herzegovina and certainly the Balkans as a region.
Written by: Vildana Karalić