FEATURE29 February 2012

‘Lots of people are preaching their own form of the gospel’

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Phil Barden tells James Verrinder why the neuromarketing industry needs the Neuromarketing Science and Business Association.

The Neuromarketing Science and Business Association (NSBA) is still in its infancy. It was only officially launched last week, but it has already attracted 100 members from 34 countries. Decode Marketing’s Phil Barden has been given the role of regional chair for the UK and Research spoke to him to find out more about why the association was launched and what we can expect to see from it in the future.

How did the NSBA came about?
Its genesis is with founder and organiser Carla Nagel in the Netherlands, who started contacting the industry last year. My take on it is that she did it from an entrepreneurial stance. She saw and heard a lot of interest around the field of neuromarketing but recognised that nothing “official” existed. From there it was a classic example of the herd effect as everyone stood by, saw who was going to throw their hat into the ring and got on board.

Why is there a need for something ‘official’, as you put it?
One of the great things it’s going to do is promote neuromarketing, and that involves setting up standards, guidelines, codes of conducts, showing the added value neuromarketing can bring and promoting a lot more interaction between the academic pure-science part of the industry and the business side.

As a client [Barden previously worked for T-Mobile] I was confused and bewildered by a lot of neuromarketing as there were all these different tools and techniques out there and lots of people preaching their own form of the gospel but it had no common standards or understanding. Outside of academic papers, there was a real paucity of knowledge of how this could be applied practically and commercially.

Indeed, I notice there are a lot of academics involved in the NSBA.
And that’s a reflection of where the balance of knowledge lies at the moment. The weight of academics to clients is huge, but that will even out over time and the balance will shift.

This is the first association of its kind for the neuromarketing sector, but there have already been attempts elsewhere, like the Advertising Research Foundation’s (ARF) NeuroStandards project, to achieve some of what NSBA hopes to. Won’t too many voices drown out a common message?
I don’t think so. The ARF had a particular focus, which was advertising. The applications of neuromarketing go beyond advertising. I think the ARF initiative is fantastic and long may it continue but it is US-focused while NBSA is global and has the depth to cover all neuromarketing applications.



9 years ago

Hey James!! This is really helpful. Great Written Cheers!!

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9 years ago

hmm I welcome the use of of truth serum by neuromarketers - a common understanding? Good luck ;-)

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