Deadheads, we’re not (though we admit to loving that music).

But how to figure out what’s in consumer (or stakeholder) brains when they buy?

Some of our recent op-eds have dealt with sub-sets of the new ‘neuromarketing,’ from eye scans to facial coding.

That’s only part of understanding how we make decisions.  What our advertising and marketing colleagues are advocating is a holistic take on uncovering the reasons behind our behaviors.  In fact, they’re doing more than talking about it; they’re actively looking at subconscious perceptions, studying real-life actions, and field testing, in addition to ferreting out physiological clues.

Obama’s academic consultants are credited with the ‘gotta delve deeper’ movement.  Yet way back in 1915, J.Walter Thompson hired John B. Watson for market research (the U of Chicago co-founder of behavioral psych). 

Back to decisions:  Choosing A over B, say the scientists, is complicated.  Especially since 90 percent of our thinking occurs way below awareness levels.  It’s a meld of feelings versus thought, with our minds working at cross purposes during decision time.


But why can’t those of us in communications develop messages that appeal to the different parts of the brain (which is what our colleagues do, in absence of large budgets and loads of time)?  It’s the intuitive versus the deliberate, the fast versus slow, the effortless versus the planful.  No question, most of us are masterful in internal and external wordsmithing.  Isn’t it way past time we plot the appropriate ways to capture minds and hearts?