(Orlando) — What can the human brain tell insurance companies about what to say — and what not to say — in their marketing messages?
More than you would imagine.
At the LIMRA Marketing & Research Conference being held now in Orlando, representatives from Prudential Financial delved deep into the world of understanding the brain of the buying public, also known as consumer neuroscience.
“People will often tell you what they think you want to hear, and it’s not helpful,” said Barbara Ernst, vice president of marketing for Prudential Financial. “It’s in an effort to make you feel better or make themselves feel better. People filter everything and it’s not helpful to us as an industry.
“We surveyed people to death about why they don’t buy life insurance, and we got the usual answers. But what they don’t tell us is what we can do to help get them to buy something.”
Neuroscience, however, tells the company exactly what it can do.
These days, there’s a need to go beyond what consumers tell a company, so it can optimize messaging and influence purchase behavior. Companies, especially those in insurance and financial services, need to “get underneath some of the dialogue” as Ernst explains, and figure out what’s really happening.
That’s exactly what led Prudential Financial to consumer neuroscience.
“It lets us start getting at the physiological things that happen in your body prior to you figuring out what you want to say,” said Ernst. “We monitored people’s blood pressure, their heart rate, their sweat gland activity. This is the same technology people use to monitor seizure activity.”
How it works
Prudential conducted research with 240 consumers and partnered with a research firm to conduct the neuroscience experiments.
The research firm used an electroencephalogram (EEG), which measures electrical activity of the brain, with 32 different sensors. The result was a mountain of data: