In the future that is already here, the majority of new product/service launches and their respective marketing campaigns will be based on previous Neuromarketing studies that offer many more guarantees of success. Obviously, organizations with large financial resources will have easier access to these investigations and can order them specifically for their launches. However, companies with fewer resources also have strategic alternatives in the face of this reality that has to be imposed. In this sense, companies specialized in providing these studies are beginning to proliferate and their cost is declining, in some large capitals.
On the other hand, faced with the difficulty of ordering own studies, there is the possibility of being aware of the generic conclusions that the published studies are contributing on human behavior through Neuromarketing techniques. The merit of managers and advisors will lie in the ability to adapt these conclusions to their own business model and how to make them profitable in their companies. In this line, there are innumerable possibilities of innovation and technological development that are favored by the easy access to elements such as software programs, Apps or wereables that are flooding the market.
Thus, one of the main preoccupations of sports managers, such as customer retention/loyalty, can be greatly enhanced by the combination of the realities of Fitness Neuromarketing with the aforementioned technology. In this sense, several interesting realities have been observed that are conditioned by our somatic markers:
1st In adults, habits are complicated to acquire and require a systematic approach. This is indicating to us that their achievement requires a determined effort and the dedication of sufficient resources.
2ª Once a habit has been acquired, it is very difficult to give up, especially if a positive feedback of the habit towards the individual is systematized, which makes it profitable to dedicate resources to its achievement.
3º The habits are intimately linked to the “Beliefs” (See Bruce Lipton) of the individual, which in turn are affected by his education and influential elements of the environment.
4º The human being needs to have a special personal disposition to adopt a new habit. Reaching this disposition may be subject to a process of maturing motivation that can occur spontaneously or induced (See Rodney Dishman).
5º The repetition of a certain behavior in a systematic way entails the acquisition of the habit that, in turn, reinforces the behavior. But this repetition must be given in sufficient quantities. For example, in the case of physical activity, there would have to be between 24 and 36 training sessions within 90 days. To achieve this goal of adherence to physical activity, the sessions must be pleasant and conducive to a state of “flux” (See Mihály Csíkszentmihályi) that is challenging but bearable.
With this information, we already have the tools to set up a good system of loyalty to the center, after acquiring the habit of training, which is the real problem. In fact, studies clearly show how people who leave sports centres do not do so out of dissatisfaction with the centre. The real underlying and non-verbal motive, most of the time, is lack of adherence to physical exercise.
Therefore, the challenge for sports entities is to systematize processes of motivation maturation from the pre-contemplative stage (before enrolling in the centre) until the habit of training takes root. To this end, the role of service providers and assistive technology must be combined. In this task, the individual’s beliefs must be worked on, his knowledge of the evolution of his own body against physical exercise, the control of the sessions carried out, the enjoyment and levels of satisfaction with these sessions, feedback on the progress made (the first and most important of them is the accumulation of sessions themselves) to achieve a real virtuous circle of “hooking up with physical exercise”.
Another aspect that studies Neuromarketing and that can be of great help in this process is the phenomenon of the so-called “Mirror Neurons” according to which, the human being develops imitation behaviors by pure empathy with those of his species and this is greatly favored by the social relationship activities that can occur within the framework of a sports facility.
In any case, in order to systematize these processes, adequate protocols of action will be as necessary as technological support, such as the work of raising awareness with the human resources assigned to the project and, in particular, the trainers.
But, Neuromarketing has much more to offer in many aspects of human behavior. For example, the perception of our senses when choosing a product, a service or staying in a place has proved to be of enormous importance. In this respect, studies on the most appropriate ambient music, aromas or lighting are particularly effective. In this sense, the most advanced companies are already very clear that their prototypes must be based on an exhaustive design study, focused on the so-called Marketing of Perceptions, Experiences and Emotional.
Although it is true that Emotional Marketing belongs more to the sphere of advertising, here again Neuromarketing gains enormous prominence. In this regard, such interesting questions as the low usefulness of location advertising, the subliminal messages that really work, the relative effectiveness of the use of public figures, the correct setting and representation of prices or the surprising proof that images with a high erotic content can provoke excitement but do not induce purchase have been found. In relation to the latter, it is worth considering the type of models to be used in fitness-related advertising.
Anyway, this is a universe of possibilities that has just opened…
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