A survey on neuromarketing using EEG signals
Neuromarketing is the application of neuroscience to the understanding of consumer preferences toward products and services. As such, it studies the neural activity associated with preference and purchase intent. Neuromarketing is considered an emerging area of research, driven in part by the approximately 400 billion dollars spent annually on advertisement and promotion. Given the size of this market, even a slight improvement in performance can have an immense impact. Traditional approaches to marketing consider a posteriori user feedback in the form of questionnaires, product ratings, or review comments, but these approaches do not fully capture or explain the real-time decision-making process of consumers. Various physiological measurement techniques have been proposed to facilitate the recording of this crucial aspect of the decision-making process, including brain imaging techniques [functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), steady state topography (SST)], and various biometric sensors. The use of EEG in neuromarketing is especially promising. EEG detects the sequential changes of brain activity, without appreciable time delay, needed to assess both the unconscious reaction and sensory reaction of the customer. Several types of EEG devices are now available in the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Researchers have conducted experiments using many of these devices, across different age groups and different categories of products. Because of the deep insights that can be gained, the field of neuromarketing research is carefully monitored by consumer and research protection groups to ensure that subjects are properly protected. This article surveys a range of considerations for EEG-based neuromarketing strategies, including the types of information that can be gathered, how marketing stimuli are presented to consumers, how such strategies may affect the consumer in terms of appeal and memory, machine learning techniques applied in the field, and the variety of challenges faced, including ethics, in this emerging field.