13 Neuromarketing Books You Need On Your Shelf In 2019
Apparently, you should never judge a book by its cover… That’s worrying, since these ones say that you’re about to do just that! According to their best-selling, billion-dollar-making and Nobel-Prize-winning authors, you will judge these neuromarketing books before you even realise it.
Our Tactics Library has been built on the work of authors and academics who have inspired us with research into consumer psychology, persuasion and digital marketing. This is our chance to pick a few favourites and assemble a brand-boosting, fortune-making and (in some cases) world-saving shortlist. These are the neuromarketing books every digital marketer should know by heart.
13 Neuromarketing Books You Need On Your Shelf
We listed our favourite books from 13 to 1 – giving you a countdown of the most essential reading for neuromarketers. This list is not about the most famous author or the most popular item on the bookshelf. Instead, it is about the neuromarketing books that digital marketers cannot do without.
13. Nudge – (Richard H. Thaler & Cass R. Sunstein, 2008)
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Also by these authors: Quasi-rational Economics, The Winner’s Curse
Nudge theory has left a vast footprint on the Neuromarketing landscape. Published in 2008, This summary of over ten years of prior research, has spawned a library of related books, inspired catalogues of failed (and some successful) experiments, re-written the language of consumer behaviour and earned Richard Thaler himself a Nobel Prize. Beyond this, the book remains a clear and accessible introduction to the world of “Choice Architecture”. Simply for demonstrating the irrationality of human choice, this book makes our list.
As we shall see, small and apparently insignificant details can have major impacts on people’s behaviour. A good rule of thumb is to assume that “everything matters.” In many cases, the power of these small details comes from focusing the attention of users in a particular direction.
12. Influence – (Robert Cialdini, )
Also by this author: Yes!, Pre-suasion
This is the original textbook of consumer behaviour. Cialdini outlines six “Principles of Persuasion” and describes the techniques that get positive responses more often than any others. The pace is easy to follow (every new idea is examined from a number of angles and supported by personal anecdotes), but if you are familiar with neuromarketing, you might be disappointed by how familiar the content is. Despite this, the number and variety of real-world examples make this a certainty for inclusion on any neuromarketing bookshelf.
With personally disquieting frequency, I have always found myself in possession of unwanted magazine subscriptions or tickets to the sanitation workers’ ball. Probably this long-standing status as sucker accounts for my interest in the study of compliance: Just what are the factors that cause one person to say yes to another person?
11. Oversubscribed – (Daniel Priestley, 2015)
Also by this author: 24 Assets
This book describes a marketing tactic Priestley advocates as the secret to his own (quite remarkable) success. The technique involves cultivating huge demand and then leveraging this to acquire more business. People who manage to achieve this run-away Social Proof effect are described as being “oversubscribed.” The book outlines seven principles for becoming oversubscribed, and then gives a five-step plan for achieving it. Whilst the formula is not universal, and its role as the cause (rather than consequence) of Priestley’s success is questionable, there are ideas here that anybody can apply.
There are people who don’t chase clients. Clients chase them… In a world of endless choices, why does this happen? Why do people line up, pay more, and book so far in advance when other options are easily available? Why are these people and products in such high demand?
10. Why We Buy – (Paco Underhill, 2000)
Also by this author: Call of the Mall, What Women Want
Underhill describes himself as an Environmental Psychologist; he explores the contextual factors that influence shoppers. This book is written from the perspective of a retailer, and has received mixed reviews due to its unapologetic agenda (how to make people buy more) and its association with the company its author founded. The first part considers how people react to physical aspects of a store, the second considers how different groups react to the same situation. Finally, the book considers the changing culture of shopping.
As we’ve seen, the simplest aspects of humanity – our physical abilities and limitations – have quite a bit of say in how we shop. But nothing as interesting as shopping is ever quite so simple. we all move through the same environments, but no two of us respond to them exactly alike.
9. Clickology – (Graham Jones, 2014)
Also by this Author: Sales Genius, Doing Business on the Internet
Graham Jones is a specialist in “Cyberpsychology,” the study of how internet technology interacts with the human mind. His work aims to provide insights into online behaviour without necessarily suggesting concrete applications. Even so, this book is aimed at online retailers. It compares offline with online behaviour to provide an accessible five-step CLICK system for engaging your customers (your service should be: Convenient, Likeable, Informative, Customised and Knowledgable.)
…this book will offer you a peek inside an online shopper’s mind, revealing the subconscious aspects of a website and how you as a business owner, retailer, or marketer can consciously make customers feel involved.
8. Decoding the New Consumer Mind – (Kit Yarrow, 2014)
Also by this Author: GenBuY
The award–winning psychologist, Kit Yarrow, uses hundreds of consumer interviews to profile the relationships that modern American consumers have with brands, products and retailers. The text alternates between excessive generality and brief moments of intensity. These are strung together with numbered lists and ludicrously broad claims (for example, the subheading “Why Consumers are More Emotional” introduced midway through Part Three.) However, the individual testimonies that are relayed throughout the book make it well worth reading.
The deep intimacy we have with our technology—phones that rest on our nightstands and computers that we interact with more than people—is unlike any relationship we’ve had with products in the past. And continuous brilliant advances in technology, coupled with the power of social media to champion new products, have created a trust in “new” unlike anything we’ve seen before.
7. Brain Sell – (David Lewis, 2013)
Also by this Author: The Soul of the New Consumer
David Lewis is a neuroscientist with a focus on consumer psychology. This is one of the more technical books in our list and the emphasis is on theory rather than commercial applications. Covering everything from the history of advertising to the power of subliminal priming, David Lewis aims to reveal the dark arts of customer persuasion (or, as he occasionally puts it, manipulation.)
Brain Sell is particularly valuable because it explores aspects of consumer psychology that rarely feature in neuromarketing books. Alongside familiar effects such as Scarcity and Social Proof, Lewis explores the fear of contamination and the remarkable influence of fonts on consumer perception.
Today, every major company in the world is engaged in a race to use advances in neuroscience to develop techniques for influencing (or, as critics would argue, “manipulating”) consumers – a race not only to win their hearts, but also to influence their minds.
6. Webs of Influence – Nathalie Nahai
Webs of Influence explains the underlying dynamics and motivations behind consumer behaviour using insights from psychology, neuroscience and behavioural economics. Learn how to engage with your customers in a more meaningful way by applying her principles to improve your marketing, products and websites.
5. Brainfluence – Roger Dooley
Brainfluence explains how to apply neuroscience and behaviour research to create targeting strategies through in-person sales, online and print ads and other media. Using this scientific approach well-known brands have learned the best ways to market their products to speciifc groups of consumers.
4. Made to Stick – Chip Heath and Dan Heath
Made to Stick explains why some ideas become popular, while others wither and die. The book lays out the most important characteristics of “stickiness”; that is, what makes ideas “stick” in the mind, and how to make them work for you. Each chapter’s principles are applied to a case study or idea for practical application.
3. Hooked – Nir Eyal
Hooked provides a 4 step model to explain how companies subtly encourage consumer behaviour. Hook cycles drive users to come back over and over, without the need for costly advertising. Understand how to create user habits that stick and products they love. A must-read for product managers, designers, marketers and founders alike.
2. Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
This book provides a summary of over two decades of research covering everything from Cognitive Biases to Prospect Theory. In the first section the Nobel prize winner explains his ‘dual-process’ model of the brain. The fast, intuitive and emotional decision-making of ‘System 1’ versus the logical, slow, deliberate and painful ‘System 2’ needed for more complex tasks.
1. Predictably Irrational – Dan Ariely
Predictably Irrational explains why irrationality often supplants rational thought. From why nothing is really ‘free’, why we overvalue what we have to how our expectations influence our experiences. A combination of anecdotes and experiments help you to understand the patterns that drive behaviour and make better decisions in the future.
Books On Our Neuromarketing Reading List
1. Pre-suasion – Robert Cialdini
How pre-suasion plays on our emotions, to make products seem more important than they are. Learn how to set the stage and get the desired result.
2. Neuromarketing – Patrick Renvoisé & Christophe Morin
Understand the brain’s ancient decision-making processes giving you with the tools necessary to close deals and motivate people.
3. The Art of Thinking Clearly – Rolf Dobelli
Learn how to avoid day-to-day thinking “hiccups” (common fallacies) and start making improved choices.
4. Switch – Chip Heath & Dan Heath
An examination of why it’s difficult for people to switch their behaviour, providing simple effective tools for implementing changes.
5. Unconscious branding – Douglas van Praet
A 7 step guide for building customer-brand relationships.
6. Buyology – Martin Lindstrom
Buyology explains why certain Ads work better and explores the hidden motivations behind our purchasing decisions.
7. The Hidden Brain – Shankar Vedantam
The hidden brain is the voice in our ear when we make important decisions – but we’re never aware of it. Uncovering the darkest corners of our minds and their impact on the choices we make.
8. Consciousness Explained – Daniel C. Dennett
A full-scale exploration of human consciousness that transforms current theories about conscious life-of people, animal, even robots.
9. Decoded – Phil P. Barden
Revealing what decision science can tell us about people’s purchasing behaviour. Explaining how marketing can be improved through key factors including relevance, differentiation and credibility.
10. Neuro Design – Darren Bridger
Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, Tesco and Google use neuroscience to optimise their digital content. Learn the techniques they use to enhance customer engagement with your website and boost profitability.
11. The Buying Brain – A. K. Pradeep
An in-depth exploration of how cutting-edge neuroscience is impacting on how we make, buy, sell, and consume. How can this new knowledge enhance customers’ lives.
12. Neuromarketing for Dummies – Stephen J. Genco, Andrew P. Pohlmann & Peter Steidl
An introduction to neuromarketing theory and how it is impacting research in advertising, in-store and online shopping, product and package design.
Coming Soon: Neuromarketing Books and Accessions
The subject of Neuromarketing has evolved for over 100 years, and continues. Recent work in this area has garnered recognition from the Nobel Institute. This inspired Philippe Aimé and Jochen Grünbeck to bring together all of their neuromarketing expertize in the form of Smart Persuasion, a neuromarketing book for eCommerce. It will be available on Amazon from April 2019.
Smart Persuasion – Philippe Aimé & Jochen Grünbeck
Smart Persuasion is written by online marketers for online marketers and is based on a decade of conversion rate optimisation. Discover the 71 key psychological principles and cognitive biases that affect consumers behavior and website conversion rates. Follow the real-world examples to optimise your own website instead of paying expensive fees.