I have known Arbab Usmani for a year or two through Facebook. He is the Co-founder of Uppskill, a skill based edutech Company in New Delhi. He is one of the few person in Indian Digital Marketing Community, who is well respected and trusted.

He is on a mission to impart technical skill to the youth, and bring about a change in the Country. He is very crystal clear in his approach towards imparting education, and makes “No Gimmicks Pitch” to his students. He is from Muzaffarpur, a town very close to my hometown Darbhanga. I came to know that he is organizing a free seminar on Neuro Marketing in Kolkata, so this was a must-attend session for me.


Topic:- Understanding Neuro Marketing

Speaker:- Arbab Usmani

Timing:- 5 PM to 6 PM on 8th November 2018

Venue:- Devi market, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Road


He began his presentation by speaking about his education and career. He has worked in Chennai, Bangalore, and Kolkata, then moved to Delhi.


It is the application of Neuron science study in marketing, the behavior of the brain is studied using a medical device. This part of marketing studies enables to understand what makes a buyer make a purchase, how a consumer reacts to Brands, advertisement, packaging of products, etc. This is a combination of Neuro science, Psychology, and marketing.

Gerald Zaltman was one the few early professors to be associated with this field and has patented “Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique (ZMET)” in 1990.

Newer companies are using this technique to device their marketing and sales communication or to develop product and branding.

There are some criticism and limitation to this theory as well.

How a human being reacts when they see a Coke bottle or rather what makes them buy those?

Why are all foods’ brand packaging is mostly coloured Red?

A human brain is divided into 3 parts namely,

New brain: – Rational

Middle brain: – Emotional

Old Brain: – Action taker (thinker)

A human being has 5 senses namely Visual, Verbal, touch, Smell, and taste.

Now marketers are using senses of the customer to influence their behaviour and attain attention and trust by appealing to each of these 5 senses. This kind of marketing is called Sensory Marketing.

Marketers are now actively playing with the emotions of the customer. Emotional connect between Brand and consumer are key to growth.

Mr. Arbab said that few Eating Joints purposely make arrangements to blow the aroma of food scents to the place where customers are seated. Today, taking advantages of sensory marketing is considered to be one of the smartest method and results are quickly achieved.

Samsung mobile has opened 33000 Sq.ft showrooms in Bangalore, where the customer can experience their product. Now, this kind of marketing uses our senses like touch & feel.

It is a fact that our senses are triggered while making buying decisions.


Choice paralysis is also known as analysis paralysis. When we have many options to choose from, we fail to choose the best option and evaluating all options becomes tiresome.

It is advisable to keep only our fast selling products on the home page of our website.

We should not bombard with a lot of products to customers that it becomes tough for them to make buying decisions.

Mr. Arbab spoke about a JAM Experiment case study of Sheela Iyengar from Columbia University.

She set up two separate booths in a shopping mall.

On one booth, she placed a jar of 24 varieties of Jam. It had more footfall, but only 3% conversion rate, which means out of 100 people, only 3 people made a purchase decision.

On the other booth, she placed 6 varieties of Jam. It had lower footfall, but it had a conversion rate of 30%, which means out of 100 people, 30 people made a buying decision.

Our online store should not create choice paralysis for the customer.


Mr. Arbab said that our brain is wired to respond to stories. Story plays a major role in shaping behaviours, thoughts. It is believed that the human brain retains 70% of information through stories and only 10% from data and statistics.

There is something called as Classical Hero’s Journey in marketing narrative. Joseph Campbell has developed this technique in 1949.

It has three elements namely set-up, narrative arc, and resolution.

This theory is used as follow, make your customer as Hero, who goes out to solve a problem, overcomes a lot of hardship in his journey, and comes back with a reward (Product and services of Company).

There is another theory of storytelling given by Aristotle called as Emphasis on Tragedy. According to this theory, use negative emotions like fear, sad, anger, and surprise to tell the intriguing story to your audience.

Nowadays, almost all company use storytelling in branding. This leaves a lasting memory in the mind of the consumer.


This theory has been given by David JP Phillips, and it has three elements mentioned below.

Dopamine – It helps in increasing focus, attention and creativity.
Oxytocin:- It helps in increasing generosity, trust, and bonding.
Endorphin:- It helps in an emotional release like a laugh, cry and shocking.

Three hormones like Dopamine, Oxytocin, and Endorphin are released in our body while listening or watching the story. Marketers, Ad-maker or Filmmaker, use plot in their story telling to ignite those hormones and influence consumer.


He said that usually, there are 4 major kinds of emotion

  • Fear/Anger
  • Happiness/ Love
  • Shock/Wow
  • Sadness


It has been found from various research and study that old brain is responsible for decision making. He said that as marketers our focus should be on targeting the old brain. To target old brain, we should focus on what problem our product or services is solving.

Patrick Renvoise and Christophe Morin have written a book named Neuromarketing in 2005. In this book, they have mentioned 6 stimuli which speak to old brain and trigger action

  • Self-entered:- focus message should be on solving the problem
  • Contrast:- understands the comparison
  • Tangible input:- use simple language
  • The beginning and the end:- recall first and last part only
  • Visual stimuli:- take 5 second test
  • Emotion:- Anger, anxiety, sadness and wow


The Seminar started at sharp 5 PM and ended at 6 PM. Within a limited period of 1 hour, justice has been done to the seminar. A lot of information was covered and well organised.

I learned a lot about Neuro-marketing, and it opened a new dimension to my thinking. I will try to do more research on the internet and will learn more about it. I think the concept discussed is very vital in understanding consumer behaviour and influencing the consumer to do what Brands want them to do.

I have tried my best to take notes of all points discussed and, I am looking forward to his next event.

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