Binanti Cuzner (Butlin's)

Binanti Cuzner has a pioneering background in shopper research having worked at Fifth Dimension, Kantar Retail, Tesco, Pernod Ricard UK and Mars. She enjoys experimenting with new methodologies to understand and unlock shopper engagement within the retail environment. Having completed several large neuromarketing studies, she feels that neuroscience is the ultimate tool to prove or disprove hypotheses. Exploring the overlap of shopper insight with hospitality, Binanti is currently Head of Guest Insight at Butlin's, a British seaside resort operator and heritage brand.

Why are you interested in neuromarketing?

I became intrigued with neuromarketing after hearing an introduction to Emsense and neuroscience in 2010. It was my first glimpse into the possibilities of using neuromarketing techniques for research and I was keen to find out more and do a live study one day. I was lucky enough to do 7 large scale neuromarketing studies whilst working at Tesco and leading their shopper insights. I was impressed with the quality and integrity of the results so my interest has since grown. I think I like the fact that it is scientific and offers a potentially definitive way to test hypotheses that are otherwise impossible to answer. 

How does your company view Neuro?

I’m new to Butlin’s – I’ve been here 3 months and there is no current viewpoint on neuro. However, I’ve started to talk about possibilities and I’ve had positive encouragement from colleagues. I will be sharing what I learnt at the NMWF in Rome and I think this will spark more interest.

What would be your advice for companies that want to start using Neuro?

I would advise careful assessment of vendors – see if you can get references from other brand-owners and read any academic papers that they have had published. Find out how many live studies they have done. I took a risk in the past but it turned out very well. Choose an initial study that you can afford to take a risk on and validate the results. Gradually your internal stakeholders will have more confidence in the outputs.

What are your doubts/questions?

I would question neuromarketing vendors who are selling GSR and implicit testing to be valid results on their own. I don’t think they are reliable on their own. Certainly with implicit testing I’ve seen that it offers up different results to EEGs. If possible I would recommend going with an EEG option if you can afford it.

What did you gain from attending the NMWF?

I learnt new things and I got an up to date understanding of how the sector is developing and the now proliferation of new vendors in the field – before there were so few!

The themes of validation and reliability were important – I found that working with vendors could be like a ‘black box’ in which you have no idea how data is being treated and whether best practice is being followed. Personally, I would rather see the industry create best practice guidelines rather than over-regulation, which could stifle creativity.

Mobile advertising was another key theme at this conference – very interesting presentations with similar results coming out of them. However, I would challenge the vendors that we already know some of the conclusions (grab them early, strong logo) without doing neuromarketing – ‘so what?’ is the cliché. Neuromarketing should try and draw conclusion that we can’t get to with more traditional methods.

But despite my minor criticism above, I was extremely impressed by the high standard of all the presentations and all the speakers and it definitely renewed my enthusiasm for neuromarketing techniques.

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