Introduction to neuromarketing for women’s health barnds

This weeks #powerhour is from our FHF Expert Network member Nilian N.H Marufu. Nilian is a neuromarking consultant based in South Africa, and works with women’s health entrepreneurs and innovators the world over. We cover, ‘what is neuromarketing?’ and how you can start to implement it in your business.


Hello Nilian, so tell me about yourself and your work?

I’m a lover of all things cats, anime, manga, and true crime documentaries; that’s what I spend most of my time on when I’m not analysing customer behaviours or trying to predict future buying behaviour. I’ve been working as a marketing psychologist with women’s wellness brands for the past 5 years. I fell in love with the field when I was 22. Since I was younger I have struggled with severe period pain.

And growing up in a developing country where women’s sexual wellness is not prioritised, it was hard to find the help I needed. The ice broke when I was 22 when I experienced my first pelvic floor lick in the heart of the city centre while walking from campus. I have never felt uncomfortable in my body before. Seeking medical help was a nightmare and humiliating. On several occasions, I was met with a lot of bias and body shaming. I was constantly accused of aborting since I was so young. But, no one bothered to look into my fitness activities like heavy lifting and bodybuilding that turned out to be the cause. And that dismissive attitude towards women is what inspired me to pursue a career in women’s health.

My goal is to create easy accessibility to resources and solutions for women without the shame that’s associated with traditional medical care.

-Nilian Marufu

Tell us, what is neuromarketing?

Neuromarketing is a field of human study that combines neuroscience with marketing to understand how the brain responds and reacts to different marketing efforts. It seeks to uncover the mental roadblocks and emotional processes that affect consumer behaviour and decision-making.

Since I work with people with limited time and marketing budgets, I find that neuromarketing methods like analysis?? consumer behaviour, emotional analysis, persuasive storytelling, and visual and colour psychology theories are the best options since they seamlessly fit into any marketing strategy without overwhelming anyone. It’s good to note that neuromarketing isn’t about manipulation – it’s about understanding and aligning one’s brands to the audience to provide them with emotional relief.

A power action you should take to change your marketing game: is to have clarity of what relief you offer your clients before launching any marketing campaigns

-Nilian Marufu

How does emotional marketing fit into neuromarketing? And why is it your chosen / favourite approach to marketing?

Emotions play a central role in decision-making because they influence both perspectives and preferences. For instance, when a client is overwhelmed with too much or unclear information it can trigger the flight response causing them to disassociate with the brand. And this power emotions have is what made me fall in love with emotional marketing techniques.

Most of us are not aware of how emotions influence our decision-making because emotional triggers can be manifested differently in every individual based on levels of priority. For some, they are triggered by a sense of security and for others by the need for social acceptance. For example, it can make sense for someone to buy a half a million car because of their need to fit into the social norms but for someone on a budget in need of health security, they might view that as a waste of money. And this variation in emotions affects how people associate with different brands. So when I work with clients I need to understand what relief they offer to their clients so I can best associate them with the emotional needs of their audience and avoid mistargeting.

Why is emotional marketing a great tool for women’s health marketing?

It’s a great tool because naturally everyone is emotionally invested when it comes to their health, and Women’s Health is a topic that is highly personal and emotional.

By tapping into these emotions, brands can make their clients feel understood and supported. It also helps to break the stigma surrounding women’s health topics and encourages open conversations; ultimately leading to better engagement and increased awareness of women’s health issues.

-Nilian Marufu

Overall, emotional marketing creates ground for community building which is also a great tool that can help you promote your business without suffering at the hands of censorship, discrimination, and venture capital inequality.

How can female health founders use emotional marketing during the launch phase of their business?

At the launch or early stages of the business, I strongly encourage brands to focus on relatability because establishing a strong connection with the audience is paramount for sustainable success and growth. Relatable brands and businesses can easily bridge the gap between themselves and their customers by creating associations through shared experiences. Shared storytelling from the perspective of the founder, the brand’s visions, testimonials, and user-generated content is a great way to build authenticity, inspiration and empowerment.

Additionally, focusing on relatability during the early stages helps a brand lay a solid foundation for long-lasting success hence establishing themselves as a trustworthy and favoured brand in their respective industries.

How can a female health founder use the methods of emotional marketing when writing a funding pitch?

When pitching, a female health founder can take the time to learn and understand the investors’ perspective just as they would with their target audience. Emotional appeals apply to any setting or situation, and this helps the founder to come across as emphatic and attentive.

For instance, femtech brands can analyse investors’ emotions which helps to tailor their pitch to emphasise areas that are more likely to resonate with the investors’ values, motives, and priorities.

-Nilian Marufu

This can help build a stronger bond and increase the chances of securing investment since the founder has the upper hand to approach the pitch in a more strategic and targeted manner.

What is the number one piece of emotional marketing advice you would give to female health founders doing their content creation?

One piece of advice I would give is to know your clients’ emotions and psychological behaviours. Neuromarketing in general is built on understanding and aligning marketing efforts to emotions. By taking the time to understand your audience’s perspective you can learn of several motives that contribute to their decision-making process. And if anyone is like some of my clients who are time crunched to be experimenting with new trends; emotional analysis helps you cut through the noise and speak directly to your target audience without wasted marketing resources.

What advice would you give to a female health startup who is feeling overwhelmed with all the different social media channels?

Just focus on one social media platform at a time. Get good at it and figure out how the algorithm works. Try different types of content and see what gets the most engagement and conversions. Once you feel comfortable, then you can start branching out to other platforms. It’s all about taking it step by step and not overwhelming yourself as you build your brand.

2 actions to start implementing neuromarketing today

  1. Book a free 45 minutes consultation and learn how you can use emotional marketing
    to influence buying decisions as well as build brand authority. (10 spots available)
  2. A power action you should take to change your marketing game: have clarity of
    what relief you offer your clients before launching any marketing campaigns. This will
    help you use the right messaging without wasting your marketing resources.