As consumers we make as many as 95% of our buying decisions sub-consciously, based on intuitive, System 1 prompts.
This fact has long posed a challenge to researchers seeking to gain an holistic understanding of the potential impact of new brand advertising, packaging or website development.
Relatively recent advances in neuroscience-based research techniques such as eye-tracking, facial coding and EEG recording mean that in addition to exploring System 2, conscious reactions to these forms of brand marketing, we now have the tools to identify and understand the consumer’s System 1, sub-conscious reactions to them as well.
The new tools enable our researchers to capture, attribute and measure even the smallest, sub-conscious changes in gaze direction, facial expression or electrical brain activity that occur when the respondent is reviewing these forms of marketing material.
The results enable marketers to address the issues that could otherwise act as barriers at a sub-conscious level, along with any more obvious, conscious barriers.
This application of neuroscience research to marketing is called Neuromarketing.
Why use Neuromarketing?
Neuromarketing has rapidly become an important means of gaining competitive advantage as marketers seek to ensure their brands will resonate with consumers at both conscious and subconscious levels.
The different neuro-research methods offered by Brandspeak are described below.
Digital sensor technology is used to record and measure eye-gaze. This reveals precisely which components the eye is drawn to, in which order and for how long.
At the same time, it reveals those elements that the eye either misses or ignores.
Eye-tracking may be followed by a small, qualitative research exercise that uses the eye-tracking outputs in order to investigate precisely what respondents were actually thinking at each gaze point – and why.
This research approach provides highly detailed feedback with which to maximise the impact of static advertising and packaging.
TV Advertisements make emotional connections in the brain which, in turn, cause physical changes in human expression.
Some of these changes are barely perceptible, yet if they can be captured and analysed they can reveal much about the consumer’s response to an advert, as well as the changes that need to be made to maximise engagement and impact.
Used in conjunction with webcams, facial coding software enables the consumer’s emotional journey through the ad to be captured on a second by second, scene by scene basis.
This, in turn, enables us to answer important questions about the creative execution in considerable detail, including:
- How well does the ad succeed in being emotionally engaging throughout?
- Does the ad succeed in evoking the right emotions, with the right degree of intensity in the right places?
- Where does the ad underwhelm emotionally, or fail to deliver sufficient and appropriate emotional resonance?
EEG plus Eye-tracking
Brandspeak also provides a unique, holistic solution for advertising assessment, using EEG and eye-tracking technologies in combination.
The EEG technology provides:
- A second-by-second, quantitative assessment of the levels of positive and negative emotion aroused by an ad, presented as an easy-to-read graph. It also provides a single, Emotional Engagement Score for the ad as a whole
- A second by second, quantitative assessment of the respondent’s degree of interest, presented in a similar, graphical format. It too provides a single Interest Index Score that reflects interest in the ad as a whole.
These neuro-based measures make it easy to identify where and why an ad may be failing to maintain adequate levels of interest and emotional engagement, enabling effective remedial action can be undertaken.
The single scores for Emotional Engagement and Interest also enable us to benchmark the ad’s overall performance against hundreds of ads already on the database.
At the same time, the eye-tracking technology captures eye-gaze, providing a clear understanding of precisely what the viewer is focusing on at each point in the ad.
Used in conjunction with the EEG outputs this provides real insight into the images and visual sequences that resonate within the ad, those that do not – and those that are either distracting or are being ignored.