By Medina Beganović, managing partner, Via Media
Here’s a fun fact: 90 percent of our decisions are subconscious. Why? Here’s another fun fact: people are highly irrational.
And yet, we marketers conduct research, gather audience data, and mine it for insights in the hope of finding out what our audiences want, think and believe.
The truth is they don’t know.
And our campaigns and strategies are built on something unknown. Hence, the gambling reference. It’s like we keep rolling the dice with a few creatives and then we look for which ones will work. Sometimes this approach works, but there are those other times when it doesn’t.
So, if people don’t think what they feel, don’t say what they think and don’t do what they say, how do we gather quality audience insight, develop relevant creative strategies and user experience?
We delve into their subconscious.
It’s not a buzz word that’s more science fiction than reality. But since most marketers seem to think it is, I’ll break down a few misconceptions about it.
1. It’s not scientific
Using psychology to improve ad effectiveness has been around for more than two decades. Neuromarketing is the science of studying emotions relevant in human decision making and using this knowledge to build more effective communication and creative. Using multiple technologies, such as implicit surveys, eye-tracking, EEG, GSR, in research increases the accuracy of results. Of course, specific technologies have niches where they perform the best. For example, implicit testing is the quickest way to assess the emotions associated with a brand. If people are not purchasing your new product at the rate you expected, you can test if a change in packaging design would make a difference. The product design is an instrument to measure and explore which kind of simulation is the most likely to result in buying.
2. It’s expensive
Today, it’s all about efficiency. We can save money without cutting spends, but rather spending more wisely. Much like any other marketing service, neuromarketing can be expensive if you don’t know (a) how to use it and (b) what you want to achieve from it.
Imagine being able to test your creative at the early stage of campaign planning or the user experience of your new webshop much before you launch and knowing how it would perform. Probably not that hard to imagine, right? Now, imagine being able to actually measure reactions as opposed to attitudes and statements. Essentially, you would be measuring behavior – except you would know your audiences’ behavior much before the actual launch versus mining data two months after launch to gain behavioral insight. Obviously then, you would save time and consequently money.
For example, eye-tracking allows you to see your brands through audiences’ eyes. IT’s not only about what they’re seeing, but more importantly, how they feel about what they’re seeing. Our brands love images; the part of the brain that processes human faces is just next to the one that processes emotions. So, it’s only natural that a user’s eye will be drawn to a human face on a web page. More interestingly, users will also look at where those faces are looking.
3. It takes time, so it’s not worth it
Neuromarketing today is about scalable psychological and cognitive tests that are carried out online. This not only makes it cheaper but also, allows us to test many participants and to address any question about brands. We can now have quick online access to what customers really think about our apps, AI games, VR, chat boxes, influencers, loyalty programs and so on. Automated facial encoding using the webcam, and implicit testing is becoming the ultimate must-do to scale creative efforts. Research that uses the EEG tools, for example, does not require any more time than the traditional research.
To wrap it up, let me ask you this: How often have you been faced with your customers saying one thing and then acting in a totally different way? Luckily there is a science behind this irrationality. If you are sick of gambling with a few creatives and guessing which one will bring the best results, you should give neuromarketing a try. Testing the effectiveness of our creative has never been more convenient.