According to a recent study conducted by R3 Future 40, 95% of purchase decision-making occurs in the unconscious mind. What does this mean and how does it impact the approach marketers are taking toward consumers?
This now means that marketers must go beyond traditional methods for garnering consumer insights. Conventional research can often be affected by human variables, such as the way questions are phrased, hesitancy to disclose information that goes against the larger group’s consensus, and poor recall.
The field of neuromarketing offers one solution to these problems by leveraging brain and biometric data to understand and shape how consumers feel, think and purchase. Tools include fMRIs, EEGs, biometrics, facial coding, and eye-tracking, with each one tracking a different physical response and its correlation to specific consumer behaviors. These technologies allow brands to tap into subconscious brain processes that give an irrefutable indication of what consumers are thinking.
While fMRIs and EEGs are extremely expensive and invasive, thus limiting their use to lab settings at enterprise corporations, other neuromarketing technologies can be much more attainable and cost-effective for smaller brands and agencies.
The Harvard Business Review lays out which metrics these technologies measure plus how they can be applied in the advertising field. For example, eye-tracking can be utilized for gaze, which indicates where a consumer’s focus is within a page, what confuses them, and how quickly they recognize information on a page; eye-tracking can also measure pupil dilation, which shows the pure level of engagement with the ad.
Biometrics measure skin conductance, heart rate, and respiration through devices like Fitbit, which can then indicate level of engagement as well as whether response to an ad is positive or negative. Lastly, facial coding can identify facial expressions, which can then measure the level of each of the six basic emotions in response to a creative.
Many large, innovative companies are already using this technology. This includes Paypal, who determined that convenience was more important to customers than security through activation levels of neurons in the brain, as well as Frito-Lay’s, who used fMRIs, EEGs, and several other technologies to conduct neuroimaging studies that measured which color of packaging elicited the most positive consumer response.
GlassView currently uses facial tracking as well as eye-tracking to measure emotional receptivity and attention level in response to an ad. Additionally, it is the only company that uses this information to optimize toward the highest-performing audience segments mid-campaign.
While current methods of ad measurement may be effective for now, the digital landscape changes rapidly, and companies must move with it. The use of neuromarketing allows for deeper insights into consumer behavior, which is something that good marketers are always on the lookout for.
As technology advances and laws around privacy continue to disrupt how advertisers can obtain data, it will be exciting to see where neuromarketing and the ad industry as a whole moves in the next few years.