The Brains Behind Better Marketing: Using Neuroscience to diagnose and optimize marketing efforts, By Michael Smith, Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience


Live note taking at the November 10, 2016 webinar. Any errors are my own.

  • Consumer neuroscience is relative new, over the last decade
  • Think then feel, weighs pros and cons of product benefits and through rational optimization and then you think about some products being more valuable. This is completely backwards. Maybe we use emotions as a first gauge prior to coming to thinking decisions.
  • This is not new, Kahneman wrote about system 1 and system 2 which are thinking fast and thinking slow. Fast is intuition, automatic, and emotional. Slow is emotional, deliberate, and logical. Hare and turtle.
  • System 1 starts before system 2 is even on board.
  • Traditional consumer insights are market data, POS, panel, explicit data, focus groups and questionnaires. We also need implicit, non-conscious, and physiological reactions to get a more complete view of the consumer.
  • Tools include EEG, core biometrics, facial coding, eye tracking, self report
  • EEG – 32 sensors collect data 500 times per second to capture activity across the brain, can measure response to marketing materials
  • Biometrics – galvanic skin response/sweat, sensors on fingertips, heartrate
  • Facial expressions to show surprise, confusion, joy, sadness, cameras also show where eyes are looking at an ad or commercial
  • EEG trace has a lot of granularity, change it into a profile of activity over time, aggregate data over many people, can see high and low points, which scenes are high or low engaging [wish he’d talk about people not consumers]
  • Can measure memory activation, attention processing, and emotional motivation
  • Have 80 years of research on this so we know what is getting into memory, degree to which people are engaged in the communication, and intentional attention and processing
  • Biometrics give us momentary engagement, degree of arousal from the ad, emotional highpoint, does it grow over time or finish on a strong point, do they tune out before your branding occurs
  • Facial coding and expressed emotions, if there is no emotion the ad won’t be successful, impacts success of delivery, some ads are designed to create a specific emotion
  • People are drawn to the center of a stimulus and they naturally attend to faces, people want to look at people, but you might want people to look at your 1-800 number or your logo
  • Neuroscience tools are predictive of sales – neuro combined is the best, followed by EEG, biometrics, surveys, and lastly facial coding [of course, the best tool is always a combination of tools]
  • Case study – public service advertising – Cheerleader PSA, ad to encourage dad’s to be involved in their kid’s lives – Woman is upset about a crazy man dancing outside her window but then you see he is cheering with his daughter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvNHCRFL17k

  • People liked the ad, 79% top 2 box
  • EEG and biometrics scored it high, lots of engagement, attention, engagement
  • There are peaks and valleys at various parts of the 30 second ad, at the lady scowling, seeing the cute little girl
  • Biometric trace shows a slow build, had a positive call to action
  • Put EEG, biometrics and facial coding together on one chart, kind of neat, negative expressed emotion at the beginning but becomes very positive at the end

eeg facial coding biometrics

  • Heatmap shows ‘attention vampires’ – people are looking at irrelevant things over the logo and phone number, it’s nice to look at the little girl but you need people to see your brand, maybe put the call in number to where people are looking and reduce the distractions when you show the important info
  • Neuro measures the non-conscious, ensures emotional connections exist, provides granular diagnostics
  • If you have norms, do you still need neuro? quant alone is only part of the answer
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