Moxie Group’s Creative Director Tina Chadwick makes the case that real-time data analytics “brings us tangible facts on how consumers actually react to almost anything.” She makes light of the “notion that 10 people in a room, who volunteered to be there because they got paid and fed,” could truly represent consumer behaviors (psychographics) is a thing of the past. Sadly though, for many advertising companies, this is still the mainstay of their advertising-oriented evaluative methodology.
New capabilities based on neuroscience, integrating machine learning with human intuition, and data science/big data is leading to a new creative processes, which many call NeuroMarketing, the direct measurement of consumer thoughts about advertising through neuroscience. The persuasive effects of an advertising campaign (psychographic response) are contingent upon the emotional alignment of the viewer (targeted demographic); that is, the campaigns buying call to action has a higher likelihood of succeeding when the viewer has a positive emotional response to the material. Through neuroscience we can not directly measure emotional alignment without inducing a Hawthorne Effect.
This is new field of marketing research, founded in neuroscience, that studies consumers’ sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli. It explores how consumer’s brain responses to ads (broadcast, print, digital) and measures how well and how often media engages the areas for attention/emotion/memory/and personal meaning – measures of emotional response. From data science-driven analyses, we can determine:
- The effectiveness of the ad to cause a marketing call to action (e.g., buy product, inform, etc)
- Components of the ad that are most/least effective (Ad Component Analysis) – identifying what elements make an ad great or not so great.
- Effectiveness of a transcreation process (language and culture migration) used to create adverting in different culturally centric markets.
One of the best and most entertaining case studies I have seen for NeuroMarketing was done by Neuro-Insight, a leader in the application of neuroscience for marketing and advertising. Top Gear used their technology to evaluate which cars attract women to which type of men. The results are pretty amazing.
While NeuroMarketing is an emergent field for advertising creation and evaluation, the fundamentals of neuroscience and data science make this an essential transformational capability. This new field has significant transformational opportunities within the advertising industry – it allows for an above average firm to become a great firm through the application incremental quantitative neuroscience. For any advertising agency looking to leap frog those older, less agile companies that are stilled anchored in the practices of the 70s, neuromarketing might be the worth looking into.