Emotional intelligence: The Next Data-Driven Revolution In Marketing

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Imagine a world where you could truly understand your brand’s emotional benefits, measure them at scale, generate the same feelings across all touch points & address the ‘so what’ by mapping them back to underlying consumer trends.

To mark the occasion of Advertising Week 2017, we co-produced a special research paper (February 2017) alongside our partner Foresight Factory, exploring the commercially competitive significance of emotion. Using an example analysis of the UK automotive industry, our research illustrates how brands - by using an integrated research approach that combines an established and robust quantitative research methodology with non-conscious implicit response testing (IRT) - can quantify the emotional territory that they and their competitors inhabit.

Involving an image-reaction time process, IRT allows us to understand the hidden, non-conscious feelings and associations that consumers have towards brands, products and much more. As Gawain explains in the discussion for example - if the word ‘cheap’ popped up beside a picture of a Ferrari during IRT, the participant would likely hesitate with their response because they might not associate those two elements together. It is this stalling in response-time that tells you more than the reaction itself.

If you are interested in knowing more, please contact us to request a copy of the full report. But for those who are pushed for time (as always in the 21st Century), we wanted to share 5 must-know points from our Ad Week talk and this case study:

1. Emotional brand associations drive customer advocacy - Non-functional and emotional brand associations have the power to significantly enhance the tendency to recommend a brand to others.

2. Most of the five autos brands studied are implicitly associated with functional brand attributes - Analysis of the IRT study reveals that functional brand attributes – including those relating to reliability, practicality, value, safety and trustability – are widely associated with automotive brands. The two brands that are specifically excelling in this arena are Nissan and Ford.

3. Emotional attributes provide fertile ground for commercial differentiation - Emotions provide marketers with a rich source of brand differentiation, not least in competitive marketplaces where opportunities to differentiate on functional benefits are limited. Research into UK consumers’ associations with automotive brands reveals, that functional attributes are relatively less impactful than emotional ones in their ability to differentiate brands.

4. ŠKODA packs an emotional punch - Once a marginal – and maligned – brand, ŠKODA stands out among its competitor set on its ability to elicit emotional associations with the brand.

5. 10 Steps to Emotional Success - Emotionally Intelligent brands are invited to define their unique emotional territories, as well as the emotional and functional profiles of their sectoral competitors, and use the knowledge from these 10 steps as a foundation for more effective marketing activity and positioning.


Finally, we (Sensum & Foresight Factory) would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended our Ad Week seminar and hope you are ready to enjoy the journey of emotional intelligence with us! And for those who missed out on this insightful discussion, not to worry because you can watch it below.



The Next Data-Driven Revolution In Marketing from AdvertisingWeek on Vimeo.