Mar 27, 2014

Hello Neuro(Marketing), Is It Me You We're Looking For?

However, many senior marketers find that once they step over that boardroom threshold, their contributions are not taken as seriously as they'd like. This could be because marketers do not have the financial skills to be part of a strategic debate. I would venture a different theory.

The marketing metrics in use today are now so complex that good analytical skills are essential for those in a senior marketing position. Yet we can't help thinking that interpreting them is just a reading of the runes.

You could have the best metrics in the world but they can still only tell you how many people looked at the advert, not what they thought of it.

We know that emotional response is important (we've told you about making it emotional before) but measuring it is another story. So much of advertising's success is dependent on context therefore relying on audience perception surveys for gauging emotional response is no longer a very reliable method.

So is this the missing piece of the measurement jigsaw puzzle?

Sensum work with talented scientists, designers and developers to build a solution, combining wearable sensors and galvanic skin response technology with real-time conscious response measurement and dimension theory. This makes it possible to measure conscious and unconscious emotional response to every second of a piece of media.

This gives marketers the opportunity to see how their content is received by a particular audience and compare different demographics and sections of the population.

The tests can also be administered in the setting in which content is expected to be viewed. The technology measures change in activity, not activity itself, so it cannot be skewed by circumstances and there is no way in which subjects can tell testers what they think they want to hear.

It makes marketing a lot easier by providing certainty about the effectiveness of a campaign.

This signifies a huge leap in marketing measurement – the ability to determine the success of a campaign before it's released to the public.

Of course, this breakthrough still doesn't say whether emotional engagement will lead to the customer making a purchase (a matter for sales, branding, pricing and design) but it can say whether this content has provoked an emotional engagement from a target audience. It's still progress, particularly as this can give insight into the strength of the brand within a certain demographic as it can see the emotional impact the brand has had on a viewer.

Don't get me wrong – marketing will always be an art, and content creation and distribution will never die. However when it comes to marketers in the boardroom, this new technology can explain this art to those who know its importance yet don't know why or how good work differs from the great.

Gawain Morrison, co-founder of real-time neuromarketing software company Sensum, originally considered this theory on his post on the Guardian's Digital Hub.

Photo (cc) Saad Faruque on Flickr.