Measuring consumer response
When it comes to advertising and sales, emotions have been found to really run the show.
The basic idea is pretty simple. Our emotions are one of our biggest calls to action, and are typically hard to ignore.
When confronting a decision, though many would love to believe logic is king, emotions are often one of the primary guiding factors. Before making a move, we take into account previous experiences, and often assign values to the options we are considering based on emotional response.
In terms of what we choose to buy, this has big ramifications. For example, Psychology Today reports that a consumer’s measured emotional response to an advertisement has a much higher influence on their intent to buy a product than the ad’s content, in a ratio of 2-to-1 for print ads, and 3-to-1 for television commercials.
This means, when viewing advertisements, consumers are often more likely to buy a product if they have an emotional connection to what they see on the screen, as opposed to purchasing an item based on product features and price alone. The concept of using emotional tactics in advertising is by no means new, but the technology has evolved in a big way, making it easier for marketers and sales teams to not only more accurately measure emotional response, but also to better design content for the best conversion rates.
Emotional Conversion Optimization strategies combine technology, psychology and marketing to improve the emotional impact of communications, boosting audience engagement and sales. Here are some examples of emotional conversion techniques marketing teams are using to better understand and target their audience.
Analyze facial expressions via webcam
Using emotional intelligence technology and facial coding, Emotiva can measure how people feel as they watch videos online through their webcams. Forget the idea of focus groups sitting in a stuffy room gathered around a TV set, this technology allows advertisers to upload a video on the web, target the audience segment of their choice, and use an algorithm to analyze facial expressions while they view the content. This could be used to determine more accurately what music, images or story line would be the best fit for a specific product.
Improve customer experience in retail settings
A developing trend in retail is the use of facial recognition technology to help optimize the customer experience in store. With facial recognition software, cameras can pick up micro-expressions, or tiny flickers of emotion in a shopper’s face, as they move through the store. The idea is to learn what’s working and what isn’t, from the way the displays are set up on the floor, to interaction with the staff, to how a customer is feeling when they walk in, and how to best approach them in that moment. Additionally, the technology gives businesses access to a wealth of other traditional data sets as well, such as how often customers are coming in, what they tend to purchase, the time elapsed between their last visit, and more.
Some media companies, including CBS, are testing audience response to new programming using emotion reading software. Instead of giving verbal or written feedback at the end of the viewing, a participant’s true response can be measured in real-time as they watch the programming. The hope is that this will give a more genuine picture of how they really feel about the content.
Though the use of emotion analytics technology is still developing, interest is on the rise, and more and more companies are finding ways to incorporate it into their marketing strategy.