It’s getting emotional

Last week we entertained the world’s press in our labs – OK a slight exaggeration, but with the might of CA’s PR department we did have over 40 people from various European media organisations including Portugal’s main TV channel and the UK’s FT. The reason they visited Foviance was to attend CA’s press launch of phase two of their web stress campaign which included the measurement of web stress using EEG – electroencephalography.

In parallel to this going on in our offices, it transpired that UX company Fhios had been acquired by One to One Interactive and would be joining their neurological marketing department. At the Insight show last summer Fhios presented the research they conducted into neuro-marketing and the presentation covered their findings, which like our own, implied a link but really called for more research in the area. Like Foviance, it would seem that they have carried out more work in the area.

It was only two years ago that neuro-marketing firm Neuroco was acquired by Neurofocus and in parallel there has been a number of other neuro-marketing hardware and service solutions entering the market from (mainly) US companies. Some provide a hardware / service solution using headsets that they send out to 100’s of participants at a time. 8 node versus 32 node data capture is a question that is starting to gain followers as well as the need for statistically significant sample sizes vs. qualitative depth studies.

Martin Lindstrom has talked about the cross over between the emotional psychology of why we buy for some time and his most recent book called “Buyology” (the truth and lies about why we buy) has become a best seller. The book describes what was learned through a 3 year project costing millions and using EEG and fMRI data capture to study what happens in peoples brains as they watch commercials and interact with brands. There are some really interesting findings in it and once again it raises the debate about emotional engagement and subconscious reactions to a new level.

I think we are on the cusp of something big and firmly believe that over the next 3 years neuro-marketing will grow in importance and become a recognised and essential tool in the marketers kit bag. To be able to measure emotional engagement and then design experiences or interactions with a mind toward how emotional engagement will be impacted is surely the holy grail of brand engagement. It offers firms like Foviance a potentially very interesting intersection between behavioural psychology, micro-economics (becoming know as behavioural economics), neuroscience and marketing.

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