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We Know How You Feel

3 min read

Back to Blog

3 min read

We Know How You Feel

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Posted in Technology on 2nd November 2016 9:00 am

Have you ever bought a magazine you don’t want, for the free gift that you probably wouldn’t have bought anyway?

Many assume that the consumer decision-making is based upon a logical process of weighing up the pros and cons of a purchase, however that isn’t necessarily the case.

Consumers aren’t logical, they’re emotional.

The neuroscientist Antonio Damasio’s research found that the decision-making process is heavily influenced by emotions.

He discovered this through testing the decision-making ability of people with damaged limbic systems (where emotions are generated and moderated). He found that people without the ability to connect to their emotions found it significantly more difficult to make decisions.

If decision making is emotional, marketers need a way to understand how to use this knowledge in the marketing process.

Whilst emotions generally seem like something personal, internal and impossible to quantify, there are a number of companies that have created sophisticated technology to do just that.

These research companies use advanced technology to generate and analyse data relating to consumer’s emotions by using tools that analyse everything from your facial expressions to your neurological behaviour.

If you’d like to understand how this technology works, take a look at this overview video from Affectiva – one of the largest market research companies to use emotion detection technology.

Amongst the growing list of companies using emotion technology as a part of their research process are Microsoft, MARS and Apple.

This collaboration enables marketers to test consumers’ reactions to advertisements and products before they present them to market.

Paralympics GB and Neuro-Insight

One successful example of a company using emotion detection technology is Paralympics GB partnering with Neuro-Insight.

The two companies worked together to find out which Paralympic adverts were most engaging to their viewers. They did so by analysing second-by-second electrical responses of the brain whilst the test subjects were watching the advertisements.

From these tests, Neuro-Insight could find which ads were most relevant, which were most memorable and which caused the strongest emotional reaction.

As a result, Paralympics GB produced a successful, engaging and meaningful advertising campaign.

Pretty impressive stuff.

What about after the purchase has been made?

Whilst emotion is a large factor during the decision-making process, it is also very important for the post-purchase evaluation.

All companies want to generate brand loyalty, the best way to do this is by tapping into emotions.

“What people remember in an experience is the peak emotion they felt and the end emotion and those form a memory.”- Professor Daniel Kahneman.

This will determine how a consumer feels about the product and brand, which will affect brand loyalty and consequently, the likelihood of repeat purchases.

Emotion detection technology can be used to manipulate the decision-making process, to test advertisements and products and to strengthen brand loyalty and encourage repeat purchases.

As consumers, we shouldn’t dismiss this technology as something that is purely ‘behind the scenes’. Emotion detection technology will start to be incorporated into our day to day lives sooner than you think!

We already have the option to ‘react’ to posts on Facebook with a variety of emotions, and with Apple’s partnership with Emotient it is likely that their patented facial recognition technology will soon be incorporated into their iPhones and iPads.

This technology may seem incredibly advanced to us now, but we suspect that it will only become more and more commonplace and incorporated in our lives in years to come.

We suspect companies will start working towards creating advertising that adapts in real time according to consumer’s emotions. Maybe one day our iPhones’ front facing cameras will have been incorporated with emotion detection technology that will detect our emotions when looking our screens!

Whatever the future of this technology, we’re excited to see how it will advance, and will be sure to keep you up to date with the latest on this topic!

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