Have you ever wanted to know what someone else was feeling? As things like big data and bulletproof usability become table stakes, we as smart marketers need to push forward to get an even greater understanding of our customers.
To meet this need, we’d like to introduce emotional analysis with electroencephalograph (EEG) technology.
What is Emotional Testing with an EEG?
With EEG technology, you are able to measure electrical activity along the scalp of a customer and analyze what they’re feeling while reviewing content or interacting with your brand. Tools like this have been used largely in medical research to monitor brain activity in patients for over a century. However, the experience to this point has been very intrusive and very time consuming. Luckily, the technology has advanced to make this tool accessible to the multi-channel research market.
EEG technology allows us to monitor electrical impulses in the brain to measure customer emotions and levels of engagement in real time. This tool can also be combined with eye tracking research to give another level of depth to the research. You can now confidently report on what people do, say, see and feel, with just one test and one output. From understanding engagement, to measuring frustration, an EEG can give you accurate insights into the true emotional state of your customers as they interact with your brand, website, physical products and more.
The tool can also analyze customer facial expressions from brain waves to measure non-verbal reactions, such as smirking, frowning, smiling or furrowing their brow, while they use an interface, review a print piece or handle a product.
How can it benefit a brand?
In a time where customers tend to be inundated with choice and competition is fierce, it is becoming more and more important to know what is really going on in their head. The data from an EEG allows us to dive deep into the user’s true experience and understand some of the triggers for what’s frustrating them or causing them excitement.
We can now understand if content on your website is engaging, or identify times where the user is experiencing frustration where they may not be necessarily verbalizing how they feel or demonstrating frustration through their actions.
You can now see if customers are bored when reading your emails or direct mail or if something excites them about a physical product you offer.
Imagine being able to see if your very expensive Super Bowl commercial is engaging or boring, prior to its final cut.
Want to see if your retail display advertising is truly frustrating during the shopping experience? All these examples are possible with EEG testing.
Why should you care?
There are many reasons why this type of research should not only be considered, but included in your research. A few reasons include:
- Customers view websites they find enjoyable as more functional1
- If initial reactions produce excitement or engagement, customers are more likely to explore, browse products and look at promotions2
- Research shows a significant positive correlation between emotions and memorability3
The bottom line is, as more and more companies create usable, functioning and high quality experiences and products, to differentiate yourself, your offering has to be enjoyable-not just usable.
With usability testing, big data and other methodologies in place to gather rich insights about your customers, emotional testing with an EEG can take your optimization efforts to the next level.
- Chen, H. (2006). Flow on the net-detecting web users’ positive affects and their flow states [Abstract]. Computers in Human Behavior, 22(2), 221-233.
- 1. Menon, S. & Kahn, B. (2002). Cross-category effects of induced arousal and pleasure on the internet shopping experience. Journal of Retailing, 78, 31-40.
- Mai, L. & Schoeller, G. (2009). Emotions, attitudes and memorability associated with TV commercials. Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing, 17, 55-63. Retrieved from: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jt/journal/v17/n1/full/jt20091a.html