Innovations In Market Research

Oct 18, 2017 623 views

Behavioural Economics

Researchers want to explore the cognitive theories that underpin how a brand’s target audience interprets the world around them and the marketing messages they are exposed to online and in-store. These interpretations can explain why consumers act as they do and how this behaviour affects what they buy and when. Behavioural economics technology can reveal, for instance, which marketing opportunities should be prioritised, whether more compelling incentives or offers are needed and what pain points that annoy consumers should be removed. If this is done well, the right technology can nudge consumers towards a brand.

Users can be differentiated into different segments, for example ‘focused’ or ‘disorientated’ and then figure out how likely they will stay or get lost on the website.


Neuro technology analyses the second-by-second electrical responses of the brain. It is not cheap to use in research but interest in the science is growing.

In New York at the end of July media company Condé Nast unveiled the findings of an in-lab neuro-science study.

It wanted to discover what impact branded video featuring fashion, finance, beauty and automotive content had on Facebook and YouTube, and how connected people were.

It decided to monitor participants’ brainwaves for long-term memory encoding, engagement and emotional intensity. By using neuro-research we can show that someone is feeling an emotion rather than just asking them about how they feel.

Sensory research

The brand carried out eye-tracking research, which reveals that images work best if they mirror the target audience’s demographic profile. For example, ads featuring children will be viewed longer by consumers who are parents. Also, using faces can grab people’s attention but ‘busy’ images can turn them off. Eye-tracking is an impressive piece of sensory research technology, but it can be complex to set up and require a lot of user-testing. Yet this and other emotional intelligence and biometrics technology is being used by brands to play on consumers’ senses. As well as eye-tracking there are skin responses, facial coding and heart rate monitoring. We used the results the technology provided to re-write the ending [of an ad].

But best practice rules still apply

Technology is undoubtedly enhancing market research, offering marketers new ways to understand there audience and glean more in-depth results. But while technology is creating research opportunities for marketers, best practice rules of course still apply. There must still be a good understanding of what a brand wants to achieve from any study. No-one wants to make the wrong decisions and assumptions based on bad data, whether this is generated by humans or machines.

Technology has removed some manual tasks, but the personal touch must not be lost completely.

Digital tools can often reaffirm what marketers thought already, and reveal uncomfortable findings about an audience or campaign that, in private, a brand will admit it should probably have already known. Best practice also includes ensuring the right level of investment is made in any technology and then make sure it is used to full effect.