Emotion in Marketing – Q&A with Dr Andy Myers, neuroscience expert

Emotion is the buzz word in marketing this year, with more and more brands using emotion at the forefront of their campaigns. We’ve done a Q&A with Andy from Walnut Unlimited, our consumer neuroscience consultancy to discuss this key trend in marketing, and how it relates to analytics.

How are brands changing how they measure the success of their marketing campaigns now that emotional metrics are becoming more important?

“It has only been very recently that we have started to see brands integrating unconscious measurement metrics such as implicit reaction time testing into long-standing pieces of continuous research such as comms and brand tracking studies.  There is a growing acceptance that we need to understand the unconscious to get a more rounded picture of human decision making.   Adding a new dimension of insight BUT complementing existing methods.  It is essential that we understand that neuroscience brings a new measure, it is NOT replacing existing ones.

Are emotional analytics the next frontier in “big data”? If so what is the future of this discipline and how will it impact brands? 

At the end of the day, data is still just data. We have to work out how to best integrate it with existing sales and research data to gain a more complete picture.  The understanding of emotion is certainly going to be key to whether brands will stay or disappear.  In an industry where we are now seeking to make more and more marginal gains, you would be mad not to integrate emotional metrics into the complete analytics solution.

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What are the key innovations in emotional analytics?

From a point of view of research and insight, the big game changer is implicit testing. The ability to roll out large scale studies that capture implicit attitudes is really taking neuroscience out of the lab.  In the wider marketing context, another innovation is wearables.  There is now more data than we know what to do with, so the key innovation is probably not so much the technology itself, but rather how it is applied and combined with other sources.

It is also essential that we can still humanise the data. There is a risk that we collect emotional metrics that then become unactionable because we cannot relate them back in a meaningful way.  The voice of the consumer will always play a role as it will help us understand and make sense of this emotional data and what it really means – the emotional WHY?

As an industry do marketers need to shift their view of the role of marketing tech?

Good marketers have always understood that the way to really connect with people and to create great strategies and campaigns is through emotion.  Analytics will never build the best creative campaign but it will help provide the ingredients.

However, one thing the emotional revolution may well do is challenge some of our existing ways of thinking, and maybe throw paradigms that have been around for a long time into question.

Some will embrace this revolution, some won’t – who do you think is going to win?

Andy Myers is the ‘Ginger Nut’ at Walnut Unlimited and a board director of Marketing Sciences Unlimited

www.walnutunlimited.com/web/

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Andy Myers
01962 842211
Article date - 16/01/2017
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