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Neuroscience: turning creative research into creative intelligence

As consumers, we are constantly confronted with information and messaging through a multitude of media.

Digital advancements have meant that creatives are using new techniques to connect with us at every touchpoint. But, in a crowded market, and now more than ever in a market that is sensitive following our own lockdown due to a global pandemic, we’ve seen not all messages are created equal. Not all impressions leave the same impression, and it’s now possible to see exactly why.

These technological advancements also have advertisers asking key questions about brand building and return on investment (ROI). Wanting to be more involved in the creative process to ensure more bang for their buck. Yet now, as brands come out of lockdown and look at new strategies for 2020, they’re also looking for ways to meet this new wave of conscious consumer, one with a new outlook on helping local brands.

So how then – given all these new technologies and a landscape of heightened consumers following Covid-19 – do marketers ensure they create more meaningful connections and positive ROI for their clients? Consumer Neuroscience provides many new answers to these perpetual questions.

Adam Elliott, founder of Australian creative outfit Marbl, says it’s about marketers and clients stepping away from the status quo of the creative process and working together from the outset to inform decision-making before monies are spent. This decision-making he says should be informed by research that not only gives marketers insight into their consumers and prospects but also through metrics that take into account the quality of marketing messages.

“At Marbl we use neuroscience at the initial stage of the creative process so that we may focus marketing campaigns from the outset. This allows us to work with both creatives and clients in order to make small tweaks to ideas around the creative so as to maximise the effectiveness of the campaign and ROI for clients,” Elliott explains.

Creative partnerships

To this end, consumer neuroscience research takes creatives (and clients) inside the inner workings of people’s minds. It enables marketers to tap into their consumers’ subconscious and think more intuitively about consumer responses. Ultimately, providing insight on how well messages from adverts are being encoded and retained in the memory of the consumer. Neuroscience techniques can provide information about implicit processes that are typically difficult to access using other consumer marketing research.

“Neuroscience improves marketing by providing full confidence into how consumers are engaging and remembering your ad. With the understanding of the elements of your ad that are being encoded into memory you have the opportunity to fix any issues there might be. For example if the brand is not getting through, clearly there is an issue, therefore by having the insights you can make changes to ensure you have the most effective ad, ensuring a positive ROI,” explains Kelly McIlwraith, Commercial Sales, Marketing and Strategy Director at GTN Australia.

Passionate about neuroscience, McIlwraith says she has worked with Neuro-Insight over the past 10 years across TV, outdoor and now radio. “By looking at ad attributes in a systematic way, consumer neuroscience testing allows marketers to measure the impact of your creative on your audience. So you can get into the minds of your customers. Literally. I have seen the confidence it provides our clients in ensuring that every dollar invested provides a positive ROI,” she says.

Elliott, who began working with Neuro-Insight while Sales Director at Seven TV network used the consumer research technique to better understand how audiences responded to advertising and sponsorship around Olympic Games content. “Back in 2006 we ran a study in the leadup to the Olympics around the power and effectiveness of live sport – it was a two pronged approached to help clients and advertisers better market their campaigns and for the network to make more informed decisions regarding programming,” Elliott says. He adds that in recent years brands including Toyota have used neuroscience from the  beginning of the creative process to great success.

Neuro-Insight, Elliott says, provides both his clients and creatives with metrics and proof points at key stages of the creative process by tracking the brain activity of viewers to analyse their response to your creative including their attention, emotion, recall and engagement. These key moments he adds are then  used to boost a campaign’s effectiveness across all touchpoints, meaning more success for the creative advert and greater ROI. “We’ve had tremendous success over the past few years with the likes of Fujitsu across a wide range of media.”

When it comes to implementing such metrics into the creative process, from an agency perspective, Elliott says that he has experienced some pushback at times from creatives on how they engage with the whole process. Although, he says when implemented from the beginning  of a campaign, it’s not an invasive process and limits the disruption to creative flow. “Ultimately, through the process of neuroscience research the element of personal bias from both a creative and client point of view is minimised,” Elliott explains. This puts a clear focus on the research and how consumers actually respond to creative branding.

From a media perspective McIlwraith adds that working with Neuro-Insight has given her company a huge market advantage.  She can guarantee clients great traffic through her platforms, but with Neuro-Insight she can also provide them with the opportunity to create a campaign  which will be impactful. “I say to clients you can buy all the reach and frequency in the world, however if the key elements of your ad are not getting through to memory, then every single dollar is wasted. It is  a finite measurement tool which is monitoring the brain, making the subconscious, conscious. It is a precise measuring tool, not clouded by what the conscious mind cannot articulate. ” she says.

This article was produced in partnership with Neuro-Insight. For more details on how neuroscience can help you better market your brand or media sector, contact Brian Hill at bhill@neuro-insight.co.nz.

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How to optimise your marketing effectiveness with Neuroscience

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