Research consultancy Touchstone and sister agency, Shoppercentric, have announced an exclusive global partnership with cloud-based neuroscience provider MindTrace. In a significant step forward for market research, MindTrace harnesses existing technology to accurately identify, for any marketing asset shown (e.g. marcomms, packs, products, concepts, website), what attracts consumers attention, how they feel about what they have seen and how deep their engagement is.
Jamie Rayner, director at Touchstone and managing director at Shoppercentric said: “Researchers have known for years that the great majority of decisions to buy are neither considered nor evaluated: most of them just happen, subconsciously. Equally, we know the importance of emotion in driving these subconscious decisions: brands are successful through exploitation of emotional connections with people. These connections are the intangible assets that organisation’s own and ultimately drive shareholder value. So, it’s vitally important that we know how they work.
Over the past nine months we have been working in partnership with MindTrace, to remove questions that take participants out of their System 1 thinking. MindTrace works wholly at those key moments when a buyer’s viewing, emotional response and action begins, keeping participants firmly in System 1 where the buying decision is truly made. Many existing market solutions still ask participants questions, which has been demonstrated to interrupt the emotional connection and produce a less reliable, overly considered response.”
Rayner added: “At Touchstone and Shoppercentric we have always been committed to developing and using new methods and technologies that really add to our offering. This is a significant step forward in bringing our clients closer to understanding core human behaviour and what truly resonates with today’s shoppers, consumers and visitors. This partnership means we can provide brand owners, retailers and the advertising industry with significantly more intelligence, grounded in reality and truly free of bias.”
How it works
Brand owners and retailers share brand assets (webpage commercials, banners, advertising, packaging, concepts, product, displays, copy etc.) to be tested and participants, selected from approved research panels, are invited to take part at home via a web browser on their own equipment (a natural environment which enhances the quality and validity of data collected). With the participant’s fully informed consent, their webcam is used to collect accurate eye tracking, core facial expression and heart rate data to measure subconscious reactions to the content shown. By combining these three behavioural metrics, MindTrace captures unprecedented levels of data, at up to 1000 lines per second, to underpin recommendations for marketing investments.
Adjmal Sarwary, CEO at MindTrace said: “We pride ourselves on being able to measure subconscious effectiveness so that we can help customers to make good decisions – that result in more sales conversions. Even though these measures are well-known in the neuroscience industry, their wider commercial adoption has been hindered by practicality. Our new technology however, makes it possible to fit into the budget and timelines of every client. Together with Touchstone and Shoppercentric we’ll be able to gain a whole new level of understanding behaviour and the choices that humans make – exciting times!”