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Biometrics and neuroscience: The future of digital analytics?

Last Updated: March 23, 2017

Advertising has always been about emotions. Emotions lead to actions and, as such, influencing emotions is the most effective route to influencing actions. Actions, in turn, become habits, and these habits are the driving force that creates global brands. Marketers have never hesitated to exploit this relationship – in fact you could even argue that it’s the job of a marketer to do so. But we aren’t capable of influencing everything that drives human behavior. In his classic 1895 work on human psychology, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind, Gustave Le Bon wrote: “The greater part of our daily actions are the result of hidden motives which escape our observation.” This holds true today, and it unsettles us as digital marketers. The utopian message that underpins our industry is that everything is measurable, with Google AdWords the gold standard bearer in this regard. Le Bon’s statement is a truism that haunts Facebook, which offers a new form of engagement between consumers and brands, but has been plagued by measurement scandals of late. Google’s great success has always been in that accurate measurement of actions, and the easily calculable positive ROI that CMOs crave. Facebook brings that paradox inherent in the quotes from Le Bon and Bernays back to the fore in our industry, as it simply isn’t sufficient to measure actions alone on Facebook. Google is not immune to these criticisms, either. We have seen this in quite sensationalist terms recently, with Google’s YouTube and Display Network coming under fire for a lack of control on their placements. This is all the more shocking because we feel let down when the realization hits home that, within current technological restraints, perfect targeting and measurement aren’t quite within our grasp. Why have we strayed from campaigns designed to shape emotion? In digital marketing – particularly in search – the truth is that we have never really aimed to shape emotions in our audiences. We understand that emotion is an important driver, but it lends itself more readily to what some dismiss as ‘fluffy metrics’. Therefore, this lies outside the realm of the cold, hard numbers that we take to represent the ineluctable truth of campaign success or failure. This makes sense, placed in context. As a direct response mechanism, search comes into play once the work to shape emotions has already been done. To be successful, we need to make optimal use of those efforts (TV campaigns, for example), or make up for branding shortfalls, to maximize sales. That role is slowly changing, and in fact it must do so, if the same companies who managed Google PPC campaigns are now planning to engage in Facebook, Pinterest or Snapchat advertising. Although all…

Source: Biometrics and neuroscience: The future of digital analytics?

About the author / 

S K Routray

S K Routray is a computer science graduate and Co founder at Gracioustech.com. He worked as a Online Marketing lead at many MNC Companies. He has passion for writing on SEO techniques, Social Media Marketing and digital marketing techniques. If he wasn’t an online marketer, he'd take his love for food and become a great chef cum hotel entrepreneur. Join NAS Writers team to write for NAS.

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