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Online engagement results in 70% positive perception shift

Blog post   •   May 24, 2012 17:38 BST

Neuro-marketing is a concept that’s been flying around in social media for a while now, but very few people understand what it is, how it works and what the benefits are to marketers and organisations.

If there is one person on this planet to answer these questions, it’s Richard Sedley, an emotional engagement specialist. Luckily, Sedley was a special guest speaker at a TechMAP meetup and in 45 minutes ran through the complex methodologies involved in the process; from short-/long-term excitement, to frustration and boredom.

Sedley talks about ‘emotional engagement measurement’; participants are tested to gauge their responses for various pieces of marketing collateral, then analysed to identify significant changes in neuron activity across a variety of emotions. The analysis points out exactly where the trigger points have occurred based on a stimulated emotional charge, meaning that we can understand how effective our marketing is likely to be with a selected target demographic.

It’s not rocket science, but it sure is clever stuff. But what impressed me most were the case studies and examples showcasing when neuro-marketing works best. There were tales of IKEA navigating customers counter clockwise due to the fact that there’s more chance of a person picking up items with their right hand, and a jam-jar experiment that highlighted that more choice means less purchase; when 42 jams were on show, 60% of candidates looked but only 3% bought, compared to when 3 jams were available, 40% looked, but a whopping 30% bought.

Did you also know that a customer-facing retailer could improve general satisfaction by 41% were their employees to smile, or that even a ‘smile badge’ on employee increases that same emotion by 27%? Powerful stuff, indeed.

However, the biggest, and most relevant, stats for me were focused on the results of a brand engaging with negative reviews. Online brand engagement to counteract a negative review results in 18% of complainers repurchasing and 70% of all consumer’s adopting a positive perception of the brand.

Although this isn’t surprising for many reasons, it’s a stark warning to organisations currently taking a soft approach when responding to negativity in the digital environment.

After all, it’s easy to be a positive, upbeat and fluffy organisation that uses Twitter to respond every time a follower says “I love [product x]”, but it takes a real hard-ball strategic approach to communications to jump in at the deep-end to answer some of your toughest online critics. And the evidence above highlights some no-nonsense results of being a strong organisation across the social and digital landscape. It would be fascinating to see some of the corporate brands that take a daily beating online fight back and start to develop a balanced conversation across the internet.

What are your thoughts on the emotive side of communications? Which brands are successfully combating negative criticism? Drop me a tweet @bnfx/@fishburnhedges and let’s discuss this further.

This article was first posted on The Wall Blog.

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