From Eye Movement to Measuring Customer Experience: Neurospective

People say marketing has a lot to do with communication. What kind of messages, intended or unintended, does a company transmit? What part of it is actually received by the client? How does the client interpret this information, and most importantly: How does he evaluate it? These are all core issues for businesses that will determine success or failure on the market.

Dr. Benny B. Briesemeister

is a graduate psychologist and scientific staff member in the field of general and neuro-cognitive psychology at the Free University of Berlin. He is primarily responsible for the advancement of the subject area of neuro-marketing at the Center for Applied Neuroscience, considered to be the innovative nucleus at the intersection between research and application. On his blog, he collects and regularly comments on the latest neuroscientific developments relevant to marketing.

The eyes wander across the screen searching. Nothing can escape them; or the infrared camera. It registers precisely where the test person focuses on the screen, where she remains on the website and which parts she just scans. The eye-tracking study checks websites for their eye movement and user-friendliness. In the study, participants are given questions and tasks they need to answer/ solve with the help of the website. For example, some questions referring to a smart-home equipment page are: Where do you find information about smoke detectors? Or: What is ambient assisted living? The client’s responses reveal which information she absorbed consciously. While the test person scrolls across the websites and describes the process, it becomes apparent which way she takes to find the information. Usability analysis of promotional materials via eye-tracking provides a precise image of what the client focuses on. The eye-tracking study creates a map of the observer’s attention, up to a few millimeters accurate. It allows us to find out what the test person is reading. But what the numbers don’t tell us is how the content affects the reader and what exactly is emotionally transmitted. So the question, whether the promotional material really appeals to her, is still outstanding. But there’s a solution for that as well “In the future, it will not only be about drawing conclusions from the eye movements, but to qualitatively substantiate this information through the measurement of emotions”, says Boris Bettag, eye-tracking specialist with the trio-group communication and marketing GmbH in Mannheim. If you want to know which information truly takes effect, a look in the consumer’s eyes is not sufficient. You need to look one layer below -where purchase decisions are made: in to the human brain. How exactly? Part of it, and most important, is the processing depth of a stimulus i.e. an advertising message. As everybody knows, there are countless pieces of information flooding the brain at any given moment, but only a small portion of it is actually processed. The rest fades away unheard and with no effect. With the aid of electroencephalography it is possible to measure whether an external stimulation initiated processing operations. In the end, it is the only way to find out whether the ad was care fully looked at or only skimmed. Also measurable is the storage of relevant information in our memory, i.e. the acquired brand. Nothing is more irritating than a product ad where the brand or central message is not remembered. If the brain doesn’t store this pivotal information, only the leading brand may benefit from the advertising effect – there is almost nothing worse.

The brain constantly asks itself: turn towards or away?

Neurospective also registers the motivation to take a closer look at the product, and what this motivation is based on. Due to numerous studies, we know that the human brain always asks itself: paying attention or dismissing; no matter if the object is new or very familiar. If the pendulum swings in the wrong direction too many times, the product will never end up in the shopping cart, no matter how good it is.

Nothing is more irritating than an ad for a product where message is not remembered
- Dr. Benny B. Briesemeister

The motivation to approach, measured by electroencephalography, is as you know not only a prerequisite for the purchase decision, but also a reliable predictor for actual purchasing behavior – more so than it can be expected from traditional survey methods. But how exactly does it work? Neurospective combines the registration of the eye movement with the measurement of the neuro-physiological reactions triggered by the information intake. It enables us to answer the initial question about the effect of marketing material from the perspective of the consumer, reliably and with a practical orientation.

The company from Berlin offers the entire bandwidth of neuroscientific methods relevant to marketing. On top of that, Neurospective also hosts seminars and workshops on these topics. More under

The findings form Neurospective are of particular importance for design and marketing sectors, as it allows them to check their work safely and reliably and adjust it where applicable. The analysis shows whether the emotional marketing strategies really hit the heart and appeals to the client’s needs. Therefore, it is interesting for companies, as it gives them a better feeling for a maximum return of investment. They can look right where the decision to buy occurs: into the customer’s brain.

Starting point= information,
Goal= emotion

Of course, even without market research related to a particular case, we’re aware that pictures featuring people, catch our eye– our brains are programmed to regard information like that. But if they’re presented to a technology-savvy client in the context of a smart-home website with a somewhat melancholic atmosphere triggered by the portrayed evening ambiance– who can truly say whether this was conducive of the sale. Neurospective will find out – before the company looses clients.