Today, people tune into content whenever and wherever they want. With viewing happening at home on a TV and on-the-go on a smartphone, marketers want to ensure that their messages are being received no matter the screen. To determine if their advertising is effective, marketers have traditionally turned to self-reported market research techniques, but those approaches have limitations. Enter neuromarketing, which according to the Neuromarketing Science & Business Association “is the systematic collection and interpretation of neurological and neurophysiological insights about individuals using different protocols allowing researchers to explore non-verbal and unconscious physiological responses to various stimuli for the purposes of market research.” Though still in its infancy as a marketing research practice, neuromarketing is giving marketers a direct view into people’s physical reactions to stimuli rather than relying solely on people’s ability to report their own feelings to that stimuli.
Facebook commissioned SalesBrain, a US-based neuromarketing agency, to understand how people’s brains and physiology respond to identical stimuli viewed on a smartphone versus on a TV. The study focused on how the brain responds to 4 key areas: engagement, attention, emotion and retention. We recently spoke with Helen Crossley, Head of Audience Insights for Facebook IQ, Dr. Christophe Morin, Founder and CEO of SalesBrain, and Dr. Paul Zak, President of ZESTxLabs, to understand the methodology behind the research, the results and what the results means for marketers. Edited excerpts of our conversation follow.