Tag Archives: Advertising

Marketers and the Future of DMP Insights

By: Hannah Chapple
Advertisers, agencies, and publishers are swimming in data.
They have so many data points, from a variety of sources, that they are simply
overwhelmed by it all. Website (cookie data), social data, CRM data, you name
it, and they’ve likely got it. Sorting all of this data from various (often
siloed) sources, in a timely and efficient manner is a near impossible human
We all know that the role of a marketer is to reach the
right consumer, at the right time, with the right message. But to do this
effectively, marketers are challenged with interpreting their mass amounts
of data and uncovering actionable insight, at speed and scale.
Interpreting mass
amounts of data is no easy feat.
As the demand for digital marketing and
programmatic/real-time ad buying rises, marketers face more pressure than ever
to target audiences faster, and with laser-precise, data-driven insights. We
know that consumers will only respond to the messages that speak to their
interests, passions, wants, and needs. And in the world of real-time bidding,
technologies only have milliseconds to get that messaging right. And guess
what? These messages cannot be crafted with broad categorization methods like
demographics alone. Demographics as a stand alone are limiting and tell you
nothing about what an individual is interested in, passionate about, or value.
To fill this gap, we have seen marketers seek more and more
data resources. That’s why we see marketers not only trying to make sense of
their first-party data but also second party data (from partners) and purchased
third-party data. Can you understand why marketers are swimming in data? It’s
a vicious cycle. So again, we arrive at our original problem: how can
marketers turn mass amounts of data into actionable insight, at speed and scale?
Are DMP’s the magic
solution in the advertising ecosystem?
To better target potential consumers, many advertisers rely
on Data Management Platforms (DMP’s) to collect their mass amounts of disparate
audience data (including the first, second, and third-party data we spoke
about) and interpret it. In short, DMP’s are cloud-based warehouses used to
generate an audience segment(s) based on patterns and trends set within defined
parameters. The goal, of course, is to deliver high-quality, accurate audience
segments to marketers, and all other players in the advertising ecosystem, like
DSP’s. When placed into action, these audience segments (generated by the DMP)
should result in smarter optimized ads, efficient media spend, and less ad
waste. But is this actually the case?
Marketers are sitting on a wealth of data, with a goldmine
of potential insights to derive from that data. That’s why more and more
companies are investing in DMP’s for their business and are hiring
highly-qualified, expensive professionals to manage them. However, while DMP’s
are used to extract insights, there is still a lot of wasted potential in these
Here’s a quick DMP lesson: DMP’s operate on a ‘hypothesis’
basis. DMP users must set conditions or a query to break down the data sources
and form a specific audience segment they want. For a DMP to work properly
(with speed and accuracy) and know what data to segment or pair, a DMP user
must understand many factors including media, marketing, analytics and of
course data. The DMP will then do its best to match data and form an actionable
audience segment for the marketer to leverage.
For example, a marketer could leverage behavioural cookie
data to build an audience of males in Nova Scotia, over 30 who browsed a car
website on their mobile device. This audience can then be used for ad-buying,
media placement, etc. 
But marketers don’t
know, what they don’t know.
But what does this marketer really know about this audience?
What are their interests and passions, outside of cars, and how can they be
determined? This is why, despite the integration of DMP’s, marketers still
aren’t getting it right. While automated, there is still a human error in how
DMP’s select which data to process and interpret.
Don’t get me wrong; there is incredible value in DMP’s but
there is also an incredible opportunity present. Ultimately, the goal of
leveraging a DMP is to provide a personalized consumer experience by relating
to their interests and behaviours. But marketers are only grasping at the data
that they are currently able to understand. Like I said, DMP’s operate on a
hypothesis basis, contingent on the user’s understanding of the data.
We, as marketers, haven’t even scraped the surface of what
is possible with DMP data. Marketers need a solution that looks beyond
predetermined hypothesis and attributes. Instead, we need a solution that
interprets unsupervised data and can discover the hidden relations and insights
within audiences that marketers don’t yet know.
How do you foresee 2017 shaping up? How will DMP’s evolve?
Share what you think down below: [Read
more on the Affinio blog]

About the Author: Hannah
Chapple is the Marketing & Content Coordinator at Affinio, the marketing
intelligence platform. Hannah holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with
a major in Marketing from the F.C. Manning School of Business at Acadia

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Consumer Behavior, DIY, Omnichannel and Millennials

By: Keri Hodnik and
Liz Williams, Euromonitor International

This article was
originally published on Euromonitor
The Market Research Event, TMRE, is an annual conference
that seeks to unite both clients and vendors, positioning itself as the only
event in the world with twice as many client side participants than any other
industry event of its kind. This year, it was held in Boca Raton, Florida, and
covered a wide range of topics, including: People; Tools, Tech, and
Methodology; Innovation, Macro Trends; Customer; Omni-Shopper, B2B /
Health&Wellness; and Partnerships. TMRE hosts a broad array of speakers,
from CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies to Neuroscientists that seek to decode the
mind of the consumer.
The theme of the entire event was ‘Command the Boardroom’,
which focused on how to bring the eyes and ears of the consumer into the
boardroom itself. The presence of the Consumer Insights function is not only
needed to energise the boardroom on the importance of the ever changing
consumer, but it is crucial in representing the big ideas that drive business
With that theme setting the stage for the event, the
following four trends emerged from the speakers:
Better understanding the inner workings of the consumer was
a common theme at this year’s TMRE Conference. Zoe Chance, Author of ‘Better
Influence’ and Assistant Professor of Marketing at Yale School of Management,
led a keynote on Mastering Influence & Persuasion.
Chance was driven to leave the world of corporate marketing
to understand behavioral economics after observing a repeating trend: companies
often put a lot of time, money and energy into using data for business
decisions, but in the end, would use their guts anyway. Why is that?
Chance went on to explain the difference between System 1
and System 2 decision making. These are better known as the unconscious and
conscious mind, or as she called them: ‘Alligator Brain’ and ‘The Court’. The
unconscious mind is fast, it’s intuitive and it’s automatic. On the other hand,
the conscious mind is slow, deliberate and effortful. Most of us believe that
we’re making decisions with The Court, but Alligator Brain kicks in far more
often than we care to realise.
Rather than trying to ineffectively engage consumers’
conscious mind, Chance suggests that instead we should be working to peak the
Alligator Brain with her 5 key forces of influence:
  • Labelling: giving a name to the behaviour that you wish to
    encourage or discourage.
  • Ease: ‘Alligators are lazy’; companies like Uber, Tinder and
    Amazon are great examples of how to make it as easy as possible for consumers
    to take action.
  • Attention: creating open loops, or Moments of Truth (as
    coined by P&G), both stimulate curiosity since we as consumers have an
    insatiable want to close the loop.
  • Scarcity: loss aversion is a powerful motivator and can be
    roused by communications such as limited time, limited quantity and
  • ‘Hot Potato’: when forced with resistance, give it back as a
    problem to solve. If someone says they’re not interested, instead try asking:
    ‘You’re not interested’? as a way to promote deliberate decision making.

The subject of the conscious versus unconscious mind was
revisited again by David Eagleman: Neuroscientist, Author of ‘Incognito: the
Secret Lives of the Brain’ and Host of PBS’ ‘The Brain with David Eagleman’.
In his talk on ‘Emotion, Motivation, and Reputation’, he
explained that there is an enormous gap between what your brain is doing and
what your conscious mind is actually thinking. ‘Everything about your cognition
is happening incognito,’ Eagleman said. The implication of the unconscious
brain being the core driver of decision making is that asking consumers
questions about their decision making process is irrelevant.
Neuroscience can tell us a lot about the driving forces
behind the consumer path to purchase. Eagleman explained that there are three
networks in the brain: one for price point, one for pleasure and one for how
the decision itself is viewed:
  • Valuation: everything is judged in context. Saving $10 on a
    pair of headphones has a higher consumer response than saving $10 on an iPhone,
    despite the benefit being equal. We as consumers do not actually know what we
    want until we see it in context.
  • Emotion: despite our want to believe we are rational and
    unbiased, our actions prove otherwise. For instance, did you know that humans
    make harsher decisions if in a fowl smelling room?
  • Social: Eagleman explained that ‘people are wired to
    understand companies the same way they understand people. Breaches of trust
    travel fast and are un-erasable.’

DIY Research was a key theme for one of the tracks at the
event, focusing on how and when to ‘be scrappy’ with research. DIY research is
a cost effective alternative to outsourcing solutions that allows you to
analyse research results in real time. As Andrea Stokes, the Senior Director of
Consumer Insights at Marriott International, said in her session titled, ‘Cheap
and Cheerful DIY Research’, it’s important to know when it makes sense to
pursue DIY research and also when it makes sense not to:
5 reasons to go DIY:
When you need it fast
When you have an easily accessible customer
When the question is not a $20,000+ question
When a question can be answered by consumer
feedback alone, meaning that advanced analytics and modelling are not required
When you have only 60 minutes of your
stakeholders’ time
5 reasons not to go DIY:
When the ask is complex
When more than one translation is needed
When data will help to defend or prevent a large
When the CEO needs to make a business case to
the Board of Directors
When research is needed for crisis management
Some of the tools that Stokes suggests to aid in DIY
research are software, such as survey software and an insight community
platform through which to conduct your research. Mobile devices like iPads and
smartphones make data collection fast and easy, while tools such as excel or
other data visualization programs like Tableau are essential for storytelling.
Last, all that is needed is you (and maybe a videographer to capture the

Any Channel, Anytime, Anywhere: Today’s consumer is very
busy with little downtime, always on the go, always carrying their phones and
always connected to the internet. Consumers are looking for a more convenient
and seamless way to shop given their busy lifestyles. Many businesses realize
this and are changing to fit consumer’s needs by providing seamless easier ways
to shop. Several examples include:
Sephora Flash ‘ Sephora’s new stores that allow
consumers to purchase an item online or through the app and pick up in store
the following days
Charity Wait ‘ an app that allows consumers to
donate to a charity in order to skip a line at their favourite restaurant
Shyp ‘ an app that allows consumers to ship out
postal packages without having to visit the USPS store. The consumer arranges a
time for pick-up and Shyp will pick up the box and send it to the nearby post
Task Rabbit ‘ an app that offers a personal
assistant to complete your tasks that you have to do throughout the day, making
your day more efficient
Customized Products: Even though consumers are on the go,
they are still making specific decisions on what they are purchasing. Consumers
are looking for more personalisation and customisation in their lives and they
want it to be easy.
Ugg has made it easier for consumers to try on shoes by
providing them with an interactive floor mat that allows them to picture what
the shoe would look like on
Break Free of Demographics: Consumers want to break free of
demographics. They are looking for more of a new wholesome look which basically
means retailers should start positioning products as being non-gender.

Many large tech gurus such as Facebook even have a difficult
time capturing all types of consumer market research data. Companies like
Facebook capture any shopper data on mobile phones and desk top data but are
not able to see what is happening outside of their own space. Facebook
expresses that it is important to capture all channels of shopper insights to
understand the full data set for the ever changing consumer.
Facebook has found that through their internal data numbers,
consumers tend to have a purchasing pattern per omnichannel. Many consumer turn
to mobile to shop for categories that are less expensive, perhaps because it
doesn’t take much thought or commitment to purchase these items that might be
used every day. However, consumers tend to turn to their desktop for categories
that are more expensive which may be due to internet connection worry or being
able to see the product on a larger screen.

What Facebook is unaware of through internal data is
in-store shopping habits. This type of data may help companies like Facebook
understand what brand elements trigger market behaviour, what is going to drive
consumers to make purchases in store, what the importance of labels play when
shopping in different channels and how can they measure behaviour of a shopper
on each channel.

Diverse Demographics: Breaking Stereotypes

Millennials are the most diverse generation
in history ‘ only 59% are Caucasian and 27% have an immigrant background (Deloitte, 2015). Therefore, it’s no surprise that this
demographic expects brands to embrace and reflect the diversity of their lives
‘ a trend previously highlighted by Stylus Life in our report No
normal: Post-diversity marketing
. If brands are to do this successfully, they
must move beyond crude stereotyping to represent a broad spectrum of race,
gender and sexuality.
For instance, Muslim millennials offer
growing opportunities for brands
‘ the Muslim consumer lifestyle market is
predicted to reach $2.6tn by 2020. The modern yet faith-driven outlook of this
group, along with a growing disposable income, will see them buy into brands
that reflect or understand their values. Make-up brand CoverGirl is already
tapping into this lucrative demographic with its latest brand ambassador ‘beauty
blogger and hijab wearer Nura Afia
. One of a growing number of Muslim
beauty bloggers, her new role demonstrates the importance and appeal of diverse

Beauty brands are working particularly hard
to cater to often forgotten demographics. A new initiative from L’Oreal
offers free step-by-step audio tutorials
to give visually impaired women
more independence. The usability has been carefully considered to fit the needs
of this consumer group ‘ the cosmetic and skincare tutorials are concise to fit
into everyday habits, while the app’s customisable user interface features a
monochrome palette and large text.
Also targeting a currently under-catered
market, UnBeweavable
is an on-demand hair service specifically for women of colour.
On-demand beauty services, which provide a stylist straight to your home or
workplace, have been rising in popularity for some time now ‘ yet UnBeweavable
Hair is the first tailored to the specific needs of this demographic.

Created by Zina Alfa, it was inspired by her own difficulties in finding
hairdressers who understood her needs. Made by a woman of colour for other
women of colour, this case study shows that if brands want to provide products and
services that appeal to all, they must improve the diversity of their

Rebecca Minkoff recently highlighted the
need for diverse workforces, citing the lack
of female employees in technology companies
(and STEM fields in general) as
a key reason why wearables are not currently capturing female consumers. The
fashion designer also mentions examples of having to explain female
expectations and behaviours ‘ such as taking jewellery off at night ‘ that were
missed by an all-male team.
There’s a popular saying promoting better
gender and race representation that suggests ‘you cannot be what you cannot
see’ ‘ but this could easily be extended to ‘you cannot create for audiences
you don’t represent and understand’. Which is why companies with diverse workforces
are more likely to financially outperform those that are not (McKinsey,
2015). So if you want to ensure your products appeal to an increasingly diverse
consumer landscape, you’d better start with your job adverts.

Brought to you by Stylus Life, creativity and innovation news
from around the web.

Selling on Emotion: Why Show Ratings and Demographics No Longer Tell the Whole Story

By Jared Feldman, Founder & CEO of Canvs

An earlier version of this article appeared in AdAge.

With upfront season just around the corner, early signs are that brands, finally, are again buying more of what networks are selling.

That’s great news for the networks, after over three straight years of declines in upfront ad-time purchases (and two years of plateaued spending before that). But as the buying season kicks off, let me suggest that brands should pay attention to some new factors this year as they lock in deals.

In the past, in making decisions about where to spend their ad dollars, buyers had only ratings and some demographic data about existing shows, plus a first peek at new ones coming in the fall. What I’d like to propose is that buyers not use, or just use, those same old methods this time around.

Oh sure, keep the ratings and demos you’re used to working with. Nielsen’s work continues to have value and it’s evolving to embrace the new TV realities.

But show ratings and audience demographics by themselves no longer tell ad buyers everything they need to know in the new universe of “TV” we now live in. The TV audience is shifting, and in lots of directions at once. With it, the business is shifting, too.

Audiences are watching TV in more ways and on more platforms than ever, and at different times and in different settings. Just as importantly, audiences are talking about the shows they’re watching, on more social media and chat and other online platforms than ever.

And when fans are talking about these shows, sharing important moments, creating content about the shows, and reacting to that, they’re also evoking and expressing a whole raft of feelings and attachments about favorite programs.

The savviest programmers realize this. They’re building shows that connect with and captivate dedicated, niche audiences who care deeply about that show. They’re sharing compelling behind-the-scenes content, live tweeting with fans, and creating other experiences that will hook and engage the superfans who care most about a program.

And those shows and networks are exactly where advertisers should be. Those fans will be a show’s best ambassadors. And the research says they’ll also be the best ambassadors for brands advertising around that show.

The shows that stir emotional reactions are the ones that also will stir reactions and buying impulses for the ads of those shows. As they say in the business, that is gold. So it’s important to figure out which companies are doing a good job reaching and holding those audiences your brand cares about most.

For instance, the two networks whose shows most often evoke the emotion “addicting” on Twitter were MTV and Freeform (then known as ABC Family), according to a Canvs analysis of tweets captured by Nielsen.

It shouldn’t be a complete surprise — both networks target millennials, who are tech-savvy and sharing-mad. They share everything they care about, including some of their favorite shows on those two networks.

“Addictive” programming isn’t the only thing buyers should look for. For instance, what networks and shows do fans find consistently “funny?” A laughing fan is one predisposed to like the brands connected to those shows.

And though the industry may not be quite ready for it, let me propose another thing. Networks and show runners will become increasingly skilled at creating compelling niche programming for ardent superfan audiences. They’re also going to get better at using the new measures of success and building to it.

At some point, as creators improve, and as brands integrate what this means for their bottom line, we’ll have new network milestones for ad sales. Expect networks to begin guaranteeing more than just ratings.

Providing a minimum level of emotional reactions that can help drive advertising success will become important. And when a show doesn’t drive that emotional response, a network will have to figure out how to make good on its promise.

By that point, the entire industry will know how much emotion matters in making a show, and its advertising, succeed. And then we’ll really see the full power and value of advertising in the new TV universe.

Related articles

7 Ways Technology is Changing the Way Consumers Behave In-Store

By: Phillip Adcock
The retail landscape is constantly changing and the only way that
stores can keep up is by constantly evolving. But how?
Modern day consumers use technology in a way that is
completely different to consumers earlier in the decade. These changes have
altered the way shoppers navigate stores and shop. So how should shops be
following these changes ‘ or even anticipating them?
 1) Shoppers Are Using
Their Phones to Research and Buy Products In-Store
You might think that a customer browsing in your store is
giving your products their full attention ‘ 
but you may be wrong. Many shoppers are combining trips to the store with trips online,
comparing and contrasting price and quality. While you can’t always compete
with online stores, it’s worth seeing which products are competing with yours.
2) Amazon Dash Has
Given Consumers the Ability to Buy with the Push of a Button. How Are You
Amazon is trying to corner the market in next-day
consumables with its new Dash button. A Dash button
automatically orders a set product for next-day delivery when pressed, with
products ranging from toilet paper to lemonade.
Amazon knows that one of the key things retailers need to do
to compete in the current market is to make shopping as quick and easy as
possible ‘ and make the process so simple, a child could do it (which is
potentially why one of the Dash buttons available orders a round of Play-Doh).
3) Overseas Importers
Offer Prices That Are Nearly Impossible to Beat. So What Other Advantages Can
You Offer?
One of the main types of retailers you’ll find online in
stores such as eBay and Amazon are importers. Importing products from China
allows them to source vast quantities of a product extremely cheaply, allowing
them to sell at a very low price, with many items at 99p. How can you be
expected to compete with those prices?
Answer: you can’t. Rather than cutting your profit margins
to try and match importers, make sure your business outshines theirs in ways
they can’t hope to compete. Instead, provide services that they cannot, such as
fast delivery and great customer service.
4) Modern Shoppers
Want to Speak Directly to You as a Company. Are You Easy to Reach?
One of the ways you can offer the level of customer service
that modern customers expect is to communicate with them directly on the
platforms they use. Consumers now expect to be able to do everything online, so
to provide strong customer service, you need to make yourself available to
them. Facebook and Twitter make it easy to interact with your customers, but
beware: companies can easily fall into traps on social media.
5) Every Store Needs
to Have a Mobile and App Equivalent. How Functional Is Yours?
As customers have evolved to be fully phone-reliant, the
market for mobile apps and mobile sites has increased. These days, having a
website without a mobile equivalent is a foolish move and may lose you sales. A
mobile site should be as functional as your regular site and an app should
function on a similar level.
6) Virtual Reality Is
Growing in Popularity. Are You Ready to Make It Work for You?
IKEA recently launched a new Virtual
Reality feature
, allowing users of the HTC Vive to explore a kitchen
(and throw meatballs into open spaces). Although this particular application is
fairly low-function, virtual reality has revived and is well on its way to
being the big sales tool of 2017 and beyond. Do you have the ability to allow
your customers to use VR to interact with your store in a meaningful way?
Whether it’s navigating a virtual store or trying out new furniture in an
existing space, virtual reality is set to become a staple.
7) Free Delivery: A
New Standard
One thing that stores forget is that yesterday’s exception
becomes today’s norm and tomorrow’s rule. As consumers become more and more
used to convenience, what would have seemed exceptional when online shopping
began ‘ for example, free next-day shipping ‘ becomes expected. Shoppers will
now potentially abandon a sale because of a lack of next-day shipping and will
frequently choose a deal containing free shipping, even if it works out to be
more expensive.
It’s worth remembering that consumers love the word ‘free’.
Whether it’s ‘free shipping’ or ‘buy one get one free’, shoppers will always
gravitate towards those deals.
It’s hard sometimes to keep up with new retail developments.
If you’re concerned about being left behind, remember: what consumers want, and
have always wanted, are high-quality products for prices that are good value.
Although it is beneficial to follow the latest technological trends, providing
value for money is, and always will be, the best way to appeal to your
About the Author: Phillip
Adcock is the founder and Managing Director of the shopper research agency
Shopping Behaviour Xplained Ltd ‘ an organisation using consumer insight to
explain and predict
retail shopper
. SBXL operates
in seventeen countries for hundreds of clients including Mars, Tesco and

Is it Worth it? Key Considerations for Social Media Research

By: Terry
Lawlor, EVP Product Management, Confirmit

The role of social media in delivering
business insights is a tricky business. While most researchers consider it to
offer real benefits, the big question is ‘how do we do it properly’? In our
recent survey of Market Research professionals, we asked respondents about
their feelings towards social media. Overwhelmingly, the most popular response
from the five choices offered was ‘A
useful addition to a Market Research project if we can bring the data together

The word to look at there is ‘if’.
For many businesses, that ‘if’ is
surmountable, and for others it isn’t ‘ at least not yet. There are a number of
things to bear in mind.
is Your Audience?
The changing dynamic of the consumer has a
significant impact on research. Millennials behave differently when it comes to
researching, buying and complaining about products. The audience you’re
targeting has a huge role to play when it comes to establishing the part that
social media has to play in your business.
Takes More Than Technology
There’s no silver bullet for social media.
It takes a combination of people, process and technology to be successful. You
need technology to sift through the vast quantities of information ‘ to find
and filter data sources, provide intelligent sampling of massive amounts of
content, and perform categorization and sentiment analysis. However, you will
still need people. In our recent study, Political Buzz, we used social media
(as well as traditional surveys) to monitor topics for the UK election. One of
our key findings was that the role of people was critical in researching the
key social and online media channels, and in building the taxonomies on which
your technology must function.
More Than Just Social
When thinking about social media, most
people immediately think of Twitter and Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr, perhaps
YouTube and Pinterest. There are actually many more social media sites than you
think, and there are many different feeds within each social media platform.
And there is a huge array of online media, where people post comments and
stories, and review sites that cover many different categories of products and
services. So you need to think about online media as much as social media, and
you need to think about data sources that amount to tens or hundreds of
thousands of different media channels.
Double-Edged Sword
As with every ‘next big thing’, social
media research is a double-edged sword. On one hand, because it is largely
unsolicited, you can uncover insights that you never anticipated. However, also
because it is largely unsolicited, it might not address anything useful for
your research program. You may want to research a particular topic but no one
is discussing it, or your target audience just doesn’t use social media.

the Author: Terry Lawlor has the responsibility of all aspects of product
management, including strategy development, product definition, and product
representation in client and marketing activities. Terry is a seasoned and
highly professional enterprise software executive who possesses a wealth of
expertise in the Market Research and customer experience markets.

Implicit Bias and How Smirnoff is Transforming Global Attitudes Towards Others

This post was
originally published on the Sentient
Decision Science Blog

The phrase ‘implicit bias’ often carries a nasty
connotation. Here’s just one headline from the last four months: ‘How Racism
Persists: Unconscious Bias May Play a Role.’
Partiality. Prejudice. Racism. And this bias is thought
to be all the more insidious because it’s locked away in our subconscious where
we can’t do anything about it.
But as Dr. Aaron Reid explained in his TMRE 2016
presentation Wednesday, implicit bias is not necessarily negative or
positive’it’s both.
‘Implicit bias is simply a systematic tendency toward
something,’ Dr. Reid explained. ‘It’s the automatic associations you have in
your mind, and those associations can be positive and they can be negative.’
Implicit Bias and Behavior

While System
1 certainly influences behavior
, it’s not the only thing that determines
how people act. If we have the motivation and the opportunity, we can
influence whether our System 1 mind impacts our behavior or not.
‘When you have either low motivation or lack the opportunity
to reflect and reason, your implicit attitude has a much stronger impact on
your judgment or behavior,’ said Dr. Reid. ‘But when you’re motivated and have
the opportunity, your System 2 thinking can intervene if you don’t want
an implicit attitude to influence behavior.’
Science provides methods for quantifying implicit
biases, both positive and negative. Sentient
Prime implicit research technology
, for example, can give you a read on
your degree of biases both toward and away from people, from brands, products,
and advertising.
It’s called implicit association testing and it’s a powerful
tool that helps measure the impact of the non-conscious.
Can We Change
Implicit Associations to Be More Inclusive?

In the Spring of 2016, Sentient examined implicit
biases in a study with Smirnoff. The project objective,
born from the mind of Smirnoff’s Luke Atkinson, was to make a real
contribution to the world with the idea of a brand that ‘welcomes everyone’ and
stands for ‘good times together.’
Atkinson wanted to focus on inclusivity.
Opposite the concept of implicit bias, inclusivity
moves people from thinking, ‘How do we prevent or reduce prejudice,’ to ‘How do
we promote inclusivity’? And that positive, welcoming feeling is
what Smirnoff wanted its brand to inspire.
Implicit Association
Testing in Action

We captured baseline data in two studies about
inclusivity from 1,400 United Kingdom respondents and 1,300 from the United
States. From there, we could see if the creative content produced by the
Smirnoff brand could actually make people feel more inclusive toward
We utilized implicit and explicit measures from the
behavioral sciences in five comprehensive areas of inclusivity:
Feeling included
Sharing identity
Motivation to act inclusively
Inclusive lifestyle choices
Inclusive socializing
Three segments emerged from the data in both the U.S. and
the U.K:
The Isolated: those who feel excluded and act
Excluded Strivers: those who make inclusive
lifestyle choices but feel excluded

Inclusive Included: those who feel included
and also act more inclusively
We were then able to analyze implicit attitudes toward
groups of people’based on race, gender, sexuality, and more’and split the
results by segment. Some of the results were sobering.
‘If you ask people an explicit question like this, you’re
not going to get the real answer,’ Dr. Reid said.
‘But if you measure it implicitly you get really keen
insight: a significant portion of the population has a negative implicit
bias toward ‘old people’, toward ‘poor people’, and toward ‘disabled people’.’
Smirnoff Opens Up to Promote Inclusivity
Based on our baseline data, Smirnoff created an
ad targeted at changing attitudes toward disabled people.

Smirnoff was proud of the creative. But would it have a real
Sentient performed a Subtext’ ad
 to see whether exposure to the ad was changing the implicit
memory structures within Smirnoff’s target audience’s mind. Using consumer
neuroscience tools, we measured the four key components of
advertising effectiveness:
Desirability (a combination of System 1 and
System 2)
Emotional preference following exposure to the ad showed a complete reversal
following a single exposure to that 40-second clip.
‘From a brand preference perspective,’ Dr. Reid noted, ‘this
is a very successful ad.’
Digging Deeper Into the Data
Emotional memory analysis carried the study a step
further by analyzing which elements of the ad are responsible for the
change in implicit attitude.
‘The implicit memory connections are changing in the
minds of consumers when you show them your ad,’ Dr. Reid explained. ‘We can cut
the data to see the moments of the ad that are related to those
memory changes that you’re trying to affect.’
Among female viewers, there were clear positive
emotional deviations at the moments that the primary female student was telling
her story and began to feel the joy of dancing.
So impact on the brand is clear. What about inclusivity? Did
we strike an impact? Did we change people’s attitudes to feel more inclusive?
Only among women.
‘The storytelling at the beginning of the ad isn’t
resonating in a positive way with men on average, it appears to reinforce a
negative bias toward disabled people among the ‘Isolated’ segment’ noted
Dr. Reid. ‘It provided insight into how to optimize the creative with cuts that
tell the story of the male focal character, Chris Fonseca, in a clear and
compelling way to men.’
For the Isolate segment, what may be missing
is motivation. Opportunity to change their judgment is there, but
without motivation, there’s no override for that System 1 bias.
Next Steps for Smirnoff (and the Rest of Us?)
For its part, Smirnoff is planning a global rollout of the
‘We’re Open campaign.’ The next ad being tested:
Regardless of the results, Smirnoff’s efforts show how it’s
possible for us to address implicit bias in this country and globally. First we
need to understand that System 1 mind’where it comes from’then we can focus on
how to influence change.

As Dr. Reid said: ‘We need to understand how
reason and emotion work together 
to drive behavior.’

The Remarkable Resurrection Of Pre-Testing

By: Tom Ewing, Senior Director, BrainJuicer Labs

Ad pre-testing has had a rough ride in the digital era. A few years ago,
the talk was all of testing as obsolete: why even bother painstakingly screening your communications, when online
platforms were such a great opportunity to move fast, publish at will and learn as you
went along? Agility was the watchword, and launch-and-learn was the

It’s certainly true that responding to this challenge helped give ad
testing a necessary kick up the backside. Over the last couple of years, many research firms have finally understood the need for speed,
and developed rapid-turnaround versions of ad testing solutions. The
rise of self-service platforms like Zappistore has helped drive this.

But none of this matters if pre-testing itself is irrelevant. It’s always had its enemies – no creative has ever said “Yes! Please test my work more!” – but until recently it never faced a potentially existential threat. Fortunately, the fundamental principle of testing content is as important now as it ever was. This isn’t because the pace of change has lessened. In fact, it’s because things change so rapidly that one year’s revolution can become the next year’s obsolete philosophy. And that’s what happened to launch-and-learn.

The launch-and-learn strategy rested on two assumptions. Firstly,
that measuring earned media (social sharing) was a reliable and consistent way of
identifying the best content in the market and getting it to an
audience. A few years ago, this was probably true. In the IPA’s #SocialWorks initiative, which looks for validated case studies of social media ROI, one of the best examples came from Cadbury’s Creme Egg brand. Creme Egg – a seasonal obsession of pumpkin spice proportions in the UK – optimised its Easter content by simply launching a lot of things, and seeing what its
Facebook fans liked and shared. If the fans were into it, that’s where
the brand put its money.

Unfortunately, shortly after that the organic reach for earned media
on Facebook ‘ governed by the proportion of fans who would see each
piece of branded content ‘ was drastically throttled by the platform. These the number of
fans who will see content without paid promotion is tiny. At the same
time, a growing understanding of how things spread and become successful
meant an increased appreciation of how much of a role sheer luck
played in social media success. The Creme Egg case study became the woolly mammoth of ROI – a magnificent specimen, but doomed to extinction by a changing climate.

The second plank of the launch-and-learn approach was transparency.
If you can trust the metrics your ad networks and social platforms are
giving you, they can be a big source of in-market insight. But this
turns out to be a big ‘if’, with this week’s Facebook video viewing figure controversy just the
latest example. Viewability, ad fraud, and blocking of intrusive ads
have become constant thorns in the industry’s side.

So launch-and-learn has lost viability and reliability. Throwing content at the wall and seeing what sticks is no longer the right strategy, any more than counting likes is. But it’s done
its job. Faced with doom, pre-testing solutions evolved, and have become faster, more relevant, and a better fit for purpose than they were five years ago. Bulk pricing is becoming more common, as are turnarounds measured in hours and more use of innovative technologies like emotional measurement and in-context testing.

As the brief heyday of launch-and-learn fades, there’s fresh interest in pre-testing as a digital tool from big brands and companies who know that the smart play is to make sure your content really will capture your audience’s hearts and eyes, before you invest in it.

Why You Should Revisit Your Shopper Journey (And How To Do It Right)

This post was
originally published on Kelton
Global’s blog

Understanding the consumer journey has always been (and
still is) a crucial piece to closing the gap between interest and purchase. But
while fundamental needs haven’t changed, the customer journey is much more
layered and multi-directional.
Today’s consumer doesn’t just follow one of a handful of
discrete routes in their journey to purchasing a good or service. With the
Internet at their fingertips, shoppers now bounce around the traditionally
linear path to purchase’easily jumping from an in-store touchpoint to a digital
platform in the snap of a finger, gathering information from multiple sources
throughout the process.
Consumers can now leverage the wisdom of the crowd to
educate themselves before ever setting foot in a store.

Keep these two major shifts in mind when deciding on
research strategy for your next customer engagement journey project:
Consumers are wildly
more empowered in their relationship with brands.

We don’t just live in the age of information. We live in the
age of informational guidance, with unprecedented access to (and
considerable depths of) knowledge about almost anything there is to know about.
This is especially true when it comes to products and brands. Consumers can now
leverage the wisdom of the crowd to educate themselves before ever setting foot
in a store. This presents a huge opportunity for brands to garner awareness
among consumers shopping for their products. At the same time, this also means
exponentially more touchpoints to maintain and track, as well as heightened
expectations of consistent brand experiences across platforms.
Just as every shopper is able to consume information via the
Internet, they are equally as empowered to publish their own thoughts, reviews,
and experiences en masse. An opinion that was once voiced to a handful of peers
can now be amplified 1,000 fold by way of direct input and feedback platforms.
Rapid customer service response has never been more important as a result.
While companies have lost a degree of control over their digital narrative
thanks to bloggers and product/service review sites, the new landscape is not
without its advantages. Adding a digital footprint to brand perceptions offers
a valuable opportunity to monitor and better understand perceptions of your
brand, and what sites consumers are visiting online.
Today’s world is
defined by options.

The market landscape has become significantly more
fragmented and competitive.
Today’s world is defined by options. Consumers now have a
tremendous amount of choice in what products to buy and brands to engage with
in order to serve a given need. The rapid increase in number of options for
shoppers to explore, coupled with more ways to access and consume products,
means that consumers expect a brand experience that fits seamlessly into their
lives (not vice versa). What’s more, people browsing online now have easier
access to information about your competitors’ even comparing their products and
yours side by side. It’s important to visually communicate this aspect of a
shopper journey in a way that is clear and concise, so that your internal team
can understand and activate on consumers’ actual paths.

It can be difficult to capture the complexities of today’s
typical path to purchase, because there’s
nothing ‘typical’ about it
. Keeping to the traditional research model for
path to purchase is no longer an option, because it doesn’t paint a complete
picture of the varied journeys a consumer may realistically take. But
abandoning the model entirely isn’t the solution, either. We believe in a
differentiated philosophy based on key shifts in the landscape, integrating
existing knowledge with newer techniques (like social listening) to give our
clients a complete and accurate picture of the customer journey.