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Whatever the amount of expert advice you seek or in-depth research you conduct, it can sometimes feel that pinpointing why some online experiences are successful with your customers and some are not requires nothing short of a mind-reader.
Now there is a pioneering neuroscience technique that has been recently developed which, in the right hands, just might have similarly magical implications for internet marketers and e-commerce professionals struggling to unlock the true potential of their online channel.
Electroencephalography, or EEG research, measures electrical brain activity in an attempt to try to understand more precisely how people react to different stimuli. In highly competitive online markets, this information can be used to help reveal how customers are responding to specific aspects or periods of their experience.
By measuring mind states, emotions and other subconscious responses, EEG can lead trained consultants to understand more precisely how clients really think, act and behave. It combines eye-tracking with further complex neurological data to measure sub-conscious reactions, then connects these with cognitive responses. By studying, in real-time, variations in the different patterns of electrical activity in the brain, EEG makes it possible to gain a considerable understanding of exactly what is going on inside a customer’s mind at any given moment.
When combined with classic qualitative research methods, EEG enables the exploration of the otherwise inaccessible subconscious. EEG is already widely used in the advertising and film worlds, and has been successfully used in packaging, merchandising design and creative and concept work. Used intelligently, it can allow you to see exactly how opinions of your business are formed, and how consumers react to positive and negative outcomes and to different processes, and where cross-promotions have the most impact.
Online gaming companies have recognised for some time that user experience is a huge factor in winning and retaining clients. Over the years, every element of the gaming experience, from initial signup through to the latest live betting sports books and 3D casinos, has been thoroughly tested across multiple and diverse audience groups. Perhaps it’s now time for internet marketing specialists to lift to their own game?
EEG offers a fresh approach to an old problem. It provides a means by which you can begin to measure the impact of both individual features and combinations of elements on how your customers ‘feel’ while engaging with you online. It also allows marketers and designers alike to challenge long-standing assumptions.
Take the online registration process, for example. The vast majority of the work that’s been done in this field has been focused on simplifying and shortening the time and effort needed. But our own work in the insurance industry has revealed that there is actually a trade off between providing a smaller amount of information and the amount of trust and affinity customers have with a particular brand and its security. In what other industries might such long held beliefs now require more thorough challenging? It’s worth finding out.
What is for sure, is that emerging EEG techniques put into practice by customer experience specialists can now provide a level of insight into customers’ subconscious reactions to the online channel that was previously unobtainable.