In our last book, Customer Experience: Future Trends and Insights, we wrote about three areas to keep your eye on: Social media (short term future), Experience Psychology (near term future) and Neuroexperience (longer term future). Neuroexpereince is defined as “the experience the customer has at the neuro-anatomical, -physical, -chemical and -physiological levels. This experience often occurs subconsciously and is the result of an interaction/s between an organisation and a customer”.
Many of you will be most familiar with neuroexperience through the somewhat hyped field of neuromarketing. To my mind much of what we hear in neuromarketing takes findings in this still embryonic area and generalises them, to sometimes ridiculous heights – like lists of the “X” number of things you should do too. It’s a great way to gather headlines and such but the frenzy inevitably dies after a closer look at the foundation of these sorts of pronouncements. As a result, I tend to shy away from much of what is touted as neuromarketing. See my blog post “Spotting Erroneous Customer Research”. However, the truth is that the neuroexperience space is making headway. Techniques are being developed with real successes to report in a commercial context. It truly is a new trend that anyone committed to customer experience should be attuned to. So it is with an especially critical eye that I read stories of applied neuroexperience.
One recent blog post caught Colin Shaw’s eye and piqued my interest as well - “CBS Neuroscience Case Study: Building a Better, Faster Ad for Your Brain”. CBS spends lots of money on advertising slots. They wanted to know if a slot could be optimized in such a way that saves money. They handed this problem over to their partner, Neurofocus who used a methodology based on a combination of combination of electroencephalography (EEG), eye tracking, and galvanic skin response (GSR). Through it, they were able to effectively compress a 60 second ad into a 30 second one; and a 30 second ad into a 15 second one. If an ad can be halved but maintain its effectiveness then significant costs can be shaved off.
In another study, Neurofocus optimised the selection of a cover of New Scientist magazine via EEG. The cover selected using this method was 1) the second highest grossing cover for the magazine that year and 2) “the 12% increase over the same issue in the previous year—a much higher rate of return than expected for the normally quiet month of August”.
So it appears that the neuroexperience future is actually upon us. Well, it’s upon those early adopting customer experience visionaries anyway. Keep your eye on this space.