It’s no wonder why neuromarketing has gained in popularity among marketers in recent years; Harvard Business School Professor Emeritus Gerald Zaltman states that 95% of purchase decisions are made by the subconscious.
Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio studied people with damage to the part of the brain that triggers emotions, yet with their reasoning otherwise unaffected. He found they couldn’t feel strongly enough about one option versus another to make even simple decisions like what to eat, let alone what to purchase.
In other words, emotions are integral to purchase decisions. If your website is not evoking an emotional response from your audience, the site is making it difficult for your prospects to purchase from you. According to a study by Google and CEB, B2B brands achieve twice the impact with buyers when using emotional marketing, compared to marketing based on business value.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been equally popular among marketers, accelerating and compounding the results marketers are able to achieve. When you combine neuromarketing with AI, you can get a highly potent mix of marketing that can generate explosively powerful results.
In one Nielsen study of 100 ads across 25 brands, Nielsen used electroencephalogram (EEG) technology to measure brain activity of respondents. The ads that generated the best emotional response led to a 23% lift in sales volume over the results of an average ad.
Given the effectiveness of emotional marketing, companies that invest in emotion recognition technology, now commonly called Emotion AI, can gain a critical competitive advantage. The technology provides you with emotion analytics and insights to improve your marketing messaging, creative, and execution, as well as to optimize digital campaigns, content, and websites.
Taking it a step further, you can build uniquely interactive digital experiences that read and respond to human emotions. Imagine if your website senses a prospective buyer losing interest during a brand touchpoint. Now imagine dynamically changing the conversation in real-time, calibrating your messaging and calls-to-action based on their reactions throughout the course of the experience.
Emotion AI has the potential to be a true game changer. If this sounds like fantasy, you might be surprised to realize just how close we are to this new marketing reality. The Emotion AI market is projected to grow from $6.72 billion in 2016 to $36.07 billion by the year 2021, according to MarketsandMarkets.
Beyond Emotion AI, it’s important to also factor the impact of Google RankBrain on your future marketing. When Google says that it’s going all in on AI, you need to pay attention. Google CEO Sundar Pichai states that advances in machine-learning technology are having an impact on all Google products and services—across the board.
Google RankBrain, introduced in 2015, is Google’s artificial intelligence engine to increase the accuracy of Google’s search results. Greg Corrado, a senior research scientist at Google, stated that RankBrain is the third most important signal contributing to the result of a search. Jeff Dean, Senior Fellow at Google, confirmed that RankBrain now contributes to every single Google search.
One of the repercussions of RankBrain’s growing influence is that engagement metrics are going to be a larger factor in Google search rankings, with click-through-rate (CTR) a core such metric. What this means is that SEO is being turned on its head. RankBrain now forces you to focus just as much on the CTR of your search results as well as the customer experience post-click.
Increasing the CTR of your search results is an area where neuromarketing comes into play. It’s easy for the searcher to get lost in a sea of sameness; to cut through the clutter, deviation and surprise are highly effective.
The neuroscientist Gregory Berns and a team of scientists from Emory University and Baylor University found that the human brain physically lights up when surprised. People actually enjoy surprise more than they enjoy things that they like. This is a powerful insight, and with RankBrain this can now become a critical weapon in your SEO arsenal.
In addition to Emotion AI and RankBrain, consider the intersection of bots and your marketing. Hubspot’s Dharmesh Shah projects that the conversational UI is going to be an even larger tectonic shift than the move from desktop to web-based software.
Gartner came out with the crazier-than-crazy prediction that the average person in the U.S. will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse by the year 2020.
The keys to success here are going to be empathy, emotional connection, and seamlessness of experience. The bots are going to need to emulate human interactions, or things could go very wrong.
Stanford Professors Byron Reeves and the late Clifford Nass found that the human mind responds to technology in the same way it responds to interactions with other humans. In other words, when people have to wait for a web page to load, they get frustrated or even angry. Even though the interactions are with bits and bytes, people react emotionally as if they were dealing with other humans.
This means that it’s extremely important that your use of bots shows extreme empathy. Or if your brand is all about fun and sassiness, for example, then your chatbot better be the sass queen, as well. Too often there’s a disconnect between the actual brand personality, and the generic nature of the chatbot.
Remember that a brand touchpoint is a brand touchpoint. Your audience is not going to differentiate a chatbot experience from any other touchpoint, whether interacting with your website, with your social accounts, or in person.