Marketers always want to know which motives lead to purchase decisions as well as how good their brand or ads are at communicating these motives. They are asking whether consumers ascribe a given asset or value to their brand, product or promise, believing that by revealing attitudes in this area market actions can be improved? In order to reveal consumers’ attitudes most researchers use questionnaires and online surveys. In this webinar we want to show you that asking questions and assessing attitudes only on a declarative level, however important, is not fully able to provide a factual picture of people’s attitudes and thus it is less effective in predicting consumer behavior.
There are many reasons why sole declarative data sometimes may not reflect consumers’ true opinions or the subtle differences in their attitudes caused by an exposure to communication or other marketing efforts. Consumers also may simply be unaware why they like brand A and do not like brand B, or why they decide to choose this product over that one. Fortunately, there are new technologies that allow us to track the non-conscious (psychophysiological) processes involved in consumer decisions on whether to buy a product or not.
Currently it is a well-known fact that the vast majority of the entire decision-making process occurs outside consciousness. Moreover, it turns out that emotional attitudes are the main determinant of our behavior and the way we spend our money and choose brands. It is difficult to identify these emotional drivers in declarations and they can be easily missed when we rely only on traditional research techniques.
Krauss in 1995 has shown - on the basis of a meta-analysis of 85 research studies - that explicit opinions are not enough to fully describe the attitude-behavior relationship. It leads us to the conclusion that we need to look for additional tools and approaches to be able to fully understand the processes behind preferences, decisions and choices. Therefore, especially for marketers, it is necessary to implement these innovative methods to gather more precise and more valuable insights.
One of the methods that goes beyond simple declarations to reach consumers’ hidden motivations - and at the same time does not demand significant hardware or educational investments, is scalable and can be conducted online – it is the reaction time measurement (RT).
The most common method based on reaction time measurement is the Implicit Association Test (IAT) and its variations used by many researchers. However, IAT is not the only reaction time approach used by scientists and professionals and it might not always be the best choice for marketing purposes. Many researchers who focus on the relationship between attitude and behavior have been applying a different paradigm that is also based on response time, but assesses the strength of the attitude (level of conviction) rather than the association.
Measuring the strength of a declaration allows us to assess the certainty of an attitude and enables us to test consumers’ emotional attitudes that are activated instantly, often without conscious awareness. In other words, whenever a respondent is asked a question to which they are sure of their answer, their reaction will be quicker even without realizing it. Conversely, when a respondent is not as sure of their answer their reaction will be slower, indicating lower certainty of their attitude, and again this will be in separation from the conscious declarations about the certainty of the given answer.
These days, with all the smartphones, tablets, ultrabooks and with internet available almost everywhere, reaction time tests can be easily implemented into any kind of research in a user-friendly manner, enhancing traditional studies in a short time and with a minimum of effort. Response time adds an additional layer on top of traditional explicit responses and it is very likely that this simple add-on will, in many cases, be a game changer. There are tools and methods available and waiting for implementation that will enrich marketers’ and researchers’ knowledge about consumer behavior. We just need to find the courage and inspiration to explore them.
View the recording. You will learn:
- How many declarative answers are provided without conviction?
- How to better predict behavior with emotional certainty?
- How to test emotional certainty in online surveys?
Michal Matukin, Chief Scientific Officer, Neurohm
Expert in continuous measurement of emotion and attention. Leader of Research and Development Department at NEUROHM, responsible for scientific rigor and quality. Head of cross-cultural research projects all around the globe. Speaker and lecturer at many prestigious conferences and universities. Experienced psychologist and researcher involved in application of new technologies such as electroencephalography, electromyography, galvanic skin response and eye-tracking to marketing field.