Market Research and Emotions: Producing Powerful Insights

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How market research is using the emotions to gain powerful insights.

By: Jéssica Cruz

The more market surveys are conducted, the greater the conviction is that survey respondents are telling us what they think is good and explaining their behavior. But respondents may not have the ability to explain how and why they make decisions. Despite advances in the area, it is notable that market research is still more focus on analyzing what people say than on identifying the affective or emotional responses that may really drive their behavior.

Emotions are a big part of who we are and we can not escape them. Academics believe that emotions have an evolutionary basis (Ekman, 1994) because they are intimately linked to specific actions, such as escape / avoidance (as in the case of fear), withdrawal (as in the case of sadness), struggle (as in the case of anger) and engagement (as in the case of happiness and love).

Because emotions and thoughts are so interconnected, there may be times when our emotions drive our thinking and vice versa. It is possible that sometimes we do not know what we do think about something and our affective response determines the thoughts that occur. In fact, our emotional brain may be guiding our thinking long before we have any clear thinking.

Emotions are now increasingly gaining ground and being taken into account in analyzes and planning. Strategies that take into account consumer behavior and brand experience are based on customer perception, guided primarily by emotion.

Because of a greater global interest in transforming emotions into mayor insights, new technologies have been helping to capture emotions in consumption. Between the end of 2016 and early 2017 a French bookstore network used images from an internal camera circuit to feed software that scrutinizes consumer movements.

In market research, more sophisticated techniques like facereading, eyetracking and thermal camera assist in a greater perception and consideration of the feelings of the interviewee.

Considering emotions allows a better precision in insights because, unlike conventional techniques, emotions can not be “edited” to appear rational. They are experienced live and they control in an impulsive way our behavior, creating authentic insights.

The analysis of emotions remains the key to accurate insights and should be increasingly used and considered in planning and developments of studies in market research.

References: EstadãoMarketingResearch AMenteMaravilhosa

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