I have made a statement up there. And I know you will say- ok, eye-tracking experiments help to understand consumers, so what? We live in the age where the science has learned how to feed the knowledge directly in the brain, and I am here telling you about the technology already decades old. What is so exciting about it?
If you ask me, the answer is everything. But I am just a researcher who is about to enter the lab and play with the eye tracking technology. Everything about eye-tracking experiments is novel for me at the moment. Nevertheless, leaving subjectivity aside, eye tracking is a perfect tool to get the results:
- At a low cost (lower than other neuromarketing tools) and
- with high accuracy.
Before I continue, a short lesson from history. In 1931, Earl, James, and Carl Taylor created the Ophthalmograph and Metronoscope. The devices were used to record the movement of eyes while reading. You do not have to remember these fancy scientific instrument names. It would be nice, though, to notice how old the idea is. It appeared in the marketing research scene not earlier than the 1980’s. 50 years to discover that eye- tracking benefits for marketing research and I hope not another 50 to master it. In the late 1990s (1998, to be precise), organizations began using eye-tracking technology to measure and study reactions to information on the World Wide Web. In 2006, British behavioral consultancy research firm Bunnyfoot researched in-game advertising using eye-tracking and physiological data. In the past decade, if you typed “eye- tracking experiments” in Google or any other SE, you would get dozens of articles on the topic. Enough about history. If you want to read more, check the brief history written by UX Booth.
I am not trying to sell you anything, I just want to make you understand the efficiency and benefits of using eye- tracking in marketing research.
Eye tracking is a unique method to objectively measure consumers’ attention and spontaneous responses to marketing messages. These insights help marketers to effectively design communication to catch the shopper’s eye.
The aforementioned definition of the eye- tracking by tobiipro wraps it all up. It is a unique, objective, effective and it replicates the reality. You may also check out The Ultimate Pocket Guide by Biometric Research Platform. It is far from being invasive (my ethical board approval confirms it!) and respondents are actually willing to participate. They are not running away from it and thinking that someone will be poking their brains to get the information. But, believe it or not, in combination with other principles of psychology, it reveals what is happening in the brain, too (a.k.a. reason). And gives a glance in your heart (a.k.a. emotions).
Wonder how? And why is this brain- heart relation even important?
One key part of being a great marketer is understanding how (and why) people think and act the way they do. How is measured more easily. We observe, we see consumer’s actions and we have results. But why can turn into a puzzle. Why do they think the way they do? Why do they feel the way they feel? And “why” normally goes beyond the reason and expectation based on the best-case-study. It is often hidden behind emotions. I’m not saying I am a great marketer, but from what I know (and I know I have not discovered “Marketing-America” at the moment) human behavior is a black-box. Who can lecture us better about that, than HubSpot by revealing 10 principles of human behavior. Allow me to say- Her Majesty Human Behavior (intentionally impersonalized as a female).
By using eye- tracker we give a response to “how” and combining it with other psychological principles we get to “why”. And we do not have to spend piles of money for the brain scanning techniques. Some of the agencies in the Balkans already use eye- tracking for their research. Our always favorized example is Valicon.
If I haven’t convinced you so far how useful eye- tracking can be, well, I have already used all available space here. But if you drop me an email, I’d be happy to share my own experience. Upper right corner of the website (you looked up, didn’t you?).
Until the next cutting edge technology in marketing, cheers!