Using Biometric Research to Measure Customer Reactions

Biometric research can help measure and evoke responses from customers. See how a market research company helps you understand customers with biometrics.

Biometrics refers to measurements and calculations of human features and behaviors. Most people still associate commercial biometrics with security, like thumbprint and facial recognition readers. Yet marketers already use this technology not only to measure reactions in labs but even to evoke them at home or out on the street. Find out how a market research agency might suggest incorporating biometric research into the data that can help drive successful, data-driven marketing.

How businesses use biometric research for marketing

To demonstrate how a quantitative and qualitative market research agency might use biometrics to improve marketing, Bloomberg highlighted the example of Expedia. Their market research company invites actual customers into their lab with the enticement of a gift card and a chance to help improve their experience with a service they already use.

Inside the lab, a young woman checked flights and hotels for a trip she had already planned with her family. While she used the website as she normally would at home, a researcher watched her through a two-way mirror, eye-trackers tracked where she looked, and sensors monitored facial muscles that would detect any trace of a smile or frown. After the experience, the subject also filled out a survey to help enhance the researcher’s understanding of the experience.

Expedia stored this information along with data from other research subjects, so they could use it to better understand users and, in turn, keep improving the customer experience. As a travel company, they understand that emotion drives vacation planning. They also know they need to discover the feelings of trip planners better in order to design an experience that can compete with online rivals.

Note that Expedia has not just survived but remained competitive since 1996. Unlike so many rivals, they survived the tech bubble in the early 2000s. While they haven’t always executed every business move perfectly, the company credits at least some of their success to a constant drive to understand the motivations of their customers. Their leadership in biometrics offers one good example.

Using biometric tech to test products and designs

Besides facial recognition, some technology can also measure galvanic skin response, often called GSR, or simply “sweat response”. GSR measures the state of arousal and requires sensors applied to the skin, so it’s usually done in a lab.

According to the National University of Singapore, marketers employ GSR in several research applications for product or website design. Even though this tech can measure arousal, it can’t say if the reaction comes from a positive or negative response, so it’s best combined with other methods, such as surveys or facial recognition.

How biometrics research can assist customer-facing marketing

For a different take on using biometrics for marketing, Trend Hunter descended into a subway to report on the example of Coca-Cola’s Coke-Moji displays. The marketing research agency for Coca-Cola was not so much interested in gathering quantitative data from biometrics, but in using it as a tool to engage consumers. Just as on the internet, subway users can develop ad-blindness because of the daily barrage of consumer marketing they see in the station and on the trains.

The display showed people who passed by an emoji shaped like a bottle cap. Sensors read facial expressions, and then the emoji playfully duplicated them. The device worked to engage people and, perhaps, even brighten their mood a bit.

Walmart is also using facial recognition technology in a more subtle way to help improve customer experiences. They’re developing a system that will use sensors at the checkout counter to detect dissatisfaction and then alert employees to offer assistance. They also plan to keep this information to correlate mood with purchasing behavior. Walmart hopes this data can help them find and resolve pain points in order to improve revenues.

Why work with a market research agency to employ biometrics?

The world’s largest and most successful companies know they need to understand their customers better in order to engage and serve them. Combining data from biometrics sensors with subjective experiences from consumers can help them achieve this understanding. A quantitative and qualitative marketing research agency can work to help their clients employ the right combination of research tools to help their customers achieve this goal.

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Why Market Research Online Communities Make Sense

For qualitative research companies, market research online communities provide an efficient, flexible, and robust tool for generating consumer insights.

These days, people connect online with each other and with the companies that they patronize. That’s one reason why a qualitative marketing research agency may suggest using online communities to gain a deep understanding of customers.

Market research online communities only came into being about a decade ago, pioneered by the UK’s Further, which describes itself as a Human Insights company. Further’s team saw the potential of emergent Web 2.0 technology to conduct qualitative research online. Despite the relative newness of using these online research groups, they’ve rapidly gained importance as a way to help data-driven companies better understand their market.

What are market research online communities?

Sometimes called “MROCs” or “insight communities”, marketers might compare market research online communities to traditional focus groups. Instead of gathering the group together in a room, qualitative research companies gather their groups entirely online. Group organizers pick participants that fit some criteria, like demographics that fit a buyer persona, general interests, or specific experiences. But unlike a traditional focus group, where all participants are physically present at the same time, MROCs enable participants to log in and out of the community whenever it is convenient for them to do so. The asynchronous nature of MROCs enables participants from different parts of the country – or different parts of the world – to engage in qualitative research studies.

When they join the community, these participants may perform various tasks. Some examples include surveys, discussions, brainstorms, and even games. Each of these activities helps the researchers gather the information that marketers can use to improve test theories, answer questions, or further define their market. While this article mostly discusses these online groups for insight-driven qualitative marketing research, scholars also use them to gather information for studies.

Three common kinds of MROCs

This list briefly explains the three common kinds of MROCs:

  • Short-term: These communities only last from a few days to a few months and can yield quick insights with a modest budget. Typically, researchers have tightly focused goals and engage with up to 60 participants.
  • Pop-up: Sometimes also called “on-off communities”, researchers will summon these groups as the need arises. They generally use from 50 to 250 participants. A qualitative marketing research agency may suggest a pop-up community when they have a limited budget and few questions but want to keep options open for more research in the future.
  • Continuous: Researchers keep a long-term or even permanent community open when they see a consistent need for answers and have the budget to support it. These may require up to 5,000 participants and a dedicated team of staff to manage and moderate.

Benefits of MROCs for qualitative user research

Successful advertising, marketing, and even product development depend upon high-quality marketing research. Marketers find that running online communities lets them make efficient use of their research budget because they’re:

  • Cost- and time-effective: Online research platforms can provide the tools to affordably and easily manage all kinds of groups, engaging with participants in multiple timezones, and including feedback from people who find it difficult or impossible to travel to attend a traditional, in-person focus group. 
  • Flexible: Researchers can determine how long to run the group, how many participants to include, and the kinds of activities to use for information gathering. While some businesses benefit from running continuous online communities, others can meet their goals rapidly.
  • Robust: Platforms for conducting MROCs have a lot of the same features that online forums and social networks offer. In fact, some businesses even use groups in existing social networks, though purpose-designed platforms can provide tools that make tracking and managing participants easier. In either case, it’s possible to host discussions, conduct polls, and even post pictures and videos.
  • Profitable: Having a way to gather high-quality information also helps businesses maximize returns from other marketing activities. For instance, they can learn how to target ads or which features to include in their product design.

Market researchers can trust the overall quality of the information they receive from these online groups. It’s easy to segment participants in real-time, based on their comments or demographics, and to tag verbatim quotes for qualitative analysis. Some people may perfectly fit the target but feel reticent about expressing their opinion in a room full of others. In-person focus groups generally have to stick to a tight schedule; however, online communities can allow more flexibility.

With the relatively anonymous nature of sitting behind a keyboard, participants often feel more relaxed about speaking up. Because they can log in online, respondents also have the luxury of chiming in when the existing discussion has helped them frame their thoughts. Sometimes, researchers even add an element of gamification or social engagement to the mix to help encourage participation.

Why online communities make sense

These days, consumers compare, shop, and even socialize online. It only makes sense to include marketing research online communities in every toolbox of marketing research techniques. When compared to more traditional forms of surveying the target audience, they also provide a robust solution that can help spare budgets and improve bottom lines.

BONUS: Listen to Stephen Cribbett and Terri Sorenson from Further discuss the benefits of qualitative marketing research online communities with Bigeye’s VP of Insights on our podcast, IN CLEAR FOCUS.

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Bigeye Furthers Relationships with Property Management and Development Professionals with AAGO Membership

ORLANDO, FL (December 19th, 2019) – Bigeye (www.bigeyeagency.com), an audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency joins the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando to further solidify its position as a nationwide partner for property management and development leaders. With a focus on building relationships and understanding the needs, goals, and expectations of a full-stack marketing agency, Bigeye proudly joins AAGO as a Professional Member and looks forward to strengthening the bonds with local leaders and experts.  To further the involvement and partnership, Bigeye is also proud to announce that Matthew Cummings, Account Manager, will serve as AAGO’s Chair of the Branding and Communications Committee in 2020. 

“AAGO has been an extended family for me during my experience within property management, and it makes perfect sense to continue the relationship with my role at Bigeye. I couldn’t be more excited to bridge the gap and expand the members’ opportunities to work with an agency that loves branding and storytelling as much as Bigeye does, and how this relationship can flourish into more opportunities,” says Cummings.

The Apartment Association of Greater Orlando is currently the largest association in the state of Florida, and ranks high in the country. Bigeye is proud to work with this vast group of professionals, which represents all segments of the multifamily industry in central Florida, including apartment communities, owners, management companies, multifamily developers, investors, suppliers, and thousands of individuals that work within the industry.

Beyond membership, Bigeye is planning opportunities to create an education series and class content for members who have an interest in marketing and growing within their companies. This would focus on basic branding and marketing tactics that we utilize in the agency and help property management professionals to speak the “marketing lingo”. There are also plans to help with content creation for AAGO events and hosting networking and member mixers at Bigeye’s office near Downtown Orlando.

Now more than ever, it’s critical for developers, investors, and management companies of multifamily, student living, and active adult/senior living to invest in the brand and story of the communities in which they work. With Bigeye’s track record, working with property projects for 10+ years and continued involvement with leaders in this space, our team would be honored to collaborate and serve as the creative partner for those upcoming projects.

About Bigeye

Located in Orlando, Florida, Bigeye is an audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency that crafts deeply compelling brand experiences and the strategies that ensure they reach the right people, in the right place, at the right time. The Bigeye team of creative directors, copywriters, artists, programmers, and account managers works closely with clients to better understand the needs of their consumers and deliver measurable results.

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Audience Research and Strategy Expert Adrian Tennant Joins Bigeye as VP, Insights

ORLANDO, FL (October 18, 2019) – Bigeye (www.bigeyeagency.com), an audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency, has added industry veteran Adrian Tennant to its executive team as Vice President, Insights. Before joining Bigeye, Tennant served as Vice President / Director of Digital Strategy for marketing agency 22squared, and as Chief Experience Officer / Director of Research at Blue Kite Insight, an advertising and user experience startup he co-founded.

“Adrian’s expertise in audience research and using data to inform and inspire creative ideas and then test and validate them with audiences segmented in near real-time is unmatched in our industry,” said Justin Ramb, Bigeye’s President. “He has a tremendous record of success in helping leading companies reach consumers more effectively, and his skill and experience in the area of insights-led strategy are a perfect fit for what we do at Bigeye. We’re thrilled to have him join the team.” 

With nearly 20 years of experience in audience research, marketing strategy, creative design, video production, and media buying and placement, Bigeye works with local, regional, and national companies in a wide variety of industries.

“Today’s digital ecosystem provides an unprecedented opportunity to embrace data to help clients achieve exceptional results,” said Tennant. “The agency’s leadership has a clear vision for Bigeye’s future—one that places consumer insights and data analytics at the heart of every engagement. I’m excited about how the use of behavioral and attitudinal insights will continue to enable Bigeye clients to achieve their business objectives and demonstrate the agency’s leadership in this field.”

About Bigeye

Located in Orlando, Florida, Bigeye is an audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency that crafts deeply compelling brand experiences and the strategies that ensure they reach the right people, in the right place, at the right time. The Bigeye team of creative directors, copywriters, artists, programmers and account managers works closely with clients to better understand the needs of their consumers and deliver measurable results.

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Bigeye Enhances Property Marketing Expertise with Hiring of Industry Specialist Matt Cummings

ORLANDO, FL (October 8th, 2019) – Bigeye (www.bigeyeagency.com), an audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency, has hired property management marketing professional Matt Cummings to further solidify its position as a nationwide leader in the property development space. An industry specialist, Cummings has a wide range of experience that includes marketing responsibilities for off-campus student living, self-managed developer communities, and third-party managed multifamily assets.

“Matt was previously a client, so we got to know him well and saw that his skills and his background working with successful property developers would make him a valuable contributor at Bigeye,” said Justin Ramb, Bigeye founder and CEO. “We’re thrilled to have him join our team, but the real winners here are the multifamily, active adult, student living, and co-living clients that will be the beneficiaries of Matt’s extensive property marketing expertise.”

Before joining Bigeye as an account manager, Cummings was a regional marketing manager for Greystar Real Estate Partners in Orlando, FL, where his duties included business development, brand development, client relationship management, and acting as the project manager for all marketing-related efforts for regionally-managed assets. Prior to that, he served as a regional sales and marketing business partner for Aspen Heights Partners in Austin, TX.

“I was always incredibly impressed with the quality of the work that Bigeye did for me when I was a client,” said Cummings. “Now I get to introduce other property development and management companies to the agency’s passionate and collaborative approach to advertising and marketing, and oversee engagements that are critical to their success. It’s an honor to be joining a firm whose unique focus on audience insights is changing the way developers market their properties. I look forward to working with this immensely talented and highly regarded team.” 

With nearly two decades of experience in audience research, marketing strategy, creative design, video production, and media buying and placement, Bigeye collaborates with local, regional, and national companies in a wide variety of industries.

About Bigeye

Located in Orlando, Florida, Bigeye is an audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency that crafts deeply compelling brand experiences and the strategies that ensure they reach the right people, in the right place, at the right time. The Bigeye team of creative directors, copywriters, artists, programmers, and account managers works closely with clients to better understand the needs of their consumers and deliver measurable results.

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Bigeye Announces Key Promotions to Support Continued Rapid Growth

ORLANDO, Fla., Sept. 24, 2019 — Bigeye (www.bigeyeagency.com), an audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency, has announced the promotion of three staff members who are central to its expansion strategy following a recent long-term planning initiative.

Sandra Marshall, Bigeye Director of Client Services, has been named Vice President of Client Services. Seth Segura, Bigeye Creative Director, will assume the role of Vice President of Creative. Tim McCormack, Bigeye Digital Marketing Manager, will now serve as Vice President of Media and Analytics.

“Sandra, Seth, and Tim have been instrumental in refining Bigeye’s unique approach to achieving our clients’ marketing objectives and revenue goals,” said President Justin Ramb. “This proven methodology combines audience insights that go far beyond simple demographics, compelling creative, and pinpoint media placement to deliver outstanding results.” 

Bigeye serves clients in a wide range of markets from its headquarters in Orlando, FL. Its award-winning teams have expertise in the full spectrum of marketing and advertising disciplines, including research, strategy, and campaign management and optimization. Its creative work includes everything from advanced digital and video to more traditional materials like print ads and collateral. 

“Our strategy enables the leading companies we work with to cut through the noise and make powerful, profitable connections with their target market,” added Ramb. “I’m excited about how this trio can leverage it even more effectively to reach the right people, in the right place, at the right time in their new roles.”

About Bigeye

Located in Orlando, Florida, Bigeye is an audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency that crafts deeply compelling brand experiences and the strategies that ensure they reach the right people, in the right place, at the right time. The Bigeye team of creative directors, copywriters, artists, programmers, and account managers works closely with clients to better understand the needs of their consumers and deliver measurable results.

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