Digital Neuroscience: Every Device Is an Opportunity to Engage


Many factors contribute to a brand’s message resonating with consumers, but the device used to receive the message has become perhaps the most relevant. It’s all about reaching the right person, at the right time, in the right place, with the right message. As we learn more about user behavior through neuroscience, companies are beginning to plan their media based on where consumers are and what they’re doing to maximize the effectiveness of their message and utilize the “human connection.”

Neuroscience Measures

Companies such as YuMe have developed software that enables publishers to acquire audience insights, which help drive informed, data-driven content strategies. However, there are other “human” measures that are equally as informative in a focus group setting:

  • Conscious Measures
    • Attitude
    • Awareness
  • Non-Conscious Measures
    • Affect/Emotion
    • Attention
  • Technology Measures
    • Core Biometrics
    • Eye Tracking
    • Behavioral Coding
    • Self-Report
  • Biometric Monitoring System
    • Heart Rate
    • Skin Conductance
    • Motion
    • Respiration

Device Mindset

The main takeaway from consumer behavior insights is that every device is an opportunity to engage; however, different mindsets drive differences in advertising success. Similar styles and themes work best on similarly-sized devices. Mobile and tablet perform the best with short-form ads, whereas laptops have the most engagement variability of any platform. The time of day your message reaches the consumer is also a factor. Morning hours see an emotional spike; lunchtime has an online (laptop/desktop) spike; and evening hours trend back to device use. Knowing this information can help companies plan their media based on where consumers are and what they’re doing at the time.

Best Practices to Engage

  • Brand early and often to take advantage of emotional peaks — particularly important on mobile
  • Utilize the “Human Connection”
  • Context matters: QSR works better on mobile, entertainment works better on tablets and laptops
  • Avoid use of small details and dark scenes on mobile
  • Be mindful of creative length by device – short spots perform well for established brands, but not for new brands
  • Having a tight story helps: 15-second ads perform well on most devices

Know Your Audience

As consumer behaviors shift with an increase in the number of devices used, companies need to continually monitor their messaging to ensure it continues to reach the right audience, at the time they’ll be most receptive to it, and on the device that engages them most.

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