The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment – the dictionary meaning of the word ‘science’.
While people are becoming more aware, shrewd and more prompt to apply their intellect, the task of turning them into consumers has not remained the ability of just great communication.
It now needs science to get there.
These are also times where people have their inner-most circles within which they don’t want anything they don’t want. So, brands need to carefully tread their paths through advertising and promoting so as to be welcomed to that inner-most circle of their desired consumers.
It also needs to science to get there.
Science Behind Creation
So what’s this science that is becoming now a strong back bone of creativity and advertising?
It is the science of identifying and understanding your customer, the market you are going to play in, the emotion you are going to hit, the product or service that’s going to cater to this emotion, the science behind the art of persuasion and the science behind sustaining and swelling the mind and market share.
All this requires a deep understanding of the epicentre of any brand – the consumers. And it is not just knowing your consumers, it is about analysing, deciphering and applying. Thats where the current adherent called data analytics play a vital role.
A systematic, process-driven, data-backed creation of a brand done through intense research is what makes the above possible. Gut-feeling is now passé, and technology has made this even more apparent.
Science Behind Communication
How does the consumer brain react and behave towards different communications, on-screen, off-screen, besides the inbox, above the news app interface, in-between the newsfeed, as suggested or sponsored posts or on the many flyers inside the newspaper?
And its not just the multi-media, but the multi-elements within a single piece of communication that the consumer is expected to react to.
Is the logo more important that the verbal message? Or is the message more important than the jingle? Or the product itself? Psychologists can help brands spot exactly what’s important. Having said that they certainly can’t predict what the consumers will buy, but definitely provide a comprehensive understanding of how the consumers perceive and react to a particular thing, how they process what they see, hear, smell and touch.
It is also imperative to understand what belief the brand is targeting and align its purpose to it.
Jane E. Raymond, PhD, professor of experimental consumer psychology at the University of Wales in Bangor says, “Better timing could help ensure that viewers’ brains manage to grab the brand name”. In a technique pioneered by Coke and Pepsi in the 1960s, television ads frequently end a series of images with the brand name. By then, says Raymond, viewers are so engrossed in thinking about the preceding images they often don’t even notice this so-called punctuation.
There is a speed that the brain processes information at, consumers can’t absorb everything that is shown to them. Therefore, what and how to show them needs a scientific study behind for it to become effective.
Understanding the consumer’s brain also makes one better at the art of persuasion. The psychological analysis helps brands understand what is it that is influencing the consumers. Whether it is the sentiment owing to a current affair, or through reciprocating what others have done for the same consumers, or is it because of being consistent, or the brand’s likability spread through social media or is it simply because of being scarce. These being a few, Forbes has put out a worthy list of 21 Principles of Pursuasion.
Science Behind Choice
In the physical world, many retail brands are taking up intense help of neuroscience and consumer behaviour analytics for effective retailing.
Seeing is believing, but, may not be buying.
To convert this believing to buying, retailers have figured out scientific ways to create intriguing experiences. Equal significance is being given to sensory affairs engineered as per the choice-making process of the consumers.
Neuroscience can help retailers with heuristic environments to ensure enhanced engagement with their consumers. It also helps in understanding the action and reaction owing to the rapidly changing external factors like technology.
This understanding of cognitive behaviour of the consumers – online or offline – plays an important role in targeting the right kind of content and the right time to them.
Advertising, branding, communication is no more about what I like, what you like or what most of us like. It is about the science of understanding what will work through intense research and study, along with optimal use of technology.
To have a logical reasoning behind why something is done, backed by enough evidences and the resources and ability to monitor is the need today.
Technology helps track and act according to what consumers are doing. But to get to why consumers are doing so, it needs science to get there.