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Nielsen’s NeuroFocus reveals importance of context for advertisers

New study measures consumer responses to premium websites- New York Times, Yahoo! and Facebook

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | December 13, 2011

NeuroFocus, a world leader in the application of neuroscience to consumer insights, has announced the results of a new study that takes a close look at consumer engagement on premium websites. Designed to understand quantitatively how people respond to different online experiences, the research underscores the importance of context for marketers and for optimizing their messages across different types of media. Facebook collaborated with NeuroFocus on the first study in the paper.

To compare a spectrum of premium website experiences, NeuroFocus tested three popular website homepages: the New York Times homepage (representing a hard news and commentary experience), Yahoo’s non personalized homepage (representing a light news and entertainment experience), and a Facebook News Feed Page (representing a social experience). NeuroFocus’ three primary Neuro Metrics were then used to analyse consumers’ subconscious responses to each of these sites: attention, emotional engagement, and memory retention.

Using those same measures, NeuroFocus fielded a second study that examined people’s responses to the same advertisement but in different environments –on TV, on a corporate website, and on a Facebook brand Page.

The overall key findings:

  • Based on NeuroFocus norms, Yahoo!, The New York Times, and Facebook deliver substantially more engaging experiences than the average website
  • Consumers respond differently to premium websites oriented toward different purposes. These differences are represented neurologically by different levels of attention, memory, and emotional engagement. For instance, the New York Times scored highest on memory
  • Similarly, consumers respond differently to the same advertisement presented in a different medium. For example, the ad presented on a Facebook brand pages scored higher on emotional engagement vs. on TV or a corporate website

“This study underscores what full brain neurological testing measurements can bring to critical decision making when it comes to allocating advertising campaigns across online experiences,” said Dr. A. K. Pradeep, Chief Executive Officer of NeuroFocus. “The ability to understand consumers’ subconscious responses to premium websites brings new understanding on how people engage with online and social media sites.”

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