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How neuroscience can help increase engagement with mobile users

Creative concept of a human brain made of drugs, pills and colorful rubber bands as a memory illustration.

Emotion can be very powerful when trying to reach an audience, and it can be boosted by linking it with the way memory affects human behaviour. How can all of this apply to the demanding mobile audience?

It’s not easy to be effective with the ever-increasing mobile audience, but emotion along with memory can contribute to a more meaningful relationship between a brand and a target user.

Heather Andrew, CEO of Neuro-Insight, talked to Integrated Live about the way neuroscience can boost marketing efforts towards a mobile audience, provided that there is the right understanding of what makes a successful connection.

As people become more attached to their smartphones, marketing needs to be adjusted to build trust between a brand and a consumer – and neuroscience can be helpful in this journey.

Five ways to activate brains in a mobile world

It’s about triggering, not brand-building

People are building a unique connection with their mobile phones, and that’s what makes them powerful triggering devices.

However, it’s not easy for a brand to reach a consumer, but it may be helpful to aim for an association that could affect the future purchasing decisions.

As Heather Andrew mentioned, we all have a “brand room” in our heads, where we store all the information we receive from brands. These may be the popular brands that make an instant impact even with their logos.

There may also be room for brands that we haven’t built the right association yet and it may take a harder effort to reach this dark room through the use of the right triggers.

Advertising can help illuminate these rooms and build the connection that will make the future purchase easier. The use of emotion along with memory can make advertising more effective and even the branding on the logo and the user experience may affect a user’s reaction to a trigger.


Source: Marketing Society

It’s not about shouting loudest

A successful branded message on mobile devices doesn’t have to be over-promotional, as this doesn’t usually work with users. A mobile device is personal, which means that users become more demanding with the communication they receive.

Thus, a brand needs to be informative, relevant and appealing. Even the use of the logo has to be subtle to increase the chances of grabbing the users’ attention. In a world full of shouting for marketing purposes, the mobile audience needs a connection to trust a brand and spend the necessary amount of time to process a branded message.

Make it personal

A branded message cannot get through the noise without being relevant for the users. Our brains create an association between a message and a personal experience, which facilitates the process of creating a trigger.

Engagement can be easier if a message appeals to a relevant context for its audience and this is even more important when marketing reaches more “personal” devices, like our smartphones.

For example, Heather Andrew mentioned that Samsung is occasionally trying to target iPhone users without luck, although a particular ad they created for Samsung Galaxy S5 worked surprisingly well. It was an ad for Samsung Glaxy S5 and it tapped to the common battery problem for iPhone users, trying to link emotions with a behaviour to store the data into their memory and make an impression.

This is an interesting part all new marketing campaigns should consider, always having in mind their target audience.

Deliver emotional intensity

It has been observed that the level of emotional intensity affects the level of engagement among messages on mobile phones.

This may be helpful for brands trying to understand why they need to create more relevant, personal and emotionally appealing messages when trying to approach their target audience.


Source: Marketing Society

Drive physical interaction

It’s not just about the emotional appeal when delivering branded messages, as physical interaction may also be useful. According to Neuro-Insight, the ads with the highest level of interaction elicited responses 10% greater than other ads.

If physical interaction can be combined with relevance then engagement may be easier, involving the audience on the actual message in the best possible way.

Time to “furnish” the brand room

It’s not easy to “furnish” the brand room in people’s heads, but it’s also an interesting process to consider when crafting your next marketing campaign.

We don’t have to be experts in neuroscience to realise how emotion and memory can enhance the users’ reactions to a mobile message.

It’s all about relevance and it may be helpful to think like a consumer. What would make you pay attention to a marketing message?

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