Neuroscience Forever Changing Marketing and Customer Acquisition
By Chris Lundell CEO at CMOGrow.com
Within an organization, functional groups like sales, marketing, operations, and finance, among others, need to adapt to the latest technology or they can quickly become an irrelevant bystander in their category and marketplace. Moreover, next to the IT department, no other group has experienced more technological innovation and change than the sales and marketing departments.
Progressive companies can, and do, leverage technology as a means to an end, for competitive differentiation and growth acceleration. More often than not, technology laggards find themselves standing on the street corner as their competitors and customers pass them by. With that said, these forward-thinking companies are leveraging new tools that include real-time data analytics, providing insights on how, where, and when, to iterate their campaigns, and by how many degrees. But if you thought that today’s wave of marketing analytics tools represented a bold new world enabling enterprise insights into customer response and buying cycles, then “hold onto your hat”, as the saying goes, because you ain't seen nothing yet.
Remembering the movie, “Minority Report,” the show-cased technology blew people's minds; it seemed farfetched and lightyears away. Today, the insights of advanced technology and innovative iterations are available to nearly every company and marketing manager across the globe. Access to these new-world tools, among other things, will provide real-time insights, data analytics, and access to customer feedback that you never dreamed possible.
With most customer acquisition campaigns, the associated outcome objective is to invoke a positive emotional reaction from the target consumer segment. These campaigns should extend from the company’s branding and messaging foundation, and when used correctly, should inform and enlighten their entire asset creation process. However, Google and Facebook are continually changing their process and algorithms, it is getting harder to reach target audiences, even if you are willing to spend marketing budget on paid ads, conversion success is becoming even more difficult.
So, what does that leave you with? Is marketing getting too complicated?
The truth is, the best option for companies is to increase their rigor and efforts around controlled split-testing and experimenting, to figure out how to best direct programs, campaigns, and activities. Today, through the use of technologies like electroencephalography (EEG), laser eye tracking, steady-state topography (SST) and galvanic skin response, marketers can gain real-time insights into whether their messaging is triggering an optimized response. And this is one example of how companies can successfully leverage technology to experience an enormous bang for the buck.
Used correctly, these tools have the potential to "forever change" the process used by managers to target their buying groups. Moreover, when you begin to factor ROI on spending into the equation, you will see key performance indicators (KPI) progress improve.
Undoubtedly, with better tracking and analytics, CMO’s will blow the top off of their KPIs and show real pipeline-to-conversion revenue growth. For many companies, one or two percent increase can represent millions of dollars in shareholder value.
As a longtime sales, marketing and neuroscience enthusiast, the marriage of these disciplines has been something that I have looked forward to for a long time. While traditional A/B testing, focus groups, and other methods will still have their place in the marketing medium execution stack, these new marketing breakthroughs will be the “new black” for progressive and forward-thinking sales and marketing groups.
The problem with traditional focus groups and split-testing processes is that it is a slow arduous and iterative process. Also, to make matters worse, most marketing managers find it difficult to resist the urge to manipulate two or more variables at the same time, making it impossible to know which variable provided the highest impact. Ultimately, it's easy to show incremental improvement with this type of testing, but you never really know how much optimization you are leaving on the table, or how many dollars you are stepping over while picking up dimes. These new technologies will help to remediate this problem and compress the overall cycle time.
A while back, I visited the Vivint Smart Lab at Utah Valley University and witnessed first-hand how these break-through technologies are turbo-charging the ROI on their customers’ marketing dollars.
In one example, the test included a global 2000 company featuring a well-known celebrity who was endorsing the company’s solution offering. Towards the end of the video content, this female celebrity turned to the camera and folded her arms, bringing into light the giant diamond on her left-hand ring finger.
The bio-tools captured the information, and it became immediately apparent that the final scene hijacked the intent of the promotion, defocused the buying customer and in a sense, inoculated them from the call to action (CTA) offer.
When considering that the future of today’s executives and their respective careers and livelihoods are tied to the performance, conversion, and execution of their sales and marketing groups, you can see how these tools are quickly finding their place in corporate growth centers.
From the Chief Marketing and/or Chief Revenue Officer to the CFO and CEO, these tools will become invaluable to the building and fortification of the company’s growth engine efforts.
Chris Lundell is CEO and managing partner of the growth strategy consultancy CMO Grow. CMO Grow provides outsourced Sales and Marketing Executives for small and medium-sized companies.