The Latest Thinking on Implicit Testing: Warc Webinar

Sentient Decision Science, Inc.

This week consumer neuroscience pioneers Dr. Rafal Ohme, Dr. Cristina De Balanzo, and Sentient’s Dr. Aaron Reid came together for a Warc Webinar about the “Latest Thinking on Implicit Testing.”

The second in a series of three, this webinar looked at:

  • The blending of old and new technologies to provide the deepest market research insights.
  • The potential of implicit testing for upstream, early-stage ideation and multi-sensory experiential work.
  • The recent interest in implicit testing for marketing agencies and the move to iterative and systematic testing.

Keys to Broader Adoption of Consumer Neuroscience

First up, Dr. Reid discussed three keys to broader adoption of consumer neuroscience:

1) Sound Science
Researchers need to make the commitment to using only the most advanced explicit methods to measure conscious deliberation and true implicit methods to measure non-conscious associations.

To do that, we must use a scientifically validated model to integrate system 1 and system 2 data into behavior predictions. The published peer-reviewed Proportion of Emotion Model, which weighs rational data against emotion-based tradeoffs, is an example of the type of validated science our industry needs.

2) Application Awareness
We’ve come a long way from the early days of implicit association testing (IAT); and the potential for innovation expands every day. IAT is now being used in ad and concept testing, early-stage ideation, and campaign development–but in order to encourage broader industry adoption, it’s our job to make end users aware of the myriad applications and use cases.

3) Market Validation
The implicit testing methods we employ need to be validated against real market behaviors of interest (e.g. sales, social sharing behaviors, election outcomes) to give consumers and end users confidence in our processes.

Example of Implicit Innovation/Idea Screening

To complement Dr. Reid’s discussion and introduce the idea of iterative concept testing, Sentient Decision Science client Daven Kumar of PepsiCo provided a real world example–speaking on PepsoCo’s challenge of separating the Doritos brand from the Doritos product (the chip).

Sentient’s implicit association testing technology helped their internal teams understand where to stretch their brand, who to target, with whom to partner, and how certain brand extension concepts did or did not fit with their most important brand associations; ultimately leading to the Doritos Loaded brand stretch and 7-11 partnership.

Here’s our full slide deck:Implicit Concept Testing & 3 Keys to Broader Adoption of Consumer Neuroscience from Sentient Decision Science

Certainty Measures & the Thumb Generation

Next we heard from Dr. Rafal Ohme, founder of NeurOhm, who emphasized using reaction time to add a certainty modulation to conscious judgments.

Ohme also discussed the importance of creating mobile implicit tools that are “thumb-generation” ready, allowing us to conduct revolutionary implicit studies at bus stops, in taxis, or waiting in retail lines.

The Brand as a Neural Network

Finally, Dr. Cristina De Balanzo, founder of Walnut Ltd, spoke on the importance of understanding how conscious and unconscious drivers work together to inform consumer associations.

Quoting Giep Franzen’s “a brand exists as a neural network of memories,” Balanzo emphasized the importance of using implicit research to cultivate a holistic picture of consumer brand perception.

“A brand is a journey with stops and touch points that shape the meaning and have an influence on decision making,” she stated. “Those touchpoints include product experience, advertising, in-store experience, online communications, word of mouth, and more.”

We can use implicit association testing to get a deep understanding of consumer perceptions at each of these touch points.

Join Us Again Next Week

Thanks to all who participated, and to Warc for organizing this great learning opportunity. These are the types of discussions we need more of as implicit association testing becomes ever more mainstream.

Join us again Wednesday, October 14 at 11 a.m. (EDT) for the last in this three-part series of neuromarketing webinars, “Neuromarketing-True Implicit vs Fast Explicit.

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