snippets from the guide   (Introduction ⇩)

(Introduction ⇧)

In the age of analytics, The Marketing Analytics Practitioner’s Guide serves as a comprehensive guide to marketing management, covering the underlying concepts and their application.

As advances in technology transform the very nature of marketing, there has never been greater need for marketers to learn marketing.

Essentially a practitioner’s guide to marketing management in the 21st century, the guide blends the art and the science of marketing to reflect how the discipline has matured in the age of analytics.

Application oriented, it imparts an understanding of how to interpret market intelligence and use analytics and marketing research for taking day-to-day marketing decisions, and for developing and executing marketing strategies.

Article — Redefining how we learn marketing.

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Biometrics: eye tracking, facial coding, EEG, GSR
Exhibit  Biometrics: eye tracking, facial coding, EEG, GSR.

As a result of technological advances and lower costs, the use of biometrics in marketing, has grown rapidly in the past decade. Now-a-days, biometric devices that unobtrusively track consumers’ responses are providing valuable insights in fields such as advertising, digital marketing, packaging, product development and retailing.

Leading market research agencies including Ipsos, GfK, Millward Brown and Nielsen, as well as a host of start-ups and technology firms, have acquired or developed expertise in biometrics. Manufacturers are also using biometrics in-house to understand their consumers.

This chapter pertains to biometric techniques that have gained traction with marketing practitioners. These include devices such as EEG (electroencephalogram) and GSR (galvanic skin response) that are increasingly used by analysts to observe consumers’ physiological characteristics, as well as techniques like eye tracking and facial coding that are used to observe behavioural characteristics. It dwells on the relevant technologies, devices, metrics and applications of these techniques.





  • Preview Biometrics
  • Eye Tracking
  •    How it Works
  •    Devices
  •    Metrics
  •    Fixation, gaze points and scan paths
  •    Heatmaps
  •    Pupillometry
  •    Eye Language
  •    Applications
  • EEG">Electroencephalography (EEG)
  •    Frequency-based Analysis
  •    Metrics
  •    Approach-Avoidance
  •    Cognitive-Affective
  • Facial Coding
  •    Facial Expressions
  •    Facial Action Coding System (FACS)
  •    Metrics
  •    Analysis
  •    Application
  • Galvanic Skin Response
  •    Devices
  •    Analysing GSR Signals
  •    Metrics
  •    Applications
  • Biometrics Applications
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Applications — Eye Tracking



eye tracking heat map
eye tracking heat map
Exhibit  Lower version of this diaper advertisement triggers greater attention to the key messages. (Source: Kissmetrics).

The extent to which eye tracking is used in consumer research is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years. Primary applications will include testing of:

  • Advertising
  • Packaging
  • Product usage
  • Websites and other online content

It is well known that cute babies and pretty faces draw attention. However, if that is all that the viewers see, the key messages, call-to-action and value proposition may remain lost in text. The visual may score on viewership, but fail to generate the right kind of attention.

Take the above Exhibit for instance. In this oft quoted example, there is a distinct difference in the heat maps for two similar diaper advertisements. In the upper version of the ad where the baby is facing them, the viewers are focussing mainly on the baby’s face and not devoting much attention to the text.

The lower ad, in contrast, is more successful in drawing attention to the messages in text by means of using a suggestive directional cue. Here the baby is looking towards the text. This subtly draws viewers’ attention to the desired area of the visual.

As can be seen from this example, eye tracking captures attention and quantifies it, so that marketers can assess viewers’ attention to the key elements in their advertisements, packaging and webpages.

The tracking of pupil dilation also provides an assessment of emotional arousal. However, since pupillometry cannot decipher emotional valence, eye tracking should be combined with biometric techniques such as facial coding or EEG, for an understanding of the nature of the emotions.

In the context of websites, eye tracking is used to assess usability and user experience, in terms of the ease with which they can obtain the information they seek.

It is undesirable if viewers spend too much time reading general information or basic instructions. If the fixation time is substantially longer than intended, this could indicate difficulty in understanding the instructions, resulting in deterioration of the users’ experience.

Similarly, the time to first-fixation reveals the extent to which key elements are able to grab viewers’ attention. A key metric for packaging testing the time to first-fixation captures the packaging’s ability to stand out on the shelf.

Eye tracking may also be used for studying the usage of products that require skill and familiarity from the users’ side. For instance, computer games, computer-aided applications, automobiles, airplanes, and a wide range of sports product.

Human computer interaction (HCI), a growing field of research into the usage of computers and computer applications, relies on eye tracking. HCI is helping engineers design superior computers and improve software applications.

Simulators for automobiles (or airplanes) use eye tracking and other sensors to understand how drivers drive, and how they respond to danger and obstacles on the road. The devices can reveal how speeding and reckless driving can impair visual attention. They help product designers build products that are safer and easier to use.

Eye trackers also have the scope to become an integral part of products that could make use of the information these devices capture. In the future, perhaps an automobile with eye tracking can be designed to respond to the drivers’ gaze, eye movements or pupil dilation. For instance, if the eyes are off the road or if the driver is falling asleep, the vehicle may be designed to respond so as to avert an accident.

There is scope for use of eye tracking in interactive television and in applications that are interactive in nature.

There is great scope too, largely untapped for now, in virtual reality simulation. Eye tracking makes virtual reality seamless with the eyes selecting what the user wants to see and where the user wants to go. This substantially enhances user’s experience, making virtual simulation closer to reality and consequently better suited for consumer research in areas such as simulated store tests and virtual in-store shopping behaviour studies.

Importantly, while the eye tracker shows where eyeballs are heading, it cannot reveal what the mind perceives. Sometimes the mind is so preoccupied, that the eyes do not register what lies in the direction of their ray of sight. For instance, when someone looks right through you. Or for instance when a banner ad is the viewer’s line of sight, but she is not perceiving it.

To understand what respondents perceive and how they feel, we need to continue to rely on existing research and analytic techniques in quantitative and qualitative consumer research as well as adopt newer tools like EEG and facial coding.

Eye tracking is used in conjunction with EEGs to identify the elements in a visual that stir emotions. And with facial coding devices to reveal the aspects that evoke facial expressions. Details about these techniques are covered in this chapter.

Details of how eye tracking may be used in conjunction with other biometric devices, are covered in the section Applications of Biometrics in Marketing.

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