SymphonyIRI Group, EmSense Form Strategic Relationship

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SymphonyIRI Group, EmSense Form Strategic Relationship

SymphonyIRI Group, Inc. is integrating its BehaviorScan service with neuromeasurement headsets from neuroscience company EmSense to quantify consumers’ emotional and cognitive responses to new products and advertising campaigns.

“Today’s marketers need more information than consumer focus groups and surveys can provide,” said Mark Mallardi, SVP, sales and marketing at San Francisco-based EmSense Corp. “By combining BehaviorScan’s advertising, product and in-store testing solutions with our headset, marketers can more accurately decipher consumers’ feelings, because we can measure emotional and physiological responses to new products, advertising, product packaging and other conditions as they actually shop and watch advertising, as opposed to relying on consumers remembering or interpreting their feelings after the fact.”

The BehaviorScan in-market testing service enables companies to test new products with their full marketing plan in small markets that are both affordable and highly controllable. SymphonyIRI’s four BehaviorScan markets are Eau Claire, Wis.; Grand Junction, Colo.; Pittsfield, Mass.; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Testing in these markets provides an accurate estimate of a new product’s potential, measures the effectiveness of each marketing mix element in driving trial and repeat purchasing, and rates in-store marketing conditions.

When used in the BehaviorScan test markets, the EmSense neuromeasurement headset will offer CPG marketers additional consumer and shopper insights. The headset, shaped like a thin plastic headband, reads brain waves and monitors the breathing, heart rate, blinking, head movement and skin temperature of consumers to gauge their emotional and cognitive responses to ads, new products and in-store conditions. Developed by a group of technologists from Hewlett Packard’s research and development labs and MIT, the headset marries EEG technology measuring brain wave activity and biometric measures with proprietary algorithms through which the information is converted into actionable insights.

“Today’s savvy shoppers are constantly changing, and we need to find new ways to not only reach them, but also gauge their likes and dislikes,” noted Robert I. Tomei, president, Consumer & Shopper Insights at Chicago-based SymphonyIRI Group, formerly known Information Resources, Inc. (IRI). “Adding the EmSense headset to our BehaviorScan markets will give marketers innovative and new insights into consumer response to product launches and advertising campaigns. By combining the measurement of the emotional and physiological responses of consumers with the actual sales performance of new products, advertising and in-store conditions, we will provide our clients with a complete understanding of the effectiveness of their new products, marketing and sales campaigns.”