Is your advertising research improving the bottom line?

In today’s economy, if your research expenditures are not adding to your bottom line, you’re wasting money. Eye movement noting, brand recall and expressed purchase intent are tools from the 1960’s and 1970’s that are meant to protect research departments from catastrophic failure, not provide tactical approaches for how packaging, ads and video content can better connect and influence target audiences. These legacy approaches were never designed for today’s new world of mobile platforms, millions of pre-roll ads, a digital economy, mega-supermarkets, television commercial avoidance, and small, yet valuable, magazine audiences.

Here are a few facts we have uncovered as part of our brand communications research:
• While magazine audiences have shrunk, highly engaging print ads are working better than ever in this medium.
• A pre-roll ad with high engagement during the first 5 seconds can persuade over 400% better than one that doesn’t capture attention.
• Display advertising is not as dependent upon viewability as it is on engagement. Most “in your face” banner ads are being completely ignored.
• What does it take to get a shopper to stop and consider your product when shopping an Amazon, Walmart or Target shopping site? Hint: It’s not what you think. Rather it is the engagement with your product’s picture in the posting. The higher the engagement level, the more copy readership and consideration to purchase.
• Do TV ad GRPs make a difference in persuasion? Not as much as you might think. Some of the most repeated commercials on air quickly lose engagement and their zapping (or ignoring) skyrockets. The right balance of reach and engagement is critical.

Given these realities it’s high time for research technology to address today’s world of binge viewing, mobile advertising, streaming videos, e-commerce and mega shopping stores. At PTG we have moved well beyond eye movement noting, brand recall scores and expressed purchase intent to give our clients an objective measure of engagement that leads to increased purchase behavior.

PTG incorporates a non-invasive biometric indicator called Saccadic Eye Movement into our copy testing and package testing methodologies. In simple terms, saccadic eye movement reflects the cognitive processes the brain uses to capture visual information.

More specifically, in order for the brain to gain a visual picture of a stimulus, the eye must vibrate and provide constant streams of information to the center of the retina called the fovea. The more visual information the brain wants, the more actively the eye vibrates. These mini-movements are known as macro-saccades. In order for the brain to remember a specific visual, the eye fixates and stops moving for a fraction of a second. These macro-saccades and fixations reflect an objective level of respondent behavioral engagement that is uniquely recorded by PTG’s patented Saccadic Eye Movement Recorder.

Saccadic e-Motion, as we fondly refer to the technology, measures second-by-second visual engagement as well as element-by-element eye tracking and allows us to pinpoint specific areas where our clients can make small changes to their advertising that make a big impact in sales performance.

To learn more, feel free to reach me at

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