Monday, July 11, 2016

OmniShopper '16 Gets Emotional with Gut vs. Data

By: Gina Joseph, Communication Manager, InContext Solutions

OmniShopper 2016 kicked off at the Radisson Blu Chicago on Monday, and with it came opening keynotes summerizing how much has changed in the retail space since just last year. Cybrids? Templosion? These are just some of the phrases that came from opening MC's and "futurists" Erica Orange and Jared Weiner, of The Future Hunters. Yet the next speaker, Jessica Hendrix of Saatchi & Saatchi, was able to meld the importance of technology with the power of shopper emotions. 

While we often talk about connecting with the customer, Hendrix shared insights on how too much data can cause people to be overwhelmed with too many choices. "Data struggles with human emotion," she said. Data can cause a "creepy" Big Brother effect that many people are turned off by. Hendrix said to counteract that feeling, brands and retailers need to dive into people's emotional responses in addition to utilizing data. 

As an example, Hendrix explained how Saatchi & Saatchi developed a successful campaign with Walmart and a Cover Girl mascara display. The campaign centered around connecting shoppers with unique celebrity styles—it never had to mention the benefits and value of each product; the emotional connection was enough to make the campaign work. 

In another example, Hendrix played a Gillette commercial showing teen boys searching the internet to learn how to do everyday things like tie a tie, ask someone out, or shave. Then their dads were brought in and their sons learned how to do these things directly from their dads. Not only did it bring out emotions in the people in the video, but it triggered emotional responses from the OmniShopper audience. Hendrix was able to bring home the point that technology often loses out to the human response. 

Yet she was quick to point out it's not an "Or" situation. Gut feeling AND data should go hand in hand. But emotions are what impact people's buying decisions at the end of the day.

InContext's virtual reality simulations can get at the human emotion in a way traditional methods can't—be sure to check out our session tomorrow at 2:30 pm CST on the Continued Evolution of Shopper Research.

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