How interested is the audience in the brand’s message? This is the question that mobile marketing company Brandtone is seeking to answer. Speaking to exclusively to exchange4media, Donald Fitzmaurice, CEO and Founder of Ireland-based Brandtone said that the company is funding research into measurement tools that will use cognitive science principles to measure campaign efficacy, audience interest, among other things. The company is working with behavioural and cognitive scientists from Dublin, London and Brussels to understand how to measure scientifically the extent to which a consumer interacts with a media on a mobile phone.
“The phone is no longer just used for making calls. It is, increasingly, becoming something that senses your environment, whether it is temperature, altitude, location, pulse rate, etc.,” said Fitzmaurice.
Explaining the basis of the research, Fitzmaurice, who has a background in chemistry, explained that when something arrests our attention the locus coeruleus (the part of the brain responsible for attention span) releases a hormone which causes, among other things, the pupils of the eyes to dilate; so more the dilation, more the attention paid, is the logical reasoning.
How does this apply to a measurement metric for the mobile? “If someone is viewing a piece of media on their phone, we can use the front-facing camera to measure the dilation of their pupils. You can, in principle, work out how much they have paid attention to it,” said Fitzmaurice. He further added that this was just one of the ideas that Brandtone was exploring and agreed that it was putting what they are trying to achieve in a very “simplistic manner”.
Another possible implication of the research,according to him, is using the phone to measure BMI (Body Mass Index) and then tailoring content depending on whether the person is over or underweight. “Part of our broader objective is to measure the output of clients’ promotional activities and the effectiveness of our brand building activities. The research into cognitive science is a big focus area for this year,” he added.
Though he would not divulge the funds allocated for the project, Fitzmaurice said that they have approached Enterprise Ireland, a governmental economic development agency, for grants to fund the research. The project, which is being termed “mid-term” by Brandtone, is expected to bear fruits in the coming 2-3 years.
Last month, Brandtone released Brandtone Konnects, a mobile marketing platform that allows brand managers at the client end to grasp in real-time how different promotions and activities are faring. Fitzmaurice said that the first stage of the product has already been implemented by its Indian clientele, including Hindustan Unilever.