The advantages of the digital revolution come at a price.
Although we can establish the facts of where people are, what they are saying, reading, buying and doing, this vast accumulation of data lacks one vital element of the human experience.
What’s missing is same level of precision in understanding and measuring human emotions.
This is crucial for any profession that wants to understand, communicate with or influence human beings.
We know all this. But the modern mindset resists the possibility of counting or measuring emotions in an actionable way. Current techniques are crude and haven’t progressed in decades.
There are various catch-all sentiment measures for example. It is telling that the most predictive emotional metric is still simply ‘liking’ of an ad or brand.
Unpack the word ‘like’ for a moment. It might include many different emotions, all the way from feelings of empathy, pleasure and joy to a more rational or physical evaluation. What do people mean when they say they ‘like’ something? We rely too often on focus group moderator’s interpretation of emotional responses or crude technological tools such as eye tracking or arousal measurement.
The time is right for a new more precise emotional metric.
Over the last 10 years, we’ve been identifying and classifying individual emotions and the emotional territories they exist in.
We’ve found an emotional spectrum which includes primary (intense gut reactions) at the core, secondary (heartfelt) and tertiary (using your head). The further you move from the primary core, the more nuanced emotions you have – around 600 across our entire range. They all work together to create the human emotional experience.
Take the much talked about Trust. It sits within the repulsion-attraction dimension, between adoration and acceptance. It’s surrounded by feelings such as: welcomed, belonging, and secure. And it’s bi-pole, disgust is surrounded by feelings such as worry, rejection and suspicion. Knowing the landscape of trust gives you a far better understanding of what happens when customers and providers interact, and how this makes them feel.
When you know what you’re looking for, where to look and how to really understand what you find, you’ll be in a unique position to create more meaningful results.
We can audit any dataset to code emotional reactions to different brands, adverts, events or services. In this way we can compare a brand or service with its competitive set to derive emotional positioning. We can also diagnose where brand or service is underperforming against expectations and recommend remedial courses of action.
We can take social media data, quantitative research, PR coverage or other data sets and measure them over time looking for impacts of communications campaigns or events.I am text block.
Our emotional analyses can form inspiring briefs for new product development programs or for creative agencies using inspiring but precise emotional language.
Market researchers in large organisations can have a fresh and compelling way to interpret data and add value to their internal customers.
Marcomms teams can create more effective marketing through better briefing and by developing original strategies.
Customer relationship teams can understand and react to their customers faster and with greater sensitivity and empathy.
PR professionals can monitor and react to events with more depth, so managing reputations more effectively.