The Net on Nonconscious Measurement

As you plan for the year ahead, this technique is among the 20 emerging research methods that should be in your consideration set.

The Net on Nonconscious Measurement

The author(s)

  • Elissa Moses Ipsos CEO, Global, Neuro and Behavioral Science Center
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The soon to be published GRIT Report (Q3/4 2017) will feature Elissa Moses’ deep dive into nonconscious techniques, one of the 20 emerging research methods for 2018. What follows is a sneak peek available on Greenbook now!

For all the intense industry focus on Neuroscience and Behavioral Science methods, it has been baffling to see what appears to be low penetration for individual “System 1” tools specified in past Grit reports. We suspect that this is due to the fact that “Neuro tools” are a class of methods and that when spread out individually, they appear to be less than their shared usage and impact implies. This led us to combine the following five methods which comprise the backbone of nonconsious measurement across study types: Behavioral Economics Models, Eye Tracking, Facial Analysis, Applied Neuroscience and Biometric Response. (Implicit is also a major method in this class but is not yet included in the Grit Report.)

When we net the most prominent methods employed to capture nonconscious response, it appears that critical mass in the industry for both use (53%) and total interest (80%) has taken hold. No longer a “special occasion” consideration, nonconscious measurement has tipped to be embraced by the majority of the industry using one or more of the key methods available included in the Grit Report. Considering that the neuromarketing sub-industry is only about 10+ years old, this is a massive change in the thinking and acceptance among researchers and marketers alike.

These levels would, most likely, be even more dramatic if Implicit Reaction Time Testing were included in the study as well. Implicit is perceived to be one of the fastest growing nonconscious methods in the industry given the tool’s ability to be broadly applied and enable insight in the strength of conviction consumers hold for brand attributes and associations. It is strongly recommended that Implicit be added to future Grit Reports.

LabelsIn useUnder ConsiderationTotal Interest
Net Nonconsious Measures53%27%80%
Eye Tracking34%21%55%
Behavioral Economics Models29%29%58%
Applied Neuroscience21%22%44%
Facial Analysis20%25%45%
Biometric Response12%20%33%


Also curious is the relatively high level of agreement to using or considering Behavioral Economics Models. Leveraging Behavioral Economics is highly desirable in that it has potential to have demonstrable impact on brand outcomes. The right “framing” or “anchoring” can sway a decision in a particular context and scenario testing alternative brand positionings can have a huge impact on optimizing selection. But we wonder if almost 1 in 3 in the industry are literally applying Behavioral Economics Models, or do the words “behavior” and “models” invite selection because of other associations such as behavioral surveys, media models, etc.

To get the most accurate handle on the penetration and growth of nonconsious measurement adoption by the marketing industry, it would be elucidating to get a better sense of what people mean by these terms used going forward and be inclusive of all major nonconscious methods in usage.

But all in all, it is worth taking note that a major milestone has been achieved and most of the market research industry has entered the realm of nonconscious measurement usage or desire!

Read Greenbook’s entire Sneak Peek now.

The author(s)

  • Elissa Moses Ipsos CEO, Global, Neuro and Behavioral Science Center

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