Our latest webinar was with Harvey & Hugo PR’s managing director and Leader of the Pack Charlotte Nichols who shared how delving deeper into the subconscious can help us all better understand our clients, consumers and our own creative impulses.
Dispelling the myth that full focus is needed from your intended consumer base to get long-term loyalty and engagement, Charlotte extolled the virtues of the modern audience’s split attention. Looking away from the screen a campaign starts on, for example, doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t have an impact…
We ran out of time to answer all of the questions that came in during our session with Charlotte, so the neuro expert has agreed to share more of her brain power with us on testing out ideas and how to handle proponents of more traditional ‘spray and pray’ PR approaches.
How can we test initial branding ideas to see if they are landing as we want?
One of the easiest ways is to run a focus group, however you’re relying on the fact that people will only answer to project a certain type of image of themselves, not actually what their subconscious actually tells them. You’re also mainly engaging their conscious brains so may be affected by inattentional blindness and more often in this situation the counter argument.
What I’d like to use more commonly are techniques of measuring the brain directly, such as using fMRI scanners and EEG headgear that can measure electrical activity.
Unless you have a good relationship with your local neuroscience faculty at a nearby Uni, these aren’t as accessible or affordable at the moment, but I believe that will change in the future.
Can you give some advice for countering when a colleague says we ‘spray and pray’ with our communication, implying we communicate too much?
Can you ever communicate too much?!
It can often, from an internal perspective, seem like you do, but you’ve got to remember you’re hyper aware of it. To the external, messages often need to be seen seven to 10 times before recognition. I believe in a multimedia approach – messages need to be seen, heard, clicked, watched, interacted with and this all leads to them being felt – which is ultimately what you’re aiming for.
What is important is to make sure your message is shared where your target audience is and is directly tailored to them at the right time.
Some simple feedback from some of your customers would perhaps put a colleague’s mind at ease, i.e. ask leads / customers – where did you see us? How often had you seen us, was it too much?
Also they often use the pray element to say that it is not measurable. It can be hard to measure changes in perceptions and reputation without the tools above.
Mention that all of the big brands have faith in their campaigns and that’s often what leads to their success – they’re willing to give things a decent chance.
Try and get colleague buy-in from the start of campaign with messaging and ads – even if you’re making them feel like they’re suggesting it when really it was you – they will feel more empowered and give the campaign more of a chance.
Read our write up of the Neuro PR: Strengthening the Brain and Brand Connection webinar for more from Harvey & Hugo PR’s Charlotte Nichols.
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