Montreal firm takes neuromarketing online

Neurometric's new platform aims to make that kind of pre- and post-campaign testing more accessible.

A Montreal neuromarketing firm wants to make its services more accessible to clients with new online software it says reduces the cost, time and especially the amount of equipment required for this type of study.

Neurométric has worked with dairy co-operative Natrel and with media companies Quebecor and Transcontinental, CEO Guillaume Fortin says. While brands have been making use of various neuromarketing tools for a decade, the cost of many, such as Electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), can be prohibitive because of the equipment required and the recruitment of subjects. Neurométric’s studies cost around $15,000, depending on the complexity, he says.

“What is great with the neurocognitive software is you don’t need a specific apparatus to use it,” Fortin says of the recently-launched Neurométric Virtual Laboratory. The “simple software” requires consumers to log on to a secure website and download a Java app. The rest is as easy as an online survey, he says.

The software uses the implicit association test to measure how quickly and profoundly visual stimuli attracts consumers’ attention as they respond by clicking keys. The subjects are shown images that they have to associate, in less than two seconds, with one of two words that flash on the screen immediately after.

Caroline Losson, VP of marketing at Agropur, says the Natrel brand has used Neurométric to test a new product name, a billboard campaign and a tagline. For the latter, which became “Make every day more delicious,” there was a debate over its French version involving a specific word: “vachement.” The neuromarketing tests showed the word, which means “really” but also plays on vache, which means “cow,” was too slangy when Agropur was trying to promote Natrel as a premium brand.

“It was not adding and it was potentially taking away from the whole deliciousness of the proposition,” Losson says. The French slogan ditched the word and settled on “Pour une vie des plus délicieuses,” rather than “vachement délicieuses.”

Losson says neuromarketing can be intimidating at first, and a potentially hard sell at the boardroom table where executives expect new information to be backed by research involving thousands of people.

“You don’t talk to 3,000 people. It’s 15 to 20 people, but you really get to the deeper level of their brains,” she says.

Fortin says Neurométric’s online tool can help address that concern by extending the number of subjects to 100 while keeping the costs down. The software also engages the respondents in a more traditional survey, combining those qualitative responses with the test data for a fuller picture.

“Neuroscience is really strong to quantify metrics like engagement and attention, which are crucial in the purchase decision, but often you want to know the ‘why’ or you want to get more information, so this is why we use a survey,” he says.

The firm partners with market research company TNS Global to find its research subjects in other markets, and with Montreal-based BIP in Quebec. The tool also allows clients to test consumers in various markets simultaneously without recruiting them into a physical space.

Neurométric opened in Montreal in 2013.

Image via StockSnap