The dictionary definition of biometry is ‘the application of statistical analysis to biological data’. Biometrics is the measurement and analysis of people’s characteristics and behaviours and is used in everything from border and law enforcement settings to healthcare, with parts of this technology even being used in many of our smartphones and wearable devices. Some of its uses are more to do with identification and security e.g. fingerprints, facial recognition, iris scanning etc.); some are concerned with measuring and analysing the body’s real-time reactions to certain stimuli; think a heart rate monitor in a fitness device, or a lie detector or polygraph test.
How does all of this relate to marketing?
When a brand is trying to get insight into their target market and find patterns in user behaviour when it comes to how their customers shop or make buying decisions, biometrics can be the perfect tool to not just find out how their audience react to certain things, but also how people use and engage with their website and how things they experience online make them feel, whether they know it or not.
With advanced UX testing and CRO research, biometrics can be used to track and measure a number of different physical responses that people have to a website or content that they see/hear. When used with people that closely align with your target audience, it’s possible to gain valuable insights that will help to guide future marketing strategy.
What type of biometrics equipment is used and what does it measure?
There are a variety of different sensors that can be used in this type of setting to measure many different human responses and together can build an accurate picture of what the respondent is thinking and feeling, whether consciously or not, when they use a website, look at content or advertising material. These sensors can include:
Eye tracking – shows what the respondent looks at (and what they don’t) while using a website or viewing content. It can highlight how effective the site or content is in achieving its aim and how easy, or difficult, it is for respondents to find what they are looking for and complete certain tasks.
Facial expression analysis – recognises emotions and can show whether the respondent is feeling positive, negative or neutral at any given time.
Galvanic skin response (GSR) – measures sweat levels across skin to highlight the intensity of a response.
Electroencephalography (EEG) - uses a cap with sensors placed on the head to get a reading on brain activity relating to attention, excitement and frustration.
The value is in the analysis of biometrics data
Gathering the data is one task, but the value from a marketing point of view is all in the analysis of the information and the insight it provides, especially when looked at in a wider context. Peaks and troughs of attention and engagement can be tracked against what the respondent was viewing or doing at the time, and frustration can be mapped against certain website features or tasks. When the data of several respondents is compared and combined, this can build a truly valuable picture of what needs to change in order to maximise audience interest, foster positive emotions and optimise conversions.
For more information on how biometrics can be used in advanced conversion rate optimisation and UX testing, contact us today.
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