For all their intrusiveness, companies like Facebook really don’t want to hurt us. They want to sell us stuff. And for that reason, we tolerate the cognitive dissonance created by our love for technology and our desire for privacy.
So, it is with the mixed emotions all of us share about such matters that I say, “Facebook studied our neurological patterns and they found out some really cool stuff.”
Chief among the findings was for all our handwringing about dwindling screen sizes, it turns out people are more focused on their mobile screens than their television screens, not less. Equally important, it seems we trust that small screen more, as well. What that means for, say, politicians or the producers of YouTube cat videos is that the advent of mobile has not resulted in a qualitative loss in terms of the ability to communicate with video.
Facebook commissioned the neurological study (basically studying how your body responds to different stimuli) to answer the burning question on every marketer’s mind, namely, “If you keep making screens smaller, will we still be able to sell stuff?” Now, granted, when the government does these kinds of studies, it’s a lot creepier. Corporations get that, which explains why companies like Facebook and Google hate to see their names linked to government data collection.
This study was done by SalesBrain, itself the brainchild of Christophe Morin and Patrick Renvoisé. Renvoisé’s bio humbly states that he “discovered the buy button inside the brain” which, just for the record, I’m not sure I buy. In any case, the study itself is fascinating in the way watching one’s own autopsy would be fascinating. The “them “of the study is us. And yes, we do act and react in ways that are measurable with an increasingly sophisticated set of tools.
The study is a rock-solid confirmation for those who have been making the case for quality in digital marketing. Our digital offerings need to be at least as good as what we’re doing in other media. And it’s time to revisit the whole notion of digital as a budget “add-on”. This study confirms what response metrics have been proving for some time. The most focused moments in most of our lives are those spent staring at a mobile screen.
You can read the full report HERE.