A Simple Approach to Emotion Research

simple approach to emotion research

When it comes to market research, options will never be lacking. Every day, it seems there is a new technique for gaining an understanding of your customers – each more complex and bizarre than the last.

Emotion research, however, may just claim the title for most fragmented: nearly every market research company approaches the study of emotions differently. You can find hundreds of companies with complicated techniques for uncovering the emotions of consumers, when all you really want is a simple solution that provides your company actionable insights with a limited amount of time and effort.

But what does a simple solution look like, exactly? Most likely, when you are looking for a simple approach to emotion research, you’re searching for simplicity in both the research process and the end results. Believe it or not, this simple solution does exist. It can be accomplished through the analysis of language.

The process is simple and efficient

A frequent concern we hear from clients interested in doing emotion research is whether the process will be time-consuming and difficult. The assumption is that such research must require fieldwork that is invasive and costly, requiring complex apparatus or unusual techniques, and that collecting and analyzing that data implies the need for specialized scientists who exclusively study human emotions. This doesn’t have to be the case.

With advancing technologies and techniques in emotion research, you now have options that are simple and straightforward enough to be completed in a few weeks, rather than months. There are solutions out there that don’t rely on complex apparatus, but rather focus on analyzing more accessible data such as language. By analyzing language, you can simplify the fieldwork immensely.

As opposed to physiological approaches, language-based analysis can be done in congruence with nearly any type of research process that you may already have in place. Focus group research? Simple. Just add in some specifically-worded discussion topics. Surveys? No problem. Just plug-in a couple specific questions that will elicit more (and better) open-ended responses, and you’ll get the data needed to analyze respondents’ emotions. There are even options for analyzing the data you already have available from past market research – with the right team, emotion can be pulled from that as well.

The results are simple and actionable

You need results that are straightforward enough to understand and act upon, not abstract ideas that leave you wondering what to do next. With the right approach, you shouldn’t need a scientist in the room with you just to explain what all the charts and data mean. Ideally, the research findings should be presented in an actionable way that makes it easy to implement real-world solutions, such as improved marketing communications, better segmentation or even using emotions to guide product development.

For example, imagine you work for a company that sells monthly subscription boxes that are popular now, such as Birchbox or Dollar Shave Club. Say you wanted to know what you could do to better connect with your customers emotionally. If you hired someone to do emotion research for your company and they came back with massive amounts of raw data that had to be explained by a PhD statistician or neuroscientist, and in the end only proved the majority of your current customers felt pleasant emotions toward your brand. What would you do with that data (once it was finally explained to you in layman’s terms)? How would you turn that information into a strategy for improving your emotional connection with customers?

Now imagine the same scenario, but this time you hire a company to do emotion research that returns with a clear presentation from which you can easily pull out insights. You read it (without the aid of a specialist) and find that millennial females living in urban areas express strong feelings of security and contentment regarding your monthly subscription boxes. Meanwhile, males aged 55+ living in rural areas express high levels of contempt, yet also reveal feelings of joy regarding your product. Using this information, you can adjust your communications focus for each group and forge stronger emotional connections with your customers.

When it comes to emotion research, you want to be sure that both the process itself and the results are simple enough to execute and understand. While you want the process to be cost-effective and time-efficient, that won’t be helpful if the results you receive are impossible to understand and pull actionable insights from. Approaching market research through language analysis will not only ensure the fieldwork process is quick and easy, but will produce results that are relevant, specific, and valuable. That is what makes for a simple emotion research project that results in actionable insights.

As well as being simple, emotion research can also be scalable, seamless and practical. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us. We look forward to discussing how Martec can help you with your next emotion research project.

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