Thursday, March 8, 2018

How You Can Incorporate Emotion into Your Mobile Experiences

Picture this…you’re out shopping at a local mall and you walk past one of your favorite stores. Your smartwatch tracks your spike of excitement from the heart rate monitor and the watch suddenly pops up with a notification from the store, offering a discount code for 10 percent off your purchase, today only. As consumers are on their mobile devices more and more often, they make buying decisions around the feeling that an ad, app, or offer evokes. While we’re not quite to the Black Mirror level of tracking heart rates to gauge likelihood of purchase, there is something to be said of the effects of tying emotion to your campaigns, and how it can overall create higher conversion levels and increased brand loyalty. So, how can you make sure that your media creates a feeling that drives an action and a better experience for customers?

What Is Emotionally Intelligent Design?
First, let’s talk emotionally intelligent design. This recent buzz term is the ability to act, recognize and understand the emotions of ourselves and others around us. It’s becoming a major factor in advertising and media, especially due to the hyperconnectivity brought on by smartphones, connected devices, and more. Consumers are making purchasing decisions on their mobile devices more than ever–in fact, 37 percent of millennials make most of their buying decisions on mobile or tablets, which means using emotional motivators through mobile is crucial in order for buyers to feel connected to your brand. Using two major components in emotional design, natural language processing and facial expressions recognition, can help you connect your marketing strategy to the emotional state of your customer.

New Tech = New Opportunities for Connecting
Natural language processing (NLP), aka voice assistants, such as Apple’s Siri, Google’s aptly-named Google Assistant, or Amazon’s Alexa are becoming increasingly smart and more personalized to their user. The realm of NLP for improving customer experience is massive, and many brands are starting to take notice. A sad crack in your voice or an excited yammer can be tracked by emotion-sensing software that decodes your current mood based on these inflections. The assistant can then take your tone into account and translate that data, allowing ads to be hyper-targeted to not only what you’re asking for, but how you’re asking for it. Acrolinx, an AI-platform used by Boeing, Facebook, and IBM, “reads” your content through machine-learning to effectively present advertisements and posts that match your current mood or wishes. This creates things that users not only want to see, but will engage with.

One of the most exciting parts of Apple’s iPhone X launch was the facial expressions recognition function that would allow for Face ID to unlock your phone and fun Animojis that use your face to create fun and personalized emojis. Our facial expressions are clearly important to the way we use our phones. While we’re not quite to the point where we’re harvesting facial expression data through Apple’s new tech, we are taking notice that the range of human emotion is more than just happy or sad. Facebook noticed this when they introduced the range of “reactions”. It opened up users to more than just Like and Share, to Wow, Sad, Angry, Love, and Haha. These expressions allow Facebook and other companies to understand exactly how their customers feel about a piece of content, event, or a page share. This data collection method helps brands become more knowledgeable about what their customers want and need, without having to outright ask.

Emotional connections matter because they’re the most raw basis of the human function, inherently what makes us human. As technology allows us to integrate device and emotion more seamlessly in our everyday lives, living our emotions through mobile creates the user experiences that cause brands to excel. Taking two fairly new emotional motivators like NLP and facial recognition to develop advertisements, content, and products can create those highly-sought after unique customer experiences that draw in and maintain brand loyalists.