The Future of CRO: Psychographics, Affective Computing, and AI

by Mike Weir Jaywing

Advancements in AI and machine learning have drastically changed the eCommerce landscape. Today, we live in a world of digital sophistication, where consumers need intelligent and relevant interactions with software. Amidst these heightened customer expectations are marketers seeking to adopt technology to advance on and secure their markets. Mike Weir, Head of Behavioural Research at Jaywing, explains why the emerging methodologies and technologies, including psychographics, affective computing, and AI are the behavioural science cues of the future.

Psychographics in CRO

Emphasis on an organisation’s values and culture matter more than ever. People buy into brands for a reason. Their own personality is one of them. Brands today are more scrutinised than ever; social media allows for open interactions and direct challenges. In the entire brand landscape, details matter. And that’s where psychographics come in.

Psychographics seeks to segment users by psychological characteristics such as cognitive, emotional, and motivational factors. Using psychographics will help you gain a deeper understanding of your audiences’ characteristics, allowing you to build custom segments to target with advertising, and to adapt user interfaces to meet different types of users’ needs.

How can you use psychographics?

As marketers and CRO experts, we should be consistently working to answer behavioural science questions such as who are our customers and audience stakeholders? How can we grow this audience? What does their individual buying journey look like and how do they prefer to buy? What implications does that have for what we can show them in future? While that might seem a lofty task, the details of the data and machine learning matter.

Applying psychographics

  • Advanced customer insights are achieved through segments and personas based on psychological data.
  • Deeper understanding of audience data enables brands to identify opportunities for partnerships and get ahead of competitors.
  • Personality models emerge. There is currently no 100 per cent accurate personality model. However, as we increase our use of psychographics in business, psychologists will be able to further advance their understanding of what personality is and what drives consumer behaviours – offering insight like never before.

Affective computing in CRO

Affective computing is the study and development of systems that can interpret and simulate human affects. Some core components are:

Fixation analysis

Fixation analysis allows marketers to identify what users are paying attention to. This is important in CRO because people don’t read in a straight line. Instead, their eyes dart around areas that have the highest contrast and interest. The higher the interest in a certain area, the longer we spend fixated on it. As CRO specialists, the goal should be to identify exactly where people are looking and, crucially, why they are looking there.

EEGS

Electroencephalograms (EEGs) are incredibly effective at tracking approach, avoidance, and cognitive load. As we move through a task, approach drives us to continue to achieve our goal, to fulfil our need or our want. Eventually, if something becomes too difficult, we suffer from avoidance. All of this can be sensed in the brain. This is invaluable information for marketers as it can show you how your audience is responding to your brand or your offering – even on a subconscious level.

Facial expression analysis

With the potential to automatically recognise facial responses, this technology helps us understand the valence of emotions – whether positive or negative. This has huge potential within the marketing industry, especially for measuring reactions to videos and websites.

CRO marketers should look to deepen their understanding of these technologies in order to optimise their channels and keep pace with digital transformation.

How can affective computing help you?

  • Predictive modelling will be key in helping marketers understand how people’s emotions are going to interplay with various interfaces. Once we know how certain interface elements will impact a user, we can begin to adapt and optimise them.
  • Personalisation opportunities will grow, and we will be able to tailor marketing messages based on a user’s live feedback. Using tools like AI, marketers will better understand how to compel audiences and give them a better user experience.

AI in CRO

Artificial intelligence is a hot topic in the marketing industry – and it’s no wonder. AI is proving essential in giving us back time, removing the barriers to working smarter and more efficiently. We believe that AI will transform the relationship between people and technology, fuelling creativity and skills with speed and precision.

Currently being used across personalised marketing communications, targeted advertising, creative messaging, predictive models, and even PPC – our experts are incorporating AI in some of our most exciting client projects.

Our CRO specialists used AI image analysis to optimise Insurance2Go’s landing page. Using this technology to predict the best location for the page’s CTA – “Get a quote” – we saw a 64 per cent increase in users starting quotes, and an impressive 34 per cent increase in conversion rates.

We’ve also used Decision, our AI-powered PPC bid management system, to grow Domino’s perceived quiet periods. Decision used a variety of data sources, like time of day, weather conditions, and national events, to serve potential customers a Domino’s advert at the most optimal time. Our AI system spotted an unusual trend – people want pizza at 9 a.m. No one was previously able to pick this up because humans think in a logical pattern, people make assumptions, and our various biases impact how we perceive and act upon data. Decision allowed us to maximise these opportunities for sales and, in turn, increase revenue by 489 per cent and reduce media spend by 8.9 per cent.

The future of AI

  • Advanced one to one personalisation through far more accurate modelling.
  • Faster information processing.
  • Marketing automation and guided decision-making.
  • Real-time CRO.

Be future proof: top five actions to take now

  • Ensure you’re collecting meaningful and actionable data, keep your databases clean, and be data compliant.
  • Understand your customers and do your research.
  • Focus on optimising not just on websites, but before and after purchase.
  • Segment and personalise.
  • Liaise and collaboration. Always look to deepen your understanding of CRO and new technological developments.