BrainScience unlocking Tools for Effective Marketing
As most entrepreneurs know, starting a business always seems like a good idea at the time. If they knew what was lying in wait for them, a good chunk of them would run for the hills. But that’s the beauty of entrepreneurship – the firm belief that your new company is going to make it, and make it big, and going for it against all odds.
This is the driving force behind eQ, a specialist marketing company founded in 2014 by Annemi Olivier. “Essentially we are a full service marketing agency, but there are so many out there, and very few stand out,” explains Olivier, who has over twenty years’ experience in various fields including customer service, research, marketing, psychology and neuromarketing. “I teamed up with a specialist in writing, publishing, media relations and marketing, and together we set about finding our niche.”
The two quickly realised that online marketing and neuromarketing are the areas that set them apart. “Although online marketing is by no means a new field in this country, our access to a unique network of bloggers, and insightful measurement tools, mean that we can customise an online marketing strategy that produces results,” says Olivier. “We align with existing traditional media strategies – or create them where needed – and ensure that an organisation’s marketing strategy is far-reaching and effective, and targeted accurately.”
The neuromarketing side of the business is a particular passion of Olivier’s. “Internationally, neuromarketing has gained recognition over the past years, although it is not yet a fully integrated marketing tool,” she notes. “In South Africa, there are very few companies with knowledge of neuromarketing, and even less practising it. We are are members of the international Neuromarketing Science and Business Association (NMSBA), and when we went looking for a local association to join for networking closer to home, we couldn’t find one.”
Undaunted, Olivier went about founding one, and a few weeks later, the Neuromarketing Association of South Africa (NMASA) was born. The association is non-profit and aims to grow the discipline of neuromarketing in South Africa, and encourages local research.
In a bid to build local research in the field, eQ pitched to be the sole South African representative in an international neuromarketing study on smoking in 2014. “We won the pitch, and then promptly wondered what we had got ourselves into!” says Olivier.
The survey, spearheaded by the NMSBA and Neurohm, a global neuro research and consultancy company based in Poland, is international, and aims to discover the link between smoking behaviour and cigarette pack warning labels, in young people in the first three years after the legal smoking age.
“Participating in Neuro Against Smoking (NAS) is important for providing health statistics regarding smoking in our country, but what especially interested us was an almost instant, local example of how we can conduct effective neuro studies, customised for any application,” she explains.
“Neuroscience can be used to determine responses to anything – advertising campaigns, written messages, experiences and different situations. The applications are endless. We test all marketing efforts through EEG testing, coupled with heat- and fog maps that are used in conjunction with eye-tracking. We analyse the results and package them into meaningful reports, and then work consultatively with our clients to adapt or improve their marketing efforts accordingly. There is a growing need for quality campaign feedback, and we can provide this in unique, creative and measurable ways.”