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When Big Data Gets Emotional – Quidco Invests in US Research
Image Credit  Quidco

When Big Data Gets Emotional – Quidco Invests in US Research

While the amount of clicks or ROI may be enough for some businesses in the performance marketing industry, others are keener to delve into the more emotional side of customer behaviour.

Just as some head straight to a store’s own website, it appears many others need that little incentive or cashback offer to help them make the final purchase, but what are the emotional impacts of those who do part with cash thanks to a nudge, compared to those that trundle off and purchase with no external influence?

Following a request from one of its advertisers; a UK department store, online cashback site Quidco was required to demonstrate the true emotional impact of its channel. While the department store was all too aware about the amount of clicks, and traffic sent through to them via Quidco, the department store wanted to get to the bottom of how people actually 'felt', when they clicked via Quidco.

This is where US company Forbes Consulting Group, headed up by chief executive officer Dr David Forbes, came in.

Quidco’s director of marketing and insight, Chris Catchpole, along with a crack team of Quidco gurus, worked with the Massachusetts-based firm to better understand the value that it provides its retailer customers.

Impact of Using a Third Party

Dr Forbes said Quidco is a prime example of how 'big data gets emotional’, and in order to answer the golden question of ‘how is my brand affinity affected by participating in Quidco's online site’, he used the company's unique MindSight technique.

“We emotionally assessed the experience of customers who shopped at this department store, directly v shoppers who shopped there via Quidco,” Forbes said.

“While historically, Quidco has found that rational surveys have highlighted positive net promoter scores for their shopping experience, they were 'flying blind' on what the nature of that emotional attachment was.”

The MindSight research involves emotional measurement tools such as the 'rapid exposure technique'; showing customers a series of validated images which evoke emotions, such as security and achievement. The experiment also involved asking customers to complete 'priming sentences' to draw out more of a customer's emotion.

Achievement and Security Sort by Consumers

Results from the investigations and surveys did highlight a statistical advantage for the department store, as customers shopped via the Quidco portal.

When comparing those who shopped at the store via Quidco, to those who went direct, 68% of those who went via the cashback site said they would return via this avenue to purchase again – whereas 34% of the external sample who purchased direct at the same department store, said they were likely to do so again.

“We had expected good results as our base is very active," Catchpole begins.

“While not so much surprising, it was very pleasing to see such results and this experiment now gives us the information that we need to target more specific areas. It has also helped open up a longer term plan with the department store, to focus on more targeted consumer groups.”

Catchpole said that work with Forbes allowed them to see which emotional traits appeared from purchasing through them. He said other comparable stats that related to the net positive emotional findings for the Quidco group v the direct group, spanned the emotional areas of security, empowerment,belonging, identity, engagement, nurturance, mastery, achievement and esteem.

He said security, identity and achievement were notable areas where Quidco came up trumps with shoppers.

As a result of the particular learning about ‘achievement’, knowing that this emotional trait appealed to its shoppers, in its next communication to members via email, Quidco was quick to subliminally re-emphasise the 'achievement' factor when shoppers go via Quidco.

During the investigations, consumers also said they also felt more secure, Forbes said this is likely an emotion associated with Quidco's data policies and protection of personally identifiable information.

Forming a Potent Marketing Strategy

Forbes, who said that more businesses across the marketing landscape are now paying more attention to the emotional behaviour behind their customers, said: “We are seriously emotional animals.” He stressed that everyone carries around various aspirations and frustrations, but it is about what evokes these emotions and what motivates people to behave/purchase in a certain way.

Forbes, who said many companies, globally, use MindSight when they are testing a new product before unleashing it on the market, stated how the bottom line for most is the ROI, but highlighted the importance of 'knowing what makes people tick', in order to give them what they want.

“Not focusing on a consumer's emotions is a major omission in anyone's attempt to focus on a potent marketing strategy,” Forbes said.


Did you see PI’s ‘Five Things You Didn’t Know About Neuromarketing’ story?


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Pippa Chambers

Pippa Chambers

Freelance News Journalist at PerformanceIN - working to source the latest and breaking news in performance marketing. 

From newspapers to national B2B magazines and technology reporting, I have covered a variety of genres. NCTJ/NCE qualified.

Please email me at and follow me @PippaC1

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