Perhaps the most sought after but elusive component of marketing is understanding the emotional impact that a brand’s messaging has on its target audience. Yet emotion is a fundamental factor for driving brand engagement.
Centiment, a neuro-powered marketing and advertising technology, aims to remove the emotional blind spot for businesses. By collecting data about how people feel about a brand and analyzing this “emotional data” through the application of machine learning and AI, Centiment wants to help marketers better affect consumer emotions.
“Simply put, what we do is power or enhance a brand’s emotional intelligence,” says Micah Ainsley Patrick Brown, CEO and founder of Centiment. “We define emotional intelligence as a brand’s ability to manage the emotions it invokes in people to shape optimal outcomes.”
Brown says the insights revealed through Centiment’s neurodata tool are “key to core marketing processes like segmentation, positioning, customer insights, message delivery, as well as the entire creative process.”
In the following interview Centiment CEO and founder Micah Ainsley Patrick Brown explains the company’s plans to disrupt how brands understand and connect with people.
Who are you and what does your technology do?
Centiment’s core focus is to power a brand’s emotional intelligence. We define emotional intelligence as a brand’s ability to manage the emotions it invokes in people to shape optimal outcomes. We collect and analyze neurodata to better understand how people feel about a brand and how to best affect these emotions. We like to think of ourselves as a brand’s emotional GPS.
We are laser focused on becoming masters of the language being used by people to express their personality and describe their feelings about brands. Emotions, and the words that affect emotions, are the basic building blocks of Centiment’s strategy.
Explain your existence: What problem are you solving?
Today, at Centiment.io, we are focused on helping usher in a new era of marketing and advertising—one that’s informed by human emotion, free from bias and driven by a larger purpose.
We’ve combined our own neurodata sentiment tools with AI and machine learning, which allows us to better understand the way people feel about a brand and how to best influence those emotions. At Centiment, we view emotion as data too.
Building on the learnings from the renowned Huth study done at UC Berkley, we built a neural network of 125 brains to determine how clusters of voxels allow for a high degree of predictability into how a person’s emotions will move and where, based on the introduction of new language. The result of our research created a living database of replicable neurodata.
Our technology can identify 25 different emotions on any given topic—far more nuanced than the positive/negative/neutral analysis that most sentiment tools produce. These insights are key to core marketing processes like segmentation, positioning, customer insights, message delivery as well as the entire creative process. Obviously this all has widespread implications for the advertising supply chain.
How did you come up with the idea of using neurodata and machine learning to understand the emotional impact of brand messaging?
I used to work in media and became very frustrated at how the media industry stereotyped people, particularly people of color, both publicly in the news and via advertising platforms. I also recognized early on how emotion was the fundamental lever required for driving true engagement in our experience economy and saw an opportunity to fill that gap in ways that were fair and equitable, and derived of a deeper sense of purpose.
What are you doing to improve marketing and advertising?
Our vision for reimagining marketing and advertising has impact for every industry in our view. This comes from the fundamental notion that if you view emotion as a critical currency of business, you will be able to exponentially increase your chances of delivering desired outcomes.
Our model for delivering results is built on a three step process which revolves around:
- Assessing Emotion
- Affecting Emotion
- Aligning Emotion
Simply put, what we do is power or enhance a brand’s emotional intelligence. We define emotional intelligence as a brand’s ability to manage the emotions it invokes in people to shape optimal outcomes. At Centiment, we believe emotion is data, too.
Using our proprietary neurodata, algorithms and machine learning, we have developed a map of emotion that allows us to determine a brands current and optimal emotional address. This leads to increased engagement, conversions and long-term improvements in profitability.
What big changes do you see impacting the media and advertising industries?
Content was king and still is, but without contextual relevance, personalization and an emotional through line it becomes a valueless property that doesn’t deliver ROI and/or improved performance. The future is all about hyper personalization and an ability to leverage creativity + technology in ways that humanize a brand and heighten its ability to be accessible. Anything that doesn’t contribute to those goals is not really worth the time. At Centiment, our core focus is on delivering innovations derived from emotion that can help brands best turn today’s market challenges into brand opportunities.
How do you plan on taking Centiment to the next level?
As we continue to build out our technology and neurodata platforms, we’ll be able to push ourselves toward being a more broad neurodata driven “ingredient brand” that can help power different functions within the marketing function (i.e. loyalty platforms) and beyond to other areas of an organization such as research, R+D, customer service etc. that could also benefit exponentially from the power of emotional intelligence.