Glance Media: The Key to Customer Engagement

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Media (in store signage, POS, menu boards, online ads) is often ignored because it fails to take into account the concept of “glance media”. “Glance media” supports the idea that shoppers are often in environments, such as grocery stores, where their time is limited and they are rushing. As such, they are unable to give the media more than a glance as they move through the environment. During this short time frame (typically 2-3 seconds), to be effective, the media must deliver a quick message and create a call to action.

At Explorer, we’ve developed the “Rule of Three” which is: despite wanting to communicate multiple benefits, shoppers only process three elements anyways. For glance media, adding color and visuals is essential to get noticed. To optimize glance media, the concept of visual fluency also needs to be incorporated. Visual fluency is designing communication that easily flows so the shopper doesn’t have to work hard to understand the communication.

Good glance media must:

  1. Get noticed
  2. Be understood (deliver desired messaging)
  3. Be remembered (deliver desired branding)
  4. We hope an action is taken or one’s thinking is influenced (achieve desired engagement)

One of the ways to achieve this is to use visuals instead of words. The human brain can process visuals much quicker than words. Moreover, in store signs containing graphics are much more likely to be seen through our peripheral vision. Emotional communication is more effective than communicating key benefits if you are only getting peripheral viewing. Visuals are often the key to engagement, particularly efficient engagement.

For instance, in retail, Explorer eye tracking studies have repeatedly shown that visibility of in section signage is increased when food, product or facial imagery is included in the design. We have seen an increase in viewing between 20-45% when pictures are utilized. This concept can be applied across all types of store media whether they are digital or traditional signage.

We have found that conducting upfront testing of media can significantly increase in-market performance. Our Virtual Reality with eye tracking allows testing of different executions of media to measure what has the biggest impact on visibility, engagement and sales. This iterative testing approach helps understand what colors, images and brand executions will improve glance media efforts. We also test advertising using this approach to see what influences behavior as people are quickly scrolling through content or navigating a site.

Politicians have mastered this concept by continually testing different campaign messages and executions to measure what shapes behavior. In a recent election campaign, they measured what color a “donate” button online should be to drive the largest contributions. This test and learn approach allows our clients to then develop best practices and principles moving forward.

Contact us to see how we can scientifically measure the impact of glance media to make your media efforts more engaging.

Anne Stephenson
Partner, Explorer Research

anne stephenson

Consumer Decision Making