Through the eyes of your audience: from visual attention to marketing strategy: Eye-tracking

What if you could literally see ads through the eyes of your target audience?

Schiphol is more than just an airport. It’s a place where excited vacationers get in the mood, where business travellers prepare for their next meeting, and where busy families quickly stock up on last-minute holiday essentials. And from all these different passengers, a wealth of data is available. We’re not just talking about age and gender, but also travel intentions and predictable walking routes. Combine this data with annual eye-tracking research, and you can determine the value of your campaign ever more precisely.

Through the eyes of the public

Eye-tracking research enables you to literally see the various media at the airport through the eyes of the audience. Using random sampling methods, passengers follow their normal walking route with special glasses that measure their eye movements: which objects catch their eye and how long do these contact moments last? The results show the visibility of different touchpoints. So, they offer insights into the attention travellers pay to the ads around them. But how does one translate these conclusions into an effective campaign strategy?

Strategically-placed advertising screens

The advertising objects at Schiphol vary enormously: from giant banners to digital screens and from promo points to giant light boxes. The attention value of these media tells you how to use them strategically. Sure, bigger ads stand out the most. But who says you can’t achieve a similar effect by repeating images on one of the smaller screens? Also, besides the format of the media deployed, there are more factors that influence travellers’ attention. And it’s essential to take these into account too.

Context counts

With eye-tracking research, Schiphol not only looks at advertising options, but also at the environment in which they are located. In places where travellers dwell and are able to relax, there is more attention for media objects. Just think of the massive number of gates at the airport. Passengers who are waiting for their flight pay more attention to the information around them - and even look at the same objects repeatedly. Moreover, different travellers also have different mindsets, which is reflected in their behaviour. The holidaymaker who’s shopping in peace has a freer gaze than the one who’s rushing to board.

Reaching new levels with AI

With the rise of new tools, AI helps marketers to become more and more progressive. As a finishing touch, Schiphol uses AI eye-tracking to pre-test ads. Based on a range of scientific research, you learn what your target audience’s areas of interest are - and whether it’s smart to set a higher contrast, move the logo up a bit, or use fewer visual cues. Not only that, you can also test in the environment of the airport (because: context counts). This combination of eye-tracking at Schiphol and AI enables you to find optimised campaign strategies - both for branding and performance purposes.