Elicit Emotion: Using Emojis in Marketing Research

Elicit Emotion: Using Emojis in Marketing Research

Emojis aren’t just for text messaging anymore. What started as a short-hand way to inject humor and emotion when texting has now entered the world of marketing communications. Why is that? According to Keith Broni, an emoji researcher and interpreter with Today Translations, “Emojis humanize business communication and allow companies to engage emotionally with consumers.” The effectiveness at conveying emotion is one reason for the growing use of emojis in marketing research. 

Make the Experience Engaging

When used in a survey, emojis can make the respondent experience more enjoyable. The fun-factor of using an emoji to answer a question can help keep respondents engaged and encourage them to complete the survey.

Convey Emotion with Impact

As an alternative to traditional rating scales, emojis can bring a new perspective when assessing the level of agreement with an attribute or the intensity of appeal with a concept. They can be particularly useful as a projective technique to draw out the emotional associations respondents have with a brand, a concept, or other types of stimulus. But enough with all the talk, check out our infographic on the use of emojis in marketing research.


A Few Words of Caution

Using emojis in marketing research is a rapidly evolving trend, particularly in mobile surveys. However, there are some words of caution to keep in mind. First, emojis don’t all mean the same thing to everyone. Be sure to use follow-up probing questions to let respondents elaborate on what their emoji response means to them. That will give you an even richer understanding of their perceptions. Also, the subjective nature of interpreting the meaning of certain emojis has implications for quantitative studies. For instance, if using emojis in a rating scale, there are limitations to applying statistical calculations.

Get More from Your Surveys

Ultimately, the true value of using emojis in research is their power to help uncover your customers’ thoughts, feelings, and opinions. When used strategically, emojis can be effective at tapping into your customers’ underlying emotions and leading you to better understand their core needs.