Emotional targeting and facial recognition

Emotional targeting

Faculty Research

"Show us your face and we will tell you what to buy!" - retailers are using advanced technology to personalize promotional messages at the point-of-sale by programing digital signage systems.

Businesses of all kinds are trying to bring targeting to perfection because reaching out to the right person at the right time makes a significant difference in sales and brand awareness. 

Prof. Marion Garaus has published an article in the Journal of Business Research examining how and why emotional targeting works at the point-of-sale and summarizes findings from experiments with on- and offline customers.

A digital signage system is a private screen network that displays varied content, such as news or ads, community information, information about a shopping mall, a retailer, or local entertainment. Indeed, digital signage networks offer great flexibility to display appropriate messages to a particular customer segment. Given that many purchase decisions are spontaneous, products’ visual presentation can successfully prompt such decisions. Targeting the right people enables retailers to create value for their customers, as well as reduce promotional costs and increase in-store marketing efficiency. 

Digital signage systems that employ face-reading software enable the identification of not only shoppers’ age and gender, but also their emotional states. The UK shopping centers have installed digital signage systems that identify not only consumers’ demographic data using face-recognition software, but also their current mood. Knowledge about shoppers’ current emotional state would allow retailers to match digital signage content accordingly and, thus, create favorable responses.

Drawing on mood and digital signage literature, this research identifies and examines emotional targeting’s efficacy with consumer responses. Findings reveal that emotional targeting increases purchase intentions, product-quality perceptions, and willingness to pay. Furthermore, matching content to the product category strengthens these positive effects. However, disclosing targeting practices eliminates emotional targeting’s positive effects, as caused by feelings of manipulative intent.

"We identify emotional targeting at the point-of-sale (POS) as a promising new segmentation strategy", professor Marion Garaus states. 

Read the full article on elsevier: Emotional targeting using digital signage systems and facial recognition at the point-of-sale

If you are interested in emotional targeting, face-reading software and digital signage systems, contact Prof. Marion Garaus: marion.garaus@modul.ac.at

She teaches and mentors at Modul University Vienna and covers topics like digitalization, consumer behavior or service expectations in her courses.


Related study programs:

International Marketing (BSc)

Business Psychology (BSc)