Neuroanalytics study: The road to research and how the team came together

The backstory to the research, written by our CEO, Charlie Cadbury

In January 2021, about 18 months ago, after falling down a twitter thread inspired by Brian Roemmele I got inspired to dive deeper into what on earth happens in the human mind when we speak, not just to each other, but specifically to audio advertising, and the journey began.

The main hypothesis was that people would tend to remember conversations better than messages they had seen or heard. The principal reason all hung on increased engagement and the need to fire up memory in your mind merely in order to hold a conversation (otherwise you get lost). I wrote this article which in Jan 2021 but wanted to put some foundations to the argument.

A short 6 months later, after a just post lockdown event I was speaking with Charlie Brookes of Octave Audio, talking of my want to find someone to help explore this subject and without missing a beat he said I needed to speak to Shazia Ginai who runs a highly respected research firm called Neuro-Insight. They put wired caps onto peoples heads and see what’s happening in their brains to deliver new depths of insight as to what’s going on. That sounded perfect! So I gave Shazia a call the next day.

Shazia is really impressive, I laid out what I was trying to understand, she got it and seemed really excited about the research. We got to costs, I said that’s more than Say It Now had allocated at that point but surely we’d find someone else to come in on this with us, after all this is groundbreaking!

About a week later I got introduced to Norbert Horvath and the next 100 days were mostly taken up by an accelerated ‘getting to know you’ process which ultimately culminated in our businesses coming together. The month afterwards we were announced as Group M’s ‘Voice Partner’ and the month after that we released a white paper with Octave Audio who we’d been working very closely with on a number of (now award winning) charity campaigns. The scene was set.

During January I spoke to Group M’s Charlie Yeates, Tilly Sheppard of Xaxis and Tom Mackay and Sophie Donovan from Octave Audio about this research I was keen to commission, they were all bullish on Actionable Ads and we agreed to commission it as an equal 3 way partnership. We were off! Yaaaasss!!

The Neuro Insights team were great, set up the study, kept the 3 businesses in the process, recruited the respondents and ran the study by the end of April. We then received a 45 page report and a briefing meeting which, to be honest, blew my mind. Not because the results weren’t good, they were great, but that we now had a 45 page document and a load of information in our possession. Then began the dark art of research to ‘white paper’.

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Luckily, Say It Now had recently been introduced to Lou Nylander who had come aboard as marketing lead and took on the project of crafting the narrative, keeping all the salient points from the research but making it all easily digestible for the industry. 3 awesome PR firms, 7 Dials CityBluestripe Group & Ginger May worked as a seamless unit to craft a killer release and the story broke yesterday being picked up all over the place.

I’m beyond delighted with the team that came together around this all and am very proud of what’s out! You can see some of the publications that ran the story below and can download the white paper here. If you’d like to know any more about the data behind this or talk about Actionable Audio Ads please feel free to reach out to me, Charlie Cadbury or find out more at!

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