The influence of feedback messages on neurophysiological responses in a non-profit context

Grobbelaar, Caitlin (2016-03)

Thesis (MComm)—Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The prevalent growth in the number of non-profit organisations in South Africa, but a decline in donor support to them at the same time, has prompted the need for further research in the non-profit sector. Furthermore, an exponential increase in social demands in South Africa has left many non-profit organisations facing huge financial dilemmas and in many cases, possible closure. The current low level of support towards the non-profit sector requires an increased level of public involvement that, in turn, requires improved attitudes and perceptions towards the benefits and contributions that non-profit organisations provide to society. Marketing techniques can contribute to individual involvement with non-profit organisations by means of the development of positive perceptions and decision-making associated with philanthropic giving. As non-profit organisations are increasingly facing numerous challenges such as competing for scarce resources to ensure sustained funding, strategic marketing practices have become a necessity. The non-profit industry relies on a high level of human involvement, and as a result, the marketing managers of these organisations are particularly interested in identifying marketing and communication methods that can encourage donors to donate money to worthy causes. However, the time constraints associated with producing quality content with a limited budget for the expenses to measure their communication effectiveness often hinder their marketing and communication efforts. In addition, the current dilemma pertaining to the low level of government and individual support towards the non-profit industry prompted the need for further marketing and communication-related research to identify effective practices. Against this background, the purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of post-donation feedback messages on donor neurophysiological responses in a non-profit context using a neuromarketing approach. Neurophysiological techniques were used to identify the types of stimuli, in terms of the feedback message elements, that are most influential on individual neurophysiological responses and the individual‟s subsequent decision-making. The feedback messages from two non-profit organisations, Cheetah Outreach and Reach for a Dream, were pre-designed as the stimuli required for the study. These text messages were classified primarily as statements of gratitude communicated to donors on behalf of each non-profit organisation. The neurophysiological response to each feedback message was measured. The analysis and reporting of results were accompanied by a consolidated discussion from a post-hoc focus group with marketing professionals. The study made use of three neuroscientific techniques, namely galvanic skin response (GSR), electromyography (EMG) and eye-tracking. Each neurophysiological technique measured donor subconscious responses such as levels of arousal, emotional response and focused attention. Responses from the overall sample of respondents were analysed. Additional analysis of the data considered gender and respondent decision-making preferences based on self-classified emotional or rational thinking. The findings indicated neurophysiological influences from the different feedback message elements on the levels of arousal and emotional responses among respondents. From the empirical results it is recommended that non-profit communication managers carefully articulate innovative and informative messages prior to the design of feedback communication. Considering the novelty of the neuromarketing field, extensive scope for further neuromarketing research exists within a non-profit context.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die heersende groei in die getal nie-winsgewende organisasies in Suid-Afrika en die meegaande afname in skenkerondersteuning het dit noodsaaklik gemaak om verdere navorsing in die nie-winsgewende sektor te doen. Menige nie-winsgewende organisasies se voortbestaan verkeer tans onder druk weens die ingrypende toename in maatskaplike eise in Suid-Afrika en „n tekort aan geldelike ondersteuning. Om hierdie toedrag van sake te verander, vereis groter publieke betrokkenheid en op sy beurt, „n verandering in die houding en persepsies ten opsigte van die maatskaplike voordele en bydraes wat nie-winsgewende organisasies vir die gemeenskap inhou. Bemarkingstegnieke kan „n betekenisvolle bydrae lewer tot individuele betrokkenheid by nie-winsgewende organisasies deur middel van die ontwikkeling van positiewe persepsies en besluitneming ten opsigte van filantropiese skenking. Namate hierdie organisasies meer uitdagings in die gestig staar insluitende die meedinging om skaars hulpbronne ten einde volhoubare befondsing te verseker, het strategiese bemarkingspraktyke egter al hoe belangriker geword. Aangesien die nie-winsgewende bedryf grootliks afhanklik is van menslike betrokkenheid, is bemarkings- en kommunikasiebestuurders van nie-winsgewende organisasies daarop ingestel om bemarkings- en kommunikasiemetodes te identifiseer wat skenkers kan aanmoedig om te gee vir verdienstelike sake. Die tydsbeperkinge om gehalte inhoud te lewer, asook om die doeltreffendheid van kommunikasie- en bemarkingsmetodes te meet binne „n beperkte begroting, belemmer dikwels sodanige inisiatiewe. Die dilemma van onvoldoende ondersteuning van beide die regering en individue aan die nie-winsgewende bedryf, vereis verdere bemarkingsnavorsing ten einde doeltreffende bemarkings- en kommunikasiepraktyke te identifiseer. Gesien teen hierdie agtergrond, was die doel van hierdie studie om die doeltreffendheid van na-skenkings terugvoerboodskappe op die neurofisiologiese reaksies van respondente in „n nie-winsgewende konteks te ondersoek. Dit is gedoen deur middel van „n neurofisiologiese benadering. Neurofisiologiese tegnieke is gebruik om die tipe stimuli in terme van terugvoer-boodskapelemente te identifiseer wat die grootste invloed sou hê op individuele neurofisiologiese reaksies en die respondent se daaropvolgende gedrag. Terugvoerboodskappe van twee nie-winsgewende organisasies naamlik, Cheetah Outreach en Reach for a Dream, is vooraf ontwerp as die stimuli wat benodig was vir die studie. Hierdie teksboodskappe is hoofsaaklik geklassifiseer as uitdrukkings van waardering teenoor skenkers namens die nie-winsgewende organisasies. Die neurofisiologiese reaksies vir elke terugvoerboodskap is gemeet. Die ontleding en rapportering van die resultate is vergesel deur n gekonsolideerde bespreking van „n post-hoc fokusgroep met kundiges in bemarking. Die studie het gebruik gemaak van drie neurowetenskaplike tegnieke naamlik, galvaniese velreaksie (GVR), elektromiografie (EMG) en die volg van oogbewegings (ET). Elke neurofisiologiese tegniek het die skenker, se reaksies in die onderbewussyn gemeet in terme van gewaarwording, emosionele reaksie en gefokusde aandag. Die reaksies van die algehele steekproef van respondente is ontleed. Die data is verder ontleed op grond van geslag en of respondente hulleself geklassifiseer het as rasionele of emosionele denkers. Die bevindinge het neurofisiologiese invloede aangedui op die verskillende tekselemente van die terugvoerboodskappe op die respondente se vlakke van gewaarwording en emosionele reaksies. Gegewe die empiriese resultate word aanbeveel dat bemarkings- en kommunikasiebestuurders van nie-winsgewende organisasies versigtig te werk gaan met die artikulering van innoverende en informatiewe boodskappe alvorens die terugvoerkommunikasie ontwerp word. Die uniekheid van die neurobemarkingsveld skep „n vrugbare en breë veld vir verdere neurobemarkingsnavorsing binne „n nie-winsgewende konteks.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98388
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