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29 Feb 2016

Research: Creating Visitor Engagement Through Music

Digital communications have created an information overload for customers. To stand out on the world wide web, companies have to offer clients a high-impact experience. When used properly, music provides a simple yet effective means of creating a positive online experience.

This article by Caroline Cuny and Marianela Fornerino is the subject of the 22nd GEM LAB Executive Summaries.

To better understand the mechanisms at play between music and online experiences, the authors of this latest study examined the impact of music on a virtual art gallery. They surveyed 250 people who visited the online gallery to determine their impressions depending on whether they visited the gallery with or without music.

Music and immersion

From the article

Can music improve e-behavioral intentions by enhancing consumers' immersion and experience
Information and Management
52 (2015) 1025 1034

Caroline Cuny, Marianela Fornerino,Agnès Helme-Guizon, 2015

The study confirmed the fact that music helps create an immersive experience. The music chosen for the art gallery was the same music listened to by the artist during her creative process. Visitors who toured the virtual gallery with music expressed feelings of being disconnected from the real world and connected to the artist's universe.

Survey respondents highlighted the positive environment caused by the immersive experience and voiced their willingness to recommend the website and, more importantly, to visit the real gallery. The study validated the link between music and e-behavioral intentions. This link is mediated by the immersive environment which allowed visitors to have a more enjoyable and simulating experience.

Choosing the right music

While the researchers confirmed that music creates a positive user experience, they also highlighted the importance of choosing the right music. The first question for any company is whether or not music is a match for the brand. Creating an immersive experience through music is only a relevant option when it fits with brand's position.

Once the choice to use music is made, the authors also highlighted the fact that using the right piece of music can greatly impact the user experience. In short, if an online visitor likes the music, if the music matches the immersive environment, then he or she can experience greater enjoyment and stimulation.

Creating an intense brand experience

The goal of using music and creating an immersive experience lies in its ability to create an intense connection between the brand and the visitor. By adapting the choice of music, companies can increase the intensity of the experience. The result is greater visitor engagement and positive outcomes. In the case of the art gallery, the act of seeing and buying art is fundamentally experiential. The use of music allows the art gallery to multiply the sensorial inputs. Looking at paintings is a visual experience, but music adds an auditory dimension to the esthetic experience. In the same manner, brand's can multiply sensorial inputs to enhance the immersive experience for their potential customers

Key Points

  • Music provides a simple option to enhance an online immersive experience.
  • Creating an immersive experience generates positive emotions and greater engagement with the visitor.
  • It is essential to use music wisely: Only use music if it matches the brand's position and if so, choose music that matches the visitor's experience.
Contacts
Mara Saviotti