Tag Archives: Neuromarketing

5 Reasons Wearable Tech Has Become A Crucial Tool for Market Researchers

This month Jason Davies wrote for Huffington Post Canada: ‘Not so many years ago the idea of monitoring blood sugar levels on your watch, checking your email via glasses, or using a winter glove to pay for a cup of coffee seemed like the impossible. But rapid growth in the Internet of Things and innovations in wearable technology have made all those things a reality.’

It looks like wearable tech has finally hit the mainstream. What does it now mean for market researchers? Here are the top five ways market researchers can use wearables to solve key problems, compiled from market research bloggers and other experts in the industry.

  • Integration of data to see the complete picture. One of the major challenges in market research right now is figuring out which data sets are important, and stringing multiple sets together to tell a story. Even with all the software available, market researchers still find gaps in the data and difficulty telling the whole story. Cathy Harrison, Project Director for Forbes Consulting had this to say about wearables and new technologies to MarketResearch.com: ‘Some of the most exciting technological advances in marketing research involve the integration of multiple data sources, permitting a holistic view of the person or situation. Unconscious motivational-emotional data can now be integrated with passively collected data, such as biometric measurements via wearable devices or smartphones, and social media or other digital data. Market research will continue to evolve as we shift toward creatively combining new data inputs and developing models that lead to more meaningful insights and practical applications.’  

  • Real world data is more authentic. Medical market research agency GKA explains in their blog: ‘Wearables remove the need for a researcher to be physically present; for example, ‘always on’ head-mounted displays that send a live stream of video and audio could transform the way we understand both the behaviour of patients and healthcare practitioners. In healthcare market research, smart wearables have the potential to give companies far greater insight into how a patient uses a device or their attitude to their medication or how a doctor reaches a diagnosis, for example.’ In fact Bob Relihan, Senior Vice President of C+R Research sees wearables changing not only the way we track consumers, but the methodology of how we track them: ‘If consumers want to track and monitor themselves and they have the technology in the near future to do that seamlessly, insight professionals should be able to tap into that stream of self-reflection. But in this world, the consumer and the response are one; we will be less able to ask direct questions. Rather, we will need to align what consumers are “tracking” about themselves with the questions we might want to ask.’

  • Wearables can allow you to get to the ‘whys’ not just the ‘whats’. Adam Rossow, CMO of iModerate had this to say at the MarketingProfs blog last year: ‘For the marketer, wearables provide research without “doing” research, which allows you to layer on other enlightening methodologies, including qualitative questions, without it being too much. Beyond that, you can get a total picture of the customer journey that’s clear and concise. You can discover where someone was before and after he or she visited your store or restaurant, as well as how much time was spent in each place. Perhaps even how his or her heart rate changed as the person moved from location to location.’ .

  • Get closer to real-time brick and mortar data. 92% of retail purchases still happen in retail stores. Market research helps brands to know what’s going on with that brick and mortar data. Wearable tech, such as the way consumers are paying or otherwise interacting with products in the store can allow researchers to collect data in real-time and at a deeper level, providing brands and retailers much more thorough insight.

  • It will bring advanced neuromarketing research out of the lab and into the real world. Readwrite wrote in their Neuromarketing Primer late last year: ‘As more companies seek to study the phenomenon (neuromarketing), wearables will become an important tool in gathering the necessary data to inspire the desired reaction from a target audience.’ Neuromarketing expert Darren Bridger had this to say to readwrite about wearables increasing in use for market researchers: ‘I see neuroresearch tech at a point analogous to computing in the late 1970s: poised to move from being a big/expensive lab application to something more accessible to a far wider range of organizations.’

By 2020, the typical U.S. consumer will have eight wearables - that’s less than 4 years away! Are you incorporating wearable tech into your market research strategies?

Don’t miss The Market Research Event this October 17-20 where some of the largest companies in the world will share their insights on everything from apps to big data as they apply to market research.

Beware the Brain-Science Backlash

It’s official: After decades of watching neuroscience move
from being a strange stepsister of psychology to cutting-edge medical research,
the inevitable backlash is in full swing.
The year’s just half over, and already, such books as Brainwashed:
The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience; A Skeptic’s Guide to the Mind:
What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves, and Brain Imaging:
What it Can (and Cannot) Tell Us About Consciousness have hit the shelves.
There are cheeky blogs debunking neuropsuedoscience, like NeuroBollocks. And in the
ultimate proof that skepticism is top of mind, The New Yorker says it’s so.
Check out Gary Marcus’ recent The
Problem With The Neuroscience Backlash.
The reason there is such an onslaught of accusations about
neuroscience overreaching itself is because so many people have, in fact,
overreached. As this approach to thinking about people and human behavior grew
increasingly popular, practitioners of neuroscience felt that natural urge to
‘run with the ball’ ‘ making increasingly expansive and provocative claims
about the powers of the science . Most famously, neuromarketers informed Frito
Lay that women looking at their snack packages felt ‘guilty’ ‘ based on
observed activity in an area of the brain called the anterior cingulated
cortex. Frito Lay reacted to this information by making major changes in its
snack packaging. The problem was that academic neuroscientists will tell you
that there is no area of the brain that can be associated with guilt ‘ and that
the anterior cingulate cortex has been associated with error detection ‘ fairly
different from the concept of guilt. Using ‘reverse inference’ to translate
FMRI patterns into psychological concepts such as guilt or desire can only lead
to marketing conclusions that are neither certain nor credible. Brain scans
don’t yet offer the insights we need to formulate marketing strategies. We are
doubtless many years away ‘ if it will ever be possible ‘ from knowing which
neurons govern such psychological phenomena as guilt or generosity or ambition.
Meanwhile, other practitioners of business research
recognized that the neuroscience idea was ‘hot’, and soon it seemed that
everyone has some type of ‘neuroscience’ in their product mix. All of this
naturally winds up with trouble. As legitimate practitioners of FMRI research
stretched the science beyond its current limits, and as faux ‘neuroscientists’
with no basis for their claim crowd onto the stage, it is only natural that the
term would begin to be attached to shaky or even completely bogus science. This
activity is a natural target for a public backlash.
The customers of neuroscience have also played a role in
creating the backlash against neuroscience. Many new technologies in science
are initially greeted with over-strong levels of enthusiasm, as people hope
that ‘finally’ some of the frustrating inadequacies of current methods might be
overcome ‘ including the current heavy reliance on some form of self report to
measure emotional enthusiasm. The business community pounced on brain research
with delight as soon as it appeared: after all those years of parsing what
consumers told us in subjective focus group results, there was suddenly science.
This made for a very welcoming audience to those who might exaggerate the
powers of the new scientific technology, and a potentially gullible audience
for those attempting to masquerade as practitioners of the new. Overly
enthusiastic individuals who climbed uncritically onto the ‘next new thing’
were bound to get disappointed ‘ and hence the fuel for the backlash.
The backlash raises important issues, and hopefully sends
signals to practitioners and would-be customers alike about the importance of
reasonable conservatism in making claims for a new science, and about the need
for customers to exercise critical judgment in evaluating any new scientific
technology as a possible solution to research challenges. Going forward it is
critical that researchers eliminate any suggestion of smoke-and-mirrors from
our claims, and resist the urge to hyperbolize in the face of public
The brain is a wondrous organ, and the study of
neurophysiology and neuropsychology represents a huge forefront in psychological
science today. But right now, we don’t have a perfect map of what happens in
the human brain. We barely have a map at all. President Barack Obama’s $100
million funding for the Brain Initiative earlier this year is great news for
all of us who are interested in the brain. The more we know, the more
inferences we will be able to make about human emotion, thought and behavior.
At this point, we need to move carefully so as to benefit
from the promise of this new science without creating overpromise. For example,
Sands Research uses EEG to measure increased attention and arousal. They found
that ads that both build and sustain attention and arousal are more effective
than those that fail to maintain this activity. In one famous study, this
technique was used to evaluate a series of Super Bowl ads finding one ad in
particular that was associated with stronger EEG responses than any previously
had ever tested. This ad subsequently generated over 6.8 billion worldwide
impressions, 50 million views online, massively increased traffic to the brand
website, and directly contributed to North American sales. Using simple and
straightforward neuroscience measures, and drawing conservative claims, Sands
effectively used neuroscience to help the client.
Only with this kind of careful and conservative application
of neuroscience in market research will we be able to ensure that marketers do
not heave the baby out with the bathwater, as they react to disappointing
results from claims that were wildly premature.
I believe the focus should be primarily on developing
measures and methods that leverage the basic empirical findings of neuroscience
(such as the neuropsychology of image processing) to craft emotional research
tools that get beyond the problems of simple self-report. Attempting to stretch
our understanding of functional neuroanatomy beyond the bounds of current
scientific consensus will only lead to accusations of chicanery from the core
of the scientific community.  Specific
emotional phenomena that marketers seek to create in their audiences emerge
from interactions among a massive web of neurons, with vast numbers of
potential connections that are currently well outside our functional
neuroanatomical understanding. (The latest count, in case you were wondering, is
that the typical adult brain contains 86 billion neurons, and then about the
same number of glial cells helping connect these neurons.) If we are ever able
to point to the neurology of feeling the drive for achievement, or of
experiencing the urge to nurture one’s family, that will be a very long way
So as with all science, we must temper enthusiasm with
caution, we must push the envelope of our methods without tearing it wide open.
Neuroscience will surely point the way to greater self-knowledge for the human
race, and greater opportunities for the whole of human culture ‘ including
business and marketing. I close with somewhat famous watchwords that are
appropriate for those who would practice (or purchase) neuroscience: ‘If your
mind is too open, your brain may fall out.’

About the Author:
David Forbes holds a Ph.D. in clinical and cognitive psychology from Clark
University, and was a member of the faculties of Harvard Medical School
Department of Psychiatry and the Harvard Laboratory of Human Development before
beginning his career as a business consultant. He founded Forbes Consulting
over 20 years ago as a strategic market research consultancy dedicated to
creating business advantage through psychological consumer insights. He has
since built Forbes into a major resource for scores of major corporations in
the CPG, Financial Services, and Pharmaceuticals industries, domestically and
internationally. David is the creator of the MindSight?? emotional
assessment technologies, a suite of applied neuropsychological methods for understanding
consumer emotion and motivation, without the distortions of conscious editing
and self-presentation.  

TMRE Keynote Spotlight: Seven Dimensions For Shopper Marketing Success

Leading up to The Market Research Event, we’ll profile the keynotes, tracks and themes at the 2011 event.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at the exciting keynote sessions.  For more information on TMRE, taking place November 7-9, 2011; in Orlando, Florida, download the brochure now.  If you register using code TMRE11BLOG, you can save $300 off of the standard registration rate!  This rate expires Friday, September 16, 2011.

Featured Presentation: Seven Dimensions For Shopper Marketing Success

Featured Presenter: Dr. A.K. Pradeep, Chief Executive Officer, NeuroFocus, Inc.

About the session:
Retail is a riot today’a riot of signage, product displays, shelf talkers, in-store video, and so much more. All these stimuli overwhelm the cognitive brain’our ‘conscious’ mind that we think makes all our decisions.

But it doesn’t. In fact, the subconscious portion of our brains actually makes as much as 95% of our daily decisions, without us even being aware of it. Our senses flood our brains with 11 million bits of information a second, but our conscious minds can only process 40 bits a second.

What does this mean for retail marketing? If you learn what the brain loves, what it looks for, and what it avoids, you can create products and packaging, marketing materials, and store and aisle designs that attract the subconscious ‘ that ‘iceberg’ inside our heads that lies submerged below the much smaller surface of our consciousness.  Join Dr. Pradeep for a fascinating look into how neuromarketing is remaking marketing and retailing in the 21st century.

How Neuromarketing is Revolutionizing the Market Research Industry

Did you know the subconscious portion of our brains actually makes as much as 95% of our daily decisions, without us even being aware of it. Our senses flood our brains with 11 million bits of information a second, but our conscious minds can only process 40 bits a second.

What does this mean for retail marketing? If you learn what the brain loves, what it looks for, and what it avoids, you can create products and packaging, marketing materials, and store and aisle designs that attract the subconscious – that ‘iceberg’ inside our heads that lies submerged below the much smaller surface of our consciousness. Find out at The Market Research Event as Dr. A.K. Pradeep, CEO of Neurofocus, Inc. details the Seven Dimensions for Shopper Marketing Success.

Dr. Pradeep was the highest rated speaker among over 100 presenters at the 2011 Shopper Insights in Action Conference where he received rave reviews. Download the TMRE Brochure find out more about his presentation and to see the full program plus receive a copy of the 2010 TMRE Executive Summary.  The Market Research Event 2011 will be taking place November 7-9, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.  Friday, August 19, is the last day to register and save $400.  Mention priority code TMRE11BLOG.  With over 1200 market researchers from at least 17 countries, you won’t want to miss this one of a kind event!

#TDMR Live: Morning Sessions, Day One

The first morning of #TDMR was introduced by conference chair Lenny Murphy with a “state of the industry” panel. First Murphy introduced the GRIT (GreenBook Research Industry Trends) results for Spring 2011, discussing an industry in transition.

According to Murphy, the industry needs to be moving from the Traditional Business Model to a Transition Model to the Future Model, which focuses on integrating and creating innovative technology and breaking down silos. He and the panel members challenged the audience to be leading technology and creating technology, move towards storytelling, and realize that human strategists are still the strongest tool available. For more about this session, read live coverage by Kristin Schwitzer here.

Up next, we jumped directly into exploring new market research technologies as Joseph Carrabis and Frank Della Rosa were “deliberately provocative” with their panel “Analytics Schmanalytics.” This presentation explored Neuromarketing. One interesting take-away from Joseph Carrabis was that the human brain is only hardwired to recognize six colors, using other colors in marketing materials or online can cause cognitive confusion and distract from your message.

Next Olga Patel walked us through some of the eye-tracking technology that has been used by Nestle. Interesting technology included heat-mapping for websites, eye-tracking glasses in a real-world shopping environment and 3D goggles for users to visit a virtual retail space. This technology can be merged with Neuroscience to measure the cognitive response and emotional response of consumers – leading to information that can guide package design.

As an example of the future of eye-tracking, Patel pointed at Text 2.0 technology like so:

After the break, Vivek Bhaskaran of Survey Analytics and Kevin Keeker of Zynga presented on using social gaming as a research methodology case study. Zynga is the number one developer on Facebook, and by tying quick 1-2 question surveys into the gaming experience and drawing from Facebook’s data they can provide enormous amounts of feedback quite quickly. Incidentally, it was also mentioned that Zynga is hiring for several Market Research positions.

Stay with us here or follow us on Twitter @TMRE for continued coverage of the rest of the event. What did you think of the morning sessions? Share with us in the comments.

Are you Leveraging Neuromarketing? Technology Driven MR Will Show You How

A recent article in Fast Company has highlighted the growing use of market research technologies across industries, most notably in film production through the use of neurocinema. Neurocinema uses “neurofeedback to help moviemakers vet and refine film elements such as scripts, characters, plots, scenes and affects”. This technique of capturing insights in real time is allowing film makers to capitalize on consumer preferences.

Interested in implementing neuromarketing tools and more of the latest technologies in market research?

Find out more this May at Technology Driven Market Research. Brought to you by the producers of The Market Research Event, TDMR tackles not only the technological advances in market research, but also focuses on the truly innovative, next generation techniques, that are shaping the future of business in general.

Featured Session on neuromarketing:

Dr. A.K. Pradeep, keynote speaker at this year’s Technology Driven Market Research Event, was quoted in the article as saying, forecasting “real-time instant consumer brain response-based personalization” as the eventual evolution of this technology”. You can hear more from Dr. Pradeep about the future of the industry this May, as he presents: Avatar 3D Comes to the Store Aisle.

Download the brochure for details and the complete agenda.

How can you leverage NeuroCinematics?

As we get closer to the date of the Technology Driven Market Research Event (May 2-3, Chicago), it was interesting to read this article in Fast Company about the rise of neurocinema ‘ especially in regards to market research while a film is in production.

Some may envision neurocinema research as something out of Clockwork Orange, but as we learn more about the way the human brain works and interacts with the world around it, the natural progression is to put this knowledge to work. In the Fast Company article Stephen Susco, author of the horror movie Grudge, says he sees neurocinema as the “natural evolution of major studios trying to maximize profit while making the early creative development, script and storytelling process more scientific as opposed to just based on experience and instinct.”

Further on in the article, NeuroFocus CEO A. K. Pradeep, a keynote speaker at this year’s Technology Driven Market Research Event, forcasts “real-time instant consumer brain response-based personalization” as the eventual evolution of this technology.

Indeed, if neurocinema is being used for script vetting or testing audience responses to trailers the further market research applications of this technology are obvious. How could you see this science applied to your industry? It may be logical for a producer to spend $100,000 on a scientific, neurological testing of a product, but at what point does this science become applicable to you? Have you begun using technology like EEGs and biometrics to measure responses already?

Share with us in the comments, or join us this May in Chicago to hear more from A. K. Pradeep and others about the future of neuromarketing.

Could Coca-Cola be collecting new ideas for flavors?

In a recent article at the Neuromarketing blog, they look at a new soda machine Coca Cola is currently testing this in fast food markets throughout Atlanta and California. Each machine can make upto 100 different soda flavors with the machines. The author of the article suggests that this could be a way not only to personalize the sodas, but also collect data on what flavors are particularly stronger in certain areas. It also points to the fact that this data could result to distinct regional flavors specifically for regions. Cherry grape Coca-Cola, anyone?

Speaker Profile: Keynote Martin Lindstrom

We’re excited to have Martin Lindstrom on board for The Market Research Event this year. Until then, though, Lindstrom, who is an expert in neuromarketing, has a few things around the web to keep the TMRE attendees satisfied until the conference. Read an exerpt from Martin’s book Listen to Martin’s podcast at NPR An excerpt from the podcast: Question: Comment on free will being subverted by old marketing methods and campaigns that employ these new techniques.

Lindstrom: …… neuromarketing is a little bit like a hammer. You either hang up a beautiful painting on the wall and it’s pretty positive or you can use it as a weapon. That’s exactly the case here as well. When I decided to write the book and conduct this study, I wanted to do this study because people are fearful of neuromarketing. Can we place a Bible in consumers brains? Is this the next generation of manipulation? Can we get the best of consumers? I wanted to find out mainly because if we never find out (this may become a monster). We many not be aware of it and can’t stop it. Here’s the good news, none of those things are possible. The good news now is we can actually stop bad advertisers from doing bad things and one of the industries I’m attacking in a big way is the tobacco industry. In fact, now we’ve proven that from the biology is wrongly using subliminal advertising, which was banned in 1957. That means you are affected by subconscious signals around you every day. (Let’s use London Pops as an example.) They were using small red tiles in the bathrooms. They’re doing that funded by tobacco companies that make you want to smoke more on a subconscious level.