Ginsberg: Neuro-Based Research, Intel #MRA_AC #MRX


Intel Corporation

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Session summary of the Marketing Research Association 2011 annual conference. These are my interpretations of the session. They were written during the session and posted immediately afterwards. Any inaccuracies and silliness are my own.


General Session: What They’re Thinking, But Can’t Say: Moving to Deeper Insights With Neuro-Based Research
David Ginsberg, Intel

  • We have a desire to appear rational, we focus on facts and numbers, we develop 20 point plans. Why doesn’t the audience see things as we do? Science tells us that’s not how people think, that’s now how they make decisions.
  • Intel wanted to become champions of the MIND of the consumer, not the voice. Move from rational to the emotional.
  • “We have learned more about the brain in the last 5 years than all of human history combined.” Charlie Rose
  • Traditional – Conscious brain is CEO, conscious brain keeps irrational in check, conscious brain knows why it did that
  • New learnings – Unconscious is responsible for most decisions, unconscious is not rational, conscious brain enters story afterwards (this is not new at all unless new means since the 1800s) Do you KNOW why you really truly love your spouse? Do you have access to this information? Maybe not.
  • 5% of brain’s processing is conscious which means 95% is non-conscious. Why do we focus on the 5% so much? We take in 11 million bits of information per minute but our brain processes only 40 bits per minute. Yes, 40.  Cocktail party, hum of people talking, but then you hear your name in another conversation and you instantly recognize it even though you weren’t paying attention to it.
  • What has neuroscience replaced? Nothing. It’s all additive. 20% of budget is on neuroscience approaches.
  • The process is this: Sense data in world, store patterns as memories, determine if it is expected and reinforce that memory, if it’s unexpected it tries to connect it to memories it does expect, (A convertible is a car with no hat), if it can’t connect it may just discard the memory,  after a couple times it may make its way into memory, brain decides if it needs to take an action,
  • Brain seeks to economize conscious computing, takes a lot of power, offload as much as possible to unconscious, inherent biases like loss aversion (need to win a lot more than we lose), limits on conscious processing power means the decision has to be structured to reduce the computational load
  • How did experts versus regular people rate jam?  People matched with the experts when they just ordered them by liking. But when people had to explain WHY they liked them, the decisions were completely different. Brain wiring was messed up.
  • People prefer things on the right side of a table, at the end of the list.  People have great answers for choosing that. In a test of 4 kinds of pantyhose, people had a preference even though the 4 options were identical in all ways. People are not equipped to answer the questions we ask them.
  • Can use cognitive psychology, neurological based, facial coding research methods for product research, branding research, and ad testing.
  • People say they want speed performance out of Intel chip. But if that was true, we wouldn’t need a marketing department. Actually, people say they want the pretty red laptop not “Intel inside”. They used trained psychotherapists to work with people. They got into real deep emotions about what performance means to people, it was like conducting real psychotherapy sessions.
  • They tested five brand positioning statements with asking a single question. They introduced no bias by prompting people. They asked people to match words to the position and new words that they had never thought of before appeared. They loved not having to ask a question. Often, you can’t give the real answer.
  • (insert yellow slide with green text, and yellow slide with yellow text here)   J
  • Not everything has been validated yet (I don’t need validation. Tons of psychology research backs this stuff up.)
  • Don’t be encumbered by history. Go off and do something wonderful. Robert Noyce.
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  1. [...] are complex and we are just beginning to scratch the surface of what they really want. Some tests have shown that people prefer items on the right or at the bottom of the list.. why? We don’t [...]

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