Tag Archives: neuroscience

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

Intel Corporation

Image via Wikipedia

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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I’m a Lion in the Market Research Zoo #MRX

It’s a zoo in the market research world! Everyone has their own way of dealing with all the changes in our fair industry. So which animal best reflects who you are?

Dinosaurs – You started out doing paper surveys 30 years ago and you’re still doing them. You don’t have a computer, you don’t know what Facebook is, and the only blog you’ve ever read was the little red book with the quickly pickable lock under your daughter’s bed. Did someone print this out for you?

Ostriches – You have your head deeply buried in the sand. You’ve been doing survey research since you started working in the industry and you know there are lots of new methods and options out there. But, it’s scary and you don’t want to hear about it. Ever. Go away.

Sloths – You’ve heard what’s out there and have an idea of what is ahead for market researchers. But you’ve got other things to think about, like is the banana in your lunch totally bruised. You’ll stick with online surveys until someone shoves something else in front of you that you can’t get around. Unlike the laundry piled around your bed.

Turtles – You are slow and steady. You see all the cool things that have become available to market researchers in the last few years and are gradually making your way there. It’s a slow and steady walk but you need to make sure it’s the right move. Wow. You sounds kinda boring.

Lions – You’ve seen your target, realized you need it to fill out your diet, and have moved in for the kill. You devour new methods and opportunities without any fear. You sometimes cause fear in other and your lucky number is 37.

Nuthatches – You fly haphazardly all over the place from one new thing to another. Gaming! Online surveys! Co-creation! Mobile surveys! Social media research! Neuroscience! You’ve seen it! You’ve done it! You’re an expert in everything! But really an expert in nothing.

So which one are you?

Next Year’s New MR: Super Extra Cool New MR

Market research never changes. The purpose has always been single minded – to predict purchase behaviour. We do a lot of work to to understand people, to help people, to make people’s lives better by creating better products and services but if that was really our purpose, we’d all be certified clinical psychologists. I’d actually like that.

But let’s be honest. Segmentation studies allow us to better understand the personality traits of groups of people so we can better predict different styles of purchase behaviour. Ad testing studies allow us to better understand which ads are likely to create purchase behaviour. No matter the type of study, if it doesn’t contribute to predicting the purchase decision, your company won’t fund it.

Of course, over the years, our scientific methods have evolved just as they will continue to do in the coming years. We left the dinosaur age 15 years ago when we grasped onto as online surveys. Mobile research has graduated from new and cool to an actionable product. Neuroscience is making fascinating progress in the field of market research, making me want to get my grimey little hands on the equipment and the data. And social media research is the current fashion in research and is even being used to predict stock market results and movie box office results.

The tools market researchers have access to have changed a lot over time and they will continue to change. But, the premise and basic method of market research will always remain the same. We must sample correctly. We must weight correctly. We will create quality data with quality tools. We will focus on quality analyses which accurately predict dollars. Those things, the things that make market research what it is, will never change.

It makes me wonder… if we are all about the New MR right now, what are we going to call New MR next year? Super extra new MR? Just wondering.

Read these too

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  • Why market researchers can never be marketers
  • Brian Levine: Neuroscience and Marketing Research #netgain #mrx

    Image representing TiVo as depicted in CrunchBase

    Image via CrunchBase

    President, Innerscope Research
    .
    What follows are some of my silly musings and key take-aways of the session.
    – Yes, people are lazy. Let’s learn how to take advantage of laziness. People will look at whatever you’re pointing at. 🙂
    – Not everyone is an Apple employee who is so good they don’t need to do market research (ha ha, this is a joke from recent news)
    – They did a study that was 95% accurate predicting the outcome of speeddating (neato!)
    – “Tell me and i will forget, show me and i may remember, involve me and i will understand”
    – Nothing predicts behaviour like the impulse it follows
    – FBI uses the lie detector to measure the “run away” impulse
    – Market research uses the “want” impulse (major sales pitch follows from here, causing an aversion mechanism for me)
    – Aversion creates specific retreat mechanisms, e.g., faces turn away; And enjoyment creates “leaning in”
    – A pivotal TV commercial that went viral saw 50 people lean into the commercial all at the same time
    – (Now I’m thinking I’d like some more coffee cake…. mmmm cake)
    – Called a n=10 study qualitative compared to the last one which was n=40. (hm, both sound qualitative to me)
    – Research participant only realized afterwards that she had purchased Aim toothpaste instead of Aquafresh simply because of an itunes ad on the toothpaste box. Watching the neuroscience information revealed it to her.
    – (I think there’s a good presentation in here somewhere but I’m lazy and it wasn’t pointed out to me. 😦 Fingers crossed for his next presentation.)

    Related Links
    #Netgain5 Keynote Roundup: Last Thoughts
    Brian Levine: Neuroscience and Marketing Research
    Brian Singh: Insights from the Nenshi Campaign
    Monique Morden: Online Communities, MROCs
    Ray Poynter – Overview of Online Research Trends
    Tom Anderson: Web Analytics
    Will Goodhand: Social Media Research and Digividuals

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