Category: The Science of Marketing

Musings on interdisciplinary scientific research, trends and findings that affect (and, in some cases, effect) the way we market goods, services and opportunities.

13 Oct 2010

Beyond Neuromarketing . . . You WILL like what I sell!

 

neuron
Monkey See Monkey Do

 

I was having a discussion with a neurosurgeon last week about neuromarketing – the combination of marketing and neuroscience to generate response – and he brought up an interesting point, which was that once neural pathways have been established – you are simply seeing a map of the road (but, in the brain, obviously).

If you put an MRI on my brain and ask me to think of racing – you will see certain parts of my brain fire up.  The thing is, my brain may fire up differently than yours.  I used to race, so my memories will react differently.  Asked to experience those memories (or having them triggered) is going to adjust my physiology (heightened visual cortex awareness, fast-twitch response activation), etc.  Your experience with racing may be completely different.  It’s not that I’m right and you’re wrong, it’s just that my brain got wired differently.

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08 Oct 2010

3D or not 3D – that is the question!

Let me start out this article with full disclosure – I had an eye injury that has affected my stereoptic vision, which means that I don’t see 3D correctly.  In fact, it just gives me a headache and makes me feel ill.

So, setting my personal bias aside, I still don’t like 3D.  There, I said it.

I don’t find (eye problem aside) 3D to be an immersive experience, but I honestly can’t say if it’s because of the glasses or not.  I have seen prototypes of 3D screens that don’t require the glasses, but the strict requirements (standing in one spot – narrow viewing angle) make it as annoying as wearing glasses.  3D that doesn’t require glasses is making rapid advancements, so the day may come when it’s really good (for the 90% that can see it), but IMHO, it’s not working.

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04 Oct 2010

They're (almost) heeeeeerrrreeeeee . . . .

Google TV that is – not spirits trying to pull you into a different dimension in order to lead them into the light . . . oh, never mind.  Either you got the Poltergeist reference in the title or you didn’t.  The real point of the title is that Google TV has started the engine on the PR machine that will drive Google TV into our hearts, minds and living rooms.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDeX_oIfEeQ&feature=player_embedded]

If you haven’t seen it yet, Google TV is a platform that combines current TV programming and the open web into a seamless entertainment experience.  Google has launched a new Website to introduce Google TV (I really like the logo).

Ambarish Kenghe (AK), Developer Product Manager, Google TV, has also posted an update on the official Google Blog:

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04 Oct 2010

They’re (almost) heeeeeerrrreeeeee . . . .

Google TV that is – not spirits trying to pull you into a different dimension in order to lead them into the light . . . oh, never mind.  Either you got the Poltergeist reference in the title or you didn’t.  The real point of the title is that Google TV has started the engine on the PR machine that will drive Google TV into our hearts, minds and living rooms.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDeX_oIfEeQ&feature=player_embedded]

If you haven’t seen it yet, Google TV is a platform that combines current TV programming and the open web into a seamless entertainment experience.  Google has launched a new Website to introduce Google TV (I really like the logo).

Ambarish Kenghe (AK), Developer Product Manager, Google TV, has also posted an update on the official Google Blog:

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30 Sep 2010

The future of maps will be 3D!

Nokia (the cellphone company) and its mapping division, Navteq, are developing a rival to Google’s Street View.  What is interesting, from both a technology and marketing perspective, is that Navteq’s version promises full three-dimensional virtual models as opposed to the Google 2D version of models.

Google’s Street View is a collection of 2D panoramic photos snapped on many of the world’s streets (you may recall the furor that arose in many locations when the Google Street View cars rolled past).  The photos were then stitched together, but navigating through Google Street View means hopping between 2D panoramas a few meters apart.  Nokia, by contrast, will offer full 3D rendering of buildings based on a street-level version of laser radar or lidar.  The 3D models will be built with a lidar data set called Journey View to be collected by a fleet of Navteq street-imaging cars (one wonders if these cars will also be attacked by locals).  Software that accurately pins panoramic photographs onto these models will then decorate the 3D cityscape.  Users will be able to move smoothly through the 3D models almost as if they were in a photorealistic driving game.

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23 Sep 2010

Is Google about to become your significant other?

Have you ever met one of those couples who always finish each other’s sentences?  Like me, you may find it incredibly annoying, but the ability to do that is based on shared experiences, intimacy and the ability to predict outcome based on previous behavior.  Intimacy forged during relationship building can also lead to a certain level of anticipated needs fulfillment (i.e., when a spouse can tell another has had a bad day and has a cold drink waiting when they get home).  So if annoyingly cute couples can anticipate each other’s needs, why can’t Google?  That’s the future heralded by the company’s new search tool, “Google Instant,” which delivers results even before you’ve finished typing a query.

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20 Sep 2010

It's not just what we say, it's how we say it.

Want to know how a Japanese person is feeling? Pay attention to the tone of his voice, not his face. That’s what other Japanese people would do, anyway. A new study examines how Dutch and Japanese people assess others’ emotions and finds that Dutch people pay attention to the facial expression more than Japanese people do.  “As humans are social animals, it’s important for humans to understand the emotional state of other people to maintain good relationships,” says Akihiro Tanaka of Waseda Institute for Advanced Study in Japan. “When a man is smiling, probably he is happy, and when he is crying, probably he’s sad.” Most of the research on understanding the emotional state of others has been done on facial expression; Tanaka and his colleagues in Japan and the Netherlands wanted to know how vocal tone and facial expressions work together to give you a sense of someone else’s emotion.

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20 Sep 2010

It’s not just what we say, it’s how we say it.

Want to know how a Japanese person is feeling? Pay attention to the tone of his voice, not his face. That’s what other Japanese people would do, anyway. A new study examines how Dutch and Japanese people assess others’ emotions and finds that Dutch people pay attention to the facial expression more than Japanese people do.  “As humans are social animals, it’s important for humans to understand the emotional state of other people to maintain good relationships,” says Akihiro Tanaka of Waseda Institute for Advanced Study in Japan. “When a man is smiling, probably he is happy, and when he is crying, probably he’s sad.” Most of the research on understanding the emotional state of others has been done on facial expression; Tanaka and his colleagues in Japan and the Netherlands wanted to know how vocal tone and facial expressions work together to give you a sense of someone else’s emotion.

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16 Sep 2010

Your attenuation, please!

Visible light waves
Imagine light that never fades

Oh man, that has to be one of the best inside physics jokes, ever.

Advertising agencies love video on the Internet.  It lets us deliver our intended message, it lets us drive emotional response and it gives us a point of difference versus others in social media efforts.  The problem with video on the Web is that it sucks bandwidth and, even on broadband connections, can result in choppy play.  Nothing is worse than having an intended message bombed out because it keeps hiccuping.  However, a team of optical engineers have devised a way to revitalize light signals being sent down optical fibers, enabling them to send more information down the wires.  The result could be a perfect stream of video.

Conventionally, data is sent as a series of on-off light pulses, where each pulse encodes as a series of on-off light pulses, where each pulse encodes a single bit of information.  More data can potentially be squeezed onto a stream of light by modifying the phase of each light pulse in a measurable way.  Even greater carrying capacity can be achieved using light at several intensity levels.  However, light signals are gradually distorted by interacting with the fiber – a process known as attenuation (hence the headline).

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13 Sep 2010

The next generation of WiFi is almost here . . .

One of the big problems with digital signage (and many other types of mobile marketing) is the lack of WiFi connectivity.  Digital signs often rely on WiFi as a means for content delivery, diagnostics, analytics, etc.  The problem is that WiFi uses very low power and operates on a very narrow spectrum, which makes it difficult to pick up a WiFi signal, especially inside or rural areas.  Digital signage inside a retail environment usually means installing a new WiFi network for the store, which brings not only added costs, but also one more thing that has to be monitored and managed.  Ideally, digital signage (that requires WiFi) could tap into an existing network that was much more powerful and robust.  After September 23, that could very well happen.

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