Sunday, April 29, 2012

Giving Time Gives You Time

Report: Giving Time Gives You Timeo

FanCulture: The Evolution of Influence

FanCulture: The Evolution of Influence is a short film exploring the role fans could, and should, play in brands and marketing.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Six important stimuli when it comes to sales

Neuromarketing in practice


Friday, April 27, 2012

Which ads are winners? Your brain knows better than you do

Advertisers and public health officials may be able to access hidden wisdom in the brain to more effectively sell their products and promote health and safety, UCLA neuroscientists report in the first study to use brain data to predict how large populations will respond to advertisements.
Thirty smokers who were trying to quit watched television commercials from three advertising campaigns, which all ended by showing the phone number of the National Cancer Institute's smoking-cessation hotline. They were asked which commercials they thought would be most effective; they responded that advertising campaigns "A" and "B" would be the best and "C" would be the worst.
The UCLA researchers also consulted experts who work in the anti-smoking field and who have been involved in creating anti-smoking advertisements. These experts agreed that campaigns "A" and "B" were the best and "C" was the worst.
While the smokers watched the advertisements, they underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans at UCLA's Ahmanson–Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, and the neuroscientists focused on part of the medial prefrontal cortex — located in the front of the brain, between the eyebrows — a region that they have found to be especially important in previous persuasion studies.
The researchers found that activity in the medial prefrontal cortex increased much more during advertising campaign "C" than it did during campaign "A," and somewhat more than it did during campaign "B."
"The medial prefrontal cortex predicted 'C' would be the best, 'B' would be second best and 'A' would be the worst — essentially the opposite of what the experts and the participants told us they thought would happen," said the study's senior author, Matthew Lieberman, a UCLA professor of psychology and of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences.
"We didn't expect how radically different people's predictions would be from the predictions we made based on their brain activity," said Lieberman, one of the founders of social cognitive neuroscience. "We had people telling us one thing and this brain region telling us something diametrically opposed."
Initially, Lieberman and first author Emily Falk, an assistant professor of communication studies and psychology at the University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, were concerned when they saw the results from the medial prefrontal cortex.
"We were hoping the brain data would add something to the self-reports of our participants," Lieberman said. "Given how different they were from one another, we were afraid our brain data might not end up predicting the real-world outcomes at all."
A few months later, after the advertisements had been broadcast, the authors received the call-volume data from the National Cancer Institute's 1-800-QUIT-NOW hotline. They compared the number of people who called the hotline the month before and the month after each of the advertising campaigns was run. All three advertising campaigns were successful in increasing the number of phone calls to the hotline. Campaign "A" more than doubled the number of calls, "B" increased the number of calls more than ten-fold and "C" boosted the number of calls a remarkable thirty-fold. (The advertisements were shown in Michigan, Massachusetts and Louisiana.)
Activity in the medial prefrontal cortex predicted which ads persuaded more people to call the hotline significantly better than the smokers' own thoughts about how successful the ads would be.
The research is published this month in the online edition of the journal Psychological Science, the premier journal for psychological science research, with print publication to follow.
What are the implications for the advertising industry, which often relies, at least partly, on unscientific focus groups?
"If people are making decisions based on what focus groups tell them, here's an important brain region saying, 'No, spend your money a different way,'" Lieberman said. "If I were deciding on an advertising campaign, I would want to know which ads are activating this region the most — that is where I would want to spend my money."
This new research represents "the first thing you could call a neural focus group," Lieberman said.
One reason focus groups can be misleading, he said, is that people often do not know what motivates their own behavior.
"Our brain is built to generate reasons for our actions," Lieberman said, "and we think the reasons we come up with must be true. We believe our own reasons with an intensity that is out of proportion to their accuracy. In this study, we are bypassing people's self-reports and getting at a form of hidden wisdom in the brain.
"We wanted to determine what kind of brain activity serves as the catalyst between people seeing a message and whether they actually change their behavior," he said. "This is the region we identified. We have tested it multiple times, and each time, it has been successful."
John Wanamaker, a 19th-century U.S. department store pioneer, famously said he wasted half the money he spent on advertising, but "the trouble is I don't know which half." Many people since Wanamaker have hoped to predict which advertising campaigns will succeed or fail before committing their advertising dollars.
"We're too late for Wanamaker, but now we have a method for figuring out which ads will succeed," Lieberman said.
The 30 smokers in the study were between the ages of 28 and 69; half were female.
Brain regions associated with thinking analytically have not been consistently associated with whether people change their behavior in these studies, Lieberman said. The medial prefrontal cortex is associated not with analytical thinking but with self-reflection — thinking about our own identity as well as what we like and do not like.
"Persuasive advertising seems to be about getting to people's hearts and their identity," Lieberman said. "We are just at the beginning of this line of research. There are many more questions than answers, but the initial results have been promising."
In research Lieberman and Falk published in the Journal of Neuroscience in 2010, greater activity in the same medial prefrontal region was predictive of who would increase their sunscreen usage after seeing persuasive messages about daily sunscreen use.
"We knew from prior studies that this brain region predicted people's behavior change in response to a persuasive message," Lieberman said.
With the new study, Lieberman and his colleagues wanted to know whether they could predict not only people's own behavior but use these brain responses to predict how effective advertisements would be throughout the country.
Persuasion research has many applications, Lieberman noted, "including how teachers can communicate better so their students won't tune out and how doctors can convince patients to stick to their instructions. We all use persuasion in some form or another every day."

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bloomingdale's virtual reality shopping

Another level of service: An virtual reality solution for the shop window that lets the casual bypasser "try" sunglasses without entering the store itself. Solutions like this will be a big thing in the fashion industry the next couple of years.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Another level of service...


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Supermarket visitors are not behaving as they intended to do

Analyzing shop visitors brain activity show that people are not doing what the think they do while in the store:


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fashion Color Trends in Real-Time

This is clever. By mounting cameras in top European fashion capitals, and recording the colors of bypassers, Pimkie Color Forecast, can track the dominant color trends in real-time:

Pimkie Color Forecast - Technical video from Color Forecast on Vimeo.o

John Cleese on Creativity


Animated Twitter Ad

Did you think Twitter did´nt include the animation function? Think again, Smart Argentina has created animated Twitter Ad built right into the brands stream.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

RETAILOMANIA: The End Of The Retail World As We Know It

I am a few months into a new book project, titled as the headline says. In this book, I will try to describe the reason why retailers have developed the way they have until now, and why the future will be another game where a whole new set of rules will be brought onto the table. The synopsis could read like this:

"Today’s retail business is a battlefield and as on a modern military battlefield, the enemy isn’t always visible or doesn’t fight using the same methods. Fire, protection and movement remain the key principles of combat, but an enemy can also infiltrate the battleground, hide among civilians or plant IEDs to fool and unnerve his adversary. In the retail context this would translate to small, fast growing and digital retailers challenging an established global giant on its home turf, or consumers joining together to create a secondhand market instead of always buying the latest products from a store. Or even brands without a traditional media budget, using social media and branded content to build a loyal customer base without attracting attention from the competition. In short: The future is not what it used to be, but rather a flickering, confusing place where the established marketing methodologies of the retail giants may well be undermined by their newer, more dynamic adversaries who are potentially better placed to fully meet the marketing challenges created by new and emerging markets. In the new world of retail then, as on the modern battlefield, size is not necessarily an advantage. Instead, over what is likely to be an economically turbulent next 10 years, retailers will need to be able to move swiftly in order to adapt to consumers’ rapidly changing preferences. Some of the brands of yesterday will die some with a bang and some slowly as if from an incurable wasting disease. The future will be characterized by asymmetric competition, where creativity, intelligence and adaptability are more important than size and brute force. We now see TEOTRWAWKI -  the end of the retail world as we know it."

Holography for your store maybe?

This is from a Burberry catwalk somewhere near you:

or how about an augmented reality topped with a holographic illusion for your product display?

I think we are going to se more of this during the years to come.o

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

To bundle or not to bundle?

“People who evaluate a bundle follow an averaging strategy, which leads to less favorable judgments when mildly favorable pieces are added to highly favorable pieces,” write authors Kimberlee Weaver (Virginia Tech), Stephen M. Garcia, and Norbert Schwarz (both University of Michigan).
The authors found this “presenter’s paradox” across many product domains from bundles of music to hotel advertisements, scholarships, penalty structures, and gifts. For example, presenters who created packages for an MP3 music player chose to spend more money to make the package look more valuable, but to consumers it seemed cheaper. In another study, people perceived a $750 fine for littering to be more severe than a $750 fine plus two hours of community service.
“These discrepancies between presenter and evaluator perspectives result from their different tasks, which elicit different processing information styles,” the authors write. For presenters, more components add value, but evaluators, who tend to average, have a different perception.
Presenters should be aware of the consumer tendency to average when they’re creating product bundles or presenting information. “Whether a public relations expert is deciding which reviews to include on the jacket of a book, a guru at a record label is deciding which songs to include in a music album, or a legal team is building up arguments for a legal case, they all face the important task of deciding what information to include in their presentations,” the authors write.
“Fortunately, there is a simple remedy: Taking the perspective of the evaluator and asking yourself how the bundle will appear to someone who averages across its components will alert you to the fact that others will not always share your sense that more is better,” the authors conclude. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rose-Colored Glasses: Are Optimistic Consumers More Likely to Trust Salespeople?

People who believe the world is a just place trust salespeople more than consumers who don’t—but only after they’ve made a purchase, according to a new study from two American researchers.

“As consumers, we make many decisions each day that may or may not turn out the way we hope. Since we know salespeople may have their own reasons for the advice and recommendations they give, trusting a salesperson may put us at further risk of making a bad decision,” write authors Andrew E. Wilson (Saint Mary’s College of California) and Peter R. Darke (York University).
The authors examined how consumers balance the tension between trust and protecting themselves from making bad decisions. For example, in one study, they asked participants to choose between two digital cameras that a salesperson had recommended. Half the participants told the researchers how much they trusted the salesperson before they made their choice; the other half rated their trust after the made their choice. The authors asked all the participants to tell them how much they believed their personal world was a place where they generally got what they deserved. “Our data analysis shows that after making a choice, individuals who believed in a just world trusted the salesperson more than those who did not hold this belief,” the authors write. Before making the choice, both groups trusted the salesperson equally, which demonstrates that people use their belief in a just world to cope with the possibility of having made a bad decision.
In another study, the authors manipulated worldviews and found that optimism also led to increased trust in salespeople after purchase decisions, but only when participants did not detect an ulterior motive in the salesperson.
Finally, in a third study, the authors discovered that the coping mechanism they studied only occurred when consumers were considering their own purchases, not others’. They also found that consumers who showed “optimistic trust” ended up more satisfied with their purchase decisions.
“Consumers who believe they live in a just world use this belief as a resource in coping with the difficulty of making consumer decisions, and this has the somewhat surprising effect that they end up trusting salespeople more following a choice,” the authors conclude. 

How Does the Global Financial Crisis Affect Consumer Decision Making?

Consumers who feel financially deprived are more likely to seek scarce products, according to a new study.

“The global financial crisis has badly shaken the financial stability of consumers, small businesses, large financial institutions, and even national governments,” write authors Eesha Sharma and Adam L. Alter (both New York University). “We sought to understand how the experience of financial deprivation might affect various stages of the consumer decision-making process—beginning with how people visually perceive goods and ultimately concluding with their choice and consumption of those goods.”
In one study, researchers approached people in a New York City park and asked them how they felt about their financial position compared to their peers and compared to the previous year. In another study, New York University undergraduates were prompted through a writing task to experience either deprivation or privilege; they then completed tasks where they picked out objects from visual arrays. In a third study, the authors found that financially deprived participants not only consumed more M&Ms than people who felt privileged, but they also preferred scarce ones to abundant ones.
“States of deprivation prompt heightened visual sensitivity to and preference for scarce goods that appear to be unavailable to other consumers,” the authors explain. “Indeed, the effects only arise when consumers believe that scarce goods have not been obtained by others, and when they are unaware of how their financial state might be influencing their thoughts and feelings.”
“These results suggest that consumers ought to be vigilant when shopping in a state of deprivation, since their purchasing decisions might be unduly swayed by the ensuing experience of discomfort,” the authors write. “Meanwhile, scarcity marketing might be a useful tool for policy makers who seek to promote adaptive behaviors like healthy eating, physical exercise, and financial saving.” 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Retailomania Is Now On Facebook

Please go to our page by clicking here, and like us!o

Social Networks of the Last 50 years

Watch in full size by clicking here.


Internet in 2015 - R U ready for zettabytes?

Watch in full size by clicking here.


Friday, April 13, 2012

Multitasking – not so bad for you after all?

Study uncovers a possible positive effect of using multiple forms of media at the same time

Our obsession with multiple forms of media is not necessarily all bad news, according to a new study by Kelvin Lui and Alan Wong from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Their work shows that those who frequently use different types of media at the same time appear to be better at integrating information from multiple senses - vision and hearing in this instance - when asked to perform a specific task. This may be due to their experience of spreading their attention to different sources of information while media multitasking. Their study is published online in Springer's Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.
To date, there has been a lot of publicity about the detrimental aspects of media multitasking - using more than one form of media or technology simultaneously. Especially prevalent in young people, this could be instant messaging, music, web surfing, e-mail, online videos, computer games or social networking. Research has demonstrated impairments during certain cognitive tasks involving task switching, selective attention and working memory, both in the laboratory and in real-life situations. This type of cognitive impairment may be due to the fact that multitaskers tend to pay attention to various sources of information available in their environment, without sufficient focus on the information most relevant to the task at hand.
But does this cognitive style have any advantages? Lui and Wong's study explored the differences be-tween media multitaskers' tendency and ability to capture information from seemingly irrelevant sources. In particular, they assessed how much two different groups (frequent multitaskers and light multitaskers) could integrate visual and auditory information automatically.
A total of 63 participants, aged 19-28 years, took part in the experiment. They completed questionnaires looking at their media usage - both time spent using various media and the extent to which they used more than one at a time. The participants were then set a visual search task, with and without synchro-nous sound, i.e. a short auditory pip, which contained no information about the visual target's location, but indicated the instant it changed color.
On average, participants regularly received information from at least three media at the same time. Those who media multitasked the most tended to be more efficient at multisensory integration. In other words, they performed better in the task when the tone was present than when it was absent. They also per-formed worse than light media multitaskers in the tasks without the tone. It appears that their ability to routinely take in information from a number of different sources made it easier for them to use the unex-pected auditory signal in the task with tone, leading to a large improvement in performance in the pres-ence of the tone.
The authors conclude: "Although the present findings do not demonstrate any causal effect, they highlight an interesting possibility of the effect of media multitasking on certain cognitive abilities, multisensory integration in particular. Media multitasking may not always be a bad thing."

Social Media ROI

Introducing the Social Media Solar System (Click link below for larger image):


New Facebook Brand Pages: A first look at usability has made an eyetracking study in order to investigate how users interact with the new Facebook Timeline design. Download a briefing paper by clicking here.o

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Class of 2015


Consumerism and its antisocial effects can be turned on—or off

Money doesn’t buy happiness. Neither does materialism: Research shows that people who place a high value on wealth, status, and stuff are more depressed and anxious and less sociable than those who do not. Now new research shows that materialism is not just a personal problem. It’s also environmental. “We found that irrespective of personality, in situations that activate a consumer mindset, people show the same sorts of problematic patterns in wellbeing, including negative affect and social disengagement,” says Northwestern University psychologist Galen V. Bodenhausen. The study, conducted with colleagues Monika A. Bauer, James E. B. Wilkie, and Jung K. Kim, appears in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
In two of four experiments, university students were put in a materialistic frame of mind by tasks that exposed them to images of luxury goods or words mobilizing consumerist values (versus neutral scenes devoid of consumer products or words without such connotations). Completing questionnaires afterwards, those who looked at the pictures of cars, electronics, and jewelry rated themselves higher in depression and anxiety, less interested in social activities like parties, and more in solitary pursuits than the others. Those primed to materialism by exposure to certain words evinced more competitiveness and less desire to invest their time in pro-social activities like working for a good cause.
In two other experiments, participants completed tasks that were framed as surveys—one of consumer responses, another of citizens.’ The first experiment involved moving words toward or away from the participant’s name on a computer screen—positive and negative emotion words and “neutral” ones that actually suggested materialism (wealth, power), self-restraint (humble, discipline), transcendence of self, or self-indulgence. The people who answered the “consumer response survey” more quickly “approached” the words that reflected materialistic values than those in the “citizen” survey. The last experiment presented participants with a hypothetical water shortage in a well shared by four people, including themselves. The water users were identified either as consumers or individuals. Might the collective identity as consumers—as opposed to the individual role—supersede the selfishness ordinarily stimulated by the consumer identity? No: The “consumers” rated themselves as less trusting of others to conserve water, less personally responsible and less in partnership with the others in dealing with the crisis. The consumer status, the authors concluded “did not unite; it divided.”
The findings have both social and personal implications, says Bodenhausen. “It’s become commonplace to useconsumer as a generic term for people,” in the news or discussions of taxes, politics, or health care. If we use term such as Americans or citizens instead, he says, “that subtle difference activates different psychological concerns.” We can also take personal initiative to reduce the depressive, isolating effects of a materialist mindset by avoiding its stimulants—most obviously, advertising. One method: “Watch less TV.”

Customers Acquired Through Google Search Advertising More Valuable Than Previously Thought

In a down economy where advertisers are concerned about every dollar spent, a team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis has developed a new method of measuring the effectiveness of Google search advertising, taking into account not only online sales, but goods or services purchased off-line as well
The 2012 Olin Award-winning paper, “Measuring the Lifetime Value of Customers Acquired from Google Search Advertising,” finds that the conventional method of measuring the return on investment of online search ads is limited and fails to take into account the potential for “cross-channel sales spillover.”
By measuring only online transactions, current measurement methods also fail to consider the long-term profit impact of new customers.
The paper is written by Tat Chan, PhD, associate professor of marketing at Olin Business School, Ying Xie, PhD, associate professor of marketing, and doctoral studentChunhua Wu.
They will share the Olin Award’s $10,000 prize for relevant and performance-enhancing applications to critical management issues. The Olin Award for faculty research was initiated in 2007 by Richard Mahoney, executive-in-residence at Olin and former chairman and CEO of Monsanto Co.
A panel of prominent business executives and educators review and judge a range of research papers submitted to the competition authored by faculty of the Olin Business School.
Chan and his colleagues have developed an empirical method that estimates the lifetime value of customers acquired from search advertising by using multiple data sources. This new method provides advertisers with a more complete measurement of the value of customers acquired via Google.
Although the average cost per click using Google search advertising increased from around 25 cents in 2004 to almost 80 cents in 2007, it returns a value of about $10 per click for each keyword, the study suggests.
“This is very important for the advertising industry,” Chan says. “And also I think it is important for Google itself. They want to really show their customers, their business clients, how effective search advertising is.”
Google’s total advertising revenues in 2010 were $28 billion, up from $439 million in 2002.
One of the major advantages of search advertising is that it creates a better fit between potential customers’ needs and the advertised message. By reaching out to a large audience with immediate interest in the product advertised, search advertising provides a platform for advertisers not only to stimulate sales among existing customers but to also acquire new customers and grow business.
By merging web traffic and sales data from a small-sized U.S. firm, the researchers created an individual customer-level panel that tracks all repeated purchases, both online and off-line, and tracks whether or not these purchases were referred from Google search advertising.
Their results show that customers acquired through Google search advertising have a higher transaction rate than customers acquired from other channels. After accounting for future purchases and spillover to off-line channels, the calculated value of new customers using this new approach is much higher than the value obtained using conventional methods.
“The conventional method normally just looks at online transactions, that are one-time transactions,” says Ying Xie, PhD, associate professor of marketing. “But in our method we propose that we should think about the customer’s lifetime value.
“In their lifetime, they could be an active customer, repeatedly making purchases. The cumulative amount of these purchases — that’s the profit stream we should take into account.”
The conventional method to measure the return of Google search advertising is to compare the online transaction profit generated from Google referrals with the cost of search advertising within a fixed time period.
Chan and his colleagues find that this has overlooked two important factors in profit calculation – multi-channel distribution is more prevalent in the Internet age and customer lifetime value is now widely used in many industries as a key marketing asset metric.
To estimate the customer lifetime value, the researchers merged three data sources, all available to advertisers in different industries, to construct customer panel data tracking online browsing history, as well as repeat purchases from both online and off-line channels.
They developed an integrated model of customer lifetime, transaction rate and gross margin. Based on their model’s estimates, they find that the firm would incur a loss of $48 on average to acquire a new customer if using the conventional method.
After accounting for sales spillovers across channels and the long-term effect, the estimated value of customer acquisition is as high as $950 per customer.
“We know that advertising is important for business,” Chan says. “We just don’t know how we should invest or how effective it is. Online search advertising is increasing rapidly. It is very important for a lot of advertisers.”
“The conventional method normally just looks at online transactions, that are one-time transactions,” Xie says. “But in our method we propose that we should think about the customer’s lifetime value. In their lifetime they could be an active customer, repeatedly making purchases, and the cumulative amount of these purchases, that’s sort of the profit stream we should take into account.”
“This is very important for the industry,” Chan says. “And also I think it is important for Google itself. They want to really show their customers, their business clients, how effective search advertising is.”
The study concludes that current method of measuring dramatically undervalue those customers and the new multi-channel evaluation provides a better and more accurate measurement for companies to gauge their investment in online search advertising.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Digital Trends for 2012


Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Instant Life

Created by: Online Graduate Programso