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The practice of consumer neuroscience

Carl Marci is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, a former director of social neuroscience at Massachusetts General Hospital and a past visiting lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Program in Media Arts & Sciences.

He received his master’s of arts in psychology and philosophy at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar and completed his doctorate with honors at Harvard Medical School, according to his bio.

Carl Marci
Carl Marci

So, what makes him a fit with the Shopper Marketing Summit?

Marci is co-founder and chief science officer of Innerscope Research, which uses biometrics, eye tracking, facial coding and other techniques to predict consumer behavior.

On Tuesday, March 25, from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., Marci will present consumer neuroscience insights gained from a partnership between Time Warner and Campbell’s Soup.

Supermarket News spoke with Marci about his company.

SN: Please discuss your background and what got you involved in Innerscope.

Marci: Innerscope came about during my time lecturing at the MIT Media Lab. I was fascinated with the doctor/patient relationship and was using biometric technology to study how some clinicians are able to establish great rapport. My future co-founder, Brian Levine, was at the MIT Sloan Business School and suggested we use the technology to measure audiences’ emotional engagement with advertising.

We began studying everything we could easily get our hands on and quickly realized that we could measure and predict the outcomes of everything from depression therapies to poker games, speed dating to viral videos.

Realizing how effectively our rudimentary algorithms predicted outcomes — and how powerfully emotions drive behavior — we founded Innerscope in 2006. We have been working with major brands — including P&G, Fox, Campbell Soup and Google — to help them better understand and connect with the hearts and minds of consumers ever since.

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SN: What is consumer neuroscience and why is it so important in today's changing media landscape?

Marci: We believe that understanding the whole consumer is critical for marketers seeking to maximize in-market performance. In a media landscape that continues to evolve, you need to understand what consumers will tell you, through conscious measures of self-report. But you also must understand what they’re not telling you, which can only be uncovered through non-conscious measures of attention and emotional response.

Consumer neuroscience brings together technologies go beyond conscious measures and capture non-conscious responses to deliver a deeper understanding of the whole consumer. We have demonstrated multiple times that by more completely understanding consumers, marketers can better predict behavior, thereby enabling themselves to tie media and marketing research directly to financial results.

SN: Please provide a summary of some of the key points of your presentation.


Follow @SN_News for updates throughout the day.

Marci: With the enormous influx of new consumer-facing technologies, including myriad social media platforms along with personal devices, the bar has never been higher for advertisers and shopper marketers to reach their audiences. However, along with the challenges presented, these new technologies also provide new opportunities for brands to engage with their consumers.

Innerscope Research has partnered with Time Warner and Campbell’s Soup to identify how the path to purchase is evolving in a changing media landscape. It’s important for media companies, advertisers and shopper marketers to work together to understand the distinctly different psychology of viewers, consumers and shoppers during their purchase journey. Together, using Innerscope’s revolutionary integrated biometric tracking technologies, which provides unprecedented insight into a consumer’s conscious and non-conscious responses, Time Warner, Campbell’s and Innerscope were able to identify new and effective ways to reach customers across today’s new path to purchase, at home, on-the-go and in the store.

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