Earlier today we popped along to a talk at the IPA entitled The Future Consumer – a brief download of ideas that had been gleaned from The Future of Consumer Intelligence event which took place in San Francisco recently. Considering the San Francisco event was spread over three days and the IPA event was spread over one hour, it was a fairly intense test of the brain’s sponge-like abilities but thankfully our notepads managed to catch most of the overspill.
The main focus of the talk was to look at how insight, data, and neuroscience could help brands understand, connect, and engage with their consumers. There was a particular focus on ‘big data’ – an aspect of technology that has been increasingly talked about in advertising recently, despite blurriness as to where it starts and ends. Interestingly, although the potential of what big data can do in terms of providing general insight to brands is exciting, some of the better examples of how data can help us come from far smaller sources. For example, the data that brands such as Tesco and Amazon can collect on their individual users and then use to sell more relevant products is beneficial for both parties. Although big data acts as a way to extract information from the sea of information, there’s a danger that it could also be too big for us to remember that people are not statistics, but people. In contrast, neuroscience can supply us with extremely specific insights into how consumers think, insights that consumers don’t even know themselves. In a short clip that posed the question to neurological experts ‘If the brain is a piece of paper, how large is the conscious part vs the subconscious part?’ the subsequent marks made on the page to represent the conscious mind were alarmingly small.
Although there’s plenty more to talk about, keep your eyes fixed on this very blog for traces of it in some of our future opinion pieces. Thank you to the IPA and Jim Clark for passing on the key points.