Impulse buys and neuro marketing

No one knows what the future looks like. Except marketing managers who look forward to the next generation technology which allows brain and computer to communicate seamlessly across multiple formats, operating systems with no delay, and presumably no secrets.

Chances are, these marketing managers are Science Fiction nerds, and they’ve spent a lot of time reading novels throughout highschool and university.

In 1996, a British Sci-Fi author, Peter F Hamilton, released his first book of the Night’s Dawn Trilogy: “The Reality Dysfunction”. I bought it by accident around 1999, the appeal being it was by far the thickest Sci-Fi book I’d ever seen – over 1000 pages in a paperback. Little did I know it would become the benchmark on how I would judge other science fiction writers.

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The most interesting thing by far in this book were “neural nanonics”. A system which allows a person to access a vast network containing all information ever recorded in history of mankind (the internet I suppose).

What occurred to me almost immediately was the speed at which you could sell and buy products and services. If you could place an idea in a person’s mind at the speed of thought, that person could potentially make purchase goods and services faster than ever before.

Fast forward to February 2013, and we got Google Glass!

google-glass

If you’re looking for a way to market to potential customers, what better channel (without accerss directly into their brain, of course)! The system tracks your location, knows your purchasing habits, so a marketing system can offer you any number of goods or services instantly:

“10AM after a meeting?” – there’s a great barista serving espresso around the corner! Preorder to collect on your arrival!

“Been to the gym?” – How about a protein shake at Boost, or a massage at the local physiotherapist to take those aches away?

THIS IS MARKETING HEAVEN

Forget the speed at which you’re being marketed to now on Facebook, or during your Google searches. Here you have a system which can sell you stuff every minute of every day. Grocery shopping can become a breeze. You simply tell your headset to add to your shopping list, and presumably AndroidPay will take care of the rest!

You wake up the next morning with your groceries conveniently waiting at your front door.

Is this a good thing though? I know I’ve sat there at 1AM looking through useless junk on eBay, for no apparent reason, and just had to have a soldering kit shipped from Hong Kong express posted, arriving early 2019 for only $17.95. Wait, what? Yes, I actually bought one.

So what number of impulse buys might you get if you can simply say (or think) yes, and your headset (or neural nanonics) buys your new car, or the dream holiday (which you had to have, but cannot afford).

With the complex algorithms driving the way the internet already flashes potential purchases to us in today’s world, just imagine what level of sophisticated selling there will be tomorrow. I imagine there are marketing executives tripping over themselves at the prospect. For one, the retail chain won’t be needed. A manufacturer can simply market directly to you (although you can be sure the internet providers, and google will want a cut). In a similar manner to Amazon, the purchase can simply be packed and shipped without having to utilise a major retail chain, with several middlemen.

But the shopping hangovers are probably going to be horrific. I can spend money quicker than I can earn it, so imagine those instant flashes: “Need more Credit”? “YES PLEASE”! and so you descend down the spiral towards absolute chaos in a retail version of hell, where credit is cheap and consumer electronics cheaper.

Damn, I think I might have to burn my iPad now…

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Marriage Equality and marketing ROI

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would know the current Australian government is planning to spend $160 million on a plebiscite: a non binding vote by registered population of this country to tell the Government how many of the said registered voters support a marriage equality bill.
Basically, it asks people to tell the government their opinions.
What is getting quite a bit more interest, and in quite so much detail is the money the government is planning to give to various organizations so they can market their ideas on why there should (or shouldn’t) be a law allowing members of the LGBTI community to marry the person they love, regardless of gender. $7.5 million will be given to each side of the divide, so they can market their opinions. But how do you measure the effectiveness of such an “investment”?

rainbow-australia

Well, for a start, we can monitor the internet traffic on Social Media. Tweets and blogs can be tracked, and checked for support from either side of the discussion. Due to advancement in technology, we no longer have to carry out polls, as most information is freely available on the internet, and can give a marketer a lot of insight into a sector of the population who are active online.

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Which begs the question: why do we need a plebiscite in the first place? Surely with the number of supporters rising over the years, there can’t be any doubt about the nations intentions and opinions.

60% of all respondents support marriage equality, so what does $7.5M in marketing do towards changing the minds of the 5% undecided? What kind of marketing campaign is going to change the minds of enough “yes” voters to make a difference?

Australian Marriage Equality on Twitter @AMEquality has more than 13,000 followers, which seems a stark contrast to anti-marriage equality followers. When you google anything relating to opposing marriage equality, you mostly have news stories.

So, it would seem the pro-equality camp is well ahead, and without having spent a single dollar to get there, and has accomplished this by appealing to the good nature of people around the country. People around this nation are spreading support and messages of love, and this is gaining momentum.

In some small way, you might hope that marketing positive messages would be more effective than marketing negative messages. However in this case, marketing a aparticular position becomes difficult, as there is no price vs quality consideration, and it’s not like loyalty is likely tio change either way: you either accept people for who they are, or you don’t.

So the real test of effectiveness in spending the $15M of your money will be whether there is any change to the current percentage of the population who are supporting a particular position.

References:

Iacobbuci: MM4;

https://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2010/12/06/public-opinion-on-same-sex-marriage/