10 March 2016

BLOG: SPOTLIGHT ON DATA SCIENCE INITIATIVES IN CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH

by Nicola Stewart | 10 March

SPOTLIGHT ON DATA SCIENCE INITIATIVES IN CONSUMER BEHAVIOUR RESEARCH

Jaywing, the AIM listed data-led marketing services company last week announced a ground-breaking collaboration with the Data Science Institute (DSI) at Imperial College, London. Jaywing has entered into a three and a half year project intending to deliver a breakthrough in the understanding of cognitive behaviour in the advertising and marketing services industry. Researchers from the Institute will be working at the University’s Data Observatory alongside Jaywing’s creatives and its 60 strong team of data scientists.

Investors and customers were invited to a preview at the DSI and to see some practical demonstrations first-hand. This research project will for instance be able to map brain activity to learn why consumers react in the way they do to marketing and advertising – through the use of specialist state-of-the art neuroscience equipment (eye-trackers, EEG, Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Steady State Topography technologies). The practical applications are likely to result in better targeted and more effective advertising which should ultimately also better influence purchasing behaviour.

The DSI at Imperial launched in 2015 and provides a multi-dimensional and interactive environment to analyse large and complex data sets, providing deeper insights for solving issues across a wide range of industries. It is Europe’s largest academic data observatory, consisting physically of 64 high definition screens and connected to 32 powerful computers and additional server stack, with huge processing power to deliver a highly immersive experience.

While the project is only just getting underway, one data focused study was demonstrated. By overlaying both proprietary and public ‘big data’ to examine footfall trends in Leeds City Centre, a detailed picture of consumer activity could be established. The data sets examined included: footfall trends over the last 6 years, the move to 24/7 shopping and the impact of the weather and Black Friday. Practically, the results could be used to tailor real-time marketing messages via mobile devices, anticipating events that can affect consumer shopping and leisure habits and ultimately help continue the rejuvenation of Leeds as a retail and leisure destination.

Another example showed the results of a brain mapping analysis, also in the Data Observatory. The reactions of a panel of individuals were measured to see how they responded to a selection of different retail brand video/television adverts targeted to Valentine’s Day with some surprising results. It is hoped that this kind of research be used for instance to develop more effective adverts during the planning stage of media campaigns. The applications of this research project are immense and Jaywing is positioning itself at the forefront of a potentially disruptive approach to marketing.