Posted: 12 Dec 2014 Contributor: Sushil Kumar
Smart Lab Looks to Revolutionize Marketing with Technology
It goes without saying that technology is having a major impact on the way that almost every industry functions. From convenience mobile applications to simplified POS systems, the relentless pursuit of innovative enterprise solutions has kept developers, designers and programmers on their feet.
While many of the latest trends and capabilities are often up cycled versions of their former selves, the SMART Lab (Sales and Marketing Applied Research Tech Lab) at Utah Valley University’s School of Business is turning heads with their recent revelation of high tech wearable gadgets aimed at revolutionizing the field of Marketing.
At the SMART Lab, students and teachers have been actively working to create tools that act as body sensors, accurately measuring human responses to different marketing schemes. The enterprising group has successfully created eye-tracking glasses for example, which can be used to record what wearers focus on most, when presented with an image, video or environment. The feedback can then be used to adjust the imagery accordingly. Dale Jolley, the director of SMART Lab, gave a demonstration of the glasses functionality with a reference to a diaper advertisement on a poster. See the video here
“You can see that most of the time, folks focused on the baby,” he said. “That was their greatest interest. Now, that’s great if you’re selling babies, but we’re not in the baby selling business here. We’re in the diaper business. So not a real effective ad. But by making a simple adjustment to that ad, having the baby turn to look at the text, all of a sudden this becomes a much more effective ad.”
Useful! And that’s not all. The Lab has also pioneered the use of EEG for marketing purposes. If you aren’t familiar, EEG (Electroencephalogram) is a test that detects electrical activity in your brain. Essentially, you’re hooked up to a machine using electrodes that are attached to your scalp. A technician is then able to broadcast your emotions in real time via computer. It’s pretty cool stuff, and acutely significant in the development of marketing. If your 30-second commercial, for instance, looks pretty cool but triggers anxiety within several of your viewers, you may need to rethink that ad.
The technology is not only being developed for scrutinizing the consumer however. As director Jolley explains, “If you think about it, the most expensive promotional tool for an organization is their sales person, so you want that sales person to be as effective as possible.” In order to provide this, SMART Lab is equipped with cameras and facial coding technology that can actually translate facial expressions into defined emotions. The notion behind this technology is that it can be used to optimize salespersons interpersonal skills by making them aware of their facial and body language.
While it all sounds very promising, for now, it will cost you considerably to utilize the Lab’s progressive tools. To conduct one focus group utilizing the eye-tracker glasses would currently cost upwards of $20,000. Not to worry though, the great thing about up and coming technology is that its evolutionary path usually leads to accessibility. It may take some time, but you can rest assured that SMART Lab’s innovations will be standard marketing practice one day.