Posted on July 14th, 2009
The Australian government established an information and communication center called NICTA who is working on a project which will represent a transition from dynamic to responsive technologies. They are trying to develop a device that once released to the market will revolutionize the way businesses reach out to their consumers. It is a combination of a digital screen and a camera that will analyze the customerâ€™s physical characteristic and provide the customer a personalized advertisement.
The device will work by reading the characteristics of customers such as age, sex, race and their expression when he takes a pause in front of a monitor. It will serve as the gauge in customersâ€™ interest level so the computer can decide on the best commercial to play. The device will try to draw back the customersâ€™ attention, if the person turns away, by playing music and projecting a different product which the computer thinks may also be of interest to the customers based on the gathered information.
The progress of the project depends on how fast the researchers can develop refined ways in identifying emotional cues based from facial expression. “Next generation technology will react to interest levels and shift content accordingly,” this is according to commercialization manager of NICTA, Glenn Downey.
Available Technologies Now
Though the TABANAR is still in progress, there are technologies now which businesses use to comprehend what the customers are thinking such as video mining for customer data. A Pennsylvania-based company, VideoMining Corporation, founded by Rajeev Sharma in 2000 uses an image recognition software to reveal retail intelligence. The company provides its clients inferred information from the type of product customers are looking at to the length of time they spend standing in front of a particular display with the use of feeds from security cameras that are sent to a main computer.
The use of this technology, allows entrepreneurs to assess the efficiency of their display and maximize the sales by changing the design of the store to meet the customersâ€™ needs. With each businessâ€™ wants to compete and differentiate their stores, the interest in video mining is growing. Sharma said that a better understanding of consumer shopping behavior will benefit any business with a storefront.
Sharma gave an example where a grocery store with too many products in the juice section came up to reducing the number of product and organizing it better to have a better sales. With the help of the company, they have figured out that customers must be overwhelmed by products because 10 percent of customers just leave without buying anything after spending 90 seconds in front of the display.
In addition to what the company is offering their customers, they are also starting to offer real-time measurements on an analytics website similar to an online business. They can have an immediate feedback on the number of hits with different displays in a brick-and mortar store. Sharma said that this allow retailers to quickly change their display and experiment in order to determine what best works for the needs of an individual.
There is also the YCD Multimedia firm that rolls out a digital media platform which features video screens that shows an advertisement related to the product that a customer is buying. At one of the client of YCD, the Aroma Espresso Bar, a customer may see an advertisement about a scone in a monitor if he is buying a coffee.
Barry Salzman, CEO of YCD, said that the platform of YCD allows retailers to measure in real time the effectiveness of marketing strategies and concept testing without spending too much. He said that even for just fifteen minutes after a promotion is put up, their client can check on their analytics website to know how the product is doing at the cash register.
Salzman added that most of the time, people are scared with the initial capital investment, but this platform of the YCD will actually save them money and eventually an increase in sales. He said that once the system is placed, with a push of a button you set aside the shipping waste and other expenses needed to change posters and other traditional ways of promotion, spending minimal cost while getting everything.
Looking at the Inside
Martin Lindstorm, a neuromarketing expert is literally reading shopperâ€™s mind. His findings were described in his book Buyology. The $7 million- study examined, with the use of brain-mapping, the subconscious shopping behavior. With the knowledge that 85 percent of decision in purchasing is made in the unconscious part of the brain, it is now can be accessed with the use of MRI and EEG according to Lindstorm. Including in the research is the different region of the brainâ€™s reaction to stimuli related to advertising such as sound, visuals, and smells.
The study revealed that biggest emotional impact comes from sound followed by smell then sight. According to Lindstorm, all five sensory regions are activated if people are exposed to sound, making it the most influential aspect in our mood, choice of brand and emotional engagement. With this finding, it had implied that internetâ€™s sound should be leveraged according to Lindstorm.
He also added that placing of advertisements in the right context is also important. The brain will literary delete an advertisement if it canâ€™t determine how it fits with the storyline. The study has also proved that more expensive brands are purchased subconsciously when others are around.
Lindtorm said that with the study, it was determined that what people buy can be influenced by store design.