Sep 19 14

Joseph is moving on, a little

by Susan Carrabis


Joseph has accepted a position of Chief Data Scientist for insightXM. He’ll be working with insightXM three days a week and NextStage the other two, so he’s not leaving NextStage completely. He’s still accessible via phone and Skype for NextStage business, questions and concerns.

Our business strategy is moving away from pure and applied research and we thought it best that his diverse skills could be kept fresh better elsewhere. He’ll still be available to NextStage clients, for trainings and presentations as required, writing books, columns and publishing existing research in his spare time.

Yes, we’re all laughing at the “spare time” part.

Please wish him good thoughts and congratulate insighXM on their new acquire.


Aug 27 14

We’re Changing Again

by Susan Carrabis

I’ve been running NextStage for most of this year. Much of that time has been analyzing usage data, discovering patterns, the stuff of general manager nightmares. Next I had Joseph and his crew compare what was happening on our site with what was happening on our client sites.

The result is our new homepage.

NextStage’s largest profits come from Memberships, Research/Consulting, Trainings and Surveys. Our tools get lots of use and end up being consulting engagements for most users. The tool question we get asked most often is “Which tool should I use to do …?” and Joseph and his crew end up working for free by demonstrating the tools, something I’m putting a stop to with this new design and direction.

Everything NextStage does is built on a base technology. One of our early investors prophetically told us “You folks have invented plastic. You’re like BASF; you don’t make the basketball, you make it better. You don’t make the milk bottle, you make the milk bottle better.”

Joseph’s creating a base, disruptive technology is impressive from a science perspective but rotten from a marketing perspective. Being able to do a diversity of things confuses businesses who want small companies to do one thing. They really prefer small businesses that do one thing that’s easily described. Every time someone asks Joseph what NextStage does and he says “We analyze how people interact with information in their environment” I cringe. It’s completely accurate and completely useless.

NextStage has an incredible number of offerings between papers, podcasts, tools, trainings and the list goes on and on. There would be more tools and trainings if I didn’t put my foot down.

The end result of all this is that the KnowledgeShop is going away and we’re consolidating everything into one site (except for the blogs and I’m rethinking those, too). We’re limiting our offerings even though everything will still be offered, just under fewer headings.

NextStage members will make out like bandits in all this; with the exception of a few tools, they now have access to everything we do as part of their membership. This includes most tools, papers, research briefs, presos, podcasts and their discounts still apply to what we do sell (trainings, webinars, etc). Memberships were $100/year, now they’re $250/year. Membership also includes two webinars and two personal site assessments per year free. We think that’s a good deal and hope you do, too.

Managing an office is a challenge, managing a small business is more so, managing Joseph and his lot…priceless.

Jun 25 14

Clarifications to a podcast – I was recently mentioned (quite positively, me thinks) in a podcast. The speaker made a few mistakes though…

by Joseph


Drew Sanocki mentioned me in EP #49: Bold eCommerce Predictions with Drew Sanocki of DesignPublic.com up around 36m14s. I was flattered and noted a few mistakes in what was said. I offered the following as a comment (hasn’t appeared yet) so I’m publishing it here in case others are similarly confused.


Hello and thanks for the mention.

Just so there’s no confusion, my name is Joseph Carrabis. You can get most of the scoop on me on LinkedIn. The book is Reading Virtual Minds V1: Science and History. Interested listeners/readers can pre-order V2: Experience and Expectation in NextStage’s KnowledgeShop.

I’d consider myself a researcher rather than sociologist.

The tool you’re mentioning is our Evolution Technology (ET). We currently have four patents on ET and there are more in the queue. ET is considered both base and disruptive. One use is monitoring online behaviors and in doing so, ET does use transient cookies to store things like pagename, sitename and so on.

However, ET neither uses permanent cookies nor gathers any personal identifying information whatsoever.

ET has been independently validated to 98% accuracy determining visitor age and gender while they’re navigating a site. Its ability to identify individuals across websites is due to its ability to recognize an individual’s thought patterns — what we call neuroprints, like fingerprints of the mind — when an individual is on different properties. This ability comes from most people being able to fake just about anything except how they think. How an individual makes decisions, shows interest, demonstrates attention, etc., is the same (at a neural level) regardless of what site they’re navigating or what device they’re using. Again, this is covered in V1: Science and History.

The “job” example you mention is also covered in V1: Science and History. It took about 30 seconds to determine that visitor’s job based only on how they interacted with our site. We don’t have a “jobs” page per se. ET pops up a request that you contact us if it determines you’d get along well here and we have an opening that matches your abilities. It asks no questions, there are no forms to fill out.

Mouse movements comprise about 10-15% of how ET makes its determinations. Its accuracy drops to 83% if the visitor bounces and it works on most commonly used digital platforms (desktops to mobiles, etc).

Our company is NextStage Evolution. We’ve been in business since 2001. ET currently gathers and tracks online behavior in over 100 countries. Companies often come to us to

  1. create custom tools for their use based on ET
  2. advise them on entering new markets or cultural marketing based on our extensive cultural behavioral database
  3. because we’re lots of fun to work with, …

Hope that helps and again, thanks for mentioning us.

Joseph


Comments Off
Jun 2 14

Introducing NextStage Surveys

by Susan Carrabis


Many of you may have seen the survey that Joseph sent out. If not, the English version is at http://65.98.76.91/, the Italian version is at http://65.98.76.90/ and you should definitely take them.

This post is introducing one of NextStage’s undocumented services – Surveys. NextStage has been doing surveys for over seven years with over 7,300 results to date. We’ve helped companies both large and small from inception to conclusions. We maintain stringent levels of confidentiality for both our clients and survey participants, and our pricing is highly competitive.

NextStage offers:

  • Survey Design
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Survey Hosting

All surveys are designed to get the maximum out of a minimum number of questions. NextStage works closely with clients

  1. to learn what they want to know,
  2. and design a survey that will gather the required information
  3. without revealing what’s being studied (to insure that results are genuine and not biased by the moment or recent events).

Not only do clients get the standard analysis – the pixel in the pie charts – clients also get the Evolution Technology (ET) analysis of the participants as a whole and by any number of segmentations, many of which only NextStage can provide:

  • Rich Personae Analysis (How to get them to think the way you want them to think, what motivates them to act, how they will act and when)
  • Veridification (Were participants responding truthfully and to what degree were they not?)
  • LifeLining (Did the participant poll others before responding to a question?)
  • PiggyBacking (was more than one person “at the keyboard” when taking the survey?)
  • How were participants thinking when responding to the survey?
  • What will cause them to act/not act?
  • When will will act/stop acting?
  • What questions caused the most internal debate?
  • What questions were the most important?

And remember, NextStage’s ET gathers all this information without asking, only by observing, with 98%+ accuracy on your survey platform or ours. In addition to handling all aspects of online surveys, NextStage can offer guidance and staff training for companies doing their own phone or in-person studies, depending on client needs.

Get in touch with NextStage before you do your next study and we’ll help you get way more bang for your buck. FYI NextStage Members get the customer 25% discount on all surveys.

(this has been a public service announcement brought to you by those kind folks at NextStage Evolution)


Comments Off
Mar 4 14

NextStage gets Patent #4 and Releases NextStage’s Experience Optimizer Tool

by Joseph


NextStage received its fourth patent on 18 Feb 2014. This patent is “… focused specifically on harvesting demographic data from the way a user interfaces with an electronic device.”

First, about the patent (and we didn’t write this, someone else did):

“Joseph Carrabis and NextStage Evolution, LLC were awarded their fourth US patent today (18 Feb 2014). US patent 8,655,804 is focused specifically on harvesting demographic data from the way a user interfaces with an electronic device. Whether using a keyboard, a mouse, a touchscreen, or eye movement, users reveal themselves in their interactions with these devices and Joseph’s software listens. With simple mouse movements within a web page, this software can determine age and gender of a user with over 95% accuracy. Ethnic background, economic status, home state, native language, and political party affiliation can all be determined in seconds of device interaction. This technology has set NextStage Evolution, LLC apart from all other neuromarketing technology on the market.”

The actual patent intro is a bit more technical:

A system and method for determining a characteristic of an individual is provided. The method includes determining at least one nonconscious element of an interaction by the individual and correlating at least one nonconscious element with at least one identifiable demographic characteristic of the individual. The system includes a computerized medium having a human interface system situated to facilitate interaction with the individual and produce a quantity of data corresponding to the interaction. A programmable device is in communication with the computerized medium and is situated to use at least a portion of the quantity of data corresponding to the interaction with the individual to determine at least one nonconscious element of the interaction with the individual. A correlation system is situated to correlate the at least one nonconscious element with at least one identifiable demographic characteristic and output a quantity of resulting information. …

NextStage Experience Optimizer ToolNow that we have this patent, we’ll be officially releasing our NextStage Experience Optimizer (NSEO) tool.

NSEO analyzes people using any device and sends instructions back to the device (or wherever the client wants the instructions sent) on how to improve the user’s experience.

First, how does ET and NSEO do this?

NextStage's Experience Optimizer Tool 'talks' to visitorsWell, ET and NSEO do it pretty much the way you’d do it if you were talking with the person, and we mean that literally.

Imagine you’re sitting down with someone and the two of you are looking at the same thing, a restaurant menu at lunch, for example. The other person has been to this restaurant before and with other people.

Now imagine that you’re talking about what’s on the menu while you make up your mind. The person sitting with you is listening and making suggestions based on what they’ve learned from dining with other people in the same restaurant, in other restaurants and so on. Eventually you make a decision on what to order for lunch. The other person’s suggestions helped you make your decision and you don’t think of their help as help per se although you will remember the good lunch at this restaurant and suggest it to others.

NSEO and ET do much the same thing. NSEO looks at, listens to, etc., the same content a visitor’s looking at, listening to, etc., and pays attention to how visitors interact with that content. Simultaneously, it’s matching this visitor’s behavior and interactions against every other visitor to the same content, visitors to similar content, visitors to all content and so on.

Based on what it’s learned about this visitor and what it knows about all similar visitors to this content and all similar content, it suggests changes to the content’s presentation, things like “Adjust the colors”, “Adjust the font”, “Use different language”, “Use different images”, “Place the images here and here instead of there and there” and on and on and on. The amount of suggestions NSEO makes is based on the number of visitor states (described below) the NextStage client is interested in. We provided an elementary example of this to an audience in 2000 and documented several examples in Reading Virtual Minds V1: Science and History (available at Amazon and in the NextStage KnowledgeShop, and everybody should have at least two copies. Also, V2 is due out this year if you’d like to pre-order). My favorite among the examples in V1 is:

IV.2 – The Investors Heard the Music

One of the early incarnations of the NextStage Evolution website self-modified in real time based on how individual visitors were interacting with itq. Two people could be sitting in the same room but using different computers to browse the site and ET would deliver content customized to each visitor’s unique cognitive, memorization, and comprehension styles. These styles are collectively called the “{C,B/e,M} matrix”, meaning “cognitive, behavioral/effective, motivational matrix”.

The {C,B/e,M} Matrix is, quite literally a shorthand notation for how people interact with their world. What is covered is very rich and detailed and can be summed up into three basic categories; Cognitive (“How do they think? What do they think about?”), Behavioral/effective (“What do they do that demonstrates how they think?” and the way I use the word “Behavioral” has next to nothing to do with how the term is used in the industry today, me thinks) and Motivational (“Why do they think the way they do? Why do they demonstrate it the way they do?”).38,49-51,53-56,58,59,63- 65,67,69,70,106,122

Differing {C,B/e,M} matrices were demonstrated when two investors called up from their office in San Francisco. I was sitting in my office in Nashua, NH, and they had asked for a demonstration of ET.

“Have you been on our site?” I asked.

Yes, they had, of course. So?

“Are you near a computer hooked to the internet right now?”

Yes, they were. So?

“Log onto the site. Pick any page off the menu you’d like to visit and tell me which one it is, okay?”

Okay.

I navigated to the same page they were on. “I’m going to describe to you what I’m looking at. While I describe it to you pay close attention to what’s actually on your screen. You’ll notice some differences.” I started reading some of the text.

Yes, the text on their browser was slightly different.

I started describing the size and placement of images, as well as image content.

Yes, in some cases they didn’t even have an image I was describing, often they had one I didn’t have, etc., etc.

Then, while I was talking to them, their browser started playing music.

“You didn’t tell us your site had music,” one of them said.

My response didn’t make sense to them at first. “ET determined that you weren’t paying attention to the website and were focusing on an auditory stimuli, so it started playing music in the hopes of bringing your attention back to the website. It’s attempting to substitute its own auditory stimulus for the one you’re focusing on.”

“Why would it do that? There aren’t any auditory stimulus in the room.”

I remember both the emphasis and the lack of grammatical expertise on the investors’ parts. My explanation stopped them cold. “Yes, the auditory stimulus is that you’re talking to me. ET doesn’t know that you’re talking on the phone, but it can determine that some sound event — in this case our conversation — is where your attention is focused. It wants you focused on the website, so it’s playing some music in order to draw your attention away from this phone call and back to the screen. Like a child, ET wants to be the center of attention.”

I heard them click onto another page and the music stopped.

“How come the music stopped?” “Because your attention was focused back on the website. It didn’t need to play the music anymore in order to get your attention.”

A brief discussion ensued in which they expressed a great concern about my ability to access and distribute fertilizer.

And the music started playing again.


q – Self-modifying sites are what now might be called “morphing” sites. I have a challenge with the term “morph” due to the concept of Turing machines. A site, like you, should modify its behavior based on who it’s communicating with. People (and true Turing machines) routinely modify their behaviors based on who they’re communicating with, but only the psychotics “morph”, ie, become a completely different being.

Back then people couldn’t believe or understand. What a difference fourteen years make, huh?

Second, what types of instructions are sent back?

The instructions can be as simple as the individual’s gender and age (two variables), visitor “states” that NextStage’s Evolution Technology can determine at better than 98% accuracy, according to an independent validation study. Most online business can make do with our standard nine (9) states:

  1. Branding level (are they branded? Are they debranded?)
  2. Confusion level
  3. Conversion trigger (what will cause them to convert?)
  4. Curiosity level
  5. Decision maker status (is this person going to make the decision or will someone else make the decision based on the visitor’s recommendation)
  6. Decision status (where are they in their decision)
  7. Decision strategy (what will cause them to convert)
  8. Interest level
  9. Intender status (when will they convert)

More demanding requirements (security, privacy, …) can have up to ninety (90) visitor states delivered. How many states are delivered is part of the deployment discussion, and how the instructions are used is based on business rules, etc.

We offer guidance but don’t do any client coding, it’s up to the clients’ dev teams to build code around ET’s instructions and act upon them. ET will send back instructions based on what the clients’ goals are and what we’re willing to provide (if you haven’t read our Principles, now’s the time). The simplest incarnation is changing the css of a visitor’s browser session based on some simple rules.

What does NSEO cost?

It won't cost an arm and a legNextStage Experience Optimizer‘s pricing is based on amount of traffic, how often you want it to send information back, what types of information you want sent back, … pretty much the regular things. It won’t cost an arm and a leg and if your operation is a good cause, we can negotiate lots of things.

You can see a presentation, Introducing the NextStage Experience Optimizer, I gave on the NextStage Experience Optimizer for free in our KnowledgeShop (viewed best in Firefox, Chrome, Opera, and anything but IE9, evidently).

And now, a chuckle

What’s kind of amusing about this is that NSEO is actually what ET (our patented technology) was doing when we originally built it in 1999 and no one was ready (as I’ve said many times, CEOs were telling us “What do I care what my customers are thinking?”). Now the world has caught up and we’re going back to our origins.


Jan 13 14

Welcome to 2014!

by Joseph


Are you looking for the NextStage sites and wondering where they went?

Don’t worry, they’re still here, simply changing. We spent much of 2013 modifying ET and that means the backends of our sites, when the time came, were going to go through lots of changes.

Those changes are going to be put in place through much of 2014, so while the front ends may not change much (yet, they will change this year), the back ends are changing greatly. The sites will come and go as we hook in and test ET’s new abilities in real usage environments (including mobile).

In the meantime, enjoy our various blogs (and we plan on adding a few new blogs, too!).

FYI, we’ll probably be making announcements along the way via any of Twitter, The NextStage RSS feed Subscribe to NextStage's KnowledgeShop's RSS feed or


NextStage Evolution on Facebook
Friends of NextStage LinkedIn Group


Comments Off
Aug 8 13

If You Bug Them, They Will Come

by Joseph

Okay, the truth is, if you bug them, they’ll buy more. But that wasn’t as catchy a title.

NextStage completed a 1½ year study of whether business increases or decreases when you tickle (I originally used the word “annoy”) your customers with repetitive marketing.

What’s your guess? Tick ‘em off and they’ll book for a competitor? Are you like me and NextStage, proudly proclaiming “We only do permission based marketing because it’s more respectful to the consumer!”

Well, if you are in that “respect the consumer” camp, hopefully you’ll learn as quickly as we have.

I mean, research is research and numbers are numbers and 5,000 consumers can’t be wrong.

We studied 5,000 consumers’ habits across 4 main message vectors (email, social, phone and direct mail) in 3 industries (personal care, gourmet foods, politics). The study was specifically designed to identify that borderland where people shift from positive action ($$$conversion$$$, plain and simple) to negative action (removal from list, unopened emails, stop following, stop taking calls, recognizable drop in direct mail response, …) so that our clients would know things like periodicity, response-timing, best engagement practices, cross channel techniques, blah blah blah.

Much to my chagrin (and several others of us here. We were having one of our regular weekend getaways) we proved that regular “annoyances” increase business from 25-100%. Yes, there are several factors involved and it’s not as simple as “Spam the heck out of them!” but still, to discover that people want to be tickled? And that the simplest messages got the best results?

Essentially we discovered that we could create an itch that consumers were happy to scratch. Who knew that direct mail is hot in certain demographics? Or that certain ethnic groups favor one channel over others by 50:1? Or that some groups like regular tickles and others respond like crazy to irregular tickles?

NextStage got this project based on our past research in optimal blogging frequency (yep, people still read blogs…I hope) and email newsletter design.

So get ready. We’re planning to tickle the heck out of you.


May 22 13

Shooting the Message Because of the Messenger

by Joseph


You receive an email or tweet or TXT or some such from someone you know. Do you read the message because you know who sent it or because the subject line or first few words or glance catches your attention? Most people probably aren’t aware of their selection criteria. Let me invite you to be more aware (and let me know what you discover, thanks).

An interesting social phenomenon on the rise (NextStage has catalogued anecdotal evidence since 2007) indicates that an increasing number of people decide whether or not to pay attention to a message based on information content, not their relationship to the source.

Please note that NextStage has done no formal research on this. We do keep track of anecdotal evidence, though, and the number of anecdotes dealing with this phenomenon increased steadily albeit slowly from 2007 to 2011. It doubled in 2012 and we’ve already catalogued more in the first five months of 2013 than in all previous years put together.

The curiosity is around whether or not this increase in information-sort over social-sort is due to information bias or not; People are more connected than ever. Does that mean the value of social ties is less than in the past? Are we indeed too social to be social?

Or has the proliferation of content caused us to determine social value by information value? If so, keywords, taglines and the like are going to become very expensive because that’s all marketing will be. Consider how many commercials there are in which the entire conversation between actors is nothing more than a series of soundbytes.

This also means a message’s source can hurt the message’s success in a social system; people will shoot the message because of the messenger. More than that, the value of influencers will decrease sooner rather than later. An influencer’s information quality must remain high because consumers are sorting by information value, not information source. Eventually everyone will have the same “influencer” status within their social circle.

This is going to put a whole new spin on social and related marketing, me thinks.

Patrick McGoohan as The PrisonerI mean, the heck with whether or not you’re a free man (or woman). Just tell me your number or go away.


Comments Off
May 8 13

Here Are Your NeuroMarketing Options

by Joseph

I was at a conference recently and took many turns through the exhibitors’ booths.

I took many turns through the exhibitors’ booths because I had no idea what I was doing at the conference. I’d been invited and someone else was paying my way, and I hoped seeing the wares presented would offer some insight into why some group would contact me to attend on their behalf and essentially pay me to do so.

Before going further, let me state that I don’t remember any NextStageologist saying or writing “We do neuromarketing.” It’s been said about us often enough and I’ve publicly written that I think people say we do neuromarketing (skim down to “3. What the heck is a NeuroMarketer?” in the link) because 1) it’s a term du jour, 2) they don’t know what else to call us, 3) they’ve called us many pleasant and few unpleasant things in the past and seem to think we change as do the buckets they want to put us in, …

People say “But you guys do so many things” and that’s true. Our response is “That’s because the brain does so many things. The brain doesn’t only make decisions or only control breathing or only look at pretty people or only guess about the future and if the brain could only do one thing we wouldn’t have evolved much beyond amoeba. We do lots of things because, like the brain, we have no limits.”

Okay, we have some limits.

But, as I was typing, some of the vendors did…something…at the conference. I watched. It looked a lot like what I’ve been told is traditional, historical neuromarketing. You know, traditional and historical, like the stuff going back a year or more ago?

It was fascinating.

Now before going any further, none of the people shown here claim to be neuromarketers and that includes NextStage. I merely offer these as examples of what others who call themselves “neuromarketers” do.

Here are some of your NeuroMarketing options…

Option 1 – See the Brain in Real Time

Cap Showing the Brain in 3D

The fellow in the picture above is brilliant. He and his team (if I understood correctly) have developed a cap that generates a image of an individual’s neurophysiology in real time. The medical implications of this are incredible.

But it’s not neuromarketing as I understand it. Seeing the brain work is not the same as knowing what the brain is working on. Seeing specific brain areas associated with likes and dislikes is not the same as knowing what the brain is liking or disliking. Tomograph, fMRIs, neurographs, etc., of heat and blood flow in the brain while showing a picture of a brand product is not the same as that individual wanting, desiring or avoiding that brand product. They are, at best, proxies. There may be a direct connection or they may not be. A dislike of a particular brand might have more to do with a bad memory of someone who used that brand than the brand itself, and building a campaign on such evidence is…is…a really interesting way to spend your budget.

But credit where credit is due, if I ever get a brain lesion, I want the guy in the picture above in my corner.

Option 2 – If the Device Fits, Wear It

The video below is of a young woman being fitted with a device that allows the wearer’s brain to interact directly with an image on a screen. Doing that is impressive. The device itself is nicely designed and packaged. The gentleman in the video is someone trained by the company that markets the device. He’s a trained professional. After two minutes and twenty seconds he still hadn’t gotten the device to work correctly, and he’d applied enough saline solution to make Brylcream proud because this time, a little dab wasn’t doing ya.


Fairness time; lots of people at this conference sat down to have this device placed on their heads. I talked with several of them who wanted to take part but couldn’t because the device couldn’t read their signals reliably if at all.

Option 3 – You Can Find A Company that Claims to do NeuroMarketing

A long standing NextStage client was told by his GM to go talk to the GM’s friend who had started a neuromarketing company. You could tell they were a neuromarketing company because they used “neuromarketing” on their site a lot.

I asked the client how it went. Here’s the conversation:

“Hi! I’m speaking with these guys today, …, it looks like they are taking a similar theoretical approach as you, although their execution is paleolithic compared to yours.”

Be sure to tell them that.

“The guy is a friend of the GM. The GM hears me say the word neuromarketing, this guy says the word neuromarketing, GM says lets all meet. I say, ‘Why would I let them put headbands on 5 people when I can learn way more about EVERY one visiting a site without looking like Olivia Newton-John?’ I can assure you that basically I’m going to tell them they’re in the stone ages. No reason to drive the ford Edsel when you have the rocket car sitting in the garage!”

(a few days later…)

How did it go with your GM’s friend?

“The neuro guy was a joke, an entrepreneur who saw a cool graph on a screen, no plan, no insight, no training, no business plan, not even an elevator pitch nor the brains to run it.”

Hmm…but he has money? Maybe he’d like to buy us out…?

“He doesn’t have that kind of money….”

Sorry it was so ungood. And may I quote you?

“Quote me?”

Yes, I’ve been working on a response to all the neuro blather and would like to include an anonymous note about someone who went looking for neuro solutions and came up short.

“No problem ;)”

(and here’s to hoping you, dear reader, have similar luck)

Recapping thus far

Thus far we’ve seen the need for devices that may or may not work for everyone, require a skilled professional to place on the test subject’s head correctly, are limited to subjects who basically raise their hand and say “Yes, I’ll wear one of those”, and people with pretty websites, high level friends and are a joke (so said the client, not us).

First, what happens to those people who raise their hands but can’t make the device work? How many will be satisfied with “Here’s your $20 and sorry your head’s not the right shape” or “Here’s your $30 and your brain’s not giving off any signals we can detect” or “Here’s your $50 and our equipment doesn’t seem to be working right now, no need to come back later because it won’t work for you, then, either”?

You’d probably go with a variant of that last one but then you have people walking around telling others how their incredible noggins broke your fancy-dancy mind-reading headgear.

And if people can train their brains to do what’s required, how long do you think it’ll be ’till companies start selling “Brain-Trained” individuals for testing purposes, or offer “Brain-Training” courses and all so that, when the neuromarketing goblins come a’knockin’, your results will be through-the-roof kind-of good?

And you thought buying Fans, Friends and Likes was scummy?

And do remember, none of the folks in the above images claims to do “neuromarketing”. At least they didn’t claim to when I asked (and I did ask and I did ask permission to video and photograph so I could use the video and photographs on one of my company’s blogs). I took the pictures and video because the folks shown above do things that other companies have called “neuromarketing”.

Second, the GM’s friend. Let me repeat myself. “The GM’s friend.”

Option 4 – In the Time You’ve Been Reading…

In the 1-5 minutes you’ve been reading this post, NextStage’s Evolution Technology has analyzed the behaviors of anywhere from 3-25,000 individuals. It has determined how they think, how they make decisions, what types of things convince them, whether or not they believe whatever they’re viewing, whether or not they accept whatever they’re viewing (belief and acceptance are two very different things), when they’re likely to spend money and what needs to be changed on a client’s digital property so that they, the visitor, will spend money on the client’s digital property or in their brick&mortar store. You can get an idea of what NextStage’s Evolution Technology can determine in our example NextStage OnSite reports, you can get an idea of where we’re currently being used on our NextStage SampleMatch Countries listing and you can get an idea what people are saying about everything we do in our Comments section.

And remember, we don’t do “neuromarketing”. We just give you results. From your entire online audience. There’s a lot of neuroscience in what we do, true, and there’s also a lot of anthropology, linguistics, sociology, psychology, mathematics, and other sciences in what we do.

That’s why I prefer to offer that NextStage does NeuroAnalytics rather than NeuroMarketing because we’re more interested in how to use what the brain does naturally to make your marketing work.

As one happy client wrote in my LinkedIn Profile,

I’ve been working with Joseph and his tools now for several years. As a “digital analytics professional”, there are several phrases I can use to describe the man and the technology he creates related to my field of work: game-changing, mind-blowing, visionary.

I don’t use those words lightly. I’ve seen the future of advanced analytics, and it’s the next generation technology Joseph has invented and continues to develop.

How do you measure website engagement? Page depth? Time on site? Top viewed content? Satisfaction surveys? These are proxies for what we in digital analytics think reflects visitor engagement. Now imagine a tool that you could put on your website that silently measures engagement by actually determining how visitors feel about content, without having to ask them.

Then imagine that the same tool can then alter visitor website experience on-the-fly and present more engaging content. Then imagine watching your conversion rates go through the roof.

It’s not fiction or magic. It is a real tool, it is real science, and you can use it on your website to drive real extraordinary business results.

And that’s just the tip of Joseph’s iceberg. He’s continually creating new tools, new technology, and new thinking to enable marketers to measure and enhance the effectiveness of their work in ways that haven’t even been thought possible before.

I consider myself lucky to have met Joseph, and I am continually awed and humbled by the man. If you’re in business and want to do better, I’d suggest you get to know him and his marketing toolbox as well.

If nothing else, you’ll at least get a few good jokes out him!

Ta-Da!

Apr 10 13

NextStage’s Social Interferometer Determines Candidate’s Best Position in Social Campaign

by Joseph

NextStage has been researching many aspects of social networking and related social behaviors on- and off-line since 1983. Several businesses make use of our expertise by asking us to help them create social marketing strategies and campaigns, and help them put together social marketing teams.

One piece of this work involved a three year research project to determine what social strategies were and were not successful. This research ran from 2009 to 2012 and involved monitoring the social marketing success of over 400 US and Canadian companies. The results were documented in 9 ways to guarantee a winning social campaign and 10 ways to guarantee a losing social campaign.

We quickly learned that the best starting point for a social campaign is to find the correct, best person to take on the social media/marketing campaign. Higher likelihood of success comes when that correct, best person has a team of similarly correct, best people working with him or her and that’s a completely different question that most businesses aren’t designed to answer.

There’s a lot that goes into the technical side of social marketing. Most of that can be learned given enough time.

But the social mindset side of social marketing? Does the person think socially? Do they understand either intuitively or through study how social networks function, what triggers them to act as they do, how to recognize real versus temporary influencers, …?

That was a totally different question. Companies are very good at recognizing managerial talent within their ranks and from a talented pool. Recognizing managerial talent that also has a strong social mindset is something else.

NextStage Social InterferometerNextStage developed a questionnaire based tool, the NextStage Social Interferometer, to help businesses determine what a candidate’s best position would be on a social marketing team; should they lead? would they be a good strategist? could they advise?

NextStage’s Social Interferometer is specifically designed to determine the questionnaire respondent’s best position on a social marketing team. The questions and their order is based on based on our research, studies and 1000+ interviews with people who’ve had positive ROI (their income greatly exceeded their spend) from social campaigns.

The complete NextStage Social Interferometer questionnaire takes most users 2-4 hours to complete and can be thought of as a second-level interview. Alternately, it can save social campaign/marketing job seekers people lots of pain by letting them know ahead of time how successful they’re likely to be, or what role they should apply for in a social marketing effort. We strongly encourage users to take more than one (1) hour and less than eight (8) hours for accurate results.

Enjoy!


Comments Off