Now that you have read this chapter, you should be able to determine how primary and secondary data are collected and used by advertisers:
Gathering physiological data on consumers can be difficult; however, in the future we may all be providing such data every time we enter a store. Imagine entering a store and having your face “mapped” via an infrared sensor. Your face map is then used to match you against a data bank of shopper profiles suggesting whether or not you are in a mood to buy. Does this sound too futuristic?
Face mapping is currently receiving a lot of attention from a variety of quarters. Security experts tell us that face mapping can alert security services to certain profiled behaviors. Dermatologists say face mapping may provide solutions to long-term skin care. Others say that face mapping can be used to insert a person’s picture in real-time advertisements. That’s right—you’ll be in the ad that you see in the store or are viewing on a screen. You could watch yourself flying a helicopter in a U.S. Army ad, see yourself walking across the graduation stage in a college recruitment ad, or check yourself out as you model the latest fashion that the store has to offer.
Research the subject of face mapping via secondary research sources. Think of a new application (i.e., idea generation) for face mapping and describe it. Describe how you would test to see if your new application might work. What ethical and legal issues might face mapping bring if it was practiced on a large scale? Summarize your thoughts on the application and future of this technique.
How do you illuminate a world that has increasing difficulties with power generation and transmission? As the cost of electricity rises, rural populations the world over have an even greater difficulty obtaining power for their villages and electricity for their homes. Several innovative manufacturers have found ingenious solutions to the problem. Picture a solar-powered twenty-five-watt lantern that could illuminate a small room when suspended from the ceiling or sit on the floor to serve as a personal reading light. Cosmos Ignite Innovations, d.light design, and Phillips have all produced these simple lanterns. Most of these solar “night light” lanterns can shine for about five hours without being recharged. The companies believe that the simple idea of “recharge by day and shine at night” can be learned quickly by villagers and communities. Currently, the companies are shipping lanterns to India, the Middle East, and Africa.
Assume that you have been assigned the task of informing the target markets about the lantern products. Given the limited media resources in the regions, design a communications brief that will accomplish the information distribution objective. Follow the method described in Section 5.5 "Using Research to Guide a Successful Launch" of this chapter. Discuss your ideas with peers. Critique the various briefs.
Do you wear glasses or some other vision-correction device? Supplying eyewear is a huge industry. Many of the companies that manufacture and distribute eyewear products and services have taken their products and messages to the Web. Let’s examine one of these companies—Eye Glass Guide 2.0 at http://www.eyeglassguide.com. Review the various features of the Web site. Take particular interest in the product videos provided. Remember, it is not necessary to fill out any company solicitation information to view the videos.
Once you have reviewed the eyeglassguide.com videos, design a questionnaire for collecting primary data information in one of the product areas (e.g., kids’ eyewear). The research objective of your questionnaire will be to gain information on those who might be willing to establish contact, buy eyewear, or request an appointment via the company’s Web site. Decide what you want to know and how you will find the information. Discuss your questionnaire with peers. Ask for feedback and criticism on your questionnaire’s design.
As the chapter states, “Defining and targeting your audience is the best way to ensure a match between the company’s product or service and the consumer’s needs.” It only makes good sense that a market-oriented company would want to know as much as possible about its target audiences in order to serve them better. Today, technology has the capability to provide an increasing volume of data that allows audience profiling to become more targeted. Technology-driven audience profiling includes demographics, psychographics, multimedia preference, and characteristics studies in its analysis arsenal. From an ad agency or marketing organization perspective, the idea is simple: the more information you can supply to the creatives the better.
OK, so what’s wrong with the picture we just presented to you? There are most likely many faults; however, chief among them are concerns about data collection methods and information security. In other words, there is worry about privacy rights. To investigate this ethical issue, conduct research on the privacy rights of consumers. Specifically, examine privacy rights on the Web and company statements about how consumer information is used. Summarize your findings. Once this is done, summarize your thoughts on how researchers seeking audience profiles can honor consumers’ privacy rights and still conduct meaningful research.