Has neuromarketing arrived? If not, it has reached a new plateau of credibility as the privately held Nielsen Company has invested in NeuroFocus, a firm that uses brainwave, eye-tracking and skin conductance measurements to measure consumer reactions to ads and products. Nielsen, best known for its television viewership ratings, has a diverse portfolio of businesses involved in media and marketing. According to their press info,
The Nielsen Company and NeuroFocus are joining forces to initially bring an array of new science-based products, services and metrics to clients in consumer packaged goods, television, film and emerging media. At the same time, Nielsen will integrate NeuroFocus’ techniques into existing services to better understand the elements of successful consumer engagement. For example, NeuroFocus’ techniques will become a permanent feature in Nielsen’s Digital Labs research centers at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and at CityWalk in Los Angeles.
“Because Nielsen is focused on bringing innovative products and services to clients, this alliance is an extraordinary opportunity to incorporate ground-breaking science into our product offerings,” said Nielsen Executive Vice President Susan Whiting. “This alliance will enable us to gather truly unique insights about consumers’ attitudes and behavior about which they themselves may not even be fully aware and will complement our other measures of consumer behavior.” [From Nielsen Makes Strategic Investment in NeuroFocus, an Innovative Leader in Neuromarketing Research]
Nielsen CEO David Calhoun will assume a position on the board of NeuroFocus.
NeuroFocus has used EEG as its primary method of measuring brain activity. While not able to localize brain activity in three dimensions like fMRI, EEG equipment is far cheaper and more portable than fMRI.
This is great news for neuromarketing – having a company with the name recognition and resources of Nielsen in the market should help, rather than hurt, smaller players.