Diversified marketing firm One to One Interactive announced a new neuromarketing division called OTOinsights.

This business unit will focus on the emerging discipline of neuromarketing and will offer a collection of both primary and secondary research to brands, agencies, and publishers. Initial OTOinsights products include: Quantemo, a neuromarketing research lab; t=zero, a secondary research offering that provides clients with timely critical analysis and insights about emerging digital platforms; and RedOktober, a trend-spotting service.

Quantemo was acquired by One to One earlier this year. The Quantemo lab will use multiple techniques in their market research:

1.) Physiological stress through the measurement of heart rate, respiratory rate, and galvanic skin response,
2.) Neurological focus by measuring EEG traces,
3.) Behavioral via eye/mouse tracking technologies and digital video recordings of research participants,
4.) Emotional through facial recognition software, and
5.) Interrogative via traditional survey research methods.

The second element of One to One’s new effort is t=zero, is described as:

a collection of findings gathered through an ongoing partnership with researchers at the Indiana University School of Informatics. The team of researchers, which is led by Shaowen Bardzell, Ph.D. and Jeffrey Bardzell, PH.D., specializes in cultural computing in computer-mediated social spaces such as video games massively multiplayer virtual worlds and social networks. Current t=zero research projects are focused on affective interaction with internet videos, �serious games� for marketing, user engagement with in-game advertising, and successful disaggregated media applications on social networking sites.

One thing about this announcement that I find really encouraging is the development of a partnership between a private firm and academic researchers. The neuromarketing area has suffered from a divide between academics investigating very general topics and businesses focused on pragmatic details, like trying to determine which of several ads is most effective. The end result has been a lack of published, peer-reviewed studies that conclusively relate collected neuromarketing data to differences in sales performance. While it isn’t clear yet what the IU partnership will actually produce, we hope that it is productive sets the example for other partnership that produce the data to close the neuromarketing credibility gap.