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Advances in machine learning as applied to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data offer the possibility of pretesting and classifying marketing communications using unbiased pattern recognition algorithms. By using these algorithms to analyze brain responses to brands, products, or existing marketing communications that either failed or succeeded in the marketplace and identifying the patterns of brain activity that characterize success or failure, future planned campaigns or new products can now be pretested to determine how well the resulting brain responses match the desired (successful) pattern of brain activity without the need for verbal feedback. This major advance in signal processing is poised to revolutionize the application of these brain-imaging techniques in the marketing sector by offering greater accuracy of prediction in terms of consumer acceptance of new brands, products, and campaigns at a speed that makes them accessible as routine pretesting tools that will clearly demonstrate return on investment.
Date of Publication: May 2012