“Marketing Matters:” The Lighter Side of the Dark Side

Our September 13 Marketing Matters show featured leaders in technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and marketing.  WFoA Executive Director and Marketing Matters host, Catharine Hays, had the pleasure of speaking with Andrew Malcolm (Chief Marketing Officer, Evernote), Oren Etzioni (Chief Executive Officer, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence), Dan Briscoe (Chief Marketing Officer, HCSS Software), and Benjamin Spiegel (Chief Executive Officer, MMI Agency) regarding their insights on finding solutions amid complex situations.

Key Takeaways:

  • There is no playbook for solving challenges; solutions to all tough problems result from a passion for addressing the issue and a drive for continuing despite setbacks.
  • AI technology benefits society if its application is appropriately regulated.
  • During disaster situations, such as during Hurricane Harvey, relief projects should be handled very carefully to strike a sensitive balance between spreading the word to gain organic support and awareness of community needs.
  • Advertisements in disaster regions should be suspended if they do not contribute positively to the situation.

Catharine’s first interview was with Andrew Malcolm, CMO of Evernote, a multi-platform app that helps users take notes, organize ideas, and keep track of information.  Launched in 2008, Evernote was designed to be a note-taking app, with the ultimate goal of becoming an “extension of the brain.” The Silicon Valley startup saw its share of success, but in 2015, Evernote was labeled by Business Insider as the “first dead unicorn,” the Valley term for startups valued at over $1 billion. It was during this time that Malcolm joined Evernote as CMO.

Andrew Malcolm, Chief Marketing Officer, Evernote

Malcolm viewed reviving Evernote as a challenge.  Instead of a customer-centric model, he focused on an employee-centric model, or “marketing internally.” His idea was to “get everyone on the same page internally…before worrying externally” by using a number of methods, including reminding employees about their value to the company, rekindling employees’ passion for the company’s mission, and inspiring employees by demonstrating the impact of their product.

One example used to show the significance of employees’ work is the “Customer Story of the Week,” where an Evernote team member devotes one week to researching how a user has accomplished incredible feats with the use of Evernote.  Malcolm shared that “It’s hard not to feel inspired and connected to [Evernote],” after hearing the stories and seeing the impact Evernote can bring to the world. On the customer side, Malcolm mentioned that they have been actively evaluating customer concerns, and based on feedback, will be moving towards organizing teams and users via AI and cloud-based technology.

After reviving Evernote, Malcolm says the next steps for Evernote will be continuing their mission to be an extension of the brain and evolving Evernote to be capable of connecting and integrating ideas. Malcolm ended the interview by providing an essential piece of advice on identifying solutions amid tremendous adversity: “Find the things that are going to work for your specific situation…do that with a sort of passion for the problem and just loving the journey you are on even when it’s hard…those two things together will take you a long way through even the darkest of times.”

Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, joined Catharine to discuss his recent AI op-ed in The New York Times and his views on AI regulation. With advances in AI technology, the control of AI development has become a controversial topic among tech leaders. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, flamboyantly identified AI as “[humanity’s] biggest existential threat” and urged a need for AI development regulations, but Etzioni disagrees.

Oren Etzioni, Chief Executive Officer, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence

Etzioni says AI development should not be confused with “science fiction” because it serves as an important tool for the “common good.” For example, self-driving cars using AI technology can significantly reduce accident rates. He also emphasized a critical distinction between regulating AI development and regulating AI application. He supports the regulation of the latter and believes the regulation of AI applications should be organized into three categories:

  • Liability.  He believes we cannot blame AI when problems occur, and we need to take responsibility for AI applications as creators and users.
  • Disclosure.  Etzioni stated that users of AI applications must be informed beforehand that they are interacting with AI rather than a real person.
  • Privacy.  Guidelines should be laid out to determine who has access to private information collected by AI.

Etzioni understands that AI has certain drawbacks, including potentially damaging the job market. However, he highlighted how AI can also enhance employment in other ways, such as improving education and work efficiency. For example, the Allen Institute’s Semantic Scholar helps researchers shorten time spent on reviewing journals by analyzing and displaying the most relevant findings for the topic of interest. For corporations hoping to use AI, Etzioni recommends reviewing the AI’s functionality, the impact AI has on customers, related corporate liability, and the disclosure for users who interact with AI.  He wrapped up his remarks with an optimist’s view: AI development and regulation should not be feared because it is “unknown, [a] Frankenstein,” but be embraced, with appropriate precautions, to bring significant benefits to society.

Next to join Catharine was Dan Briscoe, CMO of HCSS Software, a software company that produces construction project management applications.  Briscoe, the MarketingSherpa 2017 Best in Show recipient, found a solution for providing assistance to the Greater Houston areas recently impacted by Hurricane Harvey.  He recounted how HCSS Software was able to leverage the capabilities of their business to continue operations, shelter dislocated employees and locals, and to connect construction companies for disaster relief efforts.  Briscoe attributed HCSS’ success in continuing operations in the wake of the storm to the company’s culture and the CEO’s announcement to continue paying employees, even if they could not come to work or were dealing with other issues after the disaster.  HCSS’ successful relief project for the Houston community was the result of an employee’s volunteer initiative, which was fully supported by the CEO.

Dan Briscoe, Chief Marketing Officer, HCSS Software

Coordinating the project was a complicated task.  Briscoe remarked that marketing a relief project is skating on thin ice: It is easy to be viewed as “doing [disaster relief] for publicity when you just need to get the word out to gain support.” Instead of traditional marketing tactics, Briscoe used heartfelt video clips of employees and volunteers.  He says his strategy was to have “other people tell the story, rather than the marketing team.” By being very careful about projecting a proper tone and balance in HCSS’ message, Briscoe helped the disaster relief project avoid being mistaken for a publicity stunt.

Benjamin Spiegel, CEO of MMI Agency, a data-driven conversation agency with a focus on digital technology, discussed his op-ed on AdAge.com about advertisements in disaster regions. Thanks to evolving technology, people can whip out their mobile phones to check Google for the latest news or review the tweets from local governments for information during situations like Hurricane Harvey–all while traditional forms of communications are unavailable.  However, technology is not all positive when it comes to disaster regions. Spiegel felt compelled to speak out about advertising in disaster regions when he was forced to watch a “75-second pre-roll” ad before he could browse the announcements for Houston residents. He says too many ads are now running on “autopilot,” and that is taking out the “human element of advertising.”

Benjamin Spiegel, Chief Executive Officer, MMI Agency

Spiegel highlighted the ease with which advertisers can turn off these ads using geo-fencing, a geographical way to target ads. So, why are ads still running? He posited two reasons.  The first: The thought never crossed the advertiser’s minds. The second: The media does not want to stop broadcasting ads–after all, advertisements are their primary source of revenue.

Not all ads are made equal. Spiegel says ads with good intentions should continue to run. He highlighted a few ad campaigns that added value to the brand, such as Tide’s Loads of Hope and AT&T announcing a no-overage policy for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. These region-specific advertisements can be broadcast using geo-fencing technology and are beneficial because they are communicating messages relevant to the audience.

To end this week’s “Marketing Matters,” Catharine reminded listeners to think beyond advertising and to broaden the definition of advertisement to encompass a value exchange of consumer and brand that happens over time. In any challenging situation, there is always a solution and a silver lining to be discovered–it’s about finding the lighter side of the dark side.

“Marketing Matters”: Multicultural Marketing and MECLABS

Aired July 19th, 2017

This week on Marketing Matters, Executive Director Catharine Hays was joined by thought leaders changing the ways in which multicultural marketing and data analytics are being used.  Linda Lane Gonzalez (Board Chair, AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing; President, Viva Partnership, Inc.)  and David Wellisch (Co-Founder and CEO, Collage Group), discussed the importance of the Hispanic Market while Flint McGlaughlin (CEO and Managing Director, MECLABS Institute), and Daniel Burstein (Senior Director and Editorial Content for MarketingSherpa, MECLABS Institute) from MECLABS explained the innovative ways in which they hope to use data as a tool for better marketing.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hispanic consumers are not monolithic; they vary generationally and geographically, and these distinctions influence their behavior as consumers
  • Marketers should imagine variations in target demographics based along cultural lines rather than ethnic lines—it expands the perspective and provides a more holistic framework
  • Data should be used as a tool to develop customer-first theories, but marketers often fail to do this effectively.
Linda Lane Gonzalez, Board Chair, AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing; President, Viva Partnership, Inc.

This week’s first interview was with Linda Lane Gonzalez, the Board Chair of AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing and the President of Viva Partnership. Catharine started off the interview by asking Gonzalez what she thought of “Despacito,” the most popular song in the world right now, and what it means in the scope of multicultural marketing. Gonzalez asserted that it’s an exciting reminder that Hispanics have a huge influence on culture and that music is just one of the many Hispanic elements shaping the modern landscape of America, alongside food, dance and more.

Shifting the conversation, Gonzaelez then addressed the uniqueness of the Hispanic market and how language influences consumption behaviors.  To Gonzalez, culture is the distinguishing aspect of the Hispanic market and it influences interactions with the economy.  She emphasized that language is a part of culture and is a bridge people use to connect with heritage.  For these reasons, she claims that it can become a powerful tool to elicit the type of emotions that drive Hispanic consumers to purchase. For example, Gonzalez cites how studies have shown that Hispanic communities communicate with friends and family more than any other ethnic group, and this phenomenon is rooted in the cultural importance of familial piety.  Gonzalez stated that this is relevant for marketers because it means that Hispanics are extremely digital and technologically connected.  She further cites the “Latino Bloomers” as an example of Hispanic millennials that are extremely connected with their heritage and increasingly family-oriented, as well as more educated and affluent than their ancestors, making them a growing and extremely desirable demographic for marketers.  Gonzalez’s closing advice for advertisers and companies seeking to appeal to Hispanic consumers was to remember that they are not a monolithic community, but one that varies along not only geographical lines such as California Mexicans, Texas Latinos, and New York Puerto Ricans, but also generational lines, like the “Latino Bloomers.”

David Wellisch, Co-Founder and CEO, Collage Group

Next to join Catharine was David Wellisch, the Co-Founder and CEO of the Collage Group, a group working to connect top companies with different demographics such as Hispanics, multiculturals, and millennials.  Wellisch helped debunk a series of myths about the Hispanic community, particularly the idea that Hispanic and multicultural markets should be an “addition” to any general marketing strategy. Instead, Wellisch argues that America is inherently a multicultural market and there have been major changes in the Hispanic market segment, making it not just Spanish speakers, but also a much larger group of people with an incredible potential for market influence.  In light of this claim, Wellisch proposes that companies market across a cultural continuum broken down into four different types of consumers: Cultural Explorers, World Citizens, Isolated Americans, and Ethnic Enclaves.  In doing so, marketers expand their perspective and are able to create more holistic campaigns that imagine Hispanic and other multicultural consumers not as supplementary niches, but as integral market segments.  Wellisch says this is a more effective model for marketing than to market by targeting specific ethnic communities because studies show that there are more consumption commonalities among these groups than there are differences.  Companies must focus on passion points, such as music and sports, which translate authenticity—the most important component for any effective advertising campaign across all four of Wellisch’s consumer segments.

Flint McGlaughlin, CEO and Managing Director, MECLABS Institute

During the final segment, Catharine welcomed Flint McGlaughlin and Daniel Burstein from MECLABS Institute. McGlaughlin began the interview by sharing how he started his work at MECLABS, and some of the central questions driving his research there.  He explained that MECLABS works to understand the cognitive psychology of consumer conversion through research and data analytics ultimately geared towards answering the question of “Why do people say yes?”  His research uses consumer data of various forms to establish a framework of behavioral psychology to understand how people make purchasing decisions.  Burstein joined the conversation by explaining how MarketingSherpa, a research institute acquired by MECLABS, works to find and publish inspiring stories highlighting the success of “customer-first” marketing.   Burstein elaborated about the nature of customer-first marketing and what sets it apart from “customer-centric” marketing.  He explained that customer-first marketing is about matching long-term personal consumer goals alongside short-term company goals, whereas customer-centric marketing focuses on how can a company can target and get the most out of a customer.

Daniel Burstein, Senior Director of Editorial Content for MarketingSherpa, MECLABS Institute

McGlaughlin also shared his belief that data is a powerful tool that is not being properly leveraged in the current industry environment:  The work being done with “big data” is only scratching the surface of how this information can and should be used.  McGlaughlin explained his observation that data is often being used to treat people instrumentally rather than intrinsically, and this process ultimately disrupts the ways in which data can be fully utilized.   He feels that companies must reframe the ways in which they conduct research in order to change the culture.  For example, rather than marketers imagining consumers as a “lead” or a means to an end, he wants consumers to be viewed as multifaceted people whom the company is interested in serving.  This can help rehumanize business, and truly create a culture of customer-first marketing.

You can listen to this show and past shows on our radio show page: http://wfoa.wharton.upenn.edu/research-initiatives/radio-show/


By Hyungtae Kim
College of Arts and Sciences ’20

“Marketing Matters”: AI and Creativity

Aired August 2, 2017

This week on Marketing Matters, Executive Director Catharine Hays was joined by marketers leading the way in creative uses of artificial intelligence, more commonly known as AI. Or Shani (CEO and Founder, Adgorithms), Winston Binch (Chief Digital Officer, Deutsch North America), Jordan Bitterman (CMO, IBM Watson Content and IoT Platform), and Aaron Dauphinee (Head of Marketing/CMO, Rubikloud) discussed how they have been integrating AI into their companies and how the intersection of AI and branding is likely to provoke a new wave of innovation in the marketing industry, most notably in data analysis, ad planning, brand persona and resource allocation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Artificial intelligence usage is on the verge of becoming mainstream in advertising, with over three-quarters of marketers believing that consumers are ready for its implementation.
  • AI-integrated operations expedite the rate at which tedious tasks can be completed, thereby freeing other resources for more creative content.
  • AI and voice technology are new tools for creating more holistic “Brand Personalities” for companies.
  • As industry out-innovates policy, regulation of AI will be a necessity to ensure ethical and moral practices.
Or Shani, CEO and Founder, Adgorithms

This week’s first interview was with Or Shani, the CEO and founder of Albert, the first AI marketing platform.  Shani first entered the industry on a traditional executive track, which is where he noticed the limiting effect of calculative work on creative content. To remedy this inefficiency, Shani developed his AI software, Albert, which operates by autonomously tackling execution and back-end calculations for marketing teams.

Shani proposes that by improving the speed at which remedial calculations can be done, marketing teams can refocus greater resources on the creative operations of a campaign. Furthermore, Albert is able to collect long-term consumer metrics that can be used to evaluate the success of past and current projects. The technology also incorporates predictive analytic application programming interfaces (APIs), that make experimentation more accessible—another powerful tool for creative teams.  In closing, Shani noted that almost all of their clientele have been forward thinkers who have been able to look past antiquated ideas of how marketing teams should operate, pushing boundaries and redefining a rapidly changing industry landscape.

Winston Binch,
Chief Digital Officer, Deutch North America

Winston Binch, Deutsch North America’s Chief Digital Officer, also spoke with Catharine about his work with Great Machine and his thoughts on the presence of AI technology in the marketing world. Binch emphasized that there needs to be a paradigm shift in the way executives imagine companies.  He believes that a company’s identity can no longer rest on just the brand alone, but also on what he defined as a cultivated “Brand Personality.” Binch cited TacoBell’s Tacobot as a great first example of technology that pushed the boundary of consumer interfacing and simultaneously expanded a corporate identity.  Companies have to be useful and memorable; he posited that the new way to achieve this is through AI technology that serves as both an instrument for consumer engagement and a tool for commerce that drives sales.

Jordan Bitterman, CMO, IBM Watson Content and IoT Platform

Next to join Catharine was Jordan Bitterman, the CMO of IBM Watson Content and the Internet of Things (IoT) Platform, to discuss his work with The Weather Company, an entity recently acquired by IBM. According to Bitterman, weather is often a driver of business outcomes. Using AI and the IoT platform, sensors around the world are able to collect and receive weather data in order to work with airlines as well as other industries to make informed business decisions. The next step for IBM is to integrate these two technologies together.

Currently, IBM is working on Watson’s ability to learn and reason, and Watson Ads has been created to engage this ability for marketing purposes.  IBM is interested in not only presenting the consumer with an advertisement, but also in allowing the consumer to interact with the ad. Through these interactions, Watson is able to gather much more consumer information and product insights based on what consumers are asking.  Bitterman also expounded on the term “augmented intelligence” to combat the perception that AI is displacing jobs—he sees it as actually expanding the role of creativity in marketing.  Bitterman explains that within IBM they like to use the term “augmented intelligence” because AI technology isn’t used as a tool to replace human intelligence, but to supplement it instead.  In response to the question of who is using Watson Ads, Mr. Bitterman explained, similar to Or Shani, that it is the innovative brands, the ones that are open to experimentation.  He stated that now is the time for marketers to begin using this technology. Catharine remarked, “It’s almost riskier not to jump into the game.”

AI certainly presents a moral dilemma, but Bitterman emphasized that IBM has a high ethical standard by which it innovates.  In terms of regulation, he believes that because the government is slow in creating policy, it will come down to the industry to be proactive in self-regulating these technologies.  While AI is able to solve problems in the marketing industry, it is crucial to not create new quandaries in the process.

Aaron Dauphinee, Head of Marketing/CMO,Rubikloud

In the last segment, Catharine welcomed Aaron Dauphinee from Rubikloud to discuss how his firm has been using AI to transform the playing field for traditional retailers. Rubikloud is a start-up based in Toronto that uses machine learning to gather data from online and offline consumer behavior for retailers to help automate merchandizing and marketing.  Dauphinee explained that machine learning is a subset of AI that is applied to optimize a particular activity, with ultimate control given to the human being.  This allows for the reallocation of team resources, giving them the freedom to think, plan, and innovate to create the best marketing campaigns possible and optimize the process—a concept also highlighted by other show guests.

Dauphinee revealed that machine learning can help brick-and-mortar stores be more competitive in a retail environment being dominated by behemoths like Amazon and Walmart, and stated that it could be a savior for some retail sectors.  He said that his unit has automated “turnkey” solutions that can be implemented in 12-18 months, instead of the years-long timeframe that more traditional turnaround projects could involve on the same scale.  He also shared how Rubikloud’s technology has provided significantly more accurate sales forecasts and resulted in less resource-intensive marketing campaign management for clients.   He believes that the time is now for retailers to take the “leap of faith” and implement automated analytic solutions.

You can listen to this show and past shows on our radio show page: http://wfoa.wharton.upenn.edu/research-initiatives/radio-show/


By Hyungtae Kim
College of Arts and Sciences ’20

The Future of Advertising: Personal and Contextual on All Touchpoints – IBM thinkLeaders Interview

WFoA’s directors, Dr. Jerry Wind and Catharine Hays, were recently interviewed by Tracey Lindeman of IBM’s thinkLeaders blog for an article about the new era of personalization and contextualization in advertising.  Lindeman highlighted WFoA’s Beyond Advertising book and its R.A.V.E.S. guidelines for generating desired ad content as “a roadmap on how to reach increasingly empowered consumers.”

Read the full article, “The Future of Advertising:  Personal and Contextual on All Touchpoints” at https://www.ibm.com/blogs/think-leaders/new-thinking/future-advertising-personal-contextual-touchpoints/

“Marketing Matters”: Neuromarketing

Aired May 31, 2017

On this episode of Marketing Matters, WFoA Executive Director Catharine Hays welcomed leaders in science and business to discuss the confluence of neuroscience and marketing.  Dr. Carl Marci (Chief Neuroscientist, Consumer Neuroscience Division, Nielsen), Kyle Nel (Vice President of Disruptive Innovation, Lowe’s), Dr. Michael Platt (Director, Wharton Neuroscience Initiative, Wharton School of Business and James S. Riepe Professor of Marketing, Neuroscience and Psychology), Dr. Elizabeth (Zab) Johnson (Executive Director and Senior Fellow, Wharton Neuroscience Initiative, Wharton School of Business), and Kevin Randall (Brand Strategy Consultant and Writer) offered their takes on the new and developing field of neuromarketing and its implications for not only the marketing industry, but for consumer lifestyles.

Key Takeaways:

  • Neuromarketing is growing rapidly, gaining validation from top marketers and expanding on a global scale
  • Most consumer decisions occur at the subconscious level; having an understanding of neuroscience can help provide a more complete view of the consumer
  • Neuroscience exists at the intersection of multiple fields, drawing top leaders from healthcare, engineering, and business to collaborate on new technologies
  • Ethical questions regarding these new technologies exist and should be taken into consideration moving forward
Dr. Carl Marci, Chief Neuroscientist, Consumer Neuroscience Division, Nielsen

Dr. Carl Marci, a leading neuroscientist at Nielsen and a contributor to WFoA’s Advertising 2020 project, provided insight into the field of neuroscience and why it has become a growing component of research for brands.  He explained that consumer neuroscience examines non-conscious processing.  About 80% of consumer decisions are made on a subconscious level, which cannot be taken into account using the standard survey method of self-reporting.  By integrating new methodologies, such as EEG, facial recognition software, and eye-tracking technologies, Nielsen’s neuroscience unit can paint a complete picture of the consumer that incorporates attention, emotion, and memory, allowing researchers and advertisers to be in the moment of decision with the consumer.

Marci emphasized that neuromarketing is taking off, and it’s important that marketers aren’t left behind.  Neuromarketing techniques are becoming ubiquitous, consistently producing meaningful data and allowing companies to make accurate predictions.  New technologies generate diagnostics that are impossible to obtain from standard surveys, and the insights gleaned are actionable.  Marci expects that more companies will adjust their marketing based on neuromarketing findings, creating multiplatform ads, mobile-friendly campaigns, and short-form video that is more compatible with social media websites.

Kyle Nel, Vice President of Disruptive Innovation, Lowe’s

Kyle Nel, the Vice President of Disruptive Innovation at Lowe’s, was Catharine’s second guest.  Nel is a behavioral scientist that heads Lowe’s Innovation Labs, which is dedicated to continuous change in order to stay relevant and dominant in today’s constantly changing consumer environment.  He works to understand how individuals and groups make decisions and believes that neuroscience is the “metal detector of behavioral economics.”  The world around us is quickly changing, but human beings are not. He posited that it is crucial to form a better understanding of how consumers are making decisions in order to create a better future.

While the amount of data able to be collected from neuromarketing technology is growing, Nel emphasized that it is important to consider whether the company can actually utilize the data and execute change on its unique scale of operations.  It is important to be practical when applying these new technologies and techniques, distinguishing between real insights and meaningless data.

Dr. Michael Platt, Director, Wharton Neuroscience Initiative, Wharton School of Business & James S. Riepe Professor of Marketing, Neuroscience, and Psychology

Catharine interviewed Dr. Michael Platt and Dr. Elizabeth (Zab) Johnson of the Wharton Neuroscience Initiative in the show’s third segment, discussing the state of neuroscience and business in academia. Platt and Johnson emphasized that the future of business lies in neuroscience, and with that future in mind, the Wharton Neuroscience Initiative was created to elevate neuromarketing research.  The Initiative also aims to enhance the Wharton School curriculum, helping to develop the next generation of business leaders and inviting other disciplines to collaborate on research.  Catharine noted, “The essence of the initiative is grounded in helping people, understanding how we tick, why we tick, and then using the information to make sure that we tick well.”

Platt and Johnson are performing research that could have numerous applications in the marketing world.  Platt is studying interpersonal interactions, focusing on how people’s prior life experiences shape how others act toward them.  He’s asking whether certain behaviors can be promoted or diminished, such as attentiveness and listening, and is using his findings to create therapies currently being implemented at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.  Dr. Platt is also interested in decision-making under uncertainty and how people decide whether to continue with what they know well or to diverge and innovate. These ideas can be applied to brands by creating a better understanding of how to capture the attention of the consumer, as well as how to provoke a change in the consumer’s day-to-day life.

Dr. Elizabeth (Zab) Johnson, Executive Director and Senior Fellow, Wharton Neuroscience Initiative, Wharton School of Business

Johnson has recently studied the realm of vision and color, specifically people’s perception of color. She explains that color perception is very much “all in your head,” and related to each individual’s experiences. She also notes that people generally believe that their perception matches everyone else’s and are genuinely surprised to find that that is not the case.  There is not yet a neuroscientific explanation for this, but Johnson is researching the potential applications of color perception in a variety of industries, such as advertising and cosmetics.

Catharine also delved into the ethical implications of new neuromarketing technologies.  Dr. Platt shared that ethics are definitely a part of the conversation surrounding the research. He believes it is necessary to determine the proper applications as a scientific community to create the best possible outcomes.  In Dr. Johnson’s perspective, “If it didn’t have ethical implications, it wouldn’t be cutting edge science.”

Kevin Randall, Brand Strategy Consultant & Writer

Catharine wrapped up the show with brand strategist and New York Times writer Kevin Randall, who provided a reporter’s outlook on neuromarketing trends. Randall stressed that researchers only know about 15% of how the brain operates, and he believes that the future of all disciplines is in neuroscience.  With a plethora of new technology working on a larger scale, the field has matured and engaged leaders from diverse industries, such as healthcare and marketing, all seeking to better lives by increasing efficiency, productivity, and ease of everyday tasks.  Randall also discussed the importance of understanding emotions in the future of marketing, emphasizing that emotions play a large part in the unconscious decision process.  He is excited to see how emotions will play into artificial intelligence on top of the growth and affordability of wearable technology that can provide real-time biometric assessments.

You can listen to this show and past shows on our radio show page: http://wfoa.wharton.upenn.edu/research-initiatives/radio-show/


By Colleen Brace
Nursing ‘18


Effie Worldwide Names New Board of Directors in Advance of 50th Anniversary

WFoA Executive Director Catharine Findiesen Hays joins as one of 19 incoming Effie Worldwide Advisory Board members. Effie Worldwide is a marketing industry non-profit that focuses on marketing strategy and ranks the most prominent agencies, advertisers and brands via its Effectiveness Index.  The organization also produces the venerable Effie Awards, which award excellence in marketing communications across the globe.  Via press release, Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Marketing Solutions and Chair of Effie’s board, stated: “Our incoming Board of Directors was strategically planned to include leaders who impact and influence today’s marketing ecosystem, and who will steer the mission of Effie for the future.”

Beyond Advertising to Be Featured in Columbia University Strategic Communications Course

Columbia University professor Dr. Matthew Sawyer interviewed Dr. Jerry Wind, WFoA Academic Director, and Executive Director Catharine Findiesen Hays on July 7, 2017, at the Penn Club in New York. Dr. Sawyer is teaching a course in Columbia’s Master’s of Strategic Communications program in which his students will gain an inside look into the rapidly changing world of marketing communications.  The course is titled “The Industry Insider,” and Sawyer is using Beyond Advertising,  Jerry and Catharine’s book, as a core text.

To better understand the findings of the WFoA program, Dr. Sawyer conducted an hour-long interview with Jerry and Catharine, filmed by a Columbia media crew.  Footage of the interview will be used by Sawyer’s students to provide perspective on Jerry and Catharine’s work, and an abbreviated version may be posted online in the near future.

Leonard Eisen, English, SAS ’18