Next week, Warc will hold its flagship annual conference, Measuring Advertising Performance, in London. The two-day event brings together clients, agency creatives and researchers to discuss innovations in planning and effectiveness measurement.
Among the speakers at this year's event is WCRS co-founder Robin Wight. Currently president of Engine, he's become a major advocate of neuroscience-based insights (a topic he discusses in this Admap article and this Guardian interview) and is aiming to win over any remaining sceptics with his MAP presentation. For Wight, mapping the brain can assist marketers in a host of ways that are not commonly acknowledged: to him, neuroscience isn't just for market researchers, it can also be used to assist creatives in everything from idea generation to brainstorming.
Looking to the future, it's likely that these techniques will become greatly more sophisticated – and, therefore, more useful to marketers. Wight suggested that tomorrow's marketers could even be able to track individual effectiveness metrics – brand awareness, for example – by analysing results of brain scans.
But unlike other neuroscience advocates, who tend to be relentlessly forward-looking, for Wight the use of neuroscience offers something of a return to the past. For him, the new brain-scanning techniques help to confirm many of the precepts formulated by ad men of previous generations, such as his hero Bill Bernbach.
In practical terms, Wight advocates greater emphasis on neuroscience throughout the agency and, consequently, focusing less on traditional market research techniques such as the focus group. But that's not to say that these traditional techniques have always held sway: Wight pointed out that Orange's famous 1994 UK launch campaign was initially disliked by focus groups. WCRS ignored these results, and, six years later, Orange had become a £28bn business.
Among the other speakers at the event are representatives of Coca-Cola, Channel 4, O&M, Virgin Media, Jaguar, Millward Brown and Kraft. MAP takes place in London on March 27-28. You can get all the information you need about the event, including full agendas and booking details, on our Warc Store pages. Warc subscribers can also read round-ups from MAP 2011 here and here.