Episode 13 – Emotional Creatures, Occasionally Rational – Dr. Carl Marci – Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience


We have a transatlantic feel to this episode as it features a conversation with Dr. Carl Marci, the Chief Neuroscientist at Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience who I met in the freezing city of Boston, Massachusetts, I’m pretty sure it has thawed a little by now. You’ll know how cold it was if you’ve seen my recent video that was posted, filmed just outside City Hall, where you can see the statue of one of the greatest basketball players of all time Bill Russell, now I filmed this on purpose, as what you can’t see is that this statue is surrounded by plinths depicting what Bill champions. On each was a different statement – teamwork, craftsmanship, imagination, commitment, words to inspire and motivate and this reminded me of why I started this podcast in the first place. I am passionate about what I do and the profession of Marketing, so if I can inspire one of you commit to developing your skills, dream bigger than you currently are, work harder to perfect your craft or build a culture around you that allows people to thrive then this would be more that I could ever have imagined would be possible for me to achieve with this podcast, and this is what I aim to do in the valuable time that you have allowed me access, so thank you.

Back to Dr. Carl Marci (taking a deep breath here as his accolades extensive) – A BA in psychology, an MA in psychology and philosophy, before becoming a Doctor at Harvard Medical School. But that wasn’t enough as he went on to train in biometrics and the neuroscience of emotion and now is a provider of consumer based neuroscience using biometrics, and other technologies for measuring non-conscious processes related to media and marketing and how they effect consumer behavior and decision making.

– Our emotions are very complex and what we usually see is the expression of emotion, a smile or a frown, but there are actually four outcomes in response to our surrounding environment – verbal, gesture, behavioural and the final is the one we don’t think about but is vitally important – storing an emotion for later use – which in the field of Marketing and consumer response is why it is so vital to build a relationship and consider all touch points within a customer journey and the emotion that is created and stored.

– Our subconscious affects our buying behavior and there have been studies to show that there is a link to emotions and pricing, working out the pricing structure for any product and service will have a detrimental effect on the end result. This is why, in some cases reducing prices is simply a race to the bottom! Dr. Carl mentioned the Williams-Sonoma Bread Maker Price Case Study, which you can find a link to in the show notes

– Follow you passion. I hear it time and time again. Dr. Carl started by saying he ‘fell in love with the brain’. But don’t just follow it, look for the differentiator, the element that will make you stand out above the rest, your cutting edge. And remember, if it feels like work, it probably isn’t your passion (yes there will be times where it is hard, or testing, but would you be doing it even if you didn’t get paid? Yes, then this is your passion!

– In addition to this, get a mentor…or two. One that is where you would like to be to show you the way with the ‘big picture’ stuff and another, that can advise you on the tactics, actions and everyday stuff that will lead you to your goal. The CIM have a mentoring program which I don’t think is talked about enough, which can be found at https://www.cim.co.uk/more/mentoring/ and again, the link is in the show notes

And one final thing, a big thank you to Danielle Kolberg Senior Manager in Marketing at Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience, who help to arrange this interview and schedule in a time when Dr Carl would be available. Thank you.

Happy Marketing Everyone!

Music Featured on this Podcast:
Sleepy in the Garden
Lobo Loco www.musikbrause.de
Creative Commons License


Nielsen Neuroscience: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/solutions/capabilities/consumer-neuroscience.html

Williams-Sonoma Bread Maker Price Case Study: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Williams-Sonoma-Pricing-Tactic-Grows-Sales-for-Bread-Machine.html?soid=1102052405533&aid=JioWyC1Fesc

CIM Mentoring Program: https://www.cim.co.uk/more/mentoring/

Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling Technology Products to Mainstream Customers:

New York Times:

Ontogeny recapitulates Phylogeny:

Bill Bradley: