This handbook explores how data scientists, using data mining and data harvesting to penetrate our minds, and in the process gain deep insights into our psychological behaviour. These data scientists use our mind’s conscious and unconscious domains to influence our thought processes, compelling us to make decisions without even knowing it. This approach is far from simple, which explains why so few companies invest the time and money in understanding it. Usually, this approach requires highly specialized and experienced data experts — including web analysts, algorithm specialists, data engineers, and the like — who possess a strong working knowledge of the human brain. These data experts combine this strong working knowledge with artificial intelligence, such as predictive analytics and machine learning, to create desired responses from people like you and I. This works on a micro scale, like Amazon recommending a new spatula based on the pot we already purchased, or on a macro scale, like Cambridge Analytica influencing election outcomes across the globe. This handbook is meant to provide insights into the human psyche, and explain how firms that are intently focused on our decisions can influence us in profound ways.
Our discussion will start with the mind, specifically its unconscious domains which have long perplexed researchers. This handbook will delve into how our understanding of the unconscious has morphed and expanded, from Sigmund Freud’s 20th Century work in psychoanalysis, to its integration with business and marketing at the turn of the century. We will then shift our focus to psychographic segmentation, and examine how this type of targeting enables firms to better understand the unconscious, and its impacts on our lifestyle and behaviour. After a brief overview of artificial intelligence, we will segue to a larger discussion about business analytics or advanced analytics, which has created untold opportunities in many industries, including marketing. This focus on data mining provides marketers with deep insights about our thoughts, enabling them to influence our behaviour in profound ways. We will then look into the value of traditional marketing activities and how the data mining activities become valuable inputs into the creation of truly impactful identities and messaging. We will conclude our discussion by highlighting some of big data’s ethical and privacy implications.
This handbook is intended for new and existing entrepreneurs, startup founders, marketing enthusiasts and students, business owners, consultants, and political strategists. This handbook does not have a political undercurrent. That is not to say, however, that this dimension is unimportant. Strong moral foundations are essential in our daily lives, and all businesses should prioritize the ongoing implementation of a robust business ethics framework that guides their decision-making. This handbook is meant to provide its readers with insightful information about human psychology and marketing-specific data science that is properly contextualized using real world research and company case studies. It does not act as, and should not be construed as, a political or public relations effort to pass judgement on the actions of any organization based on ideological leanings. Rather, this handbook provides readers with information about our brains, decision-making process, valuable marketing tools, and pertinent company examples, all of which should better position the reader for success in this digitized, data-driven world.
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