Monday, October 01, 2007

Customer Anthropology: Next Steps: S2 is Intrigued

Welcome to the world of social sensors. I had briefly mentioned the concept of customer anthropology in one of my previous blogs. Just a quick reminder: Customer Anthropology is the act of observing customers in their natural habitat is definitely a powerful framework. But the challenge lies in that observations by the most diligent social analyst is filled with objectivity and relies on human recall with all its inherent weaknesses. It is not quantitative. Now the research being done at the MIT Media Lab Human Dynamics group is working with series of smart sensors (yet another smart kit) that will help track the unconscious and instinctual side of human behavior. The intend to provide more data on subtle personal cues and social interactions never available before. Yes there are all privacy lawyers waiting in the wings to kill this thing down but it definitely looks like a way to gather more empirical data which may finally give managers, marketers critical input intothe hidden web of social interactions that determine the effectiveness of organizations, product launches.