NEC and Macromill Launch Consumer Insight Marketing Business Using AI

Discovering consumer insight with AI, Data and Biometric Information


TOKYO, Mar 9, 2019NEC Corporation and Macromill, Inc. have jointly developed consumer insight marketing services using AI and biometric information and will launch services from April 2019. The services include a Central Location Test using biometric information and a consumer purchase prediction service using AI. They will be delivered together with ‘D-Profile’, an AI analytics service which launched in January 2019.

These services will help marketers to understand deep consumer needs and discover new insights by analyzing Macromill’s various consumer data sets. This data includes attribute information such as age, gender, purchase history and access log, as well as EEG, line-of-sight (from NEC’s portfolio of AI technologies, ‘NEC the WISE’) and others.

These services allow marketers to utilize deeper consumer insight for marketing and product development. Marketers can now access consumers’ unconscious reactions and activity logs – information which cannot be identified from surveys or a Central Location Test.

NEC and Macromill began their collaboration in consumer data utilization in April 2018. Since then, they have jointly developed marketing solutions for leading-edge companies. The AI analytics service D-Profile, which utilizes dotData, is already successfully providing new insights in media planning and product development for clients in the finance, FMCG, and media sectors.

NEC and Macromill will also jointly develop a service to provide insights based on in-store purchase behavior. The two companies are currently working on business development with real store trials, aiming to launch the service before the end of the fiscal year 2019.

“Through this collaboration, NEC and Macromill seek to create a society where each consumer can benefit from more tailored services and pursue a richer life,” said Osamu Fujikawa, senior vice president, NEC Corporation. “We believe that by providing data and analytics that reflect consumer trends and values, our clients can better customize their marketing activities. In addition, we can support our clients’ efforts to own and utilize their proprietary data through safe data distribution.”

“Macromill helps to solve marketing challenges by collecting and analyzing consumer data to deliver deeper insights into consumers – in the real and increasingly digital world,” said Toru Sasaki, representative executive officer, Japan Operation, Macromill. “What’s so exciting about this collaboration is that we will be able to provide more refined insight into consumer activities enabling our clients to customize their marketing to their exact needs.”

As consumer behavior becomes more diversified and individualized, it has become increasingly important for marketers to develop a deeper understanding of that behavior. Conventionally, only a limited range of consumer attribute data, such as gender, age, survey data and purchase behavior data were available, making it difficult to understand consumer behavior. Also, as the cost of data collection has risen, there has been a growing need among enterprises to access more existing data.

These jointly developed services will provide invaluable data for our clients’ marketing activities, enabling them to increase their analytical capability by augmenting data with a high level of accuracy. Using AI means we can deliver the quantity of data required for analysis and improve data quality by using biometric information, such as line-of-sight and EEG.

About the New Services

1. Central Location Test service using biometric information

This service measures bio-reaction quantitatively by utilizing NEC’s AI technology-‘Remote Gaze Detection technology’ and/or Centan Inc.’s ‘EEG Monitoring Technology’ at Macromill’s CLT (Central Location Test) facility. This service offers a virtual shelf test and an individual package test.

The virtual shelf test enables clients to evaluate new products in a more natural environment using a re-created store shelf without needing to wear eye-tracking devices. The individual package test combines eye-tracking and EEG to test new products and indicates positive/negative responses for each design element. By using these surveys, marketers can evaluate the degree of engagement required to attract consumers with both eye-tracking and psychological effects.

A verification test was added in September 2018. This has been proven to measure consumers’ real reactions during the product selection process, such as “Which part of a product did you see first?” “Which other products did you compare against?” and “Was that negative or positive?” Conventional methods are unable to provide this level of detail.

Service launch: July 2019 (plan)
Service content:
– Virtual Shelf Test: A numerical table that indicates visibility, the number of seconds of visibility, etc. for each product on a shelf
– Individual Package Test: Eye-tracking/EEG reaction heat map overlaid on package design

2. Consumer purchase prediction service using AI

This service provides data by using NEC’s ‘Customer Profile Estimation’ AI technology to supplement shortages in Macromill’s consumer data (purchase data), augmenting to a scale of approximately 100,000 consumers. This service is useful for analysis of new products with a low volume of purchases, and low-frequency purchase products, or DMP (Data Management Platform) data analysis with multiple proprietary data combined, where the purchase panel is insufficient for analysis. With purchase as the starting point, this service helps marketers to understand consumers, to plan advertisements, and to identify DMP building needs.

Service launch: April 2019 (plan)
Service content: A set of consumer purchase data predicted by AI technology