Back in The Lab – Our review of the MSIX Marketing Science Conference


Last Friday we tried to put a bit more science into ScienceFiction and attended the Mumbrella MSIX 2017, marketing science conference. 

To avoid any possible echo chamber, the conference was curated with a reasonably diverse line up of speakers ranging from neuroscientists to psychologists. 

The keynote speaker was Professor Byron Sharp, who you might be familiar with, particularly if you read our blog. 

Sharp started his talk with an appeal to the marketers in room to pay a greater respect to the workings of their discipline by applying some scientific method to the practice:


These regularities are what shaped Sharp’s laws of marketing covered in his book, How Brands Grow.

Sharp argued that one of the biggest benefits to applying scientific understanding to marketing was that it then allowed marketers to focus their attention on the things they can control:

Ultimately, an understanding of marketing science can give brands the best chance at growth in today’s market.

Following Sharp was Professor Emeritus Richard Silberstein, Chairman at Neuro-Insight. On a similar vein to Sharp’s mental availability model, he emphasised the importance of memory in influencing buyers.

‘Long term memory encoding is the most important measure as it has been shown to correlate with decision-making and purchase intent.’

Silberstein’s research into neuroscience has shown that “the purpose of long term memory is not just intended to be a memory of the past but also a mechanism to guide future behaviour.” 

This is what makes memory the most important factor that brands should be looking to influence. 

One other speaker worth sharing was Dr Amantha Imber, a psychologist at Inventium who gave some valuable insights on how to businesses can get better at innovation.

Imber has found that businesses quite often are simply not asking the right questions.

And sometimes it’s not about asking any questions at all. When it comes to solving a problem, actions can be more informative than words:

All in all, the MSIX conference was an experience that reminded us that marketing science is as important and valuable as it’s ever been.

Matt Arbon