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How do we Measure Meaning?

Ujwal Arkalgud, EVP & Group Director at Lux Research

Ujwal Arkalgud

EVP & Group Director, Anthropology

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Jason Partridge photo

Jason Partridge

VP, Client Success

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Welcome to “Why Meaning Matters”—a Story Studio Network podcast hosted by Erin Trafford with MotivBase cultural anthropologist, Ujwal Arkalgud and MotivBase president, Jason Partridge.

Our hosts explore how data collection facilitates measurement of Meaning and the trust and privacy issues that follow. Awareness that online activity is being tracked in some way has become part of the everyday consumer experience. We’re asked to accept cookies when we visit a website and terms like GDPR compliance have become symbols that data collection and use is being done properly.

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Welcome to Why Meaning Matters. A Story Studio Network podcast hosted by Erin Trafford with MotivBase cultural anthropologist, Ujwal Arkalgud and MotivBase president, Jason Partridge.

Our hosts explore how data collection facilitates measurement of Meaning and the trust and privacy issues that follow. Awareness that online activity is being tracked in some way has become part of the everyday consumer experience. We’re asked to accept cookies when we visit a website and terms like GDPR compliance have become symbols that data collection and use is being done properly.

When MotivBase was launched, the team went through a challenging ethical process to create a model that did not look at personally identifiable information like photos, names or IDs.

JASON [00:05:09] “And instead we follow the breadcrumbs that consumers leave us through language in order for us to get to a place where we can understand what is happening emotionally and culture, but we’re not actually saving, storing or collecting anything that belongs to anybody.”

For example, someone makes a comment in a forum about Probiotics and cooking with fermented food. The full comment is not collected as it would have to be protected. Instead the topics are collected.

UJWAL [00:07:41] “We are extracting the topic ‘cooking’. We’re extracting the topic ‘fermented foods’, and what we’re storing actually is topics and the relationships between them. Literally the distance in multidimensional space between them, coming back to the solar system analogy. We’re storing these topics, which are these planets and the distance between this planet and the planets next to it and the moons around it and all of that other stuff.” Within the next 24 months, the tools that the personalization industry currently uses will not be permitted. MotivBase’s model for collecting language and meaning rather than personally identifiable information (PII) withstands those changes and can still deliver a personal message or experience.

UJWAL [00:09:14] “If Erin engages with products that have meaning like ‘organic’, ‘sustainable’, ‘better for you’. Then I can identify other meanings that Erin will also engage with. Ie., maybe there’s something about ‘handmade’, ‘crafted’, ‘local’. Right? I can identify that by simply identifying how one set of meanings connects to another set.”

Those companies and organizations who adopt these methods now will be ahead of the Commerce versus Culture curve.

JASON [00:12:33] “And I think that, you know, when you think about social capital, the people that are going to leverage this to basically force change and to suggest that we are more inherently open-minded to protecting people’s privacy are going to get social capital. They are going to be quote unquote revolutionaries of the digital age.”

In the next episode, our hosts wrap up season one with a conversation about monetizing Meaning and where commerce and culture will be in two years. Stay tuned for episode twelve, season one finale of Why Meaning Matters. A podcast produced by Story Studio Network and iContact Productions for MotivBase- Decoding implicit meaning behind what people talk about.

If you want to contribute to the conversation, make sure you drop us an email at hello [at] storystudionetwork [dot] com. If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to SHARE it, RATE it, and SUBSCRIBE to the show!

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