Exit Interview: Carl Marci, M.D.

CEO & Chief Scientist, Innerscope Research

exitinterview411If you've read thus far, you already know a lot about Dr. Carl Marci's brain. Now it's time to find out what's on his mind. As is our custom, we like to end each guest-edited issue of MEDIA with an "exit" interview, downloading their experience and any second thoughts they may have had. Unlike past editors - who have run the gamut from veteran consumer magazine editor Bob Guccione Jr. to Madison Avenue honchos like Alex Bogusky, Dale Herigstad and David Skokna - Marci is a scientist and a practicing doctor (in the field of psychiatry). But he also is a media industry pro, having founded Innerscope Research with his partner Brian Levine and as we were surprised to learn in the process of making this magazine, a pretty darn good editor too. Heck, we'd have him back anytime.

Why did you agree to guest edit this issue?
I think, for me, it's part of an ongoing commitment to educate the media-market audience about the importance of unconscious measures. I also believe in creating awareness of the truly remarkable evolution in our understanding of the brain - how it functions on both the conscious and unconscious levels. In particular, as the media landscape evolves so rapidly and there are so many channels for audiences to receive and increasingly interact with media, that the old and more passive models of audiences are clearly dated; a more updated model of an interactive audience is needed.

Is there anything that you or we could have done differently in terms of guest editing the issue?
I like the opportunity to create themes across pieces. I think that is exciting. In terms of what could be done better, it was a challenging task because the topic is so big. Making decisions on what to cover and what not to cover is so hard and hopefully we struck the right balance.

In the future, what role will biometrics play in our perceptions of screens and media in general?
I think biometrics and unconscious measures and technology will play an increasing role in how audiences will understand screens of all types and sizes. Only a small portion of the brain's working is perceived as consciousness, meaning that the brain is doing a whole lot of things we are not aware of. As we do more and more multitasking and are around more stimuli, we will rely on our consciousness more, so understanding what happens on an unconscious level will be more important. This is to say that if our conscious awareness is only a small portion of what the brain is doing at a time and we are only relying on traditional measures that only tap the conscious response through surveys and focus groups, we see only one component of it. A broader understanding how that works and drives behaviors will be critical.

Medicine influences media, will media ever influence medicine?
First of all, media has already played an important role in healthcare. With the advent of direct to consumer marketing through large pharmaceutical companies, there is no doubt, for example, that a large generation has been educated on depression and even erectile dysfunction. These are common ailments that had a lot of shame and stigma associated with them. In the future, media will play an increasingly important role in health prevention and health maintenance. They will be creating interactive diet and exercise support and wellness programs that are fun and have a social component. We are starting to see these emerge and I think they are only going to increase in their popularity.

What other publication would you like to guest edit in the future?
There are a lot out there that I would like to guest edit. They run the gamut, from MEDIA which has a specific audience of media consumers, to a health journal that deals with applications of technology. I think we will see hybrid journalism that crosses over among the technology world, the media world, anthropology, social science and everything in between. Nothing will be truly meaningful in terms of change in the near to long term that isn't multidiscipline.

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