The fusion of science and technology is fostering a new era of growth for the marketing tech category. The need for data-driven communication solutions brought about by the growth of the Internet has fueled this growth. The old network message distribution model is about to crumble due to impact of changes in technology and its adoption by consumers. Marketers are being forced to seek new models such as those based on Neuromarketing which focus on individuals and how the various choices they are faced with can be shifted or influenced at multiple “scales” of behavior (e.g. individuals, group or market/society). Much of this will happen as part of the science of influence.

Achieving a level of accountability and improving marketing ROI was the hope of the digital/online world. However, in their haste to go digital many marketers simply took a century old marketing model that assumed a rational process of persuasion, which follows a sequence from awareness through purchase that consumers could consciously articulate, and wedded it with programmatic ad distribution platforms. Other marketers who have recognized that digital technology has changed how people are influenced by media sought to integrate ideas about non rational and rational processes such as those published by Kahneman on ideas related to neuroscience versus individual decision making.

For marketers who have gone down the old persuasion model path, success has been like finding the proverbial unicorn. Despite the fact that marketers are pouring money into digital, the 2014 4th Quarter Agency Forecast Survey by Strata Marketing found that 50% of ad agencies are not sure they are getting good ROI from online, and the majority of agencies say video ads don’t always reach the intended target. Further research just released by Google GOOGL -1.46%in December of 2014 shows an almost unbelievable 56% of ads on the Internet are not seen by humans.

Perhaps the abysmal click through rate on Internet display ads of .1-.3% and 4.25% for video ads is partially due to the bot fraud and URL masking that composes the non-humans in Google’s Research. While the bots may help the ad distribution look good, bots don’t buy products—people do. Clearly the old rational persuasion network distribution model no longer works as it may have in the past and by simply transferring it to the new digital world marketers have missed the target–the customer who has moved.

To counteract this dilemma many marketers are looking to data-driven marketing for relief. In fact, Foundation Capital issued a new report in February of 2015 calling for marketing tech expenditures to grow ten times to $120 billion by 2025. Neuromarketing and the science of influence will play a key role in these new technology/data driven marketing models as everything from allocation to placement will be revamped to increase ROI, based upon how external stimuli/media influence the human mind in decision making.

One of the more exciting findings of research in this new Neuromarketing world was published in the recent Frontiers of Neuroscience. The research redefines Neuromarketing as the Integrated Science of Influence. The work behind the research is ongoing and is being conducted by The Applied Neuromarketing Consortium at Medill, Kellogg K -2.47% and Feinberg School at Northwestern University. The researchers are systematically studying the influence of external stimuli on the human mind and relating them to other concepts such as perception, memory and decision making. For marketers, “There is now considerable justification to use influence as a marketing, media and promotion variable,” said Dr. Martin Block, one of the papers co-authors.

The integration of science and technology to redefine Neuromarketing as the Science of Influence is a great example of how marketing tech will create new data driven opportunities to replace old communication theories and drive ROI in the digital world.