Magnify Q&A with Charlie Arnot

Digital Insights into consumer attitudes, values, fears and motivations is now available through Magnify, a new service offered by Look East. 

An analysis found that more than 34 million consumers are actively engaging around the general topic of antibiotic resistance. The core market is white, middle-class females between the ages of 25 to 44. They want to be viewed as responsible and compassionate and will go out of their way to avoid information and directives from government or corporations. 

Magnify provides unprecedented access to consumers’ decision makingWe asked CEO Charlie Arnot about Magnify and how it can be used by food system stakeholders. 

Magnify reporting

How is it possible to discover these insights into consumers’ thinking?  

Digital conversations that consumers are willing to engage in online today provide the ability to understand their beliefs and motivations about a myriad of important topics affecting today’s food system. Access to millions of consumer conversations is available simply because people are willing to publicly engage in these conversations daily. 

Ethnography is the social science where people’s behavior is observed as opposed to asking questions, so bias is not introduced. Using this social science research and applying it to large data sets simultaneously allows us to conduct digital ethnography.  

The application of digital ethnography and online communication gives us the capability to understand the demographics, motivations and values that are influencing behavior, something that has not existed previously. 

What can you find out through a Magnify analysis? 

We’re able to now look at topics, issues, brands and products and instantly understand the cultural conversation taking place around each of them. We can understand how mature the topic is, who is driving that conversation and details about their demographics. From there, we can also predict where the conversation is headed with information about the motives, fears, values and attitudes of the people engaged in the conversation. 

How can you trust that the results are accurate? 

We’re examining tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of online interactions. The analysis does not count “likes” or similar reactions. The software and Ph.D. social scientists examine deeper kinds of conversations or comments. Those could be product reviews, blog posts or conversation threads that really get into more meaningful conversations. 

How is that information relevant for a business or organization? 

Once you know who’s driving the conversation and you know their age, gender, race, education and family size, you begin to get a clearer picture of these individuals. Once you recognize their fears, motives, values and attitudes, it gives you some insight into what they’re thinking. 

We can understand who they are, we can understand where they are going for information and we can understand what they’re thinking. That then allows us to develop a very targeted strategy to reach them with a specific message.  

How can an organization apply the data to make it useful? 

Once I understand who I’m trying to reach, rather than just giving information, I engage in a way that addresses specific fears, aligns with motivations and values and is consistent with the attitudes about whatever the product or brand happens to be.  

I can now engage much more strategically than I ever could before because of the insight that is now instantaneously available through Magnify. 

Are there other ways to use a Magnify analysis? 

If I’m marketing a product, I can find out what people are saying about my product, what they believewhat are their motives, what is their ethnographic DNA. 

I can also find out the same thing about my competitors and the market category. And I can learn about topics or issues that might be of concern to my brand, my association or my company.  

I can also better understand my customers – what are their feelings, their beliefs, their values. I can better understand all of that which then informs my marketing strategy, my business strategy and my issues strategy, increasing the likelihood of success because I have better information. 

What are some broader ways to apply Magnify analysis to understand food system issues? 

We can look across a series of related topics and identify the similarities in motivations, fears and values. 

For example, if you look at meat alternatives and milk alternatives, what you see is there are people moving away from conventional protein sources (like beef, pork or poultry) and are moving toward plant-based or lab grown options for many of the same reasons – control over their health, animosity toward big business” corporations and they believe American food culture is toxic due to health standards, animal welfare reports and other concerning matters. 

Magnify can look across a combination of topics or issues and see similarities and trends that might inform a long-term strategy. 

Does Look East provide just the Magnify data or also the analysis? 

Look East provides both the data and the strategic implications. Look East will be hosting a webinar in the near future with a full demo and a Q & A session. If you’re interested in learning more about the webinar or the tool, please contact us at