MSU introduces new marketing lab
Blaise Bergiel works in the MILO Lab to help the MSU business program conduct research.

Located on the second floor of McCool Hall, Mississippi State University has opened a new lab on campus. Market Innovation Lab and Observatory, commonly known as MILO, is giving students new and exclusive opportunities.

MSU holds one of the five major marketing labs in the nation and one of the first in the Southeast. Mike Breazeale, an associate professor of marketing who manages MILO, wanted to emphasize this.

"The students should really be proud that we've got this resource here. This is something that our students and our faculty have access to that most schools don't," Breazeale said.

Breazeale mentioned the excitement surrounding the addition of MILO.

"We have a bigger lab than Harvard, so it's pretty exciting to know that the hard work that we put in and the belief that our administration and our donors have is really paying off in a way that's going to benefit everybody," Breazeale said.

Robert Moore, a marketing professor, was also involved in the expansion and referred to Breazeale as the driving force. 

"He is the expert on it. He knows what he's talking about. He came here and he wanted to do it right away," Moore said.

Breazeale explained what the lab would be used for.

"It's kind of the cutting edge and the future of research right now," Breazeale said. "For probably a thousand years, we've used surveys pretty much as a way to tell what people want or have people tell us what they want or what they think about things."

Breazeale said that the laboratory would give a better analysis in these surveys.

"Now, we can get a much deeper dive into that and figure out a lot more than the people themselves are even aware of which is really cool," Breazeale said.

According to Breazeale, the lab allows researchers to capture and analyze all of the telling movements, such as facial expression and heart rate, to help them test a product's reception by the public.

"In terms of even helping companies with their management and how they present things to customers, we can work with companies on putting together their financial reports and all, and how people perceive those when they look at them." Breazeale said.

Breazeale said small businesses would benefit from MILO due to the lack of price restraints.

"It really is just kind of a win-win for everybody," Breazeale said.

Blaise Bergiel, a junior majoring in management, is interning at MILO.

"I really see a bunch of potential in this. Marketing is where you kind of have to draw in the attention of whoever you're trying to get to buy your product.", Bergiel said.  

Bergiel said physically seeing the data of people's responses would be the best for the marketing field.

The lab is currently conducting some preliminary studies. Around 450 students are being monitored for these studies through eye tracking and skin response.

With the addition of the lab being installed, Breazeale said the advancements will continue.

"Hopefully, as much as this feels like the culmination of everything I've done, it's really just the beginning. I would love to see us expand our capabilities into downtown somewhere, like at the innovation center." Breazeale said.

Breazeale expressed his satisfaction with the work they will be able to do for small businesses, but he said he hoped to take the lab to bigger cities with larger corporations.

"My big goal is to have a mobile lab ... so that we can be truly a national force in it," Breazeale said.

Breazeale said the lab will open up a new line of research for the business community. 

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