I think you'll find this Forbes blog post by David Leinweber of interest!:
Prediction Isn't Just About Stocks. Predictive Persuasion
David Leinweber, Contributor
Prediction isn’t just for the stock market. Trading is just one of many ways to cash in on quantitative foresight. For mass marketing – and even presidential campaigns – it’s another story. In those areas, putting odds on the future generates a different kind of power: the power to influence and persuade people – the power to not only predict but to actually change the future.
Persuasion by way of prediction is a whole other side to the big data world.
Predictive persuasion has a nice ring to it… and I bet you’ll never guess exactly what it is that companies predict in order to persuade. There’s a surprise twist in how it works. You already know that the whole point of marketing a product (or political candidate) is to influence consumers. But most don’t know that the new trend to do so goes beyond predicting consumer (and voter) behavior. Instead, those in power secure their lead by predicting how to best convince you. They increase their influence by predicting not your behavior, but how to influence your behavior. This technique is the bottom line in “mathematical seduction.” Predictive technology hasn’t only advanced and become more precise – it just got under your skin.
You’ve probably heard of the classic 1936 book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Perhaps the modern master of turning these ideas into science and software is the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, who efforts in this direction were described in remarkable detail in a recent NY Times Magazine feature.