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Volumetrics means sales volume forecasting based on survey data.  It is the process of taking survey data and transforming it into a statement about the marketplace.  What makes this challenging is the simple fact that respondents don’t always do what they say they’ll do.  There are a variety of different techniques for translating what respondents say in a survey into information about what they will actually do in the real world.

Generally, volumetric forecasts are needed in two situations: new products not yet in market and existing products already in market that are expected to change.  Which approach to volumetrics is best is partly determined by these two situations.  Other factors which can influence the determination of best approach include stage of life cycle, competitor activity, category purchase frequency, quality of survey data and quality of external data.

Conjoint models are often an excellent foundation for a volumetrics study.  Conjoint models allow for the estimation of a variety of product and market configurations.   Regardless of the nature of the survey data involved, MACRO’s approaches almost always involve linking survey data to external data, such as actual sales.  There are a variety of ways to calibrate the survey data using external data.

MACRO uses numerous approaches to estimate sales volumes:

  • Unconstrained allocation Choice-based Conjoint models allow for fairly direct sales forecasting (high frequency products such as CPG)
  • Share of Preference Conjoint simulations (no or low growth markets)
  • Purchase likelihood questions linked to external data and then to a purchase likelihood conjoint model (new products)

For every volumetrics project, MACRO will assess the business objectives and context as well as the quality and quantity of available data, to select the most appropriate analytic approach.