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A Taxonomy and Assessment of Current Market Research Conferences in North America

Do you find this issue’s column title impressive? Ostentatious?  Incomprehensible?  Your answers (multiple responses allowed) will indicate which conferences you should, and should not, attend.  I’ll explain further down. Marketing research conferences can be divided into two broad classes: Vacuous and Substantive. Please note I’ve excluded invitation-only conferences from this taxonomy.  I’ve also excluded seminars and workshops. Almost all marketing…

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Bring Your Survey Design Out of The Dark Ages.

Modern marketing science offers us the chance to see a little more clearly, dig a little deeper, forecast a little more accurately. In some cases, it’s not a little. It’s a lot. We have to understand, however, how the data will be used prior to writing the questionnaire so we can collect data appropriate for the subsequent analysis. Take a…

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Insights and Opportunities

Focus groups are ubiquitous.  In many marketers’ minds the phrase “focus group” is synonymous with the phrase “market research”.  Why?  Focus groups are easy to understand, easy to set up, fairly quick to turn around and, best of all, the results are almost always, if the moderator has any skills whatsoever, sufficiently vague to support any conclusion the client wants…

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Single Task Choice

If you had a choice (no pun intended) between asking respondents 20 choice questions or just one, which approach would you choose? OK.  Now that you’ve picked 20 because you don’t think one choice task is going to yield a sufficiently accurate model, momentarily assume that, with just one choice task per respondent, you could estimate a disaggregate choice model…

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The Fall of the New Rome

We seem, as a culture and society, to have walked through a door.  A door, I believe that we may never be able to return through again.  We celebrate celebrity.  It no longer seems to matter how you became famous.  It just matters that you are famous.  Party girls, mistresses to the already famous, self-destructive entertainers.  No matter how negative…

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The Perils of Online Surveys

When online surveys were first introduced to the marketing research community, there was justifiably great excitement and optimism. Online surveys promised numerous and substantive advantages over both phone and mall-intercept interviews: shorter field times, lower costs per interview, virtually complete elimination of interviewer bias, infinitely greater interview process control (e.g., randomizations, customizations, complex yet flawlessly executed skip patterns, logic checks…

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The Roles and Goals of Marketing Research

In 1911, Charles Coolidge Parlin became the first “real” marketing researcher when he was appointed manager of the commercial research division of the advertising department of the Curtis Publishing Company, thus birthing an industry. Why did this one minor adjustment to the corporate structure of Curtis Publishing spawn an entire industry? Because, in 1911, in its infantile innocence and ignorance,…

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