• 12Nov
    Optimizing Parts Of A Whole by Elizabeth Horn
    Choice Modeling

    Commentary on choice modeling is confined mostly to discussions of optimizing an entire product or service, its pricing, and perhaps even its inclusion in the broader portfolio.

    So what do we do with those products that are not wholes, but rather some individual component or ingredient? Often manufacturers want to optimize the features and the pricing for their product parts.

  • Preventing Survey Fraud

    As the business world moves faster and faster and demands grow by the day, trusted advisors are needed more than ever.

    From my vantage point I see researchers and strategists in corporate positions who are genuinely seeking support and advice from their peers and, more importantly, from those of us in agency-side roles. So, specifically, what should this “partnership” look like?

  • 20Oct
    Fraud in Online Surveys by Justin W. Thomas
    Preventing Survey Fraud

    The incidence of fraud in online surveys is a growing problem. Fraud rates can be as high as 15% to 25% in some sources of online samples.

    The research industry must minimize respondent fraud to protect the integrity of its survey results and safeguard the public’s trust in survey research findings. This blog explores some common types of fraud and outlines some approaches to minimizing fraud.

  • 30Sep
    The Joy of Innovation by Bonnie Janzen
    Joy of Innovation

    Remember the joy of discovery?

    You are the ‘voice of the customer’ in the organization, you are the starting point for innovation. You will be able to discover the consumer pain points, barriers to trial and usage and purchase journey, which will allow you to help your team and organization move customers beyond those pain points and barriers. You will be able to solve real-life problems for your customers, your employees, and any other stakeholder group that your business serves.

  • Consumer Reactions to Covid-19

    I’ve been a qualitative researcher at Decision Analyst for a year now, and when in meetings with our clients or when designing research proposals I often hear my colleagues talk about using Decision Analyst’s Imaginators®.

    As an experienced ideation leader, I’ve been waiting “patiently” for my opportunity to try it out. A few weeks ago, I finally got my chance when I was asked to lead an Imaginators® session for an internal project.

  • In-home Product Testing Research (HUTs)

    There are many factors that go into a successful product: efficacy, price, value, brand, distribution, advertising, competitive forces, etc.

    But when push comes to shove at the retail shelf, packaging can make or break a product. Brands need to ensure they are getting the most impact out of their packaging that they possibly can. How do they do that? With consumer research, of course!

  • Restaurant Research

    At the beginning of 2020, the restaurant industry was thriving. A few short months into the year, this industry, along with many others, was brought to its knees.

    While it still has a tough road ahead, the foodservice industry has proven its resilience through innovation, creativity, and reinvention. There was a quick pivot to online ordering/delivery models, and fast adoption of new service ideas.

  • 21Jul
    Consumer Reactions to Covid-19

    For almost 100 years, some large corporations have used marketing research to gain an unfair advantage over their competitors.

    This is not fair, and does not lead to a fair marketplace. These “marketing research savvy” companies benefit from an “intelligence” or “informational” advantage over their competitors. The whole concept of free enterprise and free markets rests upon an assumption of fair and equal competition in a marketplace, and marketing research undermines this core principle.

  • 19Jul
    Women in 2020 Survey Report by Kathryn Sollmann, Author & Speaker
    Consumer Reactions to Covid-19

    Will More Women Reach the Top?

    A major corporate objective is to get more women to the C-Suite, but a new survey commissioned by Career Coach and Author, Kathryn Sollmann, "Women in 2020: Choosing to Move Up the Ladder—Or Not?", reveals that few women at the mid-level—the pipeline for senior leaders—currently have these career aspirations. The majority of women in the 35 to 44 age demographic say they have reached their career goals and do not intend to advance further.
    read more

  • Consumer Reactions to Covid-19

    Usability testing plays an important role in creating a positive customer experience, and the principles applied in this type of research can also be a key part of the development process for many things beyond websites and apps.

    The importance of using these principles and testing will only increase for marketers and innovators as our fast-paced world accelerates and demands for significant changes in how people interact with each other and their environment.

  • 1Jul
    Consumer Driven Innovation by Heather Kluter

    Heather Kluter, Senior Vice President, discusses how setting up a Consumer Driven Innovation process can fuel a new product development pipeline.

    She discusses using Innovative consumers, trend tracking, exploring channels of influence and looking outside your industry for ideas can help feed your new product pipeline with consumer-centric ideas and concepts.
    View Transcript

  • 26Jun
    Consumer Reactions to Covid-19 by Decision Analyst
    Consumer Reactions to Covid-19

    Nearly 9 in 10 Americans now tell us their area is beginning to relax shelter-in-place orders.

    Concern about COVID-19 seems to be waning somewhat, though differences are noted across age groups.

  • Win-Loss Analysis

    In B2B research, one of the biggest concerns is maintaining and growing business.

    Win-Loss research is an excellent way to learn about how well your company does in developing and winning over new customers as well as assessing why customers choose to make a change and go to one of your competitors.

  • Consumer Reactions to Covid-19

    The big question, as we all begin moving forward again, seems to be, “How do we jump-start our business?”

    What questions should we be asking? What actions should we be taking? What can we really expect from our customers, shoppers, or consumers? The truth is there’s no easy answer to these questions and no one really knows what the future will look like. But the good news is there are steps we can all take toward answering these big questions.

  • Consumer Reactions to Covid-19

    As stressful as this environment is, it could be an opportunity to evaluate where your company or nonprofit has been and where it wants to go.

    Has what you’ve been doing up until now served you well? Is it time to adjust plans, change directions entirely, or double down on your current strategy? Do you have data that can help you answer strategic questions?

  • Business World

    There was so much promise and excitement at the start of the year and the decade, but now COVID-19 and its economic fallout has had tragic consequences for many companies and industries.

    Now we must pick ourselves up and find our way through what might be the biggest challenge an organization or industry has ever faced. These 7 steps will help you focus on reimaging your brand by focusing on your product roadmap and reviewing your brand positioning.

  • 12May
    Business World

    In this tumultuous time many businesses are seeing their teams pulling together and connecting in ways they never have before.

    This sense of being “all in this together” is allowing employees to be more of their authentic selves at work. They are now free to admit and share that they are juggling a lot – kids, pets, friends, partners, and general stress. With newfound empathy for each other, companies are reporting a heightened level of team collaboration that has not been seen before COVID-19.

  • Online Survey Sample

    Regardless of the “when,” watercooler (or more correctly, Zoom) conversations are turning to what the normal will be like in the future.

    A key part of our life that may be changed in the future is what a consumer group is, and their associations with “groups.” People by nature seek to belong to groups, and a general sense of community is important and needed, but what will it look like in the future?

  • 15Apr
    Who’s taking my survey? by Julie Trujillo
    Online Survey Sample

    Panel and sample quality is something all market researchers should be concerned about.

    So, with that in mind, I thought perhaps it was time to take a step back and consider what we are doing to make sure we can answer the question, “Who’s taking my survey?”

  • 7Apr
    The New World After COVID-19 by Jerry W. Thomas
    Strategy Research for Business After Covid-19

    Consumer attitudes and perceptions will be changed forever.

    Industries, companies, and brands will be forced back to the drawing board to re-learn and re-understand their markets and their customers. Companies will have to reinvent, re-position, and rejuvenate their products, services, marketing, and advertising.

  • 17Mar
    Is That New Product a Cannibal? by Elizabeth Horn, Ph.D.
    Avoiding New Product Cannibalism

    Companies that expect to survive must introduce new or improved products regularly.

    The reasons for this are numerous. With these pressures from purchasers, competition, and distribution channels, companies are faced with the task of rapidly introducing new products, sometimes at the expense of current ones.

  • In-home Product Testing Research (HUTs)

    It’s always a good idea to test your products among consumers prior to initial launch or subsequent product changes.

    Unfortunately, because fewer and fewer companies are taking this critical step, they are missing key opportunities to improve their products and, ultimately, their odds of market-dominating success. Home-use testing is a surefire way to find out what consumers think about your product.

  • Avoiding Type 1 Error

    At the start of my career, I worked with the a top home builder. I joined the marketing and product development teams. When I had been there for about a year, an executive from a CPG manufacturer joined the company and brought much needed knowledge. He commented on our work style – like dogs, we were butts up, diggin’.

    Cross-functional collaboration aren’t just nice to have. They are critical to success in today’s environment. Here’s why traditional, hierarchical org structures don’t work.

  • 10Feb
    3 Avoidable Statistical Mistakes by Audrey Snowden, PH.D.
    Avoiding Type 1 Error

    Marketing research is grounded in the scientific method: answering questions by generating a priori hypotheses, collecting data to test hypotheses, and analyzing data to draw conclusions. Adhering to the rules of the scientific method is important to ensure that results are valid and unbiased.

    Sometimes marketing researchers are tempted to use undesirable methods, like conducting many single significance tests, performing statistical tests without hypotheses, and rerunning statistical tests until desired results are discovered. Unfortunately, engaging in these methods has unintended, detrimental consequences: namely, an increase in Type I Error.

  • Developing Innovative Ideas

    No matter the product or service type, the most successful innovations are grounded in a consumer need or white space.

    Rarely does an innovative and successful idea just appear in someone’s dreams or imagination. It’s typically more of a process of trial and error that can take years to conceptualize, prototype, test, and refine. Many innovations require rigorous scientific experimentation. Often engineering and industrial-design functions are also involved.

  • 30Jan
    Developing Innovative Ideas

    As you start the New Year, you are not only saying hello to the beginning of a new year, but to a whole new decade!

    As you think about your career and your business, how can you have more of a positive impact on your business or career? Much as you approached your personal goals and resolutions for 2020, consider starting a list of your business goals and resolutions.

  • Developing Innovative Ideas

    Companies must continuously innovate in order to stay relevant and fresh.

    This innovation may take the form of a new product, a revised product, new marketing channels, an expanded distribution strategy, a new ad campaign, etc. We frequently look to unmet needs for inspiration, but an often-overlooked source for innovative ideas can come from addressing pain points. Pain points typically impact an entire category, not just one brand. They are a ‘cost of doing business’ with this type of company.


  • 19Nov
    Diving Deeper Into Diversity—Hispanic Research by José Marrero (President of JAM Consulting) and Mike Humphrey (Vice President at Decision Analyst)
    Planning for the Future

    At a conference last year, a speaker asked the audience ‘what is the biggest challenge we face in marketing research?’

    One theme rose to the top: sampling. Concerns ranged from fraud to worries over how representative our samples truly are these days. While the prevention of fraud is ongoing and evolving, the issue of representativeness deserves just as much attention. This is particularly true in the diverse U.S. Hispanic market, where the demographics, attitudes, and behaviors can differ from the general population in important ways.

  • 12Nov
    Planning for the Future by Bonnie Janzen
    Planning for the Future

    We are taught to plan, to anticipate, to read reality.

    We are taught to make adjustments in our plans, and to continually do this as we prepare for the future. We do this every day in business. So how do we read the current state of reality? How do we plan and then make adjustments along the way? What do you do when the future that you had hoped for didn’t quite materialize as you expected? Or didn’t happen as quickly as you planned for?

  • Path to Purchase

    What do you think are the top frustrations for survey-takers?

    As a marketing research professional, and a customer who takes surveys, I’m focusing on the over-used and abused question format—the grid question. To ease the frustrations of respondents consider using MaxDiff questions, MaxDiff questions force respondents to make trade-offs (or choices), like they do in the real world.

  • Path to Purchase

    An optimal suite of great products offered at acceptable prices is an integral part of a company’s strategy. But what sounds like a pretty simple proposition is not that easy in practice.

    Pricing strategies should simultaneously encourage product purchase, promote customer goodwill, and, ultimately, maximize profit. Evaluating potential pricing strategies with historical or future-looking methods is critical because missteps alienate customers and damage margins.

  • 18Sep
    Path to Purchase

    At Decision Analyst we have found that conducting workshops with internal stakeholders after the presentation of the marketing research results can be one of the most effective conduits for change that a business can employ.

    Workshops allow all of the relevant stakeholders involved in a brand, a new concept, an existing product line, etc., to come together at one time to begin the process of moving decisions and behaviors through the organization.

  • 4Sep
    My Path To Purchase by Tom Allen
    Path to Purchase

    Trying to specify consumers’ purchase paths (the behaviors and inputs that impact shoppers’ decisions) is often very challenging.

    In most cases, purchase decisions are unique to each individual and are composed of numerous decisions that take place subconsciously. These subconscious decisions are also influenced by outside factors, ingrained habits, and biased perspectives that consumers won’t admit to. So why do we try?

  • 13Aug
    Distribution Strategy

    How many new products are introduced in the U.S. each year?

    I’m sure the number is in the tens of thousands, especially when you count line extensions and other new SKUs. All you have to do is spend some time scrolling through Amazon or take a walk down the aisles of any retailer to get a sense of the number of products that already exist. So how does a new product truly break through?

  • 13Aug
    Distribution Strategy by Jerry W. Thomas
    Distribution Strategy

    Distribution is often an unrecognized and underappreciated element of strategy, yet it is almost always an important factor in a winning strategy.

    In the business world, the term “distribution” refers to the channels, logistics, and processes to move products and services from the point of manufacture, production, or creation to the ultimate end-users. When “distribution” is linked to “strategy,” the question is: How can distribution serve as a component or variable to support a company’s overall business and marketing strategy?

  • Customer Optimization

    The customer experience is as important as the products and services a company provides.

    Any brand’s or retailer’s best path to an optimized customer experience is with its frontlines: their cashiers, waiters/waitresses, store managers, customer-service team members, etc. These are the people who interact with customers every day and can make or break a positive experience. How can you ensure employees take an active role in optimizing the customer experience?

  • Strategy Research

    Suppressors are rarely talked about in the marketing research community. They are viewed as the “red-headed stepchild” of statistics: rejected, neglected, and outcast.

    Suppressors are variables that when added to a regression model, change the original relationship between X (a predictor) and Y (the outcome) by making it stronger, weaker, or no longer significant—or even reversing the direction of the relationship (i.e., changing a positive relationship into a negative one). What can researchers do when encountering problem suppressors?

  • 27Jun
    Key Strategy Questions by Bonnie Janzen
    Strategy Research

    “To be or not to be, that is the question” famously asked by Shakespeare’s Hamlet as he pondered the value of choosing life over death.

    In business, opposing positions (such as Hamlet’s) often lead to asking more marketing-nuanced versions of this question: What does your brand or your company wish to be? Or what does your brand or company not wish to be? The answers to these questions form the essence of your company’s strategy, and the answers can lead to corporate life or death as well.

  • Qualitative Research

    What is Information Polarization…

    I think of it as basically giving precedence or importance to information or things that you like, things you are associated with, or things that closely match your own values or desires; and sometimes ignoring or discounting those things you don’t. But what happens when Information Polarization is taken out of the consumers’ hands?

  • Market Segmentation Myths

    In the business world, we’ve all heard it: “We did a segmentation, and no one bought into the results.”

    It’s important to remember that the research and report are just the beginning of the journey. We have found that it’s often vitally important to flank a segmentation initiative with in-person work sessions involving key members of the client organization’s team.

  • 22Apr
    Generational Gobbledygook by Jerry W. Thomas
    Generational Cohorts

    Magically, every 10 to 15 years a new generational cohort (like Millennials, Generation Z, etc.) emerges from the shadows to transform and revolutionize American culture and the U.S. economy.

    We might miss these giant transformative waves of radical behavioral changes if it were not for the book authors, pundits, consultants, and communications executives who heighten our awareness of and shape our minds to the significance of each new generational cohort.

  • B2B Research

    I have worked in business-to-business research for many years. When I meet with clients, I often find myself having a similar conversation about the difficulties in conducting B2B research.

    While B2B research is not easy to conduct, the rewards can be huge. Here are some thoughts and suggestions on improving the quality of B2B research.

  • Brand Strategy

    What was your day like?

    You thawed out tonight’s meal from Home Bistro, digitally ran errands on Amazon, put on your outfit from Stitch Fix. If you hadn’t noticed, you’re pretty entwined in “the Subscription Economy.” Business is shifting swiftly, and the way people consume your goods and services has changed—some say in a permanent way. Challenge yourself to come up with a business that can’t be turned into a subscription.

  • 26Mar
    Risky Business, Statistically Speaking by Elizabeth Horn, Ph.D.
    Brand Strategy

    Statistical significance testing is fraught with danger. “Getting it wrong” can translate into suboptimal business decisions at best and financial loss at worst.

    Although there are several potential pitfalls associated with statistical significance testing, these are the two main mistakes: Mistake #1 is a false positive and Mistake #2 is a false negative.

  • Brand Strategy

    Recently, I attended PMRC, the Pharmaceutical Marketing Research Conference. What struck me most was the discussion about how we, as marketing research practitioners, are not doing enough to drive the use of marketing research.

    From my company’s work providing marketing research and analytical consulting services across many industries, I know that this topic is broadly applicable, so I wanted to share my thoughts on the topic.

  • Brand Strategy

    A revolutionary new product. An improved product. A problem product that’s been “fixed.” What do all of these have in common?

    All of these products also need to be tested. But if the product, itself, is never put into the hands of potential users, how strong are its chances to succeed?

  • Brand Strategy

    At its core, a strategy is a plan that is skillfully and carefully formulated and carried out for the purpose of achieving a goal in the future.

    It seems appropriate to take a look at some of the tools available to help ensure a brand has a winning strategy. From a research and insights perspective, a number of types of studies can be deployed for a solid understanding of how end users will be influenced by a new strategy or a minor pivot in direction.

  • 29Jan
    Customer Research

    We all inherently know about this trap. We think we know exactly who our customers are, and maybe even what they want or need. But what is this “knowledge” based on?

    Successful market leaders understand that they cannot rely on yesterday’s data to drive tomorrow’s growth. We must constantly seek not only to understand the market, but also to anticipate it, else we risk being yesterday’s market leader.

  • 21Jan
    Online Sampling

    Online surveys rely primarily on samples pulled from online panels (or access panels, if you live in Europe) or on web intercepts (often referred to as “river” sample).

    Online panels vary greatly in quality, with fraud and error rates ranging from 1% or 2% to more than 20%. Most large research agencies employ fraud-detection systems to identify these errant “respondents,” but many small research firms and Do-It-Yourself research departments do not have rigorous systems in place to screen online samples for robotic respondents, respondent factories, etc.

  • Questionnaire Bias

    Biased survey questions wreak havoc on the reliability and validity of the survey which produces junk data.

    Biased questions increase respondent confusion which then increases error in their responses. This in turn reduces the strength of the relationships between variables. In worse case scenarios, biased questions can return results that may be untrue which favor a specific outcome. So what can we do to avoid bias in surveys?

  • 2Jan
    Upping Your Innovation Game by Heather Kluter
    Automotive Innovation

    Innovation means different things to different people, and so the notion of instilling innovation in your company can be vague.

    Through working with numerous companies, large and small, I’ve seen that encouraging learning and discovery can often be the best way to start if you want to create a culture of innovation. When thinking about encouraging innovation based on customer insights, a couple of aspects to keep in mind for increased learning and discovery follow.

Contact Decision Analyst

If you would like more information on Marketing Research, please contact Jerry W. Thomas by emailing or calling 1-817-640-6166.

Join Our Email List

Subscribe for blog updates & webinar announcements

Library Sections


Blogs By Decision Analyst Researchers


Blogs By Advanced Analytics Team


Blogs By Insights & Innovation Team