Blogs by Jerry W. Thomas

2018

  • 7 core Questions for Brand Managers

    Brand managers live in a difficult world of constant pressure, tactical chaos, and unrelenting demands from senior executives.

    Amid all the frenzy of “agile marketing,” demands from manufacturing and operations, questions from major customers, budgetary constraints, and competitive actions, it’s easy for brand managers to overlook or undervalue the critical information they need to strategically (and tactically) manage their brands. To effectively manage a brand, every brand manager should be able to answer seven sets of core questions.
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2017

  • 21Aug
    Bitcoin Brilliance
    Posted by Jerry W. Thomas
    Bitcoin Brilliance

    Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have captured the public’s imagination and investors’ fancy as a new pathway to wealth. Bitcoins traded as high as $4,000 last week (August 2017), but as recently as 2010 you could have purchased a Bitcoin for a few pennies.

    Parts of Bitcoin’s mystique are its high technology, high security, and the massive computing power required to mine (or create) another Bitcoin. We might think of Bitcoin as a type of artificial currency, an imaginary currency, or even a counterfeit currency, but, of course, it goes by the moniker “cryptocurrency.”
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  • 29Jun
    Universe Error
    Posted by Jerry W. Thomas
    Universe Error in Marketing Research class

    The world is awash in data from surveys of all types. The rise of low-cost, do-it-yourself survey tools has added to the flood of survey data. We can scarcely buy a toothpick without a follow-on survey to measure how happy we are with the toothpick.

    All of these surveys and the data they generate (often using relatively large samples, n > 1,000) tend to create a false sense of accuracy, based on the calculated standard error. The standard error is a widely accepted measure of sampling error, and it is typically the basis for the footnote “the accuracy of this survey is 5 percentage points, plus or minus, at a 95% level of confidence” found in research reports or survey research results in newspapers, magazines, or websites.
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  • Survey Data Weighting

    It often happens that a perfectly designed sampling plan ends up with too many women and not enough men completing the survey, or too many old people and not enough young people.

    In these cases, data weighting might make sense, if you want totals that accurately reflect the whole population. The term "data weighting" in most survey-related instances refers to respondent weighting (which in turn weights the data or weights the answers). That is, instead of a respondent counting as one (1) in the cross-tabulations, that respondent might count as 1.25 respondents, or .75 respondents. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when you are thinking about weighting survey data.
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  • 7Feb
    Mother Nature’s Strategy
    Posted by Jerry W. Thomas
    Marketing Strategy

    Planet Earth’s life in its many forms has survived and thrived over a period of at least three billion years.

    During this time, living organisms have survived the most incredible extremes, from worldwide warmth to bitterly cold ice ages, from heavy rainfall to extreme drought. Somehow, through all of these monumental changes and life-threatening events, life in all its glory and beauty has flourished. Might life (or nature, or the natural world) have some lessons to teach us about strategy?
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2016

  • 29Nov
    Clean and Pure Sampling
    Posted by Jerry W. Thomas
    Marketing Research Sampling

    Sampling, of course, has never been clean and pure. Door-to-door, in-person interviewing was one of the main data collection methods in the United States up until about 1950.

    The arrival of online data collection and the rise of online panels in the late 1990s ushered in the “Wild Wild West” of sampling practices. Many of the new sampling-panel companies were technology companies new to the world of marketing research. Often these new companies were good at building online panels, but they didn’t have a clue about how to pull representative samples. Here are the systems and practices that Decision Analyst employs in its pursuit of “clean and pure” online samples.
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  • 23Sept
    ESOMAR Congress 2016 in New Orleans
    Posted by Jerry W. Thomas
    Big Data Fusions

    ESOMAR, the European Society for Opinion and Market Research, continues its movement into the U.S. marketplace.

    Historically, ESOMAR has been a minor player in the U.S. because of the strength of U.S. associations, such as the Advertising Research Foundation, the Marketing Research Association, the American Marketing Association, and CASRO. However, ESOMAR members from the U.S. now outnumber its members from any other single country.
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  • 7Sept
    Known Knowns and Other Unknowns
    Posted by Jerry W. Thomas
    Marketing Research

    Several years ago, Donald Rumsfeld, then Secretary of Defense, spoke eloquently about Known Knowns, Known Unknowns, and the dreaded Unknown Unknowns. Mr. Rumsfeld omitted one category, however, and that is Unknown Knowns.

    These four sets of simple word-pairs convey powerful conceptual ideas with relevance to developing marketing plans and marketing strategies—as well as military strategies. Marketing decisions based on Knowns—truth, facts, and evidence—are far more likely to succeed than those based on hopes, wishes, and mythology.
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  • 22Jun
    Money On The Table: Product Usage Studies
    Posted by Jerry W. Thomas
    Product Usage Studies

    Product usage (or product consumption) studies should be thought of as foundational research to be conducted on a periodic basis.

    With the reduced marketing budgets of the last decade, many traditional product usage studies have fallen by the wayside. Yet, it is very difficult to market a brand without detailed knowledge of how the product is used or consumed.
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  • 18May
    Investing Our Way To Poverty
    Posted by Jerry W. Thomas
    Investing our way to poverty

    It’s surely un-American to question the huge flows of investment money flooding into technology firms and high-tech startups.

    After all, it seems like all of these high-tech investments would stimulate a high rate of economic growth in the U.S. True, some of these investments have created spectacular companies (Google, Amazon, Facebook). But are all of these investments in high tech really paying off? Are these ventures really stimulating economic growth in the U.S.?


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Contact Decision Analyst

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

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