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  • Marketing Research

    Curiosity is one of the most powerful forces in the world, and asking questions is one of our most powerful tools.

    Asking questions is critical for virtually all learning and understanding. For all improvement and growth. For innovation. For identifying and solving problems. For evaluating options and making decisions. For prioritizing attention and resources.
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  • December 2016 Economic Index

    The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index ended 2016 at 114 (December 2016), a 4-point increase from December 2015.

    This year-over-year increase in the Economic Index signals continued U.S. economic growth during the first half of 2017. The Economic Index tends to lead U.S. economic activity by 6 to 12 months.
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  • November 2016 Economic Index

    The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index was 112 in November 2016, a 4-point increase from November 2015.

    This increase in the Economic Index signals continued U.S. economic growth for the first halfof 2017. The Economic Index tends to lead U.S. economic activity by 6 to 12 months. Below is the past-10-year history of the U.S. Economic Index.
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  • 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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  • October 2016 Economic Index

    The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index registered 112 in October 2016, a 5-point increase from October 2015.

    This increase in the Economic Index signals continued U.S. economic growth for the rest of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017. After several quarters of extremely slow economic expansion, the U.S. economy might be picking up speed. The Economic Index tends to lead U.S. economic activity by 6 to 12 months.
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  • 8Nov
    E-commerce Blog

    The world of retail has always been fast-moving and ever-changing. E-commerce has accelerated this phenomenon. E-commerce is, in fact, the best thing since sliced bread!

    E-commerce is defined as commercial transactions conducted electronically on the Internet. E-commerce officially began in the United States back in the 1970s. In order to realize the promise of e-commerce, online security had to be improved. Secure socket layer (SSL) technology was introduced in 1994, followed by many other enhancements. By the year 2000, e-commerce was a $27.6 billion industry. By the year 2009, it had grown to $143.4 billion. By 2020, it is projected to be $523 billion. (Figures cited are for United States)
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  • 18Oct
    The Brand Awareness Bullseye
    Posted by Felicia Rogers
    Brand Awareness

    As time goes on, building brand awareness is becoming more and more difficult. You might wonder how that is possible? Hear me out.

    Media, in seemingly endless forms, has a huge influence on our lives. We humans are inundated with messages: verbal, written, visual. Experts tell us that advertising messages, alone, come at us thousands of times each day. Add to those other marketing messages, personal conversations, text messages, email, news feeds, social media activity, and so on. I’m distracted just writing these words.
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  • September 2016 Economic Index

    The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index registered 111 in September 2016, a 5-point increase from September 2015.

    This increase in the Economic Index signals continued U.S. economic growth for the rest of 2016, and it might indicate an uptick in the pace of U.S. growth. After 3 consecutive quarters of extremely slow economic expansion (about 1% annualized rate of growth), the U.S. economy certainly deserves some happy news. The Economic Index tends to lead U.S. economic activity by 6 to 12 months.
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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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  • August 2016 Economic Index

    The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index registered 110 in August 2016, a 4-point increase from August 2015. This increase in the Economic Index signals continued U.S. economic growth for the rest of 2016, and it might indicate an uptick in the pace of U.S. growth.

    After 3 consecutive quarters of extremely slow economic expansion (about 1% annualized rate of growth), the U.S. economy certainly deserves some happy news. The Economic Index tends to lead U.S. economic activity by 6 to 12 months. Below is the past-10-year history of the U.S. Economic Index
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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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  • Ethnographic Research

    Ethnography is the study of human races and cultures, according to Merriam-Webster.

    It is "people watching" at a very basic level. In small-town America, previous generations used to go to Main Street after dinner, especially in the summer, to people watch. Those watching (the audience) would sit on a bench and observe couples and families as they walked up and down the street, this audience would notice neighbors and friends gathering and talking. Everyone did a little window shopping and stopped in old-fashioned drugstores for soda or ice cream. It was fun, entertaining, social, and educational, and even some business was conducted.
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  • American Home Comfort Study

    An important sea-change has occurred in the way consumers gather information about their impending purchase of a new HVAC system.

    For the first time, more consumers in Decision Analyst’s American Home Comfort Study reported using the Internet to gather information about their new HVAC system purchase than reported getting that information from their contractor.
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  • Marketing Research

    When I typed the word "growth" into Google Search and I was immediately (within 0.46 seconds it says) presented with 747,000,000 results.

    There are pictures, graphs, articles, and definitions. Dictionary.com defines growth as "the act or process, or a manner of growing; development; gradual increase."
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  • U.S. Economic Index July 2016

    The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index registered 111 in July 2016, a 2-point increase from June 2016 and a 4-point increase from July 2015.

    These increases signal continued U.S. economic growth for the rest of 2016, and perhaps indicate an improvement in the pace of U.S. growth. This is a happy prospect, after 3 consecutive quarters of extremely slow expansion. The Economic Index tends to lead U.S. economic activity by 6 to 12 months. Below is the past-10-year history of the U.S. Economic Index.
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  • 28Jul
    Automotive Marketing Research

    It seems like every week you see or hear articles or news items about driverless cars, self-driving cars, autonomous cars.

    Sometimes with a note of skepticism, but more often with a tone of excitement and of amazement with technology, and with the point of view that it’s coming, it’s inevitable, it’s just a matter of time—and isn’t it going to be great and so much better than having people drive cars.
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  • U.S. Economic Index May 2016

    The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index registered 109 in June 2016, a 1-point decrease from May 2016, but over the past 12 months, the Index increased 2 points from 107 in June 2015.

    These are minor fluctuations in what is essentially a flat trendline for the U.S. economy over the past two years. The Economic Index tends to lead U.S. economic activity by 6 to 12 months. Below is the past-10-year history of the U.S. Economic Index.
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  • U.S. Brexit Survey

    Awareness in the U.S. of UK’s vote to leave European Union extremely high, according to Decision Analyst’s nationwide survey

    A nationwide online survey of U.S. adults 18+ conducted by Decision Analyst during the three days following the “Brexit” vote by UK to leave the European Union reveals that awareness of the vote is extremely high in the United States.
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  • 22Jun
    Money On The Table: Product Usage Studies
    Posted by Jerry W. Thomas
    Product Usage Studies

    Why should consumers all over the United States care about the packaging in Vermont?

    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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  • U.S. Economic Index May 2016

    The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index registered 110 in May 2016, a 1-point increase from April 2016 and a 1-point increase from May a year ago.

    The relatively flat trend of the U.S. Economic Index signals that the U.S. economy is likely to remain flat and locked in a pattern of very slow economic growth. The risk of a recession is rising, because any significant shock to the U.S. economy would tip the U.S. into recession. The Economic Index tends to lead U.S. economic activity by 6 to 12 months. Below is the past-10-year history of the U.S. Economic Index.
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  • Symmetric Sampling

    Decision Analyst has launched a new company called Symmetric (www.symmetricsampling.com) that allows research agencies and companies to acquire samples from Decision Analyst’s various consumer and business-to-business panels

    Decision Analyst (www.decisionanalyst.com) is one of the nation’s largest privately owned marketing research and analytical consulting firms.
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  • 1Jun
    Food Manufacturers Struggle with Right to Know GMOs law in Vermont
    Posted by Bonnie Kenoly and Elizabeth Horn, Ph.D.
    Right to Know GMO laws

    Why should consumers all over the United States care about the packaging in Vermont?

    Over time, other states may adopt the Vermont laws (or similar legislation). Food and beverage companies are scrambling to respond to the changing legal landscape. Because of manufacturing/distribution limitations, any changes made to product labels to accommodate Vermont’s new law would likely be made for all products sold in the United States. Companies actively are seeking guidance to answer key questions:
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  • Relevant new products are absolutely essential to corporate survival and success, but most large corporations are “barren wastelands” when it comes to creativity in new product development.

    Every change in technology, fashions, social values, cultural trends, and competitive forces creates opportunities for new services and new products, but most corporations do not see, do not hear, and do not understand. The magic of idea-centric creativity offers a new way for corporations to re-invigorate their new product development programs.
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  • 15May
    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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  • 12May
    Decision Analyst Economic Index April 2016
    Posted by Decision Analyst
    U.S. Economic Index April 2016

    U.S. Economy Mired in Sluggish Growth, According to Decision Analyst's Economic Index

    The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index registered 109 in April 2016, a 1-point increase from March 2016, indicating that the U.S. economy is locked into a pattern of very slow growth, or no growth, in coming months.


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  • Case History: A large global manufacturer and marketer of beauty products wanted to understand beauty shoppers’ motivations, perceptions, and usage of various stores and websites.

    A multiphase qualitative approach was used to gain a deep understanding of consumers’ needs, desires, shopping experiences, and shopping decision-making behaviors, both in store and online.
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  • 11Apr
    Dark Energy in the Digital Age
    Posted by Jerry W. Thomas
    Digital Advertising Tracking

    The advertising media landscape is aglitter with new possibilities. Websites are universal. Social media is everywhere.

    Mobile is pervasive. Massive shifts of media dollars away from traditional media (television, radio, print) to the new digital media are evident everywhere. Advertising budgets are often reduced as brands transition to greater use of digital media. Along with the great migration to digital media is a frantic increase in the pace of creative development and rapid growth in the number of ads or commercials “aired.”
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  • 15Apr
    Diary Research
    Posted by Tom Allen

    Case History: A personal-care-product manufacturer wanted to understand and quantify consumers’ personal hygiene routines in order to identify new opportunities or marketing campaigns for an existing product.

    To obtain this level of detail, Decision Analyst recommended that diary research be conducted “in-the-moment.” Consumers were asked to report on their daily personal hygiene routines over a 90-day period as they related to a specific product in our client’s product line.
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