• Research Objectives

    Clear, well thought out study objectives are critical to any market research project's success, no matter the size, scope, or cost.

    FA well-written background and a clear set of business objectives establish your study's tone, pace, and direction and ultimately lead to better outcomes as you navigate the different research phases. Here are five guidelines you should follow when writing your research objectives.

  • User-Centric Innovation

    Focusing on the consumer is a critical step to ensure new products meet the needs and expectations of end-users.

    From a research perspective, there are several ways to engage with potential customers to help guide the innovation process. We’ll address three broad research tactics that many companies use to accomplish their goals: Qualitative Research, Concept Testing, and Choice Modeling.

  • Consumer Reactions to Covid-19

    In Mid-March, when COVID-19 began to have a bigger impact in the United States, we decided to field a research study to understand a number of issues Americans are facing.

    The Decision Analyst Consumer Reactions to COVID-19 Report contains insights from over 8,000 U.S. consumers over 14 waves.

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

    Overall, the consumer outlook regarding COVID-19 is relatively positive in January 2021.

    More than half of consumers say they believe the situation will improve in 2021 compared to 2020. Another one-third are guarded, with expectations that the situation will remain the same, and roughly one in ten are pessimistic, saying they expect things to worsen in 2021.

  • B2B Research

    In an effort to catch survey cheaters, researchers use negatively worded attributes placed in groupings of positively worded attributes.

    This context switching causes respondent confusion, which creates error. It may be time for researchers to relinquish negatively worded attributes. So, how can researchers catch cheaters, speeders, and straight-liners if negatively worded attributes are no longer included in the survey?

  • Trends for 2021

    2020 and its challenges have been extremely difficult to navigate!

    Despite the long list of negatives from 2020, there are several positive trends from the year, including: Strengthening relationships, Connecting with loved ones, Improving communication between teachers and students, Focusing on self-care and mental health, Continuing work-from-home/work remotely, etc.

  • Restaurant Considerations

    With 2020 behind us, restaurants will continue to adjust strategies as COVID continues to impact the world.

    Moving into 2021, understanding what consumers want and need from their dining choices is paramount. Decision Analyst asked more than 9,000 U.S. adults to rate a list of considerations when choosing a restaurant to dine at or order food from.

2020 Library

  • 14Dec
    Favorite Chocolate Brands by Decision Analyst
    Favorite Chocolate Brands

    Competing in the crowded field of chocolate brands in the U.S. is difficult, but Hershey’s has found a way to stand out from the rest.

    Decision Analyst asked more than 9,000 U.S. adults to select their favorite chocolate brands out of a list of more than 25 recognizable brands. Hershey’s was the most common chocolate brand selected regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity.

  • B2B Research

    Newton’s law of inertia: this law basically states that an object at rest will stay that way and that an object in motion will continue with the same speed and in the same direction unless that object is acted upon by an unbalanced force.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has been an unbalanced force that has acted on two objects: consumers and organizations.

  • 30Nov
    “I Know You’re Out There” Engaging Hard-To-Reach Tradespeople And Heavy Industry Pros by Patrick McGill (Managing Directory of Strategy at Two Rivers Marketing) and Mike Humphrey (Vice President at Decision Analyst)
    B2B Research

    From consumer goods and services providers to business products and services, the audience for a primary research study is more often unique than not.

    So, what can we do to best reach these hard-to-find but vital segments? While there’s sometimes a magic panel (where caution is advised) or other freely available list to turn to, there are some best practices and techniques available to increase our odds in the event that’s not the case.

  • Ranked #1

    Prevision Surveys recently released the results of its annual study of corporate research buyers who graded the quality and value of their respective research agencies.

    Decision Analyst earned the top ranking for Custom Quantitative Market Research from among the 200 research firms rated by corporate buyers. Decision Analyst scored #1 on Overall Satisfaction, Data Quality, Analytical Skills and On-Time Delivery.

  • Stats Mobile

    Decision Analyst is offering a free statistical calculator for marketing researchers and students.

    It’s called “STATS™ Mobile,” and it runs on iPhones, iPads, Android smartphones and tablets. STATS™ Mobile performs common statistical significance tests to determine if two percentages are the same or different statistically. The software also calculates Descriptive Statistics for a data file, such as mean, range, and standard deviation.

  • 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.

  • Economoc Index October 2020

    The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index rose to 107 in October 2020, an increase of 16 points from the year’s low of 91 in April.

    However, the October 2020 Economic Index remains well below the January 2020 time period, by a deficit of 11 points. Economic activity appeared to be relatively strong in October as the U.S. economy continued to reopen. The rising Economic Index indicates that the U.S. economy will tend to improve during the balance of the year, but growth is likely to remain slower than the pre-pandemic pace.

  • 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?

  • 26Oct
    Halloween Activities 2020 by Decision Analyst
    Halloween 2020

    Overall, more than half of Americans indicate they will avoid typical Halloween festivities in 2020.

    Between 50% and 60% say they are less likely than usual to engage in seasonal activities like parties, trick-or-treating, or handing out candy.

  • 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.

  • Culture Share

    Decision Analyst was commissioned by Condé Nast to help define Share of Culture, a revolutionary performance-measurement framework.

    An online survey of 3,257 U.S. respondents was conducted to understand brand relevance within this new framework.

  • 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.

  • Labor Day Activities

    With Labor Day almost upon us, what are Americans planning to do in this most unusual year?

    Not much, according to a recent survey by Decision Analyst. When asked about plans for this year compared to what they would usually do, a large majority of Americans are “less likely” to engage in traditional Labor Day activities.

  • 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.

  • 13Aug

    From Marketing Researcher to Innovation Strategist: Heather Kluter discusses how marketing researchers are thinking more like innovators than they are like researchers.

    Anyone can be innovative―it’s not just for the creative geniuses in the company. Anyone can be ready to break down walls, and can have a major impact on the growth and innovation in a company’s culture.
    View Transcript

  • 21Jul
    Outlaw Marketing Research

    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
    Women in the C-Suite

    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.
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  • Decision Analyst's Bonnie Janzen interviews Megan Christ, Ph.D., Group Manager T-Mobile Sprint, on the industry, how they are navigating the COVID-19 crisis and how they are planning for the future.

    She discusses adapting to the new reality, helping customers, setting up employees to work at home, all the while T-Mobile and Sprint are in the middle of a merger.
    View Transcript

  • Usability Research

    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

  • 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.

  • Jump Start Your Brand

    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.

  • Community Engagement

    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
    Avoiding New Product Cannibalism

    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.

  • 3Apr
    Consumer Reactions to Covid-19

    COVID-19 continues to disrupt the lives of Americans in a variety of ways.

    It appears that both anger and feelings of vulnerability are growing. Some are more fearful and less hopeful than they were a few short weeks ago. Consumer feelings continue to slip, with the biggest change from Wave 2 to Wave 3 being the number of people who are feeling more "angry”.

  • Economic Index

    The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index fell 19 points from the last 10 days of February 2020 (the time period each month when survey data is collected) to the last 10 days of March 2020.

    This is the greatest month-to-month decline in the 20-year history of the Economic Index. The graph of the 20-year history of the U.S. Economic Index shows that the U.S. economy fell off a cliff in March 2020.

  • 27Mar
    Consumer Reactions to Covid-19 by Decision Analyst
    Consumer Reactions to Covid-19

    Life in America is changing at an incredibly rapid pace right now. As a country, we have witnessed dramatic attitude and behavior shifts in the past week alone.

    At Decision Analyst, we are inspired by the resilience of the American spirit. Despite massive changes to the very fabric of everyday life, our consumer pulse indicates that people are feeling more hopeful, composed, and calm than we may have anticipated.

  • 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.