Library

  • 1Julv
    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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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?
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  • 2Jun
    Consumer Reactions to Covid-19 by Decision Analyst
    Consumer Reactions to Covid-19

    Three-fourths of Americans tell us their area is beginning to relax shelter-in-place orders. Consequently, some are starting to venture out more.

    Among these people, the most common “re-entry” activities have been to utilize delivery/curbside pickup from a restaurant and curbside pickup from a retailer.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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?
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  • 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?”
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  • 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.
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  • 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”.
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  • Consumer Reactions to Covid-19

    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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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2019

  • October 2019 Economic Index

    The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index stood at 117 in October 2019, an increase of 3 points from the previous month, but no change from October 2018.

    Over the course of the past 12-months, the Index remains essentially flat. This suggests that the U.S. economy will continue to grow at a sluggish rate in coming months (i.e., less than 2% annual rate).
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  • 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.
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  • 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?
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  • Distribution strategy is often an unrecognized or unappreciated, or underappreciated, aspect of marketing strategy.

    An optimal distribution system can help shape and magnify the overall success of and value of a brand and a business
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  • Employees are the lifeblood of any business and typically one of the most expensive parts of your business.

    In this video Bonnie Janzen discusses they key aspects of employee engagement strategy and and suggest key questions that might be asked in an engagement survey.
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  • 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, they force respondents to make trade-offs (or choices), like they do in the real world.
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  • This video discusses pricing strategies and methods used to assess them.

    Pricing strategies support the overall corporate strategy. Strategies discusses include: maximize profit line revenue, maximize customer perceived value, customer segment, purchase channel, and new product. Research methods to assess these pricing strategies are also discusses.
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  • 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.
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  • This video discusses product strategy, and how it helps you get a product roadmap for your organization, for the product, or the product line that you’re working on

    The product roadmap is essentially the product and the product releases that you plan to have for your organization as the product goes forward, and it’s really helping you to understand what this target audience cares about. It's really important to understand in-depth what is important to the target audience as it relates to this product or service that you have.
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  • 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.
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  • So, what are some of the core elements of a brand strategy?

    At its most basic level, it involves questions, such as; “Who do we target?” “What’s our optimal target market?” and “How do we position our brand vis-a-vis other brands?” “How do we differentiate our brand compared to other brands?” “What kind of a brand image do we want to project?”
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  • Path to Purchase

    In 2016, an important sea change occurred in the way consumers gather information about new HVAC systems prior to purchasing one.

    For the first time, more consumers in Decision Analyst’s American Home Comfort Study reported using the internet, rather than a contractor, to gather information about their impending purchase.
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  • 4Sep
    My Path To Purchase by Tom Allen
    Path to Purchase

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

    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?
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  • Decision Analyst is creating a series of 7 short informative videos on Strategy and Strategy Research and for the next few months with be posting the videos.

    In this introductory video, Jerry W. Thomas, explains the history of strategy, types of strategy, and keys question of ask to optimize your strategy.
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  • 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?
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  • 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?
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  • 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?
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  • 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.
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  • 29May
    TURF Analysis by Jerry w. Thomas
    Turf Analysis

    TURF (Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency) had its origins in the media planning world, long before it was adapted to marketing research applications.

    While TURF has a place in the researcher’s toolkit, it has major limitations as a product line planning tool. Choice modeling is more expensive, but it overcomes most of the limitations of TURF and produces much more accurate predictions of actual in-market outcomes.
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  • 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?
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  • 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.
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  • 8May
    Name Testing by Jerry W. Thomas
    Name Testing

    That great new product is ready to go. Concept test results are positive. In-home usage tests of the product are positive. The package design looks great. Oops! Wait a minute.

    What are we going to call this new product? What is its name to be? Here is a little primer on Name Test Research
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 13Mar
    February 2019 Economic Index

    The Decision Analyst U.S. Economic Index stands at 119 for February 2019, a 4-point increase from February 2018 and a 5-point rebound from January 2019.

    The overall trend of the Economic Index over the past couple of years is relatively flat, indicating slower growth as the U.S. economy struggles to gain ground in the first quarter of 2019.
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  • 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.
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  • 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?
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • 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?
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  • 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.
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