Return on Marketing Investment

Optimization Group Blog

Practical Predictive Analytics Trends

Posted by Isaiah Adams

May 21, 2015

Post by Jim Kenyon - Director of IT at Optimization Group
I've been working in the predictive analytics ("data mining", "big data") field for several years and have noticed a few trends:
  • Clients have better (more, higher quality) data and are able to organize and deliver it more quickly
  • Access to "external" (e.g. weather, economic, etc...) data has improved dramatically
  • ETL tools have improved -- and don't have to cost as much as a new mini-van
  • Off-the-shelf statistics packages have added non-parametric predictive analytics tools
  • Purpose-specific modelling tools have improved in both function and form
  • Credible open source tools are available -- some have established themselves as "must haves" in the toolbox (R comes to mind)

Topics: Data Analytics

Historical vs Forward-Looking Research

Posted by Isaiah Adams

May 13, 2015

What are you trying to solve for? What is your business objective? These are questions we regularly ask in order to make sure the research we’re doing will provide actionable results for our clients. Sometimes a client will come to us and tell us they’re working on developing messaging for a new product and want to do some historical data analysis to determine what messages will increase likelihood of purchase. Well, unfortunately, the historical research strategy may not be the best way to answer their question. One question we face for many projects is, “should the research look backwards (historical data) OR be forwarding-thinking (predictive and prescriptive)?”
The best way to frame this discussion is to think about the disclaimer mentioned on every investment product…“Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.” In other words, diving into what happened in the past may not be the best predictor of the current or future market.
Both historical and forward-looking strategies have their place. Let’s quickly look at when to look backwards and when to be forward-thinking.

Topics: Marketing Research

Why Ideas Are Crucial to Your Success

Posted by Isaiah Adams

May 1, 2015

We often tell people we’re in the idea business. The ideas we work with primarily help shape two things: 1) New product development and 2) Messaging/communication. The idea generation and optimization process happens early on but, sadly, early-stage “fuzzy front end” research is rare and seems undervalued. It’s tempting to just go with gut feelings when addressing common business problems like, “What should we say?” or “What features should our new product have?”
Additionally, people often justify not investing in early-stage research because they can’t afford it. In reality, you can’t afford NOT to do it. According to Cincinnati research agency AcuPoll, a whopping 95% of new products introduced each year fail. And a study by Montoya-Weiss and O’Driscoll showed that even the slightest improvements in an organization’s new product development process can yield significant savings.

Topics: Idea Generation

Characteristics of Successful Tracking Studies

Posted by Isaiah Adams

April 14, 2015


Formula for a Successful Tracking Study

According to the last few GRIT reports, tracking studies are in decline. Although this trend has been reported for years, we’re still seeing extremely well-done tracking studies on a regular basis. So this begs the question, “why is there a decline in a proven, viable methodology?”… and more importantly, “what are the characteristics of a “successful” tracking study?” Today we’ll focus more on addressing the latter because I think it will help give us insight into the first question as well.

Topics: Surveys

Getting the Most Out of Tiered Product Bundling

Posted by Isaiah Adams

March 25, 2015

Good/Better/Best – Product Bundling
Business scenario #1: You have a series of tiered products within your category. You would like to prioritize the features and benefits (value drivers) and the associated willingness-to-pay to better serve key market segments and optimize revenue generation.
You want to optimize your existing product bundles
Business scenario #2: You currently hold the dominant market share in a category for a premium product and want to capture more share of the category by introducing mid and low level products. You would like to better understand which product features and benefits best align for each tier (good/better/best). You are also concerned about cannibalization of the premium product.
You want to build off of existing success in the market and capture more overall share of the category by adding products at lower levels.
Business scenario #3: You offer a subscription-based service. Since your company’s inception, you’ve offered your subscription at one price point. You would like to introduce a tiered subscription strategy and would like to understand which features and benefits create the most unique subscription offerings. Additionally, you would like to understand which bundling strategy would lead customers to choose the “Better” or “Best” options over the entry level subscription (“Good”).
You want to “unbundle” your current offering and assign product features and benefits to specific subscription levels - with the goal of enticing customers to choose higher level subscriptions.
Do any of these business scenarios ring true for you? Well, the good news is the same core research strategy can be used for all three scenarios. Conjoint Analysis is such a powerful research methodology that we believe it deserves its own series on our blog. In the following weeks we will be sharing many of the powerful business applications of Conjoint Analysis. You won’t want to miss any article from this series so we encourage you to subscribe to our blog.

Topics: Conjoint Analysis

The Different Levels of Analytics

Posted by Isaiah Adams

March 13, 2015

There are many different views on the varying levels of analytics. We’ve found the best way to break this down is by the type of insights you receive in the end. Each level increases in complexity and value. Don’t read these as interchangeable options but rather as a progression from basic to advanced. As you read through these levels think about where your organization stands and where you might want to eventually be.

Topics: Data Analytics

Introduction to Market Sizing

Posted by Jon Griffin

March 2, 2015

Have you ever wished you could estimate the size of a market before investing? Perhaps you have a new product idea and you’re not sure if the market for your product is big enough to merit significant financial investment? Or maybe you’re already in the market and you’re thinking about expanding your product line into other price points but you’re not sure what the opportunity is?
These are all important questions. Even more, these are all questions that should not be answered by “gut decisions.” Today’s marketplace has a plethora of secondary data available that can help you determine the size of the opportunity and make informed business decisions.

Topics: Market Sizing

The Problem With Simplicity

Posted by Jeff Ewald

February 18, 2015


Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.

― Confucius

It seems that simplicity has always been embraced. Confucius, Leonardo da Vinci (“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”), and Albert Einstein (“If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself”) are but a few of the world’s great thinkers who have emphasized the virtues of simplicity.
Simplicity is comfortable. People simplify the world around us into easy-to-understand “rules” to help cope with the myriad of decisions we must make each day. Managers (being people) also like to simplify. They like simple easy-to-understand data analyses and simple answers. Somewhat paradoxically, it seems that senior managers like even simpler answers (This observation is based on how often we hear clients make the request to “dumb it down to a one-pager so that senior execs can understand it”).

Topics: Marketing Research

Trend for 2015 “Gut” Decisions Are On the Rise

Posted by Jon Griffin

February 12, 2015

Last month, Advertising Age asked marketers and agency execs to make predictions about upcoming business-to-business trends in 2015 (Seven B-to-B Marketing Trends That Will Shape 2015). One of the predicted trends suggests that marketing decision makers are becoming increasingly numb to the “digital tsunami of information.” As a result, marketers are looking for “messages that leverage emotion.”
Christoph Becker, CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Gyro foresees that “…Data will continue to play an important role in decision-making. However, we have found through our research with Fortune Knowledge Group that decision-makers are increasingly looking to their gut instead of the data."
At first blush, this trend makes sense. A glut of data makes it difficult to clearly identify what factors motivate B-to-B customers. If realized, this trend would not bode well for market researchers. Perhaps the market research community shares some of the responsibility for this predicted trend by focusing too much on statistical analysis and methodologies.
In contrast to this trend, our experience has found that data is often more effective at uncovering customer emotional motivations than “gut” decisions by marketers. Research can directly identify the visceral reactions of customers by going to the source…the customers themselves. Several research approaches allow a B-to-B marketer to incorporate existing customer data with surveys and external data (psychographics, demographics, etc.) to identify those factors, emotional and other, that drive customer behavior.

Topics: Marketing & Advertising, Marketing Research

How Your Marketing Effectiveness Changes as Market Conditions Change

Posted by Isaiah Adams

February 10, 2015

Your market conditions are constantly changing so it’s important to understand how these changes impact your marketing effectiveness. What do we mean by “changing market conditions?” A simple example is tire sales. As gas prices (market condition) increase, people drive less, and therefore buy tires less frequently. If this important market condition is not considered, advertising during a period of high gasoline prices would appear less effective than it might actually be.
How do you know which market conditions are impacting your business? The easiest way to explain this is with a case study. At the end of the case study we’ll give you access to an online simulator where you can run your own tests.

Topics: Return On Marketing Investment

Related Posts:

Subscribe via E-mail

Agency Solutions Guide


Request A Proposal

An NGMR Top Blog

Follow Us on Linkedin