Optimization Group Blog

Best Applications of Conjoint Analysis

Posted by Isaiah Adams

July 25, 2014


We talk about Conjoint Analysis quite often. Partly because it’s something we know very well but mainly because it’s such a powerful technique. The core principle behind Conjoint Analysis is that purchase decisions are not purely rational. There is often an emotional or irrational component. It’s very hard to measure the irrational side of decision making with direct questionnaire approaches like focus groups. Optimization Group’s CEO, Jeff Ewald, says it best, “If you ask a rational person a rational question, you’ll get a rational answer.” Studies have shown that people struggle to accurately communicate what is driving their purchase behavior when asked a direct question.


Topics: Conjoint Analysis

Does Your Marketing Data Tell The Whole Story?

Posted by Isaiah Adams

July 15, 2014


“What is the ROI of my Marketing?” – every CMO


A great way to start answering this question is by looking at the data you already have. Things like TV ad buy records, lead data, social media, sales data, etc. If you’ve been tracking these sorts of metrics, particularly for at least 3 years, you’re in pretty good shape. However, does your internal marketing data tell the whole story behind the ROI? Not at all. Marketing doesn’t operate in a vacuum, so why should we assume it does when we’re measuring ROI?

External variables have a significant impact on marketing success. By way of example, let’s look at some of the external variables that have been statistically proven to impact the ROI of some of our clients. As you read through these examples, think about which external variables might have an impact on your business.


Topics: Data Analytics, Return On Marketing Investment

How to Test the Effectiveness of Your Ad: Before and After

Posted by Isaiah Adams

July 2, 2014


 By Jennifer Williams

Why do Pre and Post Ad testing?


Advertising research is a staple of market research. It allows you to measure and improve marketing effectiveness, determine if an ad has effectively increased awareness, increased intent to purchase the product and improved reach of the target audience. Research that is conducted to measure the effectiveness of advertising is a valuable tool when developing and maintaining an advertising campaign. In an ideal situation, the best approach is to conduct a pre-ad study, to assess unaided and aided awareness of the specific product or service in order to achieve a benchmark measure prior to the advertising campaign. Following the launch of the advertising, a post-ad study is conducted to assess if the advertising has increased awareness of the brand or service, improved consumer interest in the product or service, and ultimately will determine if the advertising will draw in new consumers while maintaining its current ones.


Topics: Marketing & Advertising, Marketing Research

Why Facebook Is Its Own Worst Enemy

Posted by Isaiah Adams

July 1, 2014


Surprise! Facebook is making headlines again for something negative. Earlier this month, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published a study conducted by Facebook and two other researchers that essentially portray Facebook users as lab rats. The study was designed to test whether positive or negative content would affect users’ emotions and subsequent Facebook updates. During the study, Facebook manipulated its News Feed for almost 700,000 users. The results showed that when users were shown more negative content in their News Feed, their ensuing posts would tend to be negative. Besides the fact that this study points out something we already know (if you hang around depressed people you become depressed), what’s the big uproar about? Once again, data privacy. Users feel violated because they did not “knowingly” submit to the study and their emotions were manipulated.

I’m not going to dive into whether this study was “right or wrong” but I will touch on something I think is even more important (especially to Facebook). I believe Facebook is looking at the data conversation all wrong and is acting as its own worst enemy.


Topics: Social Media

Case Study: Brand Positioning and New Product Launch

Posted by Isaiah Adams

June 27, 2014


What Is The Most Motivating Message?


One of our clients recently came to us hoping to answer a couple important business questions. Although their brand was founded over 50 years ago, they were looking to identify the core elements of their brand positioning. Additionally, they were gearing up for a new product launch and needed to better understand the most motivating messaging for the new product. The following outlines the steps taken to help them answer these important questions.


Topics: Marketing & Advertising

Focus Groups Don’t Lie, But They May Not Tell The Whole Story

Posted by Jon Griffin

June 23, 2014


Understanding the Irrational Side of Decision-Making


Focus groups are a time honored method of gaining a deeper understanding of customer preferences and what drives buying decisions. One of the reasons that focus groups are a “time honored method” is that they work…to a point.

During a focus group, a good moderator prompts participants with a series of probing questions to gain an understanding of the customer’s perspective. In short, he/she asks rational questions to get rational responses. The problem is that the purchase decision process is not purely rational. It often includes a fair amount of irrational decisions. To tap into that “irrational” aspect, a moderator can add projective techniques into the focus group sessions. Projective techniques are designed to make it easier for respondents to tap into and articulate the more emotional aspects of their reasoning. Projective exercises can include:


Topics: Know Your Customers, Marketing Research

Should Brand Name Be Included In A Research Study?

Posted by Isaiah Adams

June 20, 2014


The short answer is…it depends on where the brand name is mentioned. The two places where the brand name can be mentioned are 1) In the research study invitation/instructions AND 2) In the study itself. Let’s look at the pros and cons of including your brand name in each scenario.


Topics: Brand Relationships, Marketing Research

The Role of Market Research Firms in the Future

Posted by Isaiah Adams

June 11, 2014


DIY Tools Increase Value of Research Professionals


I recently attended an American Marketing Association (AMA) power luncheon in Nashville. The topic for the day was the “new side of research”. For 60 minutes I listened to a panel of local thought leaders in Market Research share what they’re excited about in the industry and answer some tough questions from the crowd. As I sat there listening to question after question from Marketing/Branding folk I started to recognize an over-arching pattern. The majority of the questions weren't about what’s exciting in the industry but rather “how can I do research myself (with little to no budget)?”


Topics: Marketing Research

Precisely Wrong or Generally Accurate?

Posted by Isaiah Adams

June 9, 2014


The Question Every Marketer Must Answer


Recently, Optimization Group's Director of IT, Jim Kenyon, was featured in an edition of Quirk's Magazine. Jim took the opportunity to speak on a common mistake Marketers make in their efforts to measure marketing ROI. In short, Marketers have a choice to make. Do they want to be precisely wrong OR generally accurate? This plays itself out practically when marketers make the common mistake of "last click attribution" e.g. Giving the phone company full credit for a phone-based sale. In reality, there are multiple influncers on the "phone-based" sale. In the article, Jim discusses how companies can begin to untangle the sales attribution process and begin to make more accurate business decisions. Here's a snippet of Jim's aticle...


Topics: Marketing & Advertising, Marketing Research

The Value and Deliverables of a Market Scan

Posted by Jon Griffin

June 2, 2014


Scanning For Opportunities


I am not a “Trekkie,” but I know more about Star Trek than a healthy, self-respecting adult male should. If you’ve ever watched the program, you may remember that the Starship Enterprise scanned each new world to see if it could support life before beaming down a landing party (I may have just crossed the “Trekkie” line).

In a similar fashion, marketers also have the ability to scan new market opportunities to determine if they support sales and growth. Specifically, a Market Scan looks at a market segment and asks:

    • How big is the market?
    • Who are the key players/competitors?
    • What stage of the life cycle is the product/service in (Introduction, Growth, Maturity, etc.)?
    • Who is buying the product/service?
    • What are the main channels of distribution?
    • What are the barriers to entry?


Topics: Competitive Analysis, Marketing Research

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