TRC, a market research firm specializing in new product research and analytics (http://www.trchome.com), hosted one-day market research conference at the Yale Club of New York City on May 8th, 2012.
The speakers came from top business schools, Greenbook and TRC. Assistant Professor Uma Karmarkar from Harvard Business School, Professor Shane Frederick from Yale School of Management, Professor Olivier Toubia from Columbia Business School and Professor Josh Eliashberg from Wharton School of Business will join Leonard Murphy from Greenbook and Pankaj Kumar from TRC.
The one-day market research seminar themed "The Frontiers of Research 2012" was divided into six sessions:
1/ Research 101 Redux: A New Foundation for the Future, By Leonard Murphy , Editor-in-Chief, Greenbook
The research industry is transforming before our eyes; new technologies, new cultural trends and new business realities have converged and the industry must adapt or risk disintermediation and marginalization. Drawing on data, observations, and experience Leonard Murphy crafted a vision of how advances in multiple relevant disciplines made within academia can be partnered with commercial practitioners to drive value for both in the new paradigm.
2/ Is Behavioral Economics a Pleonasm?, By Shane Frederick, PhD, Professor of Marketing, Yale School of Management. There are four neoclassical assumptions in particular that "behavioral economists" challenge. (1) That people act in their best interest (2) that beliefs are unbiased (3) that logically equivalent descriptions yield identical behavior and (4) that incentives, arbitrage opportunities and learning eliminate error. Professor Frederick discussed the evidence against these positions.
3/ Measuring Consumer Preferences Using Conjoint Poker, By Olivier Toubia, PhD, Professor of Marketing, Columbia Business School
Several advances have been made in the understanding of consumer preference through the use of conjoint analysis. A novel approach applying gaming ideas is the use of a conjoint approach modeled on the game of poker. This presentation explained how this idea was applied and with the help of data from different studies including eye-tracking measurements showed how and why this method works.
4/ Grey Matter Matters: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Preferences and Decisions, By Uma Karmarkar, PhD, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
In the last few years, the use of neuroscience methodologies in fields such as marketing and finance has gained a lot of attention. These tools are capable of yielding powerful insight when applied correctly. For example, they can be used to capture physiological and emotional responses that are difficult to detect accurately via linguistic methods like surveys. This talk provided a brief overview of decision neuroscience methods, and data that shows how they are bringing us a new understanding of the decision process and the influence of context on how we estimate value. It also discussed some of the most recent advances and directions in the field.
5/ The Film Industry: Predicting the Unpredictable, By Jehoshua Eliashberg, PhD, Professor of Marketing and Operations and Information Management, Wharton School of Business.
Bringing science to creative industries such as motion pictures, where decisions are typically made based on intuition can be quite challenging. In this talk Professor Eliashberg drew upon twenty years of experience introducing new methodologies to movie exhibitors, distributors and producers. A script-based model he developed to predict movie success was presented and its relevance for practitioners discussed.
6/Building Realistic Models of Choice in Practice, By Pankaj Kumar, PhD, TRC's Executive VP
Success in marketing boils down to knowing how and why consumers make choices. And it is a well-known fact that choice processes vary across people and situations. Yet most choice research and modeling studies in practice fail to account for these variations in choice processes. For example, two of the most widely applied choice studies in practice, max-diff and conjoint, fit the standard choice model that estimates individual-level utilities in every situation. While this standard model accounts for individual differences in preferences, it does not account for other sources of variation and quite frequently gives rise to unrealistic research designs and the research doesn't really address the problem that the study intended to address. TRC discussed some of these issues in this presentation and showed how we have made advancements in choice research design and modeling through practical examples.
TRC provides expertise in designing and implementing successful choice-related research, including product configurators, discrete-choice conjoint analysis and other analytic techniques.