For over a decade American business has been focused on customer satisfaction as a way to become customer-focused and improve customer loyalty and thus profitability.
The measurement and management of brand equity has become a major issue for marketers and marketing researchers over the last several years. The concept of brand equity goes well beyond the legal concept of a trademark or the accounting concept of goodwill.
For any product or service category, brand choice is a direct outcome of each consumer's estimate of the relative values of products in their consideration set. That is, choice is a function of consumers' individual value equations.
Perceptual mapping is one of the few marketing research techniques that provides direct input into the strategic marketing planning process. It allows senior marketing planners to take a broad view of the strengths and weaknesses of their product or service offerings relative to the strengths and weaknesses of their competition.
In order to uncover the key drivers of customer satisfaction, many researchers regress the ratings of satisfaction with individual attributes against a rating of overall satisfaction. Typically, this procedure is fraught with challenges.
In segmenting markets most researchers use a single set of basis variables that have ranged from demographics to psychographics to product category related attitudes to product related behaviors to derived importances from conjoint exercises to latent structures, depending on the era and the proclivities of the researcher.
For most business firms, locating and effectively targeting unique market segments is both a reality and a necessity in today's competitive market place. Creative market segmentation strategies usually afford the business organization a strategic advantage over their competition and provide marketing efficiencies that greatly improve customer retention and profitability.
Certification of marketing researchers has been a hotly debated topic in the research profession for the last 20 years. This admittedly biased paper addresses why we, as a profession, need certification, what it will do to improve the profession, and how we should do it. All of the pieces for a top-notch certification program for marketing researchers are currently in place.
In 1962, the year of publication of our previous book on multivariate procedures, John Tukey published a long and marvelous discussion on "the Future of Data Analysis."
"Marko's Wheels - The Best Iron Rimmed Wheels West of the Tiberius." One can imagine a sign similar to this hanging outside Marko's wheel shop - circa 243 BC.