Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Live from FOCI 2013: Taking Choice Modeling to the next level

Survey taking is an ardent task, and day in day out, it presents rather archaic responses which almost mandate innovation. Joris Huisman and Eline van der Gaast presented new innovations of understanding a changing consumer and service landscape with 3 innovations that can help to better consumer understanding.

Menu based conjoint allows you to understand consumer choices based on services that are made of a plethora of permutations and combinations. Think of automobiles, Dell laptops, salads or burger menus. Understanding consumer sensitivity to different levels of options is what SKIM excels in understanding, which in turn provides actionable recommendations in markets where customization is critical.

When multiple stakeholders are involved, adaptive conjoint analysis is needed to gauge interactions between different stakeholders that affect a product's uptake. Exemplifying this through the controversial healthcare industry and its players of physicians, patients and their interaction for product sales. Clearly, an intermediate is needed to understand which of these pools of thought should drive strategy.

And lastly, instead of asking questions, consumers can be engaged in surveys that mimic reality. Using a virtual shelf design to enable consumers to feel like they are shopping, heat maps and the lies can be brought to life to understand what consumers are looking at before the point of purchase. Facial recognition takes this a step further in understanding what a consumer actually feels, bringing to light the emotional understanding.

New ways of research are critical to understanding consumers in a rapidly changing consumer landscape. Innovation is thus valued as a mandatory step for marketers and researchers moving forward.

Sourabh Sharma, Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on @sssourabh.

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