Decision Analyst Case Studies

Decision Analyst's experts have experience in a multitude of marketing research techniques, data collection methodologies, advanced analytics, and industries. Below is some of our experience

A Fistful of (Electronic) Dollars

Category: Gift Cards
Methods: Market Share Tracking, Consumer Trends, Retail Research, Customer Experience Optimization (Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty Research)

After a two-year downturn that mirrored the recession, gift card purchases bounced back strongly for the 2010 holiday season. Estimates of the gift card market vary greatly depending on who you ask, but no one can argue the growing trend of purchasing gift cards in lieu of a fruitcake, a tacky tie, or the unsolicited “gift” of workout clothes. Even if the market size is closer to $50 billion (the Federal Reserve estimate) instead of twice that (the gift card industry estimate), no retailer wants to miss out on this opportunity, given every major retailer, and many mom-and-pop shops, is in the gift card game.

A Hair-Raising Global Tracking Study

Category: Beauty Products
Methods: Product Awareness and Usage, Global Marketing Research, Product Attributes, Customer Target Profile, Tracking Research

An international innovator of premium beauty products targeted to women wanted to better understand hair care needs and product usage among females in four countries. This research was conducted to help the company develop targeted marketing initiatives, enhance product offerings, and understand targets for new products.

A Model of Customer Loyalty: A Financial Holding Company

Category: Insurance
Methods: Advanced Analytics, Brand Equity Modeling, Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty, Customer Loyalty Modeling, Customer Loyalty Simulator™, Tracking Research

A financial holding company desired an equity and loyalty evaluation of several insurance company brands. Using an online survey, consumers evaluated insurance company brands on a battery of attributes. Decision Analyst’s Customer Loyalty Simulator™ was integral in empowering the client to make decisions about how to improve the brand.

Advertising Research: Benchmarking New Ads for a Restaurant

Category: Quick Service Restaurant (QSR)
Methods: Quantitative Research, Advertising Research, Benchmarking

A national quick service restaurant (QSR) chain regularly produced a number of television advertising campaigns that included 15- and 30-second finished ads. The client wanted to understand consumers’ attitudes about the advertisements in order to determine if the advertisements were up to the company’s standards and were communicating the intended messages and positioning.

Card Sorting and Concept Testing Among Seniors

Category: Insurance Company
Methods: Concept Testing, Market Evaluation

A health insurance company didn’t want to miss out on the growth potential presented by senior citizens. Management knew they wanted to grow their marketing share among seniors, but they only had a vague idea of the type of product they needed. Decision Analyst recommended a two-part project: a card-sort survey to determine the market potential and identify the most desired benefits, followed by a concept test to identify the most promising concept and determine the optimal price points.

Changing The Game In The Electric Vehicle Arena: Accelerating Consumer Adoption Of The Electric Truck

Category: Automotive, Electric Vehicles
Methods: Choice Modeling, Automotive Research, Quantitative Research

Our client is a pioneering manufacturer in the hybrid electric vehicle space. Hybrid electric pickup trucks have been available in the U.S. marketing since 2004, although back then these trucks had very limited capabilities and were considered “micro-hybrids.” Today, EV trucks are plentiful and powerful, offering as much as a 400-mile range, up to 11,000 pounds of towing capacity, and zero to 60 in under 3 seconds. In between then and now, a lot of innovation had to occur to get us to this place.

Choice Modeling: Testing Product and Service Bundles

Category: Technology Products and Services
Methods: Advanced Analytics, Choice Modeling

A supplier of high-end technology products and services was interested in offering its products and services to a broader group of potential customers. In order to develop an effective sales strategy, the supplier needed to understand which product and service configurations were preferred by the mass market. Choice modeling was required in order to produce a list of the most desired services and bundles of services at attractive price points.

Choosing Advertising Approaches Between Alternative Storyboards

Category: Automotive Parts Manufacturer
Methods: CopyTest®, Advertising Research

An advertising agency representing a major automotive aftermarket parts manufacturer had developed two different approaches to creating a TV advertisement. Both concepts had been created as storyboards, and they were asked by their client to provide clear rationale for proceeding to finished film with just one of the two. Our client asked us to conduct a study that would determine which of the two ads would be the most effective at communicating the message to their target audience.

Combining Survey Choice Modeling With Customer-Database Predictive Modeling

Category: Utilities
Methods: Advanced Analytics, Customer-Database Predictive Modeling, Hierarchical Bayes Choice Modeling

Decision Analyst’s client wished to directly predict the receptivity of its customers and prospects to a wide variety of promotion and pricing features of electricity plans. In particular, a very flexible prospect model was desired to use in targeting specific customers and prospects with specific offerings, based on demographic variables available within their customer database.

Concept Testing

Category: Automotive Aftermarket
Methods: Concept Testing, Purchase Motivation, Brand Positioning, Sales Forecasting, Strategic Research

A leading producer and distributor of aftermarket fluids and additives was considering a reformulation of its top-selling, trademarked product. This was prompted by a national retailer that was refusing to carry an existing, derivative product because it did not feel the product fit in well with the retailer’s existing product categories.

Consumer Health-Monitoring Device Optimization

Category: CPG – Medical Device
Methods: Discrete Choice Exercise, Hierarchical Bayes Choice Model, Price Elasticities, Optimization Model, Sales Forecast

An innovative, customer-driven personal health product company was launching a new, noninvasive health monitoring device. The company wanted to assess and optimize the product’s features and understand the optimal product’s likely performance in the market via a sales forecast.

CopyCheck® of Animatic Ads

Category: Insurance
Methods: CopyCheck®, Advertising Research, Sales Forecasting and Sales Modeling

A large health insurance provider was in the process of updating its advertising messaging. The provider created several new advertising concepts, but didn’t know which one(s) would resonate the most with potential customers. Decision Analyst suggested using its proprietary CopyCheck® system for evaluating and improving advertising concepts, early stage print ads, TV storyboards, and radio scripts.

Diary Research

Category: Personal Care Product Manufacturer
Methods: In-The-Moment Research, Diary Panel, Tracking Research, Market Assessment, Ethnography

A personal-care-product manufacturer wanted to understand and quantify consumers’ personal hygiene routines in order to identify new opportunities or marketing campaigns for an existing product. To obtain this level of detail, Decision Analyst recommended that diary research be conducted “in-the-moment.” Consumers were asked to report on their daily personal hygiene routines over a 90-day period as they related to a specific product in our client’s product line.

E-Commerce Econometric Modeling of Promotions and Media Mix

Category: E-Commerce, Consumer Goods
Methods: Advanced Analytics, Choice Modeling, Econometric Modeling

For a Fortune 1000 firm in a consumer goods category, predictive modeling was applied to quantify the impact on e-commerce sales of promotion/media type, promotion location on the website homepage or within emails to consumers, alternative headlines, and competitor actions. Decision Analyst’s Predictive Analytic Services team created an analytic database with 264 SKUs across 104 weeks. Advanced econometric modeling was applied and interpreted to suggest an optimal e-commerce promotion strategy.

Food Ingredient Consumer-Opinion Research

Category: Food Manufacturer
Methods: Online Consumer Survey

A manufacturer of food and beverage products wanted to gauge consumer reactions to various nutrition and ingredient labels listing different sugars, fibers, and starches. Specifically, the ingredient manufacturer wanted to:

Forecasting: Alternative-Fuel Vehicle Research

Category: Automotive
Methods: Advanced Analytics, DecisionSimulator™, Market Segmentation

Since the costs of gasoline and diesel fuels are expected to increase over the long term, our client wished to project the potential consumer demand for several alternative-fuel technologies within five vehicle segments. Because the demand for alternative-fuel vehicles depends heavily on the form and availability of infrastructure to support the new fuels and the relative price at retail, a market simulation capability was required in order to produce a variety of forecasts with varying assumed market conditions.

Fueling Up: International Advertising Research

Category: Retail Automotive Fuel Products
Methods: Global Marketing Research, Advertising Research, CopyTest®, SellingPower™ Analytical Model

The client company is known globally to consumers through its three key brands of automotive fuel products and patented additives. These brands have achieved very high customer satisfaction and trust ratings in the United States and around the world. While the company enjoys high satisfaction rankings among consumers who are aware of and use their brands, the firm tends to lag behind some competitors in some markets and regions in terms of overall brand and advertising awareness. This is true for both of their core fuel brands and their premium additives.

Games People Play

Category: Electronic Games
Methods: In-Person Focus Groups, In-Person Depth Interviews, Projective Techniques, Motivational Research

At the dawn of the digital age, a major international manufacturer of electronic systems and components assigned a team of engineers to develop digital games for the new electronic devices then emerging. The engineers viewed this as an opportunity to convert checkers, chess, and similar board games into electronic versions. Consumer research revealed a far vaster realm of opportunity, a fantasy world beyond the imaginations of the engineers.

Getting Carded

Category: Gift Cards
Methods: Customer Loyalty, Awareness and Usage, Customer Satisfaction, Tracking Study

A multinational food and beverage chain wanted to measure over time the awareness and usage of its frequent user/gift card program and its impact on customer loyalty. This research was conducted to provide strategic direction for improving the overall effectiveness of the program as a customer relationship tool—to drive customer acquisition and retention, and to grow revenue.

Global Celebrity Index—: An International Star Search

Category: Health and Beauty Aids—Cosmetics
Methods: Global Online Survey, Custom Indexing Methodology

A major multinational cosmetics manufacturer set out to identify a universal celebrity spokesperson who would best represent its brand across various global markets. Decision Analyst was tasked with designing the methodology that would determine the ideal spokesperson for the company. Decision Analyst developed a comprehensive index score based on more than 15 distinct variables, such as personal attributes, familiarity, and fit with the brand that helped to differentiate between the celebrity candidates and to select the best representative.

Hotel Services Innovation Program

Category: Hospitality
Methods: Qualitative Research, Ideation, Quantitative Research, New Product Concept Development & Refinement, Advanced Analytics, MaxDiff Latent Class Choice Model

A major hotel chain was interested in developing relevant and actionable new products and services designed to target the business traveler, and to project potential market appeal for each concept. We addressed these needs using Decision Analyst’s Qualitative Research and Innovation Team to identify and develop new product and service concepts. Once the new product and service concepts were developed, Decision Analyst then used quantitative research combined with advanced analytics to identify the new concepts with the best potential for success.

I Beg Your Pardon? (The Value of Unexpected Research Results)

Category: Business-to-Business (B2B) Electronics
Methods: Profiling, International Research, Business-to-Business (B2B) Research, Attitude/Awareness/Usage Research, Diagnostic Research, Problem Solving, Teamwork

A leading device manufacturer discovered that previously held beliefs about the philosophical differences between U.S. and Italian office workers that were driving marketing simply weren’t accurate at all. The research that was originally designed to identify how to penetrate a market was ultimately used to identify how to encourage switching from a competitor’s product.

Ingredients for Success: A Global Look at Health- and Beauty-Care Ingredients

Category: Health and Beauty Care
Methods: Global Marketing Research, Analytical Modeling

A major multinational consumer health-and-beauty product manufacturer wanted to determine and anticipate the next big “ingredient” that could revolutionize its segment of the health-and-beauty industry. Leveraging the American Consumer Opinion® panel an online survey was conducted across several countries. Qualified respondents were asked to rate and rank an extensive list of ingredients, while assigning them into the different categories of personal-care products to which they were best suited.

Key Drivers of Store Sales

Category: Retail
Methods: Advanced Analytics, Predictive Modeling, Sales Predictive Modeling, Simulated Shopping with Shelf Sets

Decision Analyst developed a predictive model of store sales per square foot from customer-satisfaction surveys, 9.4 million records of store transactions, shopper demographics, employee/staffing data, and store-a-graphics (format, size, age of store). The model was used to identify key drivers of sales and indicators of store performance, enabling the client to prioritize stores for improvement initiatives.

Market Evaluation

Category: Automotive
Methods: Market Evaluation, Quantitative Research, Market Overview

A multinational automotive manufacturer (OEM-Original Equipment Manufacturer) with no previous experience in the U.S. market was considering whether or not to attempt to introduce an all-new vehicle into the U.S.

Market Mix Modeling: Measuring Return From Advertising in the Fresh-Food Industry

Category: Fresh Food Manufacturer
Methods: Advertising Research, Promotion Research, Marketing Mix Modeling, Econometric Modeling, DecisionSimulator™

A major manufacturer of a fresh food product sold in grocery stores had spent $250,000 in the previous two years on advertising and $1.2 million per year in promotion allowances. The company believed it understood how to manage promotion allowances and how much return to expect in terms of sales. However, there was a question about the return on advertising expenditures; that is, how much stimulation of sales could be expected per Target Rating Point (TRP) of advertising?

MaxDiff Modeling: For Healthy Snack-Food Flavor Optimization

Category: Health Snack Food Manufacturer
Methods: MaxDiff Analysis, Analytical Consulting, Choice Modeling

A U.S. manufacturer of better-for-you snacks that contain no artificial products or flavors offered its product line in a select few flavors. The manufacturer wanted to evaluate a variety of permanent flavor-line extensions and seasonal or limited-time only (LTO) flavors, as well as to optimize their mix of flavors. Decision Analyst partnered with the manufacturer in designing and implementing research that provided insights among three key groups of consumers: heavy users of the manufacturer’s brand, light users of the manufacturer’s brand, and product nonusers who were positive towards trying it.

Maximum Difference (MaxDiff) Scaling

Category: Cooking Oil
Methods: MaxDiff Analysis, Analytical Consulting, Choice Modeling, Hierarchical Bayes Estimation, Claims Testing

A client was interested in presenting a cooking oil product as a key ingredient in table spreads and needed to conduct research to determine what table spread products consumers would like to see cooking oil as a key ingredient. During an online survey, respondents experienced eight shopping exercises and made purchase decisions based on the available products.

Measuring Customer Satisfaction Among Preowned Vehicle Buyers

Category: Vehicle Dealer
Methods: Customer Satisfaction Tracking, Online Survey, Preowned Buyer Survey, Quantitative Mail Survey, Tracking Research

As a premium automobile retailer with multiple locations, our client has a very strong customer service culture; you might say that customer satisfaction excellence is built into this company’s DNA. For years the automobile retailer conducted their own in-house customer satisfaction study to carefully collect information from its preowned vehicle buyers.

Mother Knows Best

Category: Childcare Products and Accessories
Methods: Concept Testing, Product Testing, In-Home Usage Testing

A niche company specializing in childcare products and accessories tasked Decision Analyst with conducting multiphased research in order to gain a better understanding of the target market. The research was designed to help diversify, expand, and improve the product line, and, ultimately, to refine and optimize the growth strategy that would allow the company to develop into a global brand.

Name Generation

Category: Healthcare System
Methods: Name Generation, Ideation, Name Testing

A large healthcare system was in the planning phase of developing several new types of outpatient facilities that would each provide a different set of services. This research was conducted to generate, iterate, and then quantitatively test names for each new facility type in order to select a final name for each facility.

Never Trust an Engineer

Category: Electronic Calculators, Mathematics Training
Methods: In-Person Focus Groups, In-Person Depth Interviews, In-Person Ethnography, Telephone Survey

A large, worldwide manufacturer of electronic components and devices developed handheld calculators and mathematics training program for children in the first, second, and third grades. Field visits by the engineering team confirmed that the new calculators were terrific, and that the children were deeply engaged and emotionally involved with the devices. Senior marketing managers wanted to know how to market the new calculators and training program, and hired Decision Analyst. The research revealed some surprises.

New Car Clinic

Category: Automotive
Methods: Advanced Analytics, Discrete Choice Modeling, In-Person Focus-Group, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Static Clinic

A multinational automobile manufacturer sought to introduce a new vehicle into a segment of the market that technically did not exist at that time. Since the automobile market is intensely competitive, the rewards for being one of the creators of a new segment are large. However, because the investments required to develop, manufacture, and market an all-new vehicle are also very large, the ability to reduce risk and accurately forecast sales is crucial.

New Employee Onboarding: Measuring Training Satisfaction

Category: Package Goods Company – Human Resources, Employee Retention
Methods: Online Quantitative, Employee Research, Tracking Research

A large packaged goods company that employs tens of thousands of employees in the United States on their frontline workforce was experiencing very high turnover (40%-50%). The company was implementing new training methods in an effort to better understand employee engagement with the onboarding process and to improve employee retention.

New Product Development

Category: Medical Devices
Methods: New Product Development Research, Concept Testing, Physician Research, Needs Assessment Research

A leading implantable device manufacturer was interested in bolstering its new product development process by conducting unmet-needs research among implanting physicians. Additionally, several new product concepts were tested among these physicians to gauge overall appeal, patient type best suited for, and barriers to use.

New Product Positioning and Name Testing Among Professionals

Category: Medical Devices
Methods: New Product Development, Positioning Test, Name Testing

A global healthcare company that develops products and systems for in-home use and testing was planning a new product introduction. The new product would give patients a faster way to do in-home testing. The company wanted to determine the best product name and to identify a compelling positioning statement to use in marketing the product.

New Therapy Development & Optimization Research

Category: Medical Device
Methods: Feature Optimization, Conjoint Modeling, Choice Modeling, Multi-Phase, Multi-Audience (Consumers & HCPs)

A cross-functional team of academics, scientists, and researchers from a private research university received an NIH grant to develop a new medication. To help the new medication be successful and widely adopted in the marketplace, research was conducted to decide which features needed to be included in the product. Results were used to inform the scientific team in the development of the product features that would be used to meet market needs.

New Vehicle Launch Evaluation

Category: Automotive OEM
Methods: Automotive Research, Quantitative Research, Intender Survey, New Buyer Survey, Competitive Buyer Survey

A global automotive OEM was launching a redesigned version of its best-selling vehicle in the U.S. The vehicle was among the leaders in its segment. Because of the importance of its role within their portfolio, our client was keenly interested in how the redesigned vehicle would perform upon introduction. In order to provide a holistic view of the market reaction, Decision Analyst partnered in designing and implementing a research program that provided insights from among three key groups of consumers: in-segment new vehicle intenders; buyers of the new vehicle; and buyers of key competitive vehicles.

Niche Market Opportunities Research Among Healthcare Professionals

Category: Health & Wellness Product
Methods: Market Perception Study, Needs Assessment Survey, Healthcare Professionals Survey

A leading maker of health and wellness products wanted to identify barriers and opportunities in a niche market in order to improve its market position in the industry.

Not-So-Secret Identity

Category: Premium Packaged Goods
Methods: Advanced Analytics, Brand Evaluation Research, In-Person Depth Interviews, Motivational Research, Packaged Goods, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research, Survey Research

During the economic boom of the mid-1990s, sales rose for new and old products alike. Marketers were benefiting, especially in the premium packaged goods industry. Our client’s brand was among the first of its kind, had been on the market for decades, and had maintained market share, yet our client wanted the brand to do more than just survive. They saw the booming economy and consumers’ growing interest in premium packaged goods as an opportunity to refresh and strengthen the brand’s identity. Our consumer research identified “key pillars” for the brand, which have helped propel it far beyond previous success and into new markets around the world.

On the Right Track: Consumer Packaged Goods Brand Tracking

Category: Consumer Packaged Goods
Methods: Advertising Awareness, Advanced Analytics, Attitudinal Research, Brand Awareness, Key Driver Analysis, Tracking Research

A new, domestic manufacturer of hand and power tools wanted to measure and track awareness, attitudes, and usage of brands within the tool category over time. An online survey was conducted to establish baselines for awareness, ownership, and general attitudes for the client’s brand (as well as competitive brands), and then it was repeated once a year at the same time as the benchmark study in order to measure changes in the category over time.

Online Qualitative, Time-Extended™: Achieving Deeper Insights After Quantitative Research

Category: Casual Dining
Methods: Casual Dining Positioning, Menu Evaluation, Online Depth Interviews, Time-Extended™ Online Qualitative Research

With dinner being a key strategic opportunity for a major casual-dining restaurant, scores from quantitative data were significantly lower for the restaurant than its main competitors, and the company used online qualitative and ethnographic research to uncover current perceptions of the brand, menu choices, food, and service. Time-Extended™ online depth interviews were conducted to provide an intimate understanding of the consumer relationship with the brand and its current menu offerings.

To Launch, Or Not To Launch: What Is A Marketer To Do? Leveraging Concept Testing for Optimal “Payback”

Category: Organic Food Manufacturer
Methods: Concept Testing, Brand Name Testing, Packaging Research

A large organic-foods manufacturer had a number of decisions to make about its new, healthier product formulation targeted to moms with young children. Specifically, the marketer had to decide how to package, name, and introduce the product. R&D was making great strides on a new and innovative package design that would not only make the product more fun and convenient but would also generate a significant “splash” in the market. However, this new package design still needed some fine-tuning, while the production line was already set up to manufacture this product in traditional packaging.

Using Automated Reporting: Tracking Restaurant Performance Across the U.S.

Category: Restaurant Industry
Methods: Automated Reporting, Tracking Research

A regional restaurant chain with locations in 8 markets across the Southwest asked Decision Analyst to conduct quarterly tracking studies for each of its 50 eateries. Automated reporting technology was used to efficiently and accurately create the reports for the multiple markets, taking into consideration the local competitors for each unit.

Using Exploratory Research to Formulate Quantitative Research and a Discrete Choice Modeling Design

Category: Auto/Captive Financial Services
Methods: Exploratory Research, Quantitative Research, Discrete Choice Modeling, In-Person Focus Groups, Simulated Shopping with Shelf Sets

The captive finance arm of a global auto manufacturer had historically relied on a traditional approach to developing new business, utilizing the value of its automotive products as the primary conduit for attracting customers. The client was looking for new ways in which to grow and add value to its business.

Using MaxDiff to Understand Investors’: Decision to Hire A Financial Advisor

Category: Financial Services
Methods: Maximum Difference (MaxDiff) Analysis

A financial advisory firm wanted to understand the reasoning behind investors’ decisions to hire (or to not hire) a financial advisor. Decision Analyst conducted an online quantitative survey featuring MaxDiff analysis to determine the attributes that have the most impact on potential customers’ decision to hire (or not hire) a financial advisor.

What Do The Members Really Need? Customer Needs Assessment

Category: Health Insurance
Methods: Focus Groups, Affinity Diagramming, Multivariate Analysis, Needs Assessment, Loyalty Measurement, Medical Marketing Research

A health insurance carrier sought to get closer to its members by understanding more about their needs related to the consumer experience and the employer experience. They also wanted to know how well they were meeting the needs they identified versus how well their competition was meeting similar needs for its customers.

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