A Market Research Thanksgiving

A Market Research Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a great time of year. Most of us, unless you work in retail, take the time off to be with family and share a good meal. Inspired by BrainJuicer’s “Research Christmas Carol” from last year, we decided to have a little holiday fun and give our fellow researchers what we’ve all dreamed about – a Market Research Thanksgiving. We took a stab at matching up some of the market research staples with the most common items on the Thanksgiving menu.

TurkeyConsumers – The MVP of every Thanksgiving is always the turkey. The MVP of every research study is always the consumer. Without feedback from consumers our insights would look like a stale piece of bread.

Cranberry SauceSurveys – Cranberry sauce is probably never the highlight of your Thanksgiving menu, but it’s always there, and it’s always important. For me, my Grandparents wouldn’t let us step foot in their house on Thanksgiving Day without each of us carrying a can of cranberry sauce. It was our Thanksgiving “admission ticket.” Surveys are a traditional market research approach but they’re still effective. There’s a reason why a recent study showed 93% of research companies used traditional approaches in the last 12 months.

StuffingText analytics – There’s always the inevitable bread stuffing or dressing (if you’re from the south). Stuffing (text analytics) is very unstructured and takes on many forms. It could show up as focus group transcripts, social media status updates, blog comments, emails, etc. This is a dish you can have a lot of fun playing around with and dissecting. You’ll also find an argument on the best way to prepare the dish. Some people claim to have ‘cracked the code” and have the secret formula; while others declare that it’s an on-going evolution that’s far from a finished product.

Mashed PotatoesFocus groups – Research that involves open-ended questions, discussions and results expressed in non-numerical terms. Mashed potatoes may not be the most exciting dish but it offers a great deal of flexibility for the “consumer” of mashed potatoes to express themselves. You can add cheese, onions, bacon….heck, you can even make a mashed potatoes volcano with melted butter streaming down the side.

Sweet PotatoesMarketing Mix Modeling – The dish on Thanksgiving that everyone wants a piece of but is also the most scrutinized. The mix of sweet potatoes, nuts, and marshmallow topping is a delicate balance. If you get the mix right, then you’ll have people fighting over seconds. If you get the mix wrong, you’ll have people kindly volunteering to share their meal with the hungry dog under the table.

Pumpkin PieMarket sizing – At this point in your Thanksgiving feast you’re probably ready to explode. Cramming down a few pieces of pumpkin pie won’t make you feel any better but the next day you’ll have a good idea of the new size of pants you have to go buy on Black Friday.

In this season of sharing and giving thanks, we hope you share A Market Research Thanksgiving with your fellow research colleagues. If we left out any of your favorite Thanksgiving/Market Research menu items, let us know what they are in the comments below.

Happy Thanksgiving from Optimization Group!

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