Missing Links

Academics are a wonderful source of new ideas and also advice about how to do what we already do better and more cost-effectively. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough links between the academic community and marketing research practitioners. As a result, practitioners are seldom at the cutting edge, and some method or technology we hype up as disruptive may be old hat to academics.

Worse yet, it may have already been thoroughly examined by scholars and found wanting. Academic research is also valuable in that it can point to questions we practitioners should be asking ourselves but aren’t, as well as factors we haven’t considered but should consider. Furthermore, by studying how academics conduct research, we can become better researchers ourselves.

Some academics reach out to us by speaking at our conferences and through books and articles written in plain language. They are the exceptions, though, and most academic publications are highly mathematical, theoretical or riddled with jargon. Fortunately, I’ve been able to track down a few leading scholars able to speak our language and eager to speak out about issues important to marketing research and data science. Here are links to brief interviews with them covering a wide range of topics:

  • Wharton’s Peter Fader answers questions many marketers have been asking about Big Data. You may be surprised at some of his answers.
  • Consumer psychometrician Gordon Bruner explains how we should be measuring consumer attitudes. We do many things wrong!
  • Columbia University’s Andrew Gelman spells out the ABCs of Bayesian statistics. He is a noted authority on this subject.
  • Byron Sharp of the EhrenbergBass Institute points out key mistakes many marketers are making. Ignore Byron at your peril.
  • Bing Liu, an AI specialist, gives us a quick snapshot of text analytics. No hype. No bull. Just the facts.
  • Nicole Lazar takes us on a brief tour of neuroscience. Nicole is a highly-regarded statistician who works in neuroscience, and she reveals some inconvenient truths that you won’t read in blogs or hear in sales pitches.
  • Psychometrician Mark Reckase, an authority on educational testing, tells us what we really need to know about math and how to learn it. 

The MR Realities audio podcast series I co-host along with Dave McCaughan also features prominent academics:

  • Koen Pauwels explains how data and analytics are actually used by decision-makers. Hype and reality often diverge.
  • Florian Kohlbacher gives us valuable tips on how to market to seniors. This is a much more important segment than many of us realize, and it’s being overlooked.
  • John Roberts offers important career advice to marketing researchers of all ages. Unlike most university professors, John has been a marketing researcher and speaks from experience.
  • Terry Flynn, a true authority on conjoint, explains how to make it really work for you (Part 1 and Part 2).
  • Raoul Kübler gives us a rundown on the promises, challenges and future of social media. Raoul is on the leading edge of social media analytics.

This post will be updated periodically as new interviews are published and new podcasts released. I think you’ll find them all both fun and educational!


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