Forum - How to improve brand tracking research: A frozen pizza case study

Maritz Research

Introduction

Though almost universally practised among applied marketing researchers, brand tracking receives scant attention from academics. This paucity of technical scrutiny has allowed brand tracking to stagnate, as the methods practitioners employ today remain virtually unchanged from practices in the 1970s. Our aim is to show how technical advances in the past 30 years allow substantial improvements in one of the primary functions of brand tracking research: explaining how customers make brand choices.

Of course, practical reasons often incline us not to change the way we do brand tracking research. Marketing research firms sell standard brand tracking products, and thus have a commercial aversion to changing their offerings. A large part of the value of brand tracking studies resides in their consistency over time, which allows emerging trends to be visible. Moreover, the inclusion of advanced analytics can add cost to the study, and it requires greater technical skills and capabilities both of the researchers producing the study and on the marketers who have to understand it. As we show below, however, benefits accrue from focusing on brand choice, and one of these is an increased understanding of how customers make brand choice decisions.