Sunday, June 25, 2017

Research

Understanding what people think and gathering insights into customer attitudes starts with a professionally and carefully designed research methodology. While today's researcher enjoys more tools and potential approaches than ever before, the workhorse is still the quantitative survey of aIMG_0122 representative sample from a target population. This is especially true for organizations with limited knowledge and understanding of their customers or members.

Thorotrends brings expertise in the design and execution of surveys over the internet, telephone, mail, and in-person. The choice of survey mode hinges on the desired population for interviewing as well as budget. However, the trend towards online survey-based research continues at the expense of other approaches as the internet nears full penetration.

From the art and science of designing a professional, thoughtful questionnaire to data processing, analysis, and reporting, Thorotrends offers full-service survey research capabilities. Survey results are routinely and at a minimum reported in a tabular format for ease of interpretation. See here for an example. Valuable insights will be highlighted and detailed narrative reports of findings will be prepared as desired.

Why conduct research into attitudes, opinions, and behaviors? The answer, quite simply, is to gain knowledge. That knowledge, in turn, informs efforts to target new customers, retain current customers, and win back lost customers. Thorotrends will work with you to finely tune your rough theories and impressions into testable hypotheses.

What populations are of high interest to the Thoroughbred horse racing industry? There are many; here are a few examples...

  • Thoroughbred owners / nonowners / ex-owners
  • Thoroughbred horseplayers / nonhorseplayers / ex-horseplayers
  • Thoroughbred racing fans / nonfans / ex-fans
  • Sports fans
  • Poker players
  • Casino players
  • Slots players
  • Lottery players
  • Sportsbook bettors
  • Millennials (Generation Y)
  • Baby Boomers
  • Retirees

 


Analytics

Analytics permeate the business world across every industry. Everyday companies employ analytics to increase profitability. Starting with defining the business problem, the stages of an analytical project typically then include data preparation, resource allocation, analysis, results, and implementation. Data sources for analytics are varied and numerous. Survey data, customer data, operational data, financial data, third-party data are all candidates for analytics. Analytics help an organization to link seemingly unrelated data in search for patterns and knowledge. Results produced from analyticsPhotoxpress_4761063 can help an organization to become more proactive and precise with marketing efforts. Research projects can also be designed with specific analytics in mind, as is often the case for customer segmentation research.

Thorotrends' analytical capabilities include techniques such as...

  • Correlation/Regression (for Key Driver Analysis, Derived Importance, Predictive Modeling)
  • Cluster Analysis (for Segmentation)
  • Conjoint Analysis (for Choice/Preference Modeling and Pricing Insights)
  • Factor Analysis (for Data Reduction)

These and other analytic techniques can help to distill knowledge from new or existing data collections. Thorotrends will always advocate a thorough inventory of existing data sources before recommending primary research, especially in organizations that wish to employ analytics for the first time.

A specific challenge facing the Thoroughbred racing industry is that a key form of customer data (i.e., pari-mutuel activity) is not typically captured at the individual level, especially for high-value on-track customers. Although there are exceptions to this in the case of loyalty programs and advance deposit wagering systems that lend themselves to database marketing, by and large racetrack operators do not know who their customers are and how much they spend. This challenge can be met in the near term with primary research (surveys) which can pave the way to utilize customer behavior and opinion data in analytics.