Marketing Research Academy for Business Professionals

Terry College of Business Executive Center
3475 Lenox Road, Atlanta, GA 30326
3/18/2014 7:30 AM - 3/21/2014 12:00 PM
Register before 2/19/2014 12:00 AM for early registration fee

New to the research function?

A research manager or analyst with less than 4 years of experience?

A marketing manager who has recently been given research responsibilities?

Then this program is for you.

This 3 ½ day program is designed to strengthen your knowledge and grasp of marketing research fundamentals.  Leading experts from industry and academe will share their knowledge and experience in designing, implementing, interpreting, and reporting quality marketing research.  They will cover these topics using real case examples, hands-on experiences, and practical applications.

Topics to be covered include:

  • The importance of marketing research
  • Properly identifying and articulating research problems
  • Developing a research plan and designing the research
  • Identifying, understanding, and applying  appropriate sampling techniques
  • Designing effective questionnaires
  • Analyzing data through various quantitative methods
  • Using qualitative methods of data collection
  • Understanding how to ethically obtain and strategically use competitive intelligence
  • Interpreting data and preparing management oriented reports

Click here to view the full program brochure!

Attendees will have ample opportunity to exchange views and experiences with each other and faculty members in the state of the art classroom facilities at the Terry College Atlanta Executive Education Center located in the Buckhead area of Atlanta.  Instructors for the school all have extensive marketing research knowledge and experience, as well as significant experience in developing and presenting executive education. These individuals will help you improve your skills and enhance your ability to understand, use, and manage marketing research.  We look forward to seeing you at this year’s program.

The Marketing Research Academy for Business Professionals is jointly offered by the American Marketing Association and the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia and is the first program in a two part series on marketing research. The second program, The Advanced School of Marketing Research, offered in the fall of each year,  is designed for middle and senior level professional marketing researchers who have a solid base of experience in marketing research and who are looking for the latest in advanced tools and methodologies.  Companies with attendees at either program can receive a discounted rate on the 2nd program attended.

Conference Cancellation Policy

All cancellations and requests for refunds must be submitted to the AMA via email at Cancellations received four weeks prior to the event start date will receive a refund minus a $150 early cancellation fee. Cancellations received after that date will receive a refund minus a $300 late cancellation fee.

Registrants wishing to cancel may send someone to take their place without penalty if they send a written request with the replacement person’s name to at least two weeks prior to the event start date.

No refunds will be given as of March 4th, 2014.

A conference registration may not be shared by two or more individuals. Space is limited and on-site registration cannot be guaranteed. Separate cancellation policies may exist for pre-conference programs, tutorials, and other associated events. Hotel and transportation reservation cancellations must be handled by the individual registrant directly with the hotel, airline and/or other company.​

Tuesday March, 18, 2014  - Overview of Marketing Research

7:30 am – 8:30 am Registration & Breakfast

8:30 am – 10:00 am Introduction to Marketing Research

Christopher Murphy, Executive Vice President & Managing Partner, Client Solutions, Millward Brown

To remain competitive companies need to continually adjust their marketing offering to meet ever changing customer needs.  Keeping current with those ever changing needs requires quality marketing research.  This session will define marketing research and will discuss its critical importance to effective decision making. The broad scope of marketing research, including consumer research, business to business research, and competitive intelligence will be covered. The importance of and key elements of marketing information systems will be discussed.  The session will address how to handle key challenges faced by researchers on both the client and vendor side.

10:30 am – 12:00 pm Problem Definition

Christopher Murphy, Executive Vice President & Managing Partner, Client Solutions, Millward Brown

The success of a marketing research project begins with correctly identifying and framing the marketing problem.  This is often the most difficult step in the research process.  Poor problem definition can result in wasted time and money, and can lead to information that has been correctly collected but that does not address the marketing problem at hand.  This session will address how to identify the key concerns of the decision maker and how to differentiate between symptoms and problems.  Methods for setting appropriate research objectives and developing key research questions and hypotheses will also be covered.

Lunch 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm

1:15 pm – 3:00 pm & 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm Research Design

Walter Blotkamp, Vice President, MMR Research

The research design is the master plan for a research project. The plan establishes what information is needed and how that information will be collected. An effective research design ensures that the data collected will be accurate and valid and will address the research problem at hand. This session will outline the steps in establishing an appropriate research design including definition of objectives, sampling plan, data collection tools, and the analysis plan. The three main types of research (exploratory, descriptive, and causal) and will be discussed. Sources of secondary data and methods of collecting primary data will be covered. The differences between qualitative and quantitative research will be discussed, along with guidelines for determining the appropriate research approach.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014  - Quantitative Marketing Research

7:30 am - Breakfast

8:30 am – 10:00 am Sampling

Michelle R Hunt, PhD,  Senior Vice President,  The Link Group

Sampling is one of the key components of marketing research design.  This session will introduce you to important sampling concepts so that you can design an effective sampling plan that will provide results that are projectable to your population of interest. We will discuss the differences between probability and nonprobability sampling and the issues that come into play with either. In addition, such much research these days is conducted using online sample providers, we will discuss issues specific to using online survey respondents, including different types of sample providers, river vs. panel sampling, quota and weighting issues, and concerns about non-representative panels and professional respondents.

10:30 am – 12:00 pm Questionnaire Design

Michelle R Hunt, PhD,  Senior Vice President,  The Link Group

Marketing research results are greatly affected not only by the questions you ask but how you ask these questions.  This session will introduce to the most appropriate ways to format, order, and word questions so as to obtain the most unbiased results possible.  Topics discussed will include survey flow and question order, the use of different types of scales (Likert, semantic differential, etc.), and the impact of survey length on the quality (and quantity) of responses received.  In addition, we will discuss ways to reduce non-response bias, the pros and cons of different ways of administering a survey, and will touch briefly on issues in conducting international research.

Lunch 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm

1:15 – 3:00 pm & 3:30 – 5:00 pm Data Analysis

Michelle R Hunt, PhD,  Senior Vice President,  The Link Group

This session will focus on basic data analysis for marketing research.  Concepts covered will include basic analytical tools to aid in developing descriptive statistics from survey data, hypothesis testing, correlation analysis, regression analysis and other statistical procedures. Instead of focus on deriving formulas, however, the focus will instead be on the types of questions that marketing researchers typically ask and how to use analytic techniques to answer those questions.  Real-world examples of data and analytic output will be provided and discussed.

Thursday, March 20, 2014  - Qualitative Marketing Research

7:30 am - Breakfast

8:30 am – 10:00 am and 10:30 am – 12:00 pm Introduction to Qualitative Marketing Research

Naomi Henderson, Master Moderator/CEO, RIVA Market Research and Training Institute

Qualitative research provides an understanding of four consumer insights: Perceptions, Opinions, Beliefs, and Attitudes and helps researchers uncover drivers and motivations to purchase and/or acceptance of products, services, advertising or ideas.   This session will discuss when qualitative research should be used and its advantages and disadvantages. Specific tools of qualitative research including moderating, and methodologies such as focus groups, in depth interviews, and other ways to hear the voice of the customer including observational and ethnographic methods, and usability studies will be covered. Actual case studies will be presented and attendees will have the opportunity to offer and have discussed current situations they are facing which are amenable to qualitative research.

Lunch 12:00 noon – 1:15 p.m.

1:15 pm – 3:00 pm and 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm The Qualitative Marketing Research Toolbox

Naomi Henderson, Master Moderator/CEO, RIVA Market Research and Training Institute

This session will build upon the introductory session and will demonstrate specific tools of qualitative research including moderating, facilitating, experiential exercises, and debriefing. The session will show when each tool is appropriate and the do’s and don’ts of using various qualitative tool categories.  Participants will have an opportunity to gain some hands-on experience in working with qualitative research methods.

5:15 pm – 6:30 pm Reception

Friday, March 21, 2014  - Special Issues in Marketing Research

8:30 am – 10:00 am Competitive Intelligence

Timothy Kindler, Associate Director, Competitive Intelligence, Ernst & Young LLP

Competitive intelligence cannot be developed as an afterthought or operated in a vacuum.  In order for a CI program to truly have an impact, the goals of the intelligence program need to be in sync with those of the overall corporate strategy and operational planning processes.  Competitive Intelligence provides the insight and perspective on the external environment, without which business plans may not be grounded in reality.  This session will detail a process for aligning CI with corporate strategy and business planning that should be used from start to finish.  Topics to be covered include: organization structure and alignment, communication issues, key deliverables, integration with market research, and metrics for success.

10:30 am – 12:00 pm Research Report Writing and Presentation

Bruce Olson, Senior Partner, MMR Research

The final step in the research process is presenting research results to the decision maker. This step is greatly influenced by how well the initial research objectives were defined and should be considered at the outset of the research, not just “at the end.” This session will show how to present results that are understandable and actionable. This session will cover the key elements of an effective research report. It will demonstrate how to translate the results of a statistical test into meaningful information for managers. The proper use of graphics in both written and oral presentations will be covered. Examples of great and “not so great” report language will be shared.

12:00 pm Program adjourns; a boxed lunch will be available to go.

This event has passed and is unavailable for registration.

The Venue

The course is held in the University of Georgia Terry College of Business Executive Education Center in Atlanta, GA.  The center is located at 3475 Lenox Road, Atlanta, GA 30326, in the One Live Oak Center, directly adjacent to the conference hotel.  The center is accessible via interstates 85, 75, and Georgia State Route 400 or by Atlanta’s rapid transit system (MARTA).

The Hotel

For your convenience, a special discounted rate of $133 a night has been negotiated with the Altanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel and Conference Center.  The Marriott is located at 3405 Lenox Road, adjacent to the Terry College Executive Center.

To get the special rate, you must book by March 3rd, using THIS LINK to make your reservation.


The AMA is committed to providing equal access to our meetings for all attendees. If you are an attendee with a disability and require program accommodations, please contact the AMA Meeting Services Department at 312-543-9002 and a member of our staff will ensure that appropriate access arrangements are made. If you have specific disability related needs for your hotel sleeping room, please be sure to communicate those directly to the hotel when you make your reservation. In an effort to provide the highest quality of service to all attendees, we require that details of all access requests be communicated to our office at least 14 days in advance of the beginning of the meeting.


AMA's travel coordinator, Tower Travel Management, is available to assist with reservations.

Call 1-800-542-9700 within the U.S. and Canada. Reservation lines are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. CST, or you may contact them via email at

Tower Travel will proactively research airfares on ALL airline carriers to ensure that the lowest available fares are offered to all attendees. They are dedicated to providing superior customer service and hassle-free travel arrangements. Please note that fees, restrictions and cancellation penalties will apply.

​Rental Car Information

Alamo Rent-A-Car

Drive Happy with Alamo. Where American Marketing Association members save up to 20%. And, with self-serve check-in you can skip the counter, check-in at the kiosk and drive away. All you need is a valid driver's license, major credit card and an existing reservation. It's that easy.

To make a reservation click here or call Alamo Rent A Car at 1-800-462-5266. Be sure to request Contract ID AMA7745 at the time of reservation.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Great Cars. Low Rates. Free Pick-up.

When you’re ready to go, we make it easy with everyday low rates on great cars. With the largest fleet in North America and a wide variety of vehicles, Enterprise has you covered. Plus, we're always nearby at more than 6,000 neighborhood and airport locations.

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Pick-up and drop-off service is subject to geographic and other restrictions.

National Car Rental

As an American Marketing Association member, you'll get up to 20% off rentals at National Car Rental. And, with the Emerald Club® from National Car Rental, you can bypass the counter and choose your own car. To enroll now, click here:

To make a reservation online click here or call National Car Rental at 1-800-CAR-RENT® and reference Contract ID AMA7745 at the time of reservation. Go National. Go Like a Pro. 

​There are no exhibitor opportunities at this event.

 Why Attend


Key Takeaways of Conferences:

  • The importance of marketing research
  • Properly identifying and articulating research problems
  • Developing a research plan and designing the research
  • Identifying, understanding and applying appropriate sampling techniques
  • Designing effective questionnaires
  • Analyzing data through various quantitative methods
  • Using qualitative methods of data collection
  • Understanding how to ethically obtain and strategically use
    competitive intelligence
  • Interpreting data and preparing management-oriented reports