2014 Advanced School of Marketing Research

Terry College of Business
3475 Lenox Road, Atlanta, GA 30326
1/1/0001 12:00 AM - 1/1/0001 12:00 AM
Register before 1/1/0001 12:00 AM for early registration fee

Looking to gain a competitive advantage?
Afraid you’re behind the curve on big data?

Learn how leading firms are using advanced marketing research techniques to better understand customers, increase sales, use media effectively, make new product development decisions and price products for increased profit in today’s challenging environment. We’ll dive into this and more at the weeklong Advanced School of Marketing Research in early November.

“The Advanced School of Marketing Research has expanded my marketing toolbox, so I can continue to be innovative and effective in my job.”​ - ASMR Attendee

Leading experts from industry and academe explain, apply and demonstrate the most current research tools and methodologies. You’ll take away the latest research tools and insights, and an understanding of how to apply them to your specific company and problem.

Register by October 5th and SAVE!



Who Should Attend

This course is designed for professional marketing researchers who have a solid base of experience in the field and who understand how marketing research works. Managers of the marketing research function will also benefit by becoming more familiar with advanced research methods and seeing how they are applied across a wide array of industries and problems.

To maximize the benefit of this program, attendees should have a fundamental understanding of basic statistical methods.


The Marketing Research Academy for Business Professionals is a 3½-day program covering marketing research fundamentals and designed for those new to the marketing research function, marketing managers needing a better understanding of marketing research and/or research managers/analysts with less than four years of experience in the research field.

If your company sent attendees to the 2014 Marketing Research Academy, you are eligible for discounted registration for the 2014 Advanced School of Marketing Research.

For anyone you send to this November’s advanced event, you will get a discount for the 2015 Marketing Research Academy.​​​​​ Contact Kelly Moran at kmoran@ama.org for more information.


All cancellations and requests for refunds must be submitted to the AMA via email at kmoran@ama.org​

Cancellations received  prior to October 6th will receive a refund minus a $150 early cancellation fee. Cancellations received on or 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 info@ama.org at least two weeks prior to the event start date.

No refunds will be given after of October 19th, 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.


2014 Advanced School of Marketing Research Agenda

Monday, November 3, 2014

8:00 – 8:30 am  Registration and Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 am & 10:30 am - 12:00 pm   Making Brain Science Pragmatic

Charles Swann, Vice President, LRW

This session will focus on understanding consumers' non-conscious and emotional motivation. It comes as no surprise to hear that consumers are not always thorough, rational decision makers. In fact, research shows that we are able to make all kinds of decisions-from evaluating someone's trustworthiness to deciding if the price of soda is good or bad-without conscious consideration. So how do we make sense of all of this and, as importantly, how should it impact our research approaches?

Charles will present a framework, based on decades of academic research, to understand how consumers' non-conscious and emotional motivations impact their decisions. By the end of this session you will understand why emotions and non-conscious motivations are important, when they are most likely to impact consumers, and how to impact consumers' emotional and non-conscious motivations.

Charles will also discuss the tools available to measure these motivations, helping you to choose the right approaches for your business objectives.

12:00 – 1:15 pm Lunch

1:15 – 3:00 pm Using Social Media, Social Networks, and Virtual Platforms to Conduct Research

Kendall Nash, Senior Qualitative Consultant in Decision Sciences, Burke, Inc.  

This session will take a deeper dive into qualitative research, focusing specifically on social media, online communities, and virtual platforms. The emphasis will be on demonstrating how these tools are being used by qualitative research professionals to support data collection and enhance the ability to reach their target audience to support better decision making. The discussion will include an emphasis on the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to appropriately apply these next generation tools and will specifically address:

  • How social media networks are being used for research purposes including secondary research 
  • Social media and virtual tools which are available 
  • Major players in the social media and online qualitative research landscape 
3:30 – 5:30 pm  Online Research Developments 

Jeff Miller, President, Burke, Inc.

Although online research has become a commonly used tool in the marketing researcher's toolkit, a great deal of change has occurred in this important area in recent years. In addition to exploring emerging tools like the opportunities and risks of mobile-based research, we will address some of the current challenges to the effective use of Web surveys.  Researchers continue to be concerned about threats to data quality from fraudulent, professional, and/or fatigued members of online panels.  We will examine the magnitude of the online data quality problem, and methods to combat the problem.  The session will highlight current trends in the online research field and discuss the latest online research techniques and technologies, such as gamification and the use of online research communities. The session will also discuss some best practices in the design and deployment of online surveys.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

8:00 – 8:30 am  Registration and Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 & 10:30 am – 12:00 pm  Structural Equation Modeling 

Christina Liao, Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Senior Partner, Global Director, Research & Analytics, FleishmanHillard

The objective of this session is to introduce the technique of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) and its application in practical marketing research studies to prioritize resources and drive desired business outcomes. SEM is a powerful analytical tool that depicts more realistically the cause and effect relationships among a set of performance measures and latent traits underlying these measures. Marketing research in the B2B and B2C environments usually involves the study of dynamic relationships among business processes, consumer perceptions, and product performance. The traditional key driver approach using regression analysis tends to simplify such relationships and loses sight of the dynamics and interaction in business processes. SEM, on the other hand, can capture those dynamics by simulating the relationships more realistically.  SEM has the following key benefits over traditional regression analysis: 1) allow for estimation of both direct and indirect impact on dependent measures, 2) offer an effective way to deal with performance indicators that are highly correlated with one another, and 3) provide more accurate estimation of measurement errors in surveys. SEM has wide applications in such areas as brand equity, brand awareness, customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and brand share.

12:00 – 1:15 pm Lunch

1:15 – 3:00 pm & 3:30 - 5:00 pm  Segmentation

Jacqueline M. Dawley, Ph.D., President, Insight Analysis

Segmentations often drive corporate strategy and marketing decisions.  Effective segmentations aid in identifying opportunities for successful targeted marketing programs and can reveal unmet needs that form the basis for new product ideas and development.  However, many firms consider their segmentation efforts less than successful. This session will discuss the methods and approaches for effective segmentation. Topics to be covered include a discussion of the variety of uses of segmentation in effective marketing, criteria used to determine the viability of market segments and issues in targeting segments.   Alternative bases for segmenting markets will be considered. Techniques typically used for segmentation will be reviewed, as well as recent trends and practices in segmentation. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

8:00 – 8:30 am Registration and Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 Experimental Design for Conjoint and Discrete Choice Analysis 

John Wurst, Ph.D., President, Atlanta Marketing Sciences Consulting, and faculty, Marketing Department, University of Georgia

Marketing researchers have increasingly turned to conjoint and discrete choice experiments to address questions about product and price optimization and strategy. Fundamental to these techniques is the plan for running the study, which is called the experimental design. The purpose of this session is to provide a practitioner oriented introduction to experimental designs for conjoint and discrete choice analysis. The session will cover how designs are created and assessed.  Real-world examples will be presented, and interactive class exercises will be included. 

10:30 am – 12:00 pm Conjoint and Discrete Choice Modeling and Applications 

John Wurst, Ph.D., President, Atlanta Marketing Sciences Consulting, and faculty, Marketing Department, University of Georgia

This session will extend coverage of conjoint and discrete choice by presenting modeling and estimation techniques. The discussion will include traditional procedures, latent class and hierarchical Bayesian methods, maximum difference scaling (MaxDiff), and recent developments. Real world examples will be presented, and interactive class exercises will be included. Coverage will include modeling and model estimation, market simulators, and interpreting results.

12:00 – 1:15 pm Lunch

1:15 – 3:00 pm Qualitative Research Tools

Jeff Walkowski, President, QualCore.com Inc.

While all of the “buzz” in the qualitative research industry these days is on online communities, mobile qualitative research, and ethnography, the “backbone” of all of these methods – tried-and-true in-person focus groups and in-depth interviews (IDIs) – still have their place and are not likely to go away.  In this session, you will learn about the wide-ranging tools available in qualitative research and understand what you can and cannot do with them.  Learn how to shop for qualitative research consultants (moderators) and how to most effectively work with them.  Appreciate the skills that are behind the QRC who appears to effortlessly guide research participants into revealing discussions that help organizations better understand the marketplace, and WHY people think and do the things they do.  And, while a lot is being said about how much of human behavior is unconscious and can’t be uncovered in focus group discussions, learn how the skills of a good QRC can reveal much of what decision-makers need to know.  We will also cover the differences between online versus offline qualitative research methods to round out the attendee’s perspective about qualitative research.

3:30 – 5:00 pm Big Data and its Impact on Marketing Research

Charlotte Mason, Ph.D., Head, Marketing Department and C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry Chaired Professor of Business Administration, University of Georgia

“Big Data” is the term used to describe data sets that are so large and so dynamic that they cannot be analyzed using conventional marketing research tools and software.  Big Data is often described in terms of the 3 V’s of volume, variety, and velocity of data.  Within the marketing research field, there is considerable debate over the impact Big Data will have on traditional marketing research.  This session will define Big Data, discuss opportunities for integrating Big Data into research strategies, outline challenges companies are facing in trying to collect and use Big Data, and explore the relationship between Big Data and conventional marketing research. Case examples of the use of Big Data will be shared. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

8:00 – 8:30 am Registration and Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 am Pricing Research 

Rob Arnett, Executive Vice President, M/A/R/C Research

Pricing is one area of marketing research that can always demonstrate its ROI.  Methods of pricing research can help add incremental sales, prop up unit volume, or pad the bottom line.  Unfortunately there are a lot of ways to gather information to inform pricing decisions, and they vary in terms of the degree of insight and forecasting accuracy they provide.  This session will provide an overview of the most popular methods including monadic tests, the von Westendorp Price Sensitivity Meter and its variants, and discrete choice modeling.  The session will use real-world examples to highlight the pros and cons of these methods, and will end with a primer on practical considerations on choosing the right method and best practices in setting up the research.

10:30 am – 12:00 pm Measuring Brand Equity

Christopher Murphy, Executive Vice President & Managing Partner, Client Solutions & Innovation (CSI), Millward Brown 

Brand equity is an important component of successful marketing performance. This session will examine best practices for determining and measuring brand equity. The elements of brand equity will be discussed and numerous methods and models of measuring equity will be presented. Case studies demonstrating how and when to use the equity models will be shared. This session will provide a foundation for the follow-up session, “Research for Improving the Financial Impact of Marketing.”

12:00–1:15 pm Lunch

1:15 – 3:00 pm & 3:30 - 5:00 pm  New Product Development Research

Walter Blotkamp, Vice President MMR Research

Creating insight is a crucial part of new product development, and the tools we have covered throughout the week put us in good stead for developing such insight. Still, it is widely reported that 9 out of every 10 new products launched fail (just take a look at TV show cast-offs!)  We will discuss why this is the case and provide a framework to increase chances of new product success.  The breakdown is largely due to an inability to turn true insight into foresight – a lack of attaching an insight to competitive landscape end states and the changes likely to take place.  While truly finding a need and filling it is certainly one path to success, human motivations short of needs such as simple wants and desires are often overlooked as potential territories for development.  Instead of just asking “what’s not working” or “what could work better,” we can and should structure inquiry around aspirations as well.  We will review best-in-class research techniques associated with new product development such as needs gap analysis, feature optimization, concept testing, demand forecasting, scenario assessment, and strategic opportunity mapping.  We will show how judicious use of these techniques can help ensure that the “good” is not sacrificed in pursuit of “the perfect” and incremental solutions are successfully implemented.

Friday, November 7, 2014

8:00 – 8:30 am Registration and Breakfast

8:30 – 10:00 am Media Effectiveness Research

Marcus Cunha Jr., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Marketing, University of Georgia

In this session we will examine the strategic decisions involved in selecting media and measuring media effectiveness. Media buying is, by far, the most expensive component of advertising and as such its selection should not be driven by tactical decisions. Because the media landscape has become so complex and dynamic (online vs. offline, above-the line vs. below-the-line, etc.), it is imperative that decision makers develop a customer-centered framework that allows them to more effectively make strategic decision about media selection. The session will also discuss aspects of media mix modeling and the relationship between share of voice and share of market in shaping media decisions. Short media cases will be presented to illustrate the concepts discussed.

10:30 am – 12:00 pm For Great Research… Great Methodology isn’t Enough.

Bruce Olson, Senior Partner, MMR Research

You’re all experienced researchers, looking for opportunities to advance. You’ve just spent a week getting educated on key methodologies and their potential applications, adding to your tool chest.  But what is it that determines how you will be “valued” as a researcher? How do you demonstrate that value every day, on every project?  In this session, we will discuss what drives the perception of “value” in a researcher and how you should be evaluating yourself and the work you do.  The reality is that expertise in methodologies and statistics is NOT the most important factor in determining whether you advance to and/or beyond the level of Senior Research Manager and such expertise does not provide job security, regardless of your level/title.   Instead, what IS crucial is your ability to consult and to identify and focus on business decisions.  To wrap up the week, we’ll discuss how to consult effectively and by looking at some examples, we’ll see how this is ultimately reflected in defining Business Objectives and final reports.  We’ll discuss the key goals of a report deck and how to quickly evaluate a report deck and in the process, illustrate why insights are insufficient and why “telling a story” is much more than just good organization of information. 

12:00 pm Boxed lunch to go.

Registration is not available at this time.

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 per 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 October 24th, 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 association@towertravel.com

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

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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: www.emeraldclub.com.

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 sponsorship or exhibitor opportunities at this event.
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