Dawn Palace, Ph.D.

About Dawn Palace, Ph.D.

Dawn Palace is a senior vice president in the Life Sciences Research division at Market Strategies International. She draws on more than 20 years of experience in market research and integrated marketing to help clients address their needs for business intelligence and transform insights into improvement strategies and marketing campaigns with measurable ROI. Dawn has helped clients create and launch brands, segment markets and deploy CRM programs, develop and launch new products, measure and optimize the customer experience, and improve employee engagement. Dawn received her doctorate and masters’ degrees from Wayne State University and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. Her passions outside of work include food, wine, volunteer work, and spectating at her children’s sporting events.

Superpowers and Princesses: A Three-minute Lesson on Projective Exercises

Superpowers and Princesses: A Three-Minute Lesson on Projective ExercisesProjective exercises—the presentation of calibrated stimuli onto which a respondent projects their feelings, attitudes or beliefs—are a critical asset in the qualitative researcher’s emotional toolbox. The technique offers the promise of achieving greater depth and validity of insight by facilitating expression of subconscious or difficult-to-articulate feelings that are less accessible using direct “Q&A.”

But what makes for a good projective exercise?

We put learning into action at a recent market research conference by testing a series of probes that revealed some lessons about projectives.

First, we asked visitors to our booth to help us learn about, “What makes great qualitative research.” We then invited them to post onto a chalkboard their reactions to a probe related to the goal of understanding how to deliver great qualitative research. Our lesson on projectives focuses on contrasting two of several probes that we asked:

  1. What is your qualitative superpower?
  2. What Disney princess would make a great moderator?

Before reading on, what do you notice about these questions? Is one easier for you to answer? Do you suspect one would elicit superior insights vs. the other? Let’s explore what we observed and discuss why one question might better achieve the promise of projective techniques. Continue reading

Bye Bye, Boring Report

2014-05-portalHello, Engaging Research Portal

Marketers named 2013 the “Year of the Image.” Americans continued to join and post to social media sites that favor images over text as a means of communicating en masse. Think Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Selfie.

Perhaps we should not be surprised. Cognitive psychology tells us that humans are wired to favor visuals over text. We process images faster. We remember visuals better. We find well-designed visuals more credible. And when credible images engage us, they trigger emotional processing that leads to creativity and higher-quality decision-making.

All of these things—speed, recall, credibility, engagement and quality decision-making—are critical to the delivery of market research insight and to a company’s ability to turn insight into strategies and actions. Continue reading

Extend the Life Expectancy of Your Segmentation with Big Data

Editor’s Note: This is the final installment of a three-part series discussing how Big Data can be exploited to enrich market segmentations.

When clients request segmentation research, we often start the discussion by asking if segmentation is really what they need. Included in that discussion is consideration of how long the segmentation is expected to or should live in the organization. For some brands, the answer is short term (one to three years). For others, there is a desire for a solution to live on for five to 10 years, which feels like an eternity. How can this be accomplished, given the pace of change in the world today? As you may have guessed, Big Data has a role to play.

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Blend Big Data and Survey Data to Drive Successful CX Programs

Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of a three-part series discussing how Big Data can be exploited to enrich market segmentations.

Special programs that motivate customer behaviors are a common component of customer experience management. Examples include loyalty rewards, medical adherence and low-income bill payment assistance programs. Big Data can be particularly helpful—as part of a larger plan—to identify target segments and define strategic actions to support special programs. The underlying idea is to use customer and/or third party data to help identify customers who are likely to benefit from and be responsive to your brand’s special program.

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Use Big Data To Sharpen Your Segmentation

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment of a three-part series on how Big Data can be exploited to enrich market segmentations.

French novelist Marcel Proust is particularly famous for saying, “The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes.”  That sums up the way I see Big Data and its role in segmentation: It doesn’t necessarily point us toward undiscovered markets, but it can greatly enhance our ability to see our existing market in new ways.

How? I asked my colleague, Dr. Raymond Reno, to join me in creating some practical examples of how Big Data can sharpen your segmentation lens. In this first installment of our three-part series, we’ll show how Big Data can add value to creating market segments for a new product launch.

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How Big Data Can Inoculate Social Networks Against Unhealthy Behaviors

2014-01-healthEditor’s Note: This post features an interview with Yale University’s Dr. Trace Kershaw

Big Data remains a big buzz word, yet professionals struggle to understand how it can add real value. Over the next few months, I will be sharing ways to combine Big Data with traditional qualitative and quantitative research to help brands answer questions and motivate target audiences.

Today, we’re going to focus on how Big Data is helping researchers understand influence in social networks, leading to the design and testing of interventions that drive healthy behaviors. We’ll also talk about how this work can be extended to help brands that benefit from word of mouth and social media.

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Ten Ways to Increase Response Rates Among B2B Audiences

2013-08-responseB2B audiences are a hot target for market research and marketing communications, which can make it difficult to get their attention for surveys.

Market Strategies has conducted research among hard-to-reach B2B audiences—including IT managers, physicians and executives—for more than 25 years. In our experience, securing healthy response rates boils down to:

  • Establishing rapport
  • Providing just compensation
  • Managing respondent fatigue
  • Following up appropriately

To help, I’ve identified ten ways to motivate response rates. Many of the suggestions increase cost and some are not appropriate for certain study designs. So, the approach that best balances response rate, budget, timing and analytic needs depends on your research requirements. Continue reading