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Newsletters

APRIL 2014


Dear Reader,

We have always wanted to give our customers a behind-the-scenes view of how we work and what exactly we do. But weíve struggled with one fact. Like you, we mostly work at computers all day, so it doesnít seem like there is a whole lot to show.

Well, weíre giving it a try, anyway! This is our first-ever video newsletter with a feature video on Finding the Best Price for Your Product. It shows some neat tools and features we recently used in pricing research. We’re not sure whether this video will make us seem more or less nerdy than we really are. But we do hope you'll see how useful these new tools are, and maybe even put them to work in your job.

Other items of interest in this newsletter include:

   The Weirdest (and Coolest) Thing about R
   What Financial Advisors Need from Marketing
   Ask Your Most Critical Questions First
   Bon Appétit Gorges on Supersize Samples
   Survey Progress Bars Donít Matter (Sort Of)
   Laughing at the Null Hypothesis
   My Dream Curriculum in Research Methods
   Choosing Your Top Three Messages with TURF
   The Most Persuasive Messages Make Three Claims
   Removing Bad Apples from Your Research
   Donít Fake the Story in Your Data
   Versta Research Is Five Years Old!
   Why You Need Your Raw Data
   The Downside of Measuring Loyalty

We are also delighted to share with you:

   Versta Research in the News

This section features, among other news, a documentary film on the Discovery Channel.

Warm regards,

The Versta Team

 Finding the Best Price for Your Product

If you ever work with price and demand data, and need to figure out the optimal price for your product or service, here are two great tools worth knowing about:

    1. PowerPoint (yes, that says PowerPoint)

    2. The R Statistical Package

Each offers powerful statistical capabilities that will help you plot and find the optimal price point on a demand curve.

In our brief “how-to” video on pricing research, first we show you how to use PowerPoint to find the best-fit curve for your data. Itís very cool. You donít need formulas. You just point and click and interact with the data. It will give you the best-fit linear regression equation (the typical demand curve used in most economic analysis) or the best-fit equation for a power curve with constant elasticity.

 

We show you how to find the point on your demand curve that optimizes revenue.



Then, we show you how to find the point on your demand curve that optimizes revenue. For this, we use R. It has an optimize function already built into its (free) statistical package. Just pull in the linear equation from your PowerPoint chart, transform that into the function you want to optimize, and voilà, R finds the price at which total revenue is highest.

Curious? Watch this video on finding the best price for your product:





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 Stories from the Versta Blog

Here are several recent posts from the Versta Research Blog. Click on any headline to read more.

The Weirdest (and Coolest) Thing about R
R's “object orientation” to statistical analysis makes it surprisingly different from programs like SPSS, which also makes it more powerful, elegant, and fun.

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What Financial Advisors Need from Marketing
Marketing professionals should not expect internal clients to talk about “marketing;” instead they need to probe for what front line sales managers need to succeed.

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Ask Your Most Critical Questions First
Recent polls in New Jersey demonstrate the “priming effect” that can mess up your surveys. The lesson: Pay close attention to question order!

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Bon Appétit Gorges on Supersize Samples
Bon Appétit wants to survey every subscriber, which is absurd for an authentic survey because fewer than 1% would give exceptionally precise survey estimates.

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Survey Progress Bars Donít Matter (Sort Of)
Experiments show that progress meters on surveys don't boost completion rates unless they mislead respondents with fast progress at the beginning.

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Laughing at the Null Hypothesis
Here's a cartoon about the onslaught of new statistical techniques that just might make our traditional understanding of hypothesis testing null and void.

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My Dream Curriculum in Research Methods
This list of 24 intensive courses in survey research methods (offered this summer at the University of Michigan) covers everything great market researchers need to know.

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Choosing Your Top Three Messages with TURF
Three is the magic number, but which three messages should you pick? TURF analysis offers a powerful optimization technique to maximize the reach of your messages.

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The Most Persuasive Messages Make Three Claims
New research shows that making three positive claims in your marketing will optimize positive impressions among readers—beyond that, skepticism kicks in.


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Removing Bad Apples from Your Research
An estimated 5% to 10% of survey respondents give poor quality data, and should be removed from analysis. Here are three steps we take to identify the bad ones.

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Donít Fake the Story in Your Data
Here is a cautionary tale about a researcher so desperate for a story in his data that he faked it.

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Versta Research Is Five Years Old!
In 2014 our company celebrated five years of helping clients solve research problems. Here are five significant accomplishments that now define us as a company.

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Why You Need Your Raw Data
Many researchers never look at the raw data behind their statistics. But they should, because it provides an easy and effective way to spot errors and fraud.

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The Downside of Measuring Loyalty
A meta-analysis of hundreds of research studies shows that boosting customer loyalty may not always improve the bottom line.  Customer satisfaction matters more.

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 Versta Research in the News

Versta Survey Findings Featured on Discovery Channel Program
Recent findings from two surveys about chronic pain were featured in a documentary film produced by the Discovery Channel.

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More on Retirement Savings among Nurses
Healthcare news sites continue to cite findings from Fidelity Investmentsí nurses tracking study conducted by Versta Research, now in its fourth wave.

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10 Ways to Make Sure New Employees Love You
The Muse, a careers website aimed at Millennials, with more than 3M+ subscribers featured an infographic developed with survey findings from Brilliant Ink and Versta Research.

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Local Survey Highlights Need for Education about Schizophrenia
Findings from a recent Versta Research survey of Birmingham residents were featured in the local Birmingham press.

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