Conducting Experiments for Gaining Customer Insights: A Primer on Causal Research (Part 1 of 2)
34 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 2016
In many situations companies are interested in understanding the impact of their actions. Did a change in our advertising strategy cause a change in sales? What is the effect of implementing a specific leadership practice on people’s performance? To answer these questions companies need to conduct causal research — or run field experiments. This article (1) explains the difference between correlation and causality; (2) provides an overview of key issues companies face in drawing causal inferences, (3) describes the common experimental designs used in customer research, and (4) provides examples of implementing simple field experiments.
Keywords: design of experiments, internal validity, external validity, customer research, marketing
JEL Classification: marketing, research methods, consumer behavior
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