Market Research Experts Explain Real-World Data Mining


Whitney Foard Small, Regional Director of Communications for Asia Pacific and Africa of Ford Motor Co., and Tatt Chen, Senior Vice President of Penn Schoen Berland, Asia, were special guest speakers in Professor Lee Miller's Data Mining class on April 9.

Small and Chen, whose firm does consulting work for Ford, talked about how they measure the impact of public relations campaigns and the attitudes of key groups of potential customers.

"Measuring PR can be done," Small said. "You can measure anything."

By tracking which key messages from news releases were picked up by local media, Small could see that product attributes such as fuel economy, safety and low cost vary in importance by country. So Ford measures how its products track agains competitors and tailors marketing messages accordingly for India, China and Australia, Small said.

Chen said his firm tracks attitudes of elites (high income, highly educated) and likely car buyers in five markets to help predict future trends in car buying.

Small and Chen also talked about the traits they look for when hiring. Always tailor the resume to the particular employer, Small said. Use a cover letter to talk about the talents and skills you could bring to the company.