Thanks to the thoughtful practitioners of marketing!

“The purpose of marketing science is to enhance decisions” Kevin Gray

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Returning from the Marketing Science Conference, I am so happy to report our team won the Gary Lilien ISMS-MSI Practice Prize competition with “Direct Mail to Prospects and Email to Current Customers? Managing Multichannel Marketing for L’Occitane”. The most excellent academic-practitioner cooperation reminded me of the wonderful insights shared by what the Marketing Science Institute calls ‘thoughtful practitioners’.

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Kevin Gray ( is my prime example of a thoughtful practitioner. He lives market research but also makes the time to reflect on its nature and how it is changing. To a question on the transferability of predictive modeler skills, he wrote: “I think if you’re a researcher and have a toolbox with the right mix of technical tools, the right approach and commercial acumen, then you can apply your knowledge to any situation (or know at least when you can’t and what you need to do to fix it). You can move across industries (and geographic borders)”.

Every day, Kevin’s posts, blogs and podcasts improve my understanding of the hot topics in our field. For instance, his review of ‘The Book of Why’ is right on and stimulated a most interesting exchange with the author, Judea Pearl.

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He also responds fast and accurately to questions such as ‘Is Marketing Mix Modeling Dead?’ back in 2011:“From my experience MMM (or Market Response Modeling) is far from dead. Sure, there are old proprietary methods which may no longer be very useful and some folks still insist on using OLS linear regression. However, as others have commented, there is a range of econometric methods we can choose from. Also, there is still potential in integrating consumer survey data with “hard” data that I don’t feel has been well exploited”.

Kevin is happy to share his long, deep and broad experience working for a client company, an ad agency and a market research company, and most recently himself for dozens of industries in over 50 countries. Our collaboration on joint blogs has been most insightful and pleasant. For a great example, check out our Greenbook entry on Big Data Promises, Challenges and Threats:

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Thanks, Kevin, and cheers to many more insights and better marketing decisions!

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