Dec 022014

This week’s team assignment in Marketing Analytics with Jie Zhang was focused on the application of mixture regression models. Our task was to segment the European market for a global retailer, identifying the best regions for the company to launch its international expansion. It was a fun assignment, and very much in line with my interests.

Once we’d crunched the numbers, we had a clear preference for particular geographies. However, we also found that we had more questions than answers. For instance, what was the competitive landscape? Were there potential barriers to entry? How close should the test regions be to ensure a low cost supply chain? What kinds of regulatory and macroeconomic issues would we be dealing with in certain countries? And, of course, ultimately – was this going to be a positive net present value project? These and many other questions were raised as we attempted to pull together our conclusions and recommendations.

The kinds of issues we were identifying were out of the scope of the assignment, and we didn’t have the data to hand to address them. But, it occurred to me … as second years, we’re starting to pull together the learning from all our classes; and, as a result, the way we approach business problems has changed completely.

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