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Kevin J Clancy - Pioneer Marketing Scientist
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  • Very early in his career, Kevin Clancy co-developed (with Dr. Larry Light - years later CMO of McDonalds - and Dr. Larry Krueger of BBDO Advertising) the “Problem Detection” methodology to identify and rank the dimensions (aka “problems”) that offer marketers the greatest potential for market response.  Then and now the classic definition of marketing is “the discipline concerned with solving customers’ problems and doing it with products and services profitably.”  Theirs was the first measuring tool for discovering the magnitude of customer problems in any product category.  Using this technology, Clancy discovered the axiom:  “Ceteris Paribus, the bigger the problem a marketer can solve, the greater will be the market response.” What he found was that new products and new ad campaigns addressed to major problems produced a much higher level of changes in consumer behavior than products and campaigns grounded in less important problems.   This methodology is studied in business schools and used today by companies around the globe
  • During the same period of time Kevin Clancy developed a reputation as an expert on response bias in survey research.  He published papers in the top sociological journals on acquiescence and social desirability response sets and developed a methodology—the polygraph interview—for measuring dissimulation in survey studies.  This methodology was first used by the United States Internal Revenue Service for estimating understatement in reporting annual income and identifying people most likely to cheat on their annual income tax return.
  • In the early 1970’s, Professor Clancy demonstrated that common tools for assessing recall of television commercials were highly unreliable.  The same commercial tested twice was likely to yield very different scores.  This was a disconcerting discovery because on-air testing, which was popularized by Proctor and Gamble, was the most common methodology for advertising testing at that time. His published work demonstrated that on-air recall scores had more to do with the characteristics of the television programs on which they were shown than the commercials themselves.  The industry’s eventual response to this new knowledge was to dramatically change the methodologies employed for measuring recall.
  • From the early seventies to-date Dr. Clancy published and presented at many professional conferences, new methodologies for segmenting markets using managerial, statistical and financial criteria.  In recent years he has demonstrated that conventional attitudinal, lifestyle, needs state, behavioral and demographic approaches to market segmentation are not only weak in terms of actionability but, equally important, have little to do with the profitability of alternative targets. Today, his ideas, methodologies and models are increasingly recognized as the   leading edge of market segmentation practice.
  • In the early eighties, working with Professor Paul Berger on a grant from the United States Justice Department, Kevin developed a model to predict sentencing decisions made in Federal Courts.  The model estimated the precise effects of characteristics of the offender, characteristics of the offense and characteristics of the victim and the judge on the sentences judges imposed.  One serendipitous discovery was that characteristics of the judge, particularly where the judge was raised and his/her political orientation, explained more variance in the severity of the sentences judges imposed than the offense itself. This work was published in the Northwestern University Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology.
  • Clancy adapted this methodolgy to marketing when he published a concept engineering technology based on integrating a hybrid conjoint measurement methodology, with financial modeling and simulated test marketing technology, to measure the precise effects of different combinations of product features and prices on product sales and profitability. This model enabled marketers to discover the financially optimal configuration of any product or service.  This body of work demonstrated the non-linear relationship between concept appeal and new product profitability and consistently showed that maximally appealing products are maximally unprofitable.

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Kevin Clancy - Marketing Consultant