As specialists in medical technology marketing research, The MarkeTech Group is often faced with the challenge that different stakeholders (e.g., physicians, administrators) generally focus on different features. For example, physicians tend toward clinical benefits, administrators may focus on cost, and Biomedical engineers and IT might emphasize maintenance and compatibility with other equipment/systems. Including all the attributes in a full or partial profile CBC design forces respondents with different interests to constantly review features that are not part of their decision set. Traditional CBC with irrelevant attributes to some respondents can result in unstable and inaccurate utility estimates. With ACBC we can tailor the attribute set to match respondents' decision process and retain the advantage of keeping them all in one study for preference simulations afterward. Respondents are able to focus only on the features that drive their selection process by pre-selecting those attributes that are most important to their decision process. The program adapts to individual choice and creates product sets that are of high interest to respondents.
To date the MarkeTech Group (TMTG) has completed five studies using ACBC in eight different countries including China and Brazil (four languages plus English). Although ACBC is more difficult to program and survey lengths are longer, we are confident that ACBC achieves a higher degree of accuracy because respondents feel highly engaged with questions that are more realistic and relevant to them. We have feedback from respondents indicating how much they appreciate the "learning" that takes place and are impressed that it ".. knows what I do and don't want."
TMTG's clients eagerly embrace ACBC and while a few view conjoint as a black box they love the BYO exercise and summed pricing in ACBC because it mimics real-world processes and has a "real" feel to it. Loading the utilities from ACBC into TMTG's online preference simulator makes it easy for clients to perform multiple "what if" scenarios and fully appreciate the value of looking at preferences across stakeholders and feature sets.
ACBC is truly a big step towards improving the conjoint experience from everyone's perspective. Respondents are more engaged, clients begin to understand and embrace it, and researchers obtain reliable and stable utility estimates so it is possible to provide clients with better advice and direction about product configurations.
Craig V. King, Ph.D.
The MarkeTech Group, LLC