Broadcast 434 (Special Edition)

25 Dec 2005 Dr. Geoffrey Crouch
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Dr. Geoffrey Crouch was the guest for this special Space Show program originally aired on Dec. 21 and replayed for Christmas, Dec. 25, 2005. Dr. Crouch has undertaken innovative and state of the art market research for suborbital and orbital tourism using Discrete Choice Modeling. During the first part of the interview, we talked about market research in general, how its done, its importance, how to properly use it, how to draw the right conclusion from the data, and best uses for focus groups, individual interviews, and even the newer online interviews and surveys. Without be highly specific, we discussed some of the earlier space tourism marketing studies and we discussed how to work and make decisions with less complete data and how to use older data to help support and work with newer data and more innovative market research techniques. We also addressed a favorite question raised in the business world regarding market studies and that is why pay attention to them, put the money and resources into the study when that same money, energy, and time could be invested into the business and that would yield real data, rather than study data. You will certainly want to hear how Dr. Crouch responded to this question. In response to a listener question, we addressed the possibility of a commercial market research firm skewing the results to support the interests or agenda of the client. In discussing his specific orbital and suborbital marketing research, he explained its basis in Discrete Choice Modeling and took us through several model examples so we would understand how it works. We also talked about some of the preliminary findings of his research and he then showed us as its possible for the preliminary findings to actually change and infer a different outcome from the research using the choice modeling.One such example was the finding that shows people most likely prefer a vertical takeoff experience to a horizontal experience. Another is the finding that shows that the wealthier and more educated a person is, the more likely this person will not be satisfied with a suborbital flight and might very well decide to delay his/her space experience until an orbital flight can be made. The less education a person has, the more likely the suborbital flight will be selected but less education can infer less disposable income so a smaller market available for suborbital space tourism flights. Dr. Crouch cautioned us that when choice modeling is applied to this line of research questioning, its possible that other outcomes will exist and the conclusions would be different from what seems obvious in the preliminary findings. Most of Dr. Crouch's published papers and presentations regarding his latest space tourism market research can be found on his website at http://www.latrobe.edu.au/business/profiles/crouch.htm. In addition, he has sent me a few of his latest papers which I can forward to you upon request. I urge you to pay attention to his research, his preliminary conclusions, and to how he conducts state of the art market research for all aspects of space tourism. You can contact Dr. Crouch through his website or through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com. The Space Show hopes to have Dr. Crouch return when he has finalized his conclusions using his choice modeling method.

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