Evolution Principal, James E. Heasley II, Ph.D., is presenting this week at the 2016 Pharma Market Research Conference . Dr. Heasley’s talk, Reducing Uncertainty through War Gaming, will take place on Thursday, February 4, 2016 at 9:10 am. He will introduce the topic of competitive simulations (War Games), the rationale for their use and discuss how the process has evolved over the past 15 years in an informative and engaging presentation.
The reduction of uncertainty in the marketplace is the single key objective of any marketing research professional. It is, essentially, the value that we bring to the marketing table. Perhaps the most important realization that any of us will have as researchers is that everything about the market cannot be known. In fact, a good many things about even a single product in that market cannot be known. We must live with the fact that we operate in a world of imperfect information.
Compounding this situation is the fact that the digital age has not brought us any greater clarity. Rather, we are awash in a sea of information that has only exponentially added to the uncertainty faced by our customers on a daily basis (and, so far, “big data” has failed to live up to its promise of new, better ways to analyze the market). While there are many tools that we make use of to reduce this seemingly increasing amount of uncertainty, one has proven to be extremely useful in helping both researchers and marketers to contextualize a specific marketplace in such a way that it is possible to cut through the noise, identify the key issues at hand, and develop a structured, forward looking strategy and set of actionable tactics for their brand.
The competitive simulation, or War Gaming, exercise allows us to frame a specific market scenario within a more controlled environment (helping to reduce the “noise” of the market) while at the same time building a model of the existing marketplace for a given set of products. The goal of any war gaming exercise is to create a specific environment where uncertainty can be reduced through the establishment of controlled parameters. While internally bounded, the simulation uses cues from the market in order to retain consistency with external market dynamics. This ensures that the simulation properly models the market in question and outputs findings that lead to actionable recommendations.
This presentation will introduce the topic of competitive simulations (War Games), the rationale for their use and discuss how the process has evolved over the past 15 years.