David Bakken

For most of my professional career I’ve been helping marketers understand why consumers do what they do.  My first experience in market research was at AT&T, where I learned to apply the methods I’d mastered in my doctoral program in experimental and applied social psychology to the messy real world.

I joined AT&T when they were under siege by the upstart “other common carriers”–MCI, Sprint, ITT, and Western Union.  Talk about disruptive innovation!  The OCCs changed the game not by duplicating AT&T but by offering a simpler, cheaper service that met customers’ basic long distance calling needs.  Most customers did not need AT&T’s ubiquitous network; as long as they could call their key family and friends with reasonable sound quality, they were satisfied with the service the OCCs provided for the price they paid.

Perhaps because of this experience, I’ve spent much of my career focused on innovation, new product development, and customer satisfaction.  Most recently, I’ve become interested in applying complexity science to understanding the diffusion of innovations within dynamic competitive markets.

In addition to AT&T, I’ve held positions at Information Resources, Epsilon Data Management, Gordon S. Black Corporation, Stratford Associates, and Harris Interactive, where I was Executive Vice President and Chief Scientist.  I’ve worked in academia, too, as an Assistant Professor of Psychology and as an adjunct professor in the MBA program at Clark University.

For the past decade I’ve spent a lot of time in the realm of statistical modeling of buyer behavior, with a focus on discrete choice models applied to problems like product design and feature optimization, promotion design, and pricing.  I’ve been lucky enough to engage with consumers (as well as market research professionals) in Western Europe and Asia in addition to North America.

Currently, I am Chief Insight Officer of KJT Group.  I earned my bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Michigan, and my Ph.D. in social psychology at Boston University.

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