When our Chairman, Dr. Linden Brown, studied marketing as a young man, he had to do quantitative research for Coca-Cola. And he found, as you all would suspect, a strong correlation between ad spend and sales. Spend more money on ads, and sales go up. Spend less, and sales go down. Then, his tutor asked him to look at the correlation between temperature and sales. And that is when he learned about the intervening variable. The Belgian cinema group Kinepolis knows intervening variables well; they established a long time ago that rainy summer days bring in more moviegoers. Now we can start to study the correlation between COVID-19 measures and customer behavior.
In this session, Jef Teugels will take you on a trip through the sense and nonsense of customer data. As marketers, you can probably cite various examples of strong correlations that are, well, hilarious.