Ex Post Facto Evaluation

If there is any measurement of the value of research, it is usually an after-the-fact event. Twedt reported on one such effort, an evaluation of marketing research done at a major corporation. He secured “an objective estimate of the contribution of each project to corporate profitability.” He reported that most studies were intended to help management determine which one of two (or more) alternatives was preferable. He guessed that in 60 percent of the decision situations, the correct decision would have been make without the benefit of the research information. In the remaining 40 percent of the cases, the research led to the correct decision. Using these data, he estimated that the return on investment in marketing research in this company was 351 percent for the year studied. However, he acknowledges the return on investment figure was inflated because only the direct research costs had been included.

This effort at cost-benefit analysis is commendable even though the results come too late to guide current research decision. Such analysis may sharpen the………….