The Suarez Applied Marketing Research Laboratories, part of The University of Akron College of Business Administration, was established in 2008 with a major gift from Benjamin and Nancy Suarez. The Laboratories were created to develop new and improved techniques for marketing research and provide UA students with an opportunity to work on challenging marketing research problems. Students work in the labs work in cross-functional teams, on research projects and on research and development projects.
The mission of the labs is to develop marketing science applications that provide real-world advantages to businesses and to offer applied research to UA students and faculty. The Suarez Labs’ research and development team is currently working to develop and quantify the potential of neuromarketing and biometric research and analytics techniques in advertising pre-testing, brand development, new product concept testing, multimedia communications, and pricing and promotions. The lab team is also engaged in digital micro-trend forecasting and analytics automation/neural computing initiatives.
Currently, the lab is focused on research and development in four areas:
- Neuromarketing and Biometric Research with a specific focus on ad testing, new product concept evaluation and branding.
- Usability and Customer Experience (UX) research for product design evaluation, websites, software and digital communications.
- Online Marketing Research Methods using conjoint and discrete choice designs.
- Trend Spotting using purchase data, social media analysis and other online usage data.
In addition to our R&D focus, Suarez Labs engages in marketing research studies for regional and national businesses, and supports UA faculty research that provide hands-on student learning experiences and forwards regional economic development.
The Suarez Laboratories’ mission is to blend marketing intelligence with marketing research to provide real-world opportunities and advantages to businesses, and to UA students and faculty seeking to perform applied research.
The Laboratories support both business marketing undergraduate and graduate course offerings, as well as student and faculty research activities by providing faculty and students with the research capabilities for conducting studies pertinent to the theory and practice of marketing and business, and creating an experiential learning environment where students and faculty can acquire and hone the skills and competencies needed for conducting theoretical and applied research.
The one-of-a-kind marketing research, teaching and experiential learning facility features three laboratories and a large classroom to provide students and faculty members the tools to convert knowledge into useful intelligence for the business community:
A Cognitive Research Laboratory (580A) with contemporary psychological and cognitive research techniques, such as eye tracking, and brainwave and physiological analyses, that allows researchers to comprehensively understand the respondents’ real time feelings, impressions, and emotions toward marketing messages and products.
A Marketing Intelligence Laboratory (580B) with eight workstations and two teamwork areas, where students and faculty members can develop comprehensive marketing reports on consumer, competitor, industry, business environment and socio-economic market intelligence. This laboratory also will be available to area businesses to conduct market analysis and product development.
The Suarez in the Square Classroom (580E), an innovative, dynamically designed class space built in an amphitheater format that can be used for both student instruction and professional training seminars.
An Experimental Research Laboratory (580F) consisting of 12 networked respondent stations, where students and businesses can use techniques such as facial coding software to test the effectiveness of print advertisements, Web sites, television commercials, video presentations, and then survey/interview the respondents as to their opinions, preferences, and motivations.
In addition to the above four laboratories, the Suarez Applied Marketing Research Laboratories also has a Director’s Office (580C) and a Reception Area (580D) that can be used by students, faculty, respondents, and businesses during the research endeavors. Coupled with the focus group suite and the e-Usability laboratory in the adjoining Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing, students and faculty are provided with a truly comprehensive set of resources to learn and apply marketing research and analytics. It also provides, in one central location, businesses with all the tools needed for advanced applied marketing research, marketing intelligence, and marketing analytics.
The Benjamin and Nancy Suarez Applied Marketing Research Laboratories are a one of a kind suite of experiential marketing research laboratories in the Department of Marketing at The University of Akron dedicated to:
- Providing students with an experiential learning environment where they not only learn the latest marketing research techniques, but learn how to convert the findings into actionable intelligence.
- Offering an environment where new marketing research and analytics techniques will be developed, tested and verified.
- Enabling students and professors, across a broad spectrum of disciplines, to collaborate on and complete a wide range of applied research endeavors.
- Serving the local and national business communities by providing a facility with state-of-the-art tools in which businesses can successfully complete applied marketing research endeavors.
The lab supports academic research with a variety or research environments, including two Neuromarketing Labs with dense-array EEG systems with integrated eye tracking and biometric measurement, and a Usability Lab with eye tracking, desktop monitoring, observation room and comprehensive video recording. If you are interested in use of the Lab for an academic research project, please contact Dr. Terry Daugherty, Academic Director, at TD23@uakron.edu
Conferences and Speakers
The Suarez Labs hosts a biannual neuromarketing conference that brings together thought leaders and researchers who are focused on advancing neuromarketing methods. In addition, Suarez Labs brings speakers and special programs about marketing research, business intelligence and consumer behavior forecasting to The University of Akron. All Suarez Labs programs are open to students, faculty and marketing professionals. If you are interested in receiving information about upcoming Suarez Labs events or speaking at UA, please contact Kathleen Kennedy, Research Labs Director, 330-972-1388 or email to K.Kennedy@uakron.edu
Sponsored Research Projects
The lab team takes on several sponsored research projects each year. Sponsored research projects are commissioned by business and non-profit organizations and are directed studies designed to answer key business questions. The projects selected by the lab are evaluated based upon the following criteria:
- The study offers a quality educational opportunity for the students employed by the lab.
- The study can employ some of the marketing research techniques developed by the Labs.
- The project has to potential to support business development and job growth in Ohio.
If you are interested in discussing a sponsored research project, please contact Kathleen Kennedy, Research Labs Director, 330-972-1388 or email to K.Kennedy@uakron.edu
Each year we award a number of graduate students attending UA a project assistantship. Selected students work 20 hours per week for either a semester or the academic year on their project assignment. Students generally work on a research project for either a faculty member on campus or for a company. If you are interested in applying for a Graduate Assistantship, please email Kathleen Kennedy, Research Labs Director at K.Kennedy@uakron.edu.