Trone Research and Consulting

Informing decisions though custom market research.

Trone Research + Consulting is experienced in custom brand analysis, customer insights and market potential research. Everything from the type of analysis performed to how a questionnaire is structured is completely dependent on your business needs and what you’re looking to achieve.


Brand Health Audit

Brand Health Audit

Before either charging ahead or making a left turn, it’s essential to understand a brand’s current health condition. How do customers view it? What is the competition doing better? Where are the opportunities to improve? Our multifaceted brand health audit can provide greater understanding into new product introductions or line extensions, developing marketing plans and creative campaigns, pricing and overall investment strategies.

Key Brand Health Audit Segments:

  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Voice of Customer
  • Category Needs Assessment
  • Digital Audit
  • Social Audit
  • Media Audit
  • Competitive Audit
  • Message Audit
Prospect & Customer Optimization

Prospect & Customer Optimization

How can businesses convert prospects into buyers? Understanding the customer experience is essential to build brand share and achieve superiority across the competitive landscape. TRC’s intelligently designed research tactics help clients understand the physical makeup of prospects as well as existing customers to ensure messaging is targeted, relevant and motivating.

Customer Optimization Strategies:

  • Predictive Modeling
  • Customer/Prospect Segmentation
  • Customer/Prospect Profiling
  • Brand/Category Strategy
  • Transactional Analysis
  • Message Testing
Marketing Claims Validation

Marketing Claims Validation

When seeking a distinctive marketing claim for your packaging, website or collateral, validation of the claim is critical to protect your assets and your business. An upfront investment to ensure the claim is legally sound can help protect you from lost legal battles, embarrassment and costly reproduction of materials. TRC works collaboratively with your legal and regulatory team to uphold claims under the scrutiny of competitors or administrative boards.

Market Potential Evaluation

Market Potential Evaluation

Any company considering launching a new product must first determine if there’s room and interest in the market. An attractive market opportunity is one that has significant value potential and relatively few challenges in capturing that value. To evaluate the potential of any market opportunity, TRC examines six key areas.

  • Is there an unmet need?

  • How will you fulfill this need?

  • What is the size of the market?

  • Are there future growth opportunities?

  • How will you price your product/service?

  • Will your product/service be superior to others?

Methods of Determining Market Potential:

  • Product Concept Testing
  • Customer/Prospect Profiling
  • Category Needs Assessment
  • Market Sizing Analysis
  • Price Sensitivity Testing


Propelligence® is a proprietary service, in collaboration with Scullion Strategy Group, that helps businesses in the animal health and life science industries assess a product’s market potential prior to investment.

Channel Needs Assessment

Channel Needs Assessment

When considering distribution channels, businesses should always take into account how buyers want to receive their products. Would they prefer to buy online, order from direct sales reps or browse in a store? Would it be more profitable to sell directly or through a marketing intermediary? TRC will meticulously examine your distribution channel options, incorporating potential sales market data and factoring in the price per product as well as the cost of distribution by service provider type.

Channel Assessment Areas:

  • Industry Insight Research
  • Competitive Insight
  • Market and Communication
  • Service Providers, Distributors, Retailers/Ecommerce
Attrition Evaluation & Retention Optimization

Attrition Evaluation & Retention Optimization

Analytics help brands understand many of the purchase behaviors, cycles and other key drivers that impact retention. Identifying where and why customers drop out of the purchase funnel and which customers offer the highest value are both essential to developing a sound retention strategy. By researching purchase frequency metrics, TRC can help you focus tactics on high-value customers who require less effort and yield higher profits.

Primary Attrition & Retention Considerations:

  • Customer Loss Triggers
  • Early Intervention Strategies


Qualitative Research

Qualitative studies are an exploratory into an audience’s perceptions and motivations. How do they feel about your company? Why do they choose one product over another? The discovery process for qualitative research generally includes a deep dive into attitudinal and behavioral patterns using focus groups or in-depth one-on-one interviews among business executives or consumers.

Qualitative Tactics:

  • Stakeholder Interviews
  • Customer Interviews
  • KOL (Key Opinion Leader) Interviews
  • Online Bulletin Boards
  • Online Focus Groups
  • In-Person Focus Groups

Quantitative Research

Quantitative studies are all about the numbers. They’re used to quantify a business hypothesis by accumulating statistically sound numerical data. Quantitative methods ask a series of measurable questions to uncover patterns and calculate the attitudes and behaviors of a specific population. Quantitative data is often collected through online, mobile or kiosk surveys.

Quantitative Tactics:

  • Online Surveys
  • Website Intercept Surveys
  • Google Analytics
  • Benchmarking & Longitudinal Research


TRC is committed to addressing business questions with precision and certainty. Each research project that we design is grounded in the application of advanced data analysis methods and techniques. Incorporating multivariate techniques in the design yields better confidence in your recommendations and decisions.

Advanced Methods

Data Reduction Techniques

  • Cluster Analysis
  • Factor Analysis
  • Textual Analysis
  • Conjoint Analysis

Predictive Modeling

  • Revenue
  • Response
  • Customer
  • Retention

Customer Experience

  • NPS
  • Satisfaction
  • Loyalty

Statistical Packages


Advanced Research Designs

Multidimensional Analysis Framework

TRC assesses your business situation from multiple angles, using advanced analytic techniques such as multivariate analysis and data modeling to reveal optimization opportunities.

Segmentation (Phased Approach)

TRC employs data reduction techniques, such as factor and cluster analysis, to identify and size the most meaningful segments of your audience. We’ll help you implement segmentation solutions and develop operational efficiencies to boost customer engagement.

Survey Panels

Opinions At Trone is a group of organically grown proprietary online research panels that provide our clients access to pre-qualified and willing respondents who participate in surveys on an as-needed basis. Our in-house panels are a quick and efficient way to get answers to key questions at a fraction of the cost of other research methods. These panels are geographically representative and consistent with the U.S. Census. In order to confirm the unbiased nature of the panel respondents, supplemental lists are occasionally included. Analysis between panel and supplemental list respondents consistently confirms the validity of the data. We also pull secondary data to support findings as needed and available. 

Our consumer panel consists of 20,000 households. We have a pet owner panel that is 12,000 households identified as having companion pets. Finally, we manage a specialized panel consisting of approximately 5,000 veterinarians.


Doug Barton, President & CEO

Doug Barton

President & CEO

Doug is a career research, analytics and brand marketing executive with more than 35 years of experience working with Top 50 market research firms, Fortune 500 companies and marketing firms on client and supplier side.

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He is a leader and advisor with a proven track record of solving business challenges for start-ups as well as small to large businesses across the world. Doug’s industry experience spans across hospitality, telecom, CPG, financial services, insurance, textile and apparel, turf and ornamental, animal health and retail.

Kimberly Ness

Kimberly Ness

SVP, Insights & Marketing

With 25+ years of experience across research, branding and marketing, Kimberly has the unique ability to transform complicated data into a simple strategic plan that achieves results.

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She has led marketing efforts for global and national brands and has a specialty in animal health, working with brands like Zoetis, Boeringer Ingelheim and Mars Petcare. She is known as an industry thought leader and has been a featured speaker at Global Pet Expo, AAHA, CBI, Brakke Consulting and Fetch, a dvm360 conference.

Tom Minsel

Tom Minsel

PhD, Head of Research & Data Science

Tom is our PhD Statistician and master data miner with 25+ years in direct marketing, customer targeting, modeling and research design.

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His areas of expertise include statistics, applied and theoretical measurement, psychological research, survey research, summative and formative evaluation, SAS, sampling, trend analysis and generally all things analytics. Tom oversees more than 65 comprehensive studies each year to help clients better understand their customers.