Dr. Sheth Interview about this Book
In a recent interview with Marketing Classics Press, Dr. Jagdish Sheth discussed his groundbreaking text, Multivariate Methods for Marketing and Survey Research. The book, which describes the classification, application, and various methods of multivariate analysis in marketing, has had a tremendous influence on the discipline since it was first published in 1977. Dr. Sheth shared with us thought-provoking insights on the work, including its origin, impact, and future potential.
What influenced you to write this book?
“There was a huge interest in multivariate techniques, enough that we could organize a conference around this new phenomenon. We had the first major conference on multivariate statistics and all of the giants in the field, who were emerging, such as Paul Green, came there and made presentations on techniques such as clustering methods, multidimensional scaling, conjoint analysis, and discriminant analysis…The whole book, the conference, and the discipline totally shifted the area of interest in marketing from operations research techniques to multivariate techniques.”
What challenges did you face along the way?
“AMA (the American Marketing Association) had agreed to publish the proceedings from this conference, but here is the challenge: it was such an esoteric work that people did not see the demand…I ended up funding it myself. I said I’d take the risk and publish it myself if AMA would handle the distribution. And the book did very well. We sold all the copies. But it took a very long time in between when we had the conference in 1972 to when it was actually published.”
How is the book important today?
“It needs to be rediscovered now. These techniques are again very popular. From all these techniques, the discipline shifted to much more biological techniques, like pupil dilation, galvanic skin pressure and heart rate. Many techniques have plateaued because now we are going into brain research, but many are still popular, like conjoint analysis, modeling, and multidimensional scaling.”