Marketers must make the best decisions based on the information presented to them. Rarely will they have all the information necessary to predict what consumers will do with complete certainty. By incorporating uncertainty into the decisions that they make, they can anticipate a wide range of possible outcomes and recognize the extent of uncertainty on the decisions that they make. In Incorporating Uncertainty into Marketing Decisions, learners will become familiar with different methods to recognize sources of uncertainty that may affect the marketing decisions they ultimately make. We eschew specialized software and provide learners with the foundational knowledge they need to develop sophisticated marketing models in a basic spreadsheet environment. Topics include the development and application of Monte Carlo simulations, and the use of probability distributions to characterize uncertainty.

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Using Probability Distributions to Model Uncertainty

In Module 3, we look at the use of probability distributions as a means of characterizing uncertainty. We initially look at how uncertainty is incorporated into a general decision making framework. We then turn our attention to different probability distributions that can be used to model uncertainty, depending on the nature of the data. We examine the application of these probability distributions to assess the likelihood of events using features within Microsoft Excel.