We will look at the Marketing Insight Center itself and describe in some detail its structure and contents, and how the user interacts with this system. The structure of the semantic network of marketing insights is described first, followed by the way reports are filed in the system and some graphical representations of the semantic network in the Analyst's graphic browser. A description of the automatic generation of the underlying marketing semantic network concludes this section. This section makes use of a semantic network of the light duty detergent (LDD) product category that was developed by the authors. The insights stored in the system are hypothetical in nature and do not reflect actual conditions facing any of the brands in the product category.
The Marketing Insight System can be thought of as having of a number of layers. The top layer is an Insight Center called LDD-MARKET that contains folders. Figure 1 is a screen capture showing the Insight Center with its list of folders. The various folders at this level represent high-level abstractions of marketing concepts. Notice there are folders called "Items", "Category Attributes", "Brands", "Categories", "Markets", etc. These correspond to classes. The contents of each folder will either be further class folders or instances of a class folder.
To begin exploring the structure of the LDD-MARKET Insight Center, click the mouse pointer on the name tag at the top of the window and the browsing menus appear. The contents of each of the folders in the center and the links of each item in the system appear. Figure 2 shows the "Items" folder being opened. The pop-up browsing menu contains a list of folders that represent individual items, identified by their item number. There are one hundred items in this folder and all of them are items of the light-duty detergent product category. If the user selects an item number, for instance 87445, then another pop-up menu appears showing the contents of that folder, as shown in Figure 3. These pop-up menus were generated by the Analyst based upon the semantic network.
The contents of the folder for item 87445 reveal insights about that item. For instance, we learn that 87445 is a private label. This bit of insight is represented by a link called "isBrand" that links the folder labeled "87445" to the folder "Private Label". We also learn that 87445 is 32 ounces and is color 02 (numbers are used to designate colors in the data base). This item competes in the price segment, i.e. it competes against other light-duty liquid detergents on the basis of low price. Finally, it is carried in retailer chain 281.