What do “Module Eight” has in for us?
This module will discuss the role and implications of market research in the marketing process. It will cover the advantages and disadvantages of collecting and analyzing both primary and secondary data. This module will illustrate how all the components of marketing work together, including market research, to increase the chances of product success in the marketplace.
How can you be successful this week?
Simple! Read/watch all the links to the resources (articles, website, videos, etc.) posted for this module. Don’t forget to click on the Module Overview Link and read it. Then complete the following activities:
For each activity you have to complete, make sure that you first review the Rubric that I will use to grade it. In this way, you will be able to hit each requirement, and your road to success will be guaranteed.
This discussion will allow you to put all the learning together. This is the discussion board where you will have to showcase all your new “Marketing Vocabulary.” Don’t forget to discuss market research! This is the topic where every marketing activity starts!
As an additional resource watch the following Video on “Reptilian Marketing” which will provide abundant information on how & why Marketing Research is conducted:
Start by reading and reviewing the articles posted, and then answer the question(s) posted in the Discussion Forum.
For your initial post (1) you must:
Module Eight: Market Research
Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
Module Reading and Resources
Textbook: Marketing: An Introduction, Chapter 4
This chapter provides an introduction to the market research process and the types of market research approaches used by companies.
Access this resource by going to the MyMarketingLab area under the course Table of Contents menu.
Presentation: Marketing Concept Glossary VIII
Module-related marketing concepts and terms are presented. Visit the glossary for a quick review of the key terms from this week. You can also look up words in the glossary found along the left-hand navigation bar.
Video: Market Research
This video is a supplement to the module overview, applying concepts to the pet supply store and new product. This video will also take students through the experience of completing an online survey. Transcript available here.
Assignment Calendar Module Eight
Market research can be a valuable tool for marketers. The variety of resources and options allows even companies with small budgets to conduct research and apply the findings to their marketing strategies. This module introduces the different market research methods and provides insights into what marketers do with those findings. Market research can be broken into two broad categories: primary and secondary research.
Secondary research is the most accessible because it uses information already available in the marketplace. Examples of secondary research include using data from the most recent U.S. Census QuickFacts; reviewing demographic and psychographic information available about the users of a specific social media site, for example, By the Numbers: 90+ Amazing Pinterest Statistics; or using a research report from another company, for example, The 10 Most “Loved” Brands on Social Media. Secondary research has many benefits. It is a very low-cost research option because most information is free or has a very low fee. The second benefit is that it is plentiful. If a marketer wants to know who is using Twitter and what they are using it for, that information is already available. Secondary research, however, has its drawbacks. The three primary issues are the reputation or credibility of the data, the fact that it is not customized to the needs of the marketer, and the time it may take to gather. When a company chooses to use research conducted by another organization, it trusts that organization’s ability to collect the research in an ethical and accurate way. The fact that secondary research is not customized to the company or client can be a challenge; specific information may be difficult to find. Finally, there is a lot of information available, so it can take significant time to assess. The term big data, now common in the industry, refers to the massive amount of information companies have at their fingertips. The sheer volume poses a challenge because marketers must be able to weed through the data and determine what is important and what is not.
The other category of research is primary research, which is when a company designs and executes its own research study. There are many types of primary research methods available. These include surveys (online, over the phone, in person, and through the mail), focus groups, observational research, and interviews. Regardless of the method a company plans to use, all research begins in the same place: the development of a research question or questions. A company must first identify what it hopes to learn and probably have an idea on how it will use the results. Once this is determined, the company chooses the research method.
Surveys can be delivered in many ways. The most common are email, in person, phone, and mail, although social media is becoming a popular distribution route. Surveys are designed to gather a range of information, including demographic information on the participant. Questions are typically multiple-choice, true/false, or yes/no. This quantification enables the data to be extrapolated to a larger market. A challenge for marketers is to ensure that the survey sample (i.e., those taking the survey) is representative of the larger customer population. For example, if a small grocery store wanted to send out a survey to its customers, it would need to ensure the survey reached the person in the household who does the shopping.
Focus groups are a method to collect qualitative data, which is information that cannot be easily quantified. Often focus group findings are used to make decisions that will affect an entire customer base; however, they are mostly used to acquire more in-depth insights regarding a new product, marketing campaign, or issue. For example, if a potato chip company wants to launch a new chip flavor, it may use focus groups for taste tests. Focus group members would try several chip flavors and provide feedback about their experience with each. Once the most popular chip flavor is identified, the company may use additional focus groups to test slogans or ads for the new product. For example, a group may be shown an ad and then asked how it made them feel or whether it would influence their purchase. Companies rarely host only a single focus group on a subject; instead, they host many at different locations to ensure that the qualitative data they collect is representative of the key markets.
In observational research, researchers observe customer behavior in different situations without intruding. This may mean watching traffic patterns at a local mall or counting the number of people who enter a store at specific times. It could also be something more specific such as observing how long it takes from when someone enters an establishment until they make a purchase. Companies use observational data in many ways; however, it is usually to inform very specific decisions. For example, a store may be considering lengthening its hours. Observational data from tracking the amount of foot traffic that is around or in the store at the end of the day, collected over a period of time, could be far more useful than a survey asking people if they would come to the store later. One of the keys to successful observational data is ensuring it is collected over a period of time, at the right time. The same store considering staying open later could be collecting faulty data if the period in which they observed foot traffic was close to the holidays when there are more shoppers everywhere.
Interviews are the final major category of primary research. These are true qualitative surveys and differ from focus groups because an interview is usually a one-on-one situation. Interviews are commonly used in the business-to-business (B2B) market when companies seek more information about their customers. For example, many large companies use preferred vendors for their purchases, and it can be difficult to compete. Vendors may ask to interview the person in charge of this process to understand better what the company wants in a vendor so that they can better position their own company to win a bid. Interviews are time-consuming, and collecting and analyzing the results can be tedious; however, it is an effective way to gather key qualitative data, especially from senior executives who are unlikely to participate in a traditional focus group.
Once a company has completed its research, the analysis phase begins, in which information is collected and reviewed. Companies look for trends and outliers (i.e., responses that are completely out of alignment with the majority). The analysis produces recommendations, and often those go through further research. When companies use market research as part of their marketing strategy, they increase the likelihood of developing and launching products and services that fit the wants and needs of the target market.
The video Market Research demonstrates how a research plan develops and provides an opportunity to complete an online survey.
Now, take a minute to review this week’s glossary.
Complete the assignment as follows:
8-2 Discussion: Making Connections
As you look back on the course, consider how marketing affects your daily life and how your understanding of marketing has changed. To illustrate some of the marketing components that you have learned, identify a specific product that could benefit from a new marketing strategy. Describe this product and explain how you could use the information from this course to recommend changes. Make sure to include what research strategies you would recommend the company use to inform the new strategies.
In response to your classmates, discuss the new marketing strategy they are proposing.
For more information, view the following documents:
For your response posts (2), you must do the following:
classmates Post #1:
Since taking this class I am very aware of the marketing efforts around me. Now when I go grocery shopping I am making mental notes about packaging, signage, and product messaging. I really didn’t realize the amount of work that goes into marketing. I really loved the product we were given to launch. As I mentioned previously, I have two dogs, Molly & Cara, so the pet food really hit home with me. There are so many components to launching a new product, from the target demographic to the marketing strategies. It was a fantastic learning experience.
A product that I think could benefit from a new marketing strategy is Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent. Growing up I associated Arm & Hammer with that orange box of baking soda that was in the refrigerator to absorb all the smells of the food. As an adult I never really gave that product a second glance. I thought it was old and outdated. Even though I was a loyal Tide user, which is also a product that has been around a long time.
When my brother in law broke his ankle about two years ago, I was helping him around the house, grocery shopping, and doing his laundry. When I went to put a load of laundry in the washer, all he had was Arm & Hammer laundry detergent. I thought he had bought it because it was cheaper that the good brands like “Tide”, (my brother in law is very frugal). Well needless to say I was very surprised. The smell of the dried clothes was amazing. I love when you take clothes out of the dryer and they smell great, and it lasts for a long time. I had been trying to achieve that by using Tide, and then Downey softener for years.
So, I am now a loyal Arm & Hammer “Clean Burst” customer!
I think that Arm & Hammer needs to update their message. I think most people associate them with that baking powder. They need to introduce their product to a new generation.
One way to do that is to give the consumer an incentive to try the laundry detergent. Coupons I believe would be very effective. Laundry detergent is expensive, but if you have a $1.00 off coupon it would help to persuade the consumer to try it. Also samples, would be a really good way for consumers to try the product. A small sample that would be delivered with the Sunday paper would be an effective strategy.
As far as research, Arm & Hammer needs to pin point the public perception of their company. I think online surveys would really be effective. Specific questions that would get to the bottom of the problem. Like I said earlier, they need to connect with another generation and what is important to them in a laundry detergent. For me it was that wonderful scent!
classmates Post #2:
Reflecting back on the marketing experience I have gained throughout this course, I now think of products and their marketing in a whole new light. Before taking this class, I did not pay much attention to the way a product was marketed, and I solely based my purchase choices on items that jumped out at me. After taking this course, however, I now carefully consider products before making a purchase, and take into deep consideration things such as: price, packaging, slogan/branding, and much more.
One product I believe could benefit from a new marketing strategy is the cereal brand Raisin Bran. Raisin Bran is a relatively older cereal, and does not receive the credit it truly deserves in the marketing world. Even though Raisin Bran is more nutritious than most cereals and not to mention delicious, there are rarely ever any ads or marketing strategies to promote this cereal. In order to make changes to this product to help it become more successful, I would first create multiple focus groups to get going in the right direction. These focus groups would include people who participate in a qualitative research study in which they partake in taste testing and product reviews. I would also focus very heavily on creating new advertisement campaigns and rebranding the image of the cereal to make it fresh and exciting.
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