Question 1: Short Theory Questions Define marketing research. Summarize the nature of threats and opportunities that...

Question 1: Short Theory Questions

  1. Define marketing research. Summarize the nature of threats and opportunities that the Internet offers the marketing researcher.
  2. What decisions are made by marketing managers? How does marketing research help in supporting these decisions?
  3. What problems are associated with using consumer databases in marketing research?
  4. Explain one way to classify marketing research suppliers and services. Give example of research supplier from Oman or GCC countries.
  5. What are syndicated services? You can relate answer with research supplier too.
  6. Describe the steps in the simple linear marketing research process.
  7. Explain why there may be the need for iterations between stages of the marketing research process.
  8. What arguments can be used by skeptics of marketing research?
  9. What arguments would you use to defend investment in marketing research?
  10. What factors fuel the growth of international marketing research?

Homework Answers

Answer #1

1) Marketing Research is systematic problem analysis, model building and fact finding for the purpose of important decision making and control in the marketing of goods and services.

Marketing Research is a well-planned, systematic process which implies that it needs planning at all the stages. It uses scientific method. It is an objective process as it attempts to provide accurate authentic information. Marketing Research is sometimes defined as the application of scientific method in the solution of marketing problems.

Marketing Research plays a very significant role in identifying the needs of customers and meeting them in best possible way. The main task of Marketing Research is systematic gathering and analysis of information.

The convenience and easy accessibility of the Internet has created a global B2C e-commerce research facility, for a vast online shopping network that has motivated retail markets in developed countries. In 2010 between US$400 billion and $600 billion in revenue was generated by this medium. It was anticipated that in 2015 this online market will generate between $700 billion and $950 billion.

Beyond online web-based market research activities, the Internet has also influenced high-street modes of data collection by, for example, replacing the traditional paper clipboard with online survey providers. Over the last 5 years, mobile surveys have become increasingly popular. Mobile has opened the door to innovative new methods of engaging respondents, such as social voting communities. The UK Market Research Society (MRS) reports research has shown that on average, the four social media platforms primarily used by Millennials are LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTubeand Instagram. Social Media applications, according to T-Systems, help generate the B2B E-commerce market and develop electronic business process efficiency. This application is a highly effective vehicle for market research, which combined with E-commerce, is now regarded as a separate, extremely profitable field of global business. While many B2B business models are being updated, the various advantages and benefits offered by Social Media platforms are being integrated within them. 2).   Marketing managers make strategic and tactical decisions in the process of identifying and satisfying customer needs. They make decisions about potential opportunities, target marketselection, market segmentation, planning and implementing marketingprograms, marketing performance, and control.

Marketing decisions may be of many types as follows:

Major decisions

Major decisions are those decisions which affect the quality of the product or the product line of the business enterprise. The successful marketing manager must have to take these decisions very cautiously because they have direct impact on the marketing objectives of the enterprise.

Minor Decisions

The decisions which are made for the implementation of major decisions are called minor or supplementary decisions. If a new product or service has to be develop, its form, color, design, packaging, etc. have to be determined only after the major decision regarding the development of a new product has been taken.

Routine Decisions

The routine decision making is the process in which decision maker makes decisions on daily basis on the purchase of day to day materials, sale at the sale counters, etc.

Marketing research is a crucial part of marketing system; it helps to refine ideas in decisions making of management by giving accurate, appropriate, and timely information. Every decision requires unique needs for information, and appropriate strategies can be evolved based on the information collected through marketing research. Too often, marketing research is considered briefly as the collecting, analysing and interpreting of data and information for someone else to use. Creative use of market information helps firms to attain and maintain a competitive advantage. Hence, marketing research is defined as input information to decision making, not simply the analysis of decisions which you took. Market research alone will not guarantee success; the clever use of market research is the key to business success. A competitive edge of the firm relies on how information is used by you than others don’t have or if doesn’t use the information. Marketing decisions contains problem that range from fundamental move in the positioning of a business or the decision to penetrate a new market to list tactical questions of how best to load a grocery shelf.

Situation analysis, strategy development, marketing program development, and implementation are the four stages which helps decision making in market planning process. During each stage, marketing research gives a major present for clarifying and diagnosing issues and then selecting among decision alternatives. 3)Customer privacy in database marketing pertains to the customer’s ability
to control the collection, usage, and anonymity of his or her data. The basic
premise of database marketing is exchange: companies collect and analyze
customer data, and in return provide customers with more appropriate prod-
ucts, services, and offers. However, this premise is muddled when customers
become concerned about privacy. Data security: Customers fear that computer hackers can gain access to their data. High-profile cases of “identity theft” fuel this fear. In one in- stance, ChoicePoint, a collector and seller of customer-level data available in the public domain, revealed that an identity-theft ring gained access to 145,000 records in its database (Perez 2005). The data included names, addresses, and social security numbers. Another well-known data com- pany, Lexis-Nexis, revealed that criminals gained access to social security numbers, driver’s license information, and addresses of 310,000 individu- als (Timmons and Zeller Jr. 2005). These cases suggest to consumers that even if the companies collecting the data are well-meaning, these compa- nies cannot protect the privacy of their data.
Data security also pertains to access by persons within the organiza- tion. For example, a patient might be comfortable with a physician seeing his or her medical history, but not a medical student or a departmental administrator.
• Secretive data collection (George 2002): Customers suspect that companies collect data from them without their knowledge. The most conspicuous example is the use of cookies, a few lines of computer code inserted by an Internet website into the customer’s computer that can then be used to track the customer over time (Turner and Dasgupta 2003). Cookies are usually inserted without the customer’s permission. It is not the tracking per se that bothers customers, but the surreptitious nature of the data collection.
• Junk mail and spam (George 2002): Some customers fear that data col- lection leads to unwanted junk mail and emails. Good predictive models   should address this concern, as companies use these models only to target customers who will respond. But the best predictive models might boost a 1% response rate up to a 5–7% response rate. That can mean huge profits for the database marketers (Chapter 10), but the 93% who do not respond might view the solicitations as an invasion of privacy.
• Third-party access (Smith et al’s 1996; Turner and Dasgupta 2003; George 2002): Customers realize that the company with whom they do business may sell the data it collects to unknown third parties euphemistically called “partners.” Customers may not mind the company that collects the data using it, but want to control who else gets to use the data.
• None of your business (Smith et al’s 1996; George 2002; Winer 2001): The customer may simply feel that it is none of the company’s business to know what types of books, movies, electronic equipment, etc., that the customer prefers, or what areas of the country (or what countries) the customer calls on the telephone. These customers view their relationship with the company as purely transactional, and resent being classified as “mystery book readers” or “international callers”.
• Feelings of violation (Winer 2001): Winer (2001) states this as, “How do they know that about me?” For example, a direct marketer may use a compiled database (Chapter 8) to learn that a customer reads Newsweek and recently purchased a high definition television. Even if the customer knows data are being collected and databases are being merged, when the company reveals what it knows to the customer, the overall data collection effort seems more invasive.
• Inequitable exchange (Fletcher 2003): While the premise of database mar- keting is for the customer to sacrifice some privacy in exchange for better service, prices, product, etc., some customers may not view this as an eq- uitable exchange. Either they don’t see the benefits of better targeting, or they view the costs of sacrificing privacy as too high. Either way, they view the database marketing exchange equation as an inequality, not favorably in their direction.
• Fear of Errors (Smith et al’s 1996): Customers may fear that the data collected on them may include errors. The errors could occur through computer “glitches” or human mistakes. The end result is that the com- pany may have an incorrect profile of the customer, without either the firm or the customer knowing it.   4)The marketing research providers are classified as internal, external, custom. The internal research providers normally organization units that will reside in the company. Example : Kodak, Procter and gamble, general motor’s all these have the internal marketing’s research departments. The krafts food contains many benefits on keeping marketing research department as internal. Includes benefits such as research methods consistency, sharing of information inside the company, minimal spending in the research and the ability for producing the actionable researching results. All other firms uses the external sources for the marketing research. Most of the companies uses the external research supplier because, suppliers could be objective and subject to the companies politics, regulation than internal supplier. Many of the external suppliers may provide special talents which the internal suppliers cannot provide. So the company will choose the external suppliers on study basis. Marketing research firm can be considered as standard. Whereas the customized research firm will provide specialized high tailored service to client. The firms will follow the common approaches such that results of study which is conducted for one client can be compared for the other clients. Examples : burke market research which will conduct the day after advertising recalls(R.K.Wade (1993). Example:SIMPA Marketing Research is a dynamic regional consultancy specialising in strategic marketing services. It was founded in 1996 in Oman to cultivate a local trademark with regard to the country’s marketing research and information needs. In doing so, SIMPA MR became the Sultanate’s first marketing research agency uniquely positioned to offer a local flavour to market research not only in Oman, but also across the region. 5)A syndicated service is a research study which is conducted and funded by a market research firm but not for any specific client is called a syndicated research. The result of such research is often provided in the form of reports, presentations, raw data etc. 6)

7 Stages or Steps Involved in Marketing Research Process

  • Identification and Defining the Problem: ...
  • Statement of Research Objectives: ...
  • Planning the Research Design or Designing the Research Study: ...
  • Planning the Sample: ...
  • Data Collection: ...
  • Data Processing and Analysis: ...
  • Formulating Conclusion, Preparing and Presenting the Report: 8)
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