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How to Establish a Marketing Research Project

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  • 0:05 Role-Based Marketing Research
  • 2:16 Improving Quality of…
  • 2:54 Tracing Problems
  • 3:36 Keeping Current…
  • 4:40 Update on Current Market
  • 5:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jennifer Lombardo
Most consumers don't realize how much behind-the-scenes research and analysis goes into the marketing of a product. With millions of dollars at stake, marketers must use information available to formulate a key marketing plan, decision or change in strategy.

Role-Based Marketing Research

Detective Sam Lombardo recently was promoted due to his excellent research for area marketing companies. He is now in high demand to coach companies on the marketing research processes. Whack-a-Wing is a large fast food restaurant that lacks an internal research department. Detective Lombardo has been hired to train the research team on the role of marketing research. His seminar starts off with the basic terms.

Marketing research is the process of planning, collecting and analyzing data relevant to a marketing decision. Each year over seven billion dollars is spent by companies in conducting marketing research.

Companies must decide how to establish a marketing research project based on the role. The research has different roles such as descriptive, diagnostic and predictive. A descriptive role of research is when factual statements are collected. An example would be Whack-a-Wing's first assignment from Lombardo: go collect all the sales data that is available from the last five years.

A diagnostic role would be concerned about explaining the data. An example of a diagnostic research role would be if Whack-a-Wing needed to figure out whether new packaging affected overall sales in 2009. The last role of research would be predictive. Here, the purpose would be to address 'what if' scenarios, such as if Whack-a-Wing drops prices on their menu, will it increase overall profits?

Why Management Uses Marketing Research

Detective Lombardo has brought Whack-a-Wing's marketing team together to diagram the importance of how to establish a marketing research project. He wants them to understand the reasons why research can be used and then the corporate steps that have to be taken to conduct a project. In the past, Whack-a-Wing has made some poor marketing and sales decisions resulting in their competitor taking profits from them every single year.

Improving Quality of Decision-Making

Consumer testing allows companies to present prototype ideas to consumers and gather feedback
Consumer Testing

Lombardo's first lesson is to make the team realize that marketing research will lead to quality decision-making. This occurs because marketing research provides customer feedback. Whack-a-Wing would like to extend their offerings to turkey and stuffing meals in a box. Lombardo suggested that the company run consumer testing on the prototype ideas to current customers. Whack-a-Wing could then evaluate consumer's attitudes and opinions on the new turkey product line. The marketing team was even able to test packaging ideas to make the turkey box look like Thanksgiving meal all year round.

Tracing Problems

Another key reason as to why companies should establish a marketing research project would be to trace problems that are occurring with their products or services. Whack-a-Wing has had numerous sales issues with their kid's wing meals. Detective Lombardo explained to the team that a marketing research investigation would uncover why the kid's meals were failing.

Whack-a-Wing created an in-store survey and an internet survey for families. The results showed that the kid's meals only offered fries as a side, and most parents wanted to serve their kids a side of stuffing or applesauce. This was easily rectified, and the kid's meals problem was solved!

Keeping Current Customers Happy

Focus groups can be used to gather feedback from current customers to keep them satisfied
Current Customers

Detective Lombardo also suggested that a good reason to establish a marketing research project would be to make sure Whack-a-Wing is keeping its current customer base satisfied. Without continued research and feedback, they could lose their customers to the competition very quickly. A marketing research focus group and survey was conducted, asking customers of Whack-a-Wing to use an enclosed $100 gift card to eat there a few times a month and answer a series of questions. The marketing research was able to uncover some interesting facts about their customers.

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