Topic 3 - Marketing Information And Research

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This article is a topic within the subject Marketing Fundamentals.

Contents

Required Reading

Armstrong G., Adam S., Denize, S. and Kotler P.(2012) Principles of Marketing, 5th Edition, Sydney, Pearson/Prentice Hall., pp. 108-137.

The Marketing Information System

[1] “The customer gives the organisation 2 gifts: money & information” [2]. In order to deliver superior value & satisfaction organisations need marketing information. Information provides marketers with an understanding of the marketing environment (insights), customer needs, and inputs to develop & implement strategic planning & to remain informed about competition. Information is obtained via a firm’s MIS & the marketing environment.

A Marketing Information System consists of people & procedures for assessing information needs, developing the needed information, & helping decision makers to use the information to generate & validate actionable customer & market insights. A well designed MIS reduces uncertainty or error in the decision making process.

  1. Begins with the information users – marketing managers, internal/external partners to Assess Information Needs
  2. Interacts with the marketing environment to Develop Needed Information via internal databases, marketing intelligence & marketing research
  3. Analyse & Use the Information to develop customer insights & r/ships, good marketing decisions

MARK101231.jpg

Assessing Information Needs

[3] The information that is required depends on what types of decisions the manager makes. Costs of info vs. Benefits gained use.

Developing Information Needs

[4]

  • Internal Database
    • Electronic collections of consumer & market information obtained from data sources within the company network
    • Managers can readily access (cheap) to identify opportunities, plan programs & evaluate performance
    • Is not situation specific but cheap & readily accessible
    • Demographics/Psychographics of Sales & Customer Satisfaction/Complaints + Inventories & Trends + Supplier Performance can be known
  • Competitive Marketing Intelligence – Internal & External
    • Systematic collection & analysis of publicly available information about consumers, competitors & developments in the marketing environment
    • Improves decisions by understanding the consumer environment, competitors actions (new product launch or annual report) & alerts us to opportunities & threats
    • Involves Monitoring Internet Buzz, Observing Consumers, Internet Research, Newspaper/TV, Quizzing Employees, Sentiment
  • Marketing ResearchSituation Specific (formal studies to a specific problem/objective)
    • Systematic design, collection, analysis & reporting of data relevant to a specific marketing situation facing a firm
      • SyndicatedData collected & compiled by research agencies on a regular basis & sold to several firms
        • Cost effective, e.g. Nielson or Home scan (monitors 10,000 households shopping)
      • CustomPrimary data collected to provide answers to specific questions

Marketing Research

[5] Marketing Research is the systematic design, collection, analysis & reporting of data relevant to a specific marketing situation facing an organisation. Qualitative research involves a small number of individuals such as focus groups (primary tool) or in-depth one on one interview & online focus groups & teleconferences to develop fresh insights . Quantitative research refers to studies that involve a lot of people (>100) to allow for statistical analysis.

Defining the Problem And Research Objectives (What)

The problem is first defined (e.g. sales performance issues or poor product?) & then the marketing manager or researcher set research objectives:

  • Exploratory - Gather preliminary information that will help define the problem & suggest hypothesis
  • Descriptive - describe things such as the market potential for a product or the demographics/attitudes of goods & services consumers
  • Causal - Test hypothesis about cause & effect relationships (often after exploratory or descriptive research)

Developing The Research Plan For Collecting Information (How)

Researchers must determine the exact information needed (e.g. demographics & lifestyle characteristics of current consumers) & develop a plan for gathering it efficiently. A research design specifies what information marketers will collect & what type of study they will undertake. Primary data is data from research conducted to help in making a specific decision. Secondary data is data that has been collected for some purpose other than the problem at hand (usually quicker & lower cost but could be inaccurate, noncurrent or biased).

Although secondary data is a good starting point & can help define problems & set objectives, companies often need to undertake relevant, accurate, current & unbiased Primary Research. It involves various research approaches, contact methods, sampling plans & research instruments.

MARK101232.jpg

Research Approaches

  • Observationalgathering primary data by observing relevant people, actions & situations
    • Ethnographic Research – sending trained observers to watch & interact with consumers in their natural habitat
    • Often brings fresh market insights
  • Surveyinggathering primary data by questioning people’s knowledge, attitudes, preferences & buying behaviour
    • Best suited for descriptive research objectives, can be online but fear of privacy spam
    • Flexible – used in many circumstances but people may be unwilling to respond (or give inaccurate answers)
  • ExperimentalSelecting matched groups of subjects, giving them different treatments, controlling related factors & checking for differences in group responses
    • Best suited for causal research objectives, e.g. testing a new sandwich in 2 similar cities with different pricing

Contact Methods

MARK101233.jpg

Sampling Plans

Because we don’t have the resources or time to study the entire population, researchers randomly select a segment of the population – a sample.

Who is to be studied? - the Sampling Unit. How many? - Sample Size. Sampling Procedure? - Probability -> Simple/Random, Stratified (population is divided into mutually exclusive groups e.g. age & random samples drawn from each group), Cluster, Non Probability - Convenience (easiest), Judgement (good prospects), Quota.

Research Instruments

  • Questionnairecommon, flexible, closed or open ended (for exploratory research) questions
  • Mechanical Instrumentscheckout scanners (retailers), TV set people meters, neuroscience (Nike lights up the brain)

Implementing The Research Plan – Collecting & Analysing the Data (Implement)

Marketing research plan is put into action (correctly – accuracy/completeness). Information is collected, processed & analysed.

Interpreting And Reporting The Findings

Interpret findings, draw conclusions & report to management (simply so they can also interpret). Must be unbiased

Analysing And Using Marketing Information

[6] Information gathered from internal databases, competitive marketing intelligence & marketing research required analysis to provide customer & market insights.

Customer Relationship Management

Smart companies capture information from customers at every touch point’ – purchases, service & support etc. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) manages detailed information about individual customers & carefully managing customer ‘touch points’ in order to maximise customer loyalty (by developing deeper customer r/ships).

Other Issues

[7]

  • International Marketing Research - Same process, face more issues due to extreme diversity (culture, economics)
  • Public Policy & Ethics - marketing research benefits firm & customer, but can be misused e.g. intrude on privacy (lower response rates)


End

This is the end of this topic. Click Marketing Fundamentals to go back to the main subject page for Marketing Fundamentals

References

Textbook refers to Armstrong G., Adam S., Denize, S. and Kotler P.(2012) Principles of Marketing, 5th Edition, Sydney, Pearson/Prentice Hall.

  1. Armstrong G., Adam S., Denize, S. and Kotler P.(2012) Principles of Marketing, 5th Edition, Sydney, Pearson/Prentice Hall., pp. 110-113
  2. Mohammed Razzaque, UNSW
  3. Armstrong G., Adam S., Denize, S. and Kotler P.(2012) Principles of Marketing, 5th Edition, Sydney, Pearson/Prentice Hall., pp. 113
  4. Armstrong G., Adam S., Denize, S. and Kotler P.(2012) Principles of Marketing, 5th Edition, Sydney, Pearson/Prentice Hall., pp. 114-116
  5. Armstrong G., Adam S., Denize, S. and Kotler P.(2012) Principles of Marketing, 5th Edition, Sydney, Pearson/Prentice Hall., pp. 116-133
  6. Armstrong G., Adam S., Denize, S. and Kotler P.(2012) Principles of Marketing, 5th Edition, Sydney, Pearson/Prentice Hall., pp. 133-134
  7. Armstrong G., Adam S., Denize, S. and Kotler P.(2012) Principles of Marketing, 5th Edition, Sydney, Pearson/Prentice Hall., pp. 135-137
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