PRESENTATION ANALYSIS Essay Example

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    Marketing
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    High School
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9MARKETING RESEARCH

Marketing presentation

Introduction

Haier is a Chinese refrigeration manufacturer that began its operations in the United States in 1999 (Haier Group, 2015). Despite the huge competition from Maytag, Whirlpool and General Electric, the company succeeded in this market because of outstanding market research. Through a market reconnaissance, Haier management found that smaller refrigerators yielded less than larger refrigerators. Market consumer research of Haier exploited online surveys and online interviews to obtain data on family population. The results showed that numbers of American families are on a decline rate which may increase the demand for small refrigerators.

Market research understanding

From the market research, I learned that Haier had to conduct a consumer research on market positioning and market environmental demand. Essentially, it was meant to focus on young people as consumer positioning and develop small refrigerators of 60-160 liters in the American market (Haier Group, 2015. I realized that market research is used to solve a problem that has already been identified and can help the company to gain profitability or market share. For example, results of the study showed that Haier can be a successful brand in the American market. The market share for the window air conditioner was 3 percent, freezer at 33 percent and small refrigerator at 25 percent (Haier Group, 2015). The success of Haier in the American market was attributed to consumer research. This was because, through research, the company was able to define the market demand. I found that Haier was also able to define market positioning and target consumer group. This market research scaled on SWOT analysis to understand the macro and micro-environment in which the company was operating (Haier Group, 2015). Essentially, it considered the strengths and opportunities of the firm as well as the weaknesses and threats that it is likely to face. I felt that market research has a connection with strategic marketing of an organization by considering not only the internal competitiveness but external forces that may affect its performance. By doing so, they were able to showcase their competitiveness and enhance the ability of enterprises.

Relevant theories and concepts in marketing research

Market research is valuable in international marketing strategies such as those exploited by Haier. Market reconnaissance studies help companies to gain entry into foreign markets without the risk of failing to impress its customers (Nasser-McMillan & Borders, 2002). Use of online surveys and interviews are simpler and easier methods to administer and obtain data. Besides being less costly, these surveys achieve the most because of combined benefits of interviews and online questionnaires (Kotler, 2002). For example, Haier was able to get broad understanding of the American consumers with minimal cost and with fewer errors associated with sampling. Moreover, Cooper and Schindler (2002) show that the sample population could have been much bigger while face-to-face administration of questionnaires could have been susceptible to sampling errors. This implies that companies can exploit marketing research not only to understand consumer behavior but also get their perceptions on the influence of competitors (Oyatoye, 2011). Marketing research is very essential to organizations that intend to grow and expand into international markets.

Coke case study

Introduction

Coke conducted market research to check on the growing influence of its major competitor ‘Pepsi’ and to understand the reasons behind the declining market share. Pepsi was edging out Coke in the 80s to the extent that the later was forced to reposition its products, launch new products and lose sales to competitors on existing products. As a result, the company conducted market research using surveys, interviews and focus groups to its respondents. They found that ‘taste’ was eroding the market share and decisions have to be made to replace old products. However, the market research did not bring the desired results.

Market research understanding

Compared to other market research, the case of Coke was a failure of market research. Despite the surveys of large sample sizes (200,000), interviews of major markets (10) and focus groups of many respondents (200), the results pointed to ‘taste’ as the turnaround (Grafton, 2015). However, there was a backlash from customers over the product, new coke. This resulted in low brand image, disappointment among customers for the loss of cultural icon and negative media coverage as well as boycotts and rallies from Old Coke loyalists. Since Coke was now endeared with poorer tastes for the old generation, Pepsi was well repositioned (Schindler, 1992). I learned that the market research by Coke failed to consider emotional attachment of consumers, communication of taste tests and sampling bias. I noted that it is not only getting the views of the respondents but also obtaining their perceptions and feelings. These parameters were possible to obtain from qualitative research instruments such as Focus Groups. I realized that sampling errors such as considering one groups of respondents may affect the overall outcome of the study and so is the decisions that follow (Grafton, 2015). I felt that the company was being reactive to customer backlash owing to failure of market research. Since competitors such as Pepsi were also conducting their own market research, it was important to constitute groups of study samples that consider demographics, psychographic factors and current loyalty rates. Market research can produce disastrous results than can cost a lot to the company in terms of finance and strategy if wrong methodology is applied (Schindler, 1992).

Relevant theories and concepts in marketing research

In many instances, marketing research can lead to informed results and appropriate decisions. However, market research it is not only about a game of numbers but robust enough to capture attitudes and feelings of consumers. Although surveys can produce bogus data, it is important to establish existing attitudes and feelings of customers towards a product (Overton et al. 2008). For example, using taste tests to change and advance a new product was detrimental to the survival of Coke as an organization. The study on Coke is evident to show that market research is not sufficient enough to predict the future. Although organizations use market research to salvage a failing product or business, relevant research approaches have to be employed (Oyatoye, 2011). Broadening the sample groups is important to allow more participants with diverse views to be constituted into the study. In conclusion, traditional research methods, focus groups and surveys may not articulate the reasons why people do things or their behavior in future.

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in China

Introduction

Market research was used by KFC to expand into China after many years of success in the United States. Being the first Western food chain in China, it sold twice its competitors. The company undertook marketing research on cross-cultural differences between American and Chinese consumers as well as improves on their levels of innovations. Using qualitative and quantitative approaches, the research targeted Chinese families to understand price variations and personal status. Interviews were conducted on consumers and nutritionists in Beijing. The study results showed Chinese consumers had more emphasis on service levels, innovative products, servicescape and branding.

Market research understanding

In the KFC case, market research yielded positive results (Stern, 2010). I learned that using a good combination of theory and research can help a company make informed decisions. For example, KFC exploited cross-cultural theories in the investigation to understand Chinese culture before introducing the products (Zhou & Zhang, 2012). In effect, it helped to unravel the tastes and preferences of the consumers prior. Although it was costly and time consuming, I realized that interviews required sufficient preparation to collect data in detail (Stern, 2010). The market research was a success because KFC was able to adapt to the Chinese market and engage in incremental innovation of its products. The study on cross-cultural differences and tastes of Chinese consumers had pointed to their liking for innovative products, foreign brands and dynamic tastes of fast food. I understood qualitative research as involving interviews over a certain period of time. By using two study groups at different times, consumers and nutritionists, the market research was able to obtain independent views and perceptions. For example, KFC conducted interviews on local food rice and its consumption levels in 1986 and later sought the opinions of nutritionists on healthy food in 2000 (Zhou & Zhang, 2012). I learned that interviews were powerful research tools that can be exploited by Multinational Corporations to continuously understand the changes in tastes and preferences of consumers. In reality, cross-cultural research provided a significant understanding of adaptation to new ideas and foreign culture among Chinese consumers (Stern, 2010). Research was also able to exploit the changes in work/life balance to introduce take-away service and efficient delivery systems.

Relevant theories and concepts in marketing research

Marketing research is relevant in multinational firms that seek to understand and continuously protect its turf. Interviews of consumers on their spending rate, tastes and preferences towards and brand and changes in economic variables are critical (Cooper & Schindler, 2008). Being useful qualitative data, broadening sampling groups has a benefit of reducing sampling bias and errors (Malhotra, 2007). Theory and practice can be mirrored through research because continuous research and development (R&D) leads to improvement in quality and better brands. In the case of KFC, it was necessary to obtain data and information from nutritionists since majority of Chinese consumers are sensitive to their health and prefer less fat and cholesterol food. By simply undertaking research on these variables, Kotler (2002) argues that the company was able to mark informed decisions on the kinds of products to launch in the Chinese market.

Capital Clinic

Introduction

The physiotherapy organization undertook marketing research to understand the level of consumer satisfaction, identify strengths and improvements and determine satisfaction on session times. Based on three independent variables and one dependent variable, the study exploited quantitative data from surveys. With a response rate of 77 percent, the results showed many respondents were not satisfied with availability of classes. However, they were satisfied on options to modify exercises and showed strongly willingness to seek referrals for the clinic. Moreover, the study was limited by lack of professional marketing research assistance, too many questions and lack of anonymity.

Market research understanding

I observed that it was critical for Capital clinic to conduct a marketing research to understand the feelings and perceptions of customers to their products and services. Just like other ordinary researches, the study had three independent variables (content taught, instructor style and availability of classes) and one dependent variable (Customer satisfaction of service). I found that the data collection instrument, the questionnaire was structured in an ordinal scale starting from Strongly Disagree (SD) to Strongly Agree (SA) on the right. Although they were meant to capture attitudes and opinions, the questions were lengthy which could discourage respondents from completing within a specified time (Reid, 2015). The framing of questions could also pose problems during analysis because it was semi-structured to a point where ranking could be difficult. Despite open-ended questions providing the ability for respondents to provided unlimited information, analytical tools could pose a challenge. Nonetheless, I learned that with a higher response rate of 77 percent, the data could be more reliable (Reid, 2015). The results responded to the study objectives and it suggests that there was need for high preference on class content such as pelvic floor and core, balance and strengthening. However, I learned that ethical considerations in research is essential such as protecting the identity of respondents, offering assistance during filling of questionnaires and differentiating the strengths of instructors. I also learned that it is important to take advantage of professional market research firms by outsourcing research work. Use of a specific style of questions offers uniformity and simplicity (Reid, 2015).

Relevant theories and concepts in marketing research

Marketing research has the potential to establish relationship between variables by linking independent and dependent variables. According to Adam and Cox (2008), measurement scales of instruments to be used in research are essential. For example, the use of ordinal scales in the Capital Clinic case ensures that the range of attitudes and opinions are captured (Reid, 2015). In addition, ethics is research is fundamental to ensure that the safety and identity of human subjects are protected (Wilson et al. 2010). These centers on issues such as making the respondents anonymous and guiding the respondents to complete the questionnaires. Regarding outsourcing of research work, the study suggests that professional market research assistance is required. This could be attributed to their better understanding of research methods and analysis than use of internal research assistance. Market research helps in decision making and contributes to theory (Wolf et al. 2005).

References

Adams, A. & Cox, A.L. (2008). Questionnaires, in-depth interviews and focus groups. In: Cairns, Paul and Cox, Anna L. eds. Research Methods for Human Computer Interaction. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 17–34.

Cooper, D.R. & Schindler, P.S. (2008). Business Research Methods. New York, NY: McGraw Hill International.

Grafton, J. (2015). Brilliant Marketing Research Or What? The New Coke Story. Polarismr.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 21 Sept. 2015.

Haier Group. (2015). http://www.haier.net/en/

Kotler, P. (2002). Marketing management, 21C Upper Saddle River, USA: Pearson Education, Incorporation, Pearson Prentice Hall. PMCid:378567.

Malhotra, K. N., (2007). Marketing Research: An Applied Orientation. 6th Edition. Upper

Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education International.

Nasser-McMillan, S.C. & Borders, L.D. (2002). Use of focus groups in survey item development, The Qualitative Report. 7(1): 45-60.

Overton, C., Volkman, C. & Silver-Pacuilla, H. (2008). Understanding consumer needs through market research, Assistive technology outcomes and benefits. 5(1): 4- 15.

Oyatoye, E.O. (2011). Advanced quantitative research methods, Ph.D. Lecture Notes on Conjoint Analysis, Department of Business Administration, University of Lagos, Lagos.

Reid, M. (2015). Pilates Class Survey Template’ Capital Clinic Physiotherapy. Canberra, Australia.

Schindler, R.M. (1992). The real lesson of new Coke: The value of focus groups for.., Marketing Research, 4, 4, pp. 22-27, Health Business Elite, EBSCOhost, viewed 20 September 2015.

Stern, S. (2010). Fast-food chains adapt to local tastes. Retrieved October 8, 2015,from http://edition.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/homestyle/04/08/fast.food/.

Wilson, A., Johns, R., Miller, K. & Pentecost, R. (2010). Market Research: An Integrated Approach. Australia: Pearson’s Education.

Wolf, B., Knodel, J. & Sittitrai, W. (2005). Focus groups and surveys as complementary research methods: A case example. Routledge.

Zhou, L., & Zhang, Q. (2012). Cultural adaptation pattern analysis of McDonald’s and KFC in the Chinese market. Retrieved October 8, 2015, from http://www.diva- portal.org/smash/get/diva2:534795/fulltext01.pdf.