Research properly managed can be an important tool in product concept testing and features testing. However, with some estimates of new product failure as high as 70%, it is clearly a risky business. In looking at the traditional survey based research, there are many areas where mistakes can be made – the overall concept, collecting information, sample size or reliability, applicability of findings and interpretations.
As outlined in our class notes, within the eleven steps in the market research process, there are various pitfalls.* Failure to properly evaluate when market research should not be taken e.g. lack of time or resources etc.* Not properly defining the issue causing the ‘wrong’ information to be gathered.* Outlining research objectives that are not relevant to the problem.
* Improper design, insufficient sample size, sampling errors, interviewer bias, administrative errors etc.If the market research is done improperly as exampled above, then it could shoulder the blame for a product’s failure but as there are numerous other steps in new product development, there are also other opportunities for failures as well.* Overestimated size of market* Can’t recover R;D, marketing and other expenses.* Insignificant point of difference or competitive advantage* Poor product quality (e.
g. good in lab but poor when mass produced)* Failed to get access to consumers (shelf space – slotting fees, negative middlemen, threatening competitors etc.)* Missed the market timing (e.g. competitor got there first or the need/trend shifted)* Improper execution of the marketing mix (e.g. too high price, wrong method of promotion, wrong people, etc)* Weak sales promotion – fail to prepare their sales forces with the knowledge and skills needed to sell their new product.
Market research alone will not guarantee a product’s success. A successful produce will still need a differentiating advantage, strong marketing plan, good timing, a large enough target market, a high quality product and sufficient access to their market. Market research is vital to fine-tune existing services, but in certain cases, over-reliance is deadly.Are you convinced that traditional quantitative market research is dead?According to the text, there is the argument that there are pitfalls in the “new ” information systems and that there is room for traditional marketing research studies and these new system to coexist, as the two are complementary.1 The purpose of quantitative research is very specific and is used when precise information is needed e.g.
when specific conclusions are needed or a hypothesis has to be tested. Also, it will still be able to help achieve the following objectives:* Obtain helpful background information on a market segment.* Explore concepts and positioning of a business or product.* Identify attitudes, opinions and behavior shared by a target market.* Prioritize variables for further study.
* Fully define problems.* Provide direction for the development of questionnaires.So no, quantitative research it is not dead – it’s just not the flavour of the month currently!Are their any drawbacks doing only the type of research suggested in the article?The drawback in only using qualitative research techniques is that you cannot accurately infer your findings to the entire population as you can with quantitative research. Qualitative research is generally used for exploratory purposes – small number of respondents – not generalizable to the whole population – statistical significance and confidence not calculated.In choosing the type(s) of research you need should be based upon the decisions you need to make, the level of certainty required and the type information needed to make it. While the results of both qualitative and quantitative research can stand on their own, they are most powerful when combined.
Pluralistic research combines the advantages of both. The qualitative phase can serve as a foundation for the quantitative phase as it provides the researcher with firsthand knowledge of the research problem. The design and execution of the quantitative phase will be superior than without the qualitative phase.
Running quantitative research alongside qualitative research offers a synergy whereby objective data can provide a structure to analysis of subjective qualitative data.If you only did qualitative research you would have descriptive information that would help to better understand the feeling of customers or understand better what to measure but does not measure the extent or frequency of these attitudes. Also, you should not use qualitative research to describe behaviours rather than emotions, to describe segments: users vs. non-users, or to answer questions like what proportion behave this way or what is the incidence of this response. Qualitative research involves questioning knowledgeable respondents individually or in small groups regarding the “why” of behaviour.Quantitative research is all about numbers and measurement. It tells you how many people think or act in a particular way and the incidence and importance of the things that influence them.
It involves producing the facts and figures that relate to a research problem. It focuses on markets and market segments. Quantitative research involves questioning large groups of respondents regarding the “what, when, where and how” of behaviour.
The purpose of quantitative research is very specific and is used when precise information is needed.What do you think is meant by the statement “Entrepreneurs think they have divine intuition, which is fine, if you’re part of the audience you are trying to reach. But when you move outside that market, your gut instinct can let you down.”They are referring to the fact that Entrepreneurs may be knowledgeable about target markets that include him or herself or a demographic they fit into but this is not sound business sense to base your product development on your gut instinct. They are referring to the importance of market research, whether it is traditional quantitative or qualitative.Deciding to develop a product without market research and going on a gut feel would be very risky and have a low chance of success – not recommended. Considering the costs of product development go up exponentially through each stage of development and statistics show something like 70% of new products fail – developing new products should be supported with strong market research as it is a very risky business to be in.Do you agree with the author’s statement “.
..We could have spent everything just to find out that people didn’t like the product”? Is learning that people don’t like your product always negative?Learning that people don’t like your product is useful information although possibly disappointing. The first step to market research – establish the need for research, should have told the author that they should not have done the research as the cost of the research was too great. It is negative if you haven’t budgeted for this potential setback or you learn this late in the game (e.g. market testing versus opportunity identification2).
They were obviously not planning well if they had spent everything by the first stage of product development – opportunity identification. During this phase, it should be emphasized that your customers are an important source of information – consider them part of your product development team by listening to their suggestions and complaints. It shouldn’t be left until market testing to get a feel for the perception of the product. The further down the process, the more money has been poured into it. Although test marketing can help managers adjust the marketing mix for the product in advance, it can also be very costly and not necessarily accurate.Will the types of research mentioned in the text fit all research requirements a company may have?The text refers to many types of research that meet many requirements a company may have but unfortunately they cannot eliminate the risk behind the big decisions by predicting the future – something many companies would pay dearly to have. As marketing research attempts to predict human behaviour, it cannot be fool proof in it’s predictions.
Marketing research, at best, is indicative, and cannot be totally precise and accurate. Research describes the present. It definitely cannot accurately predict the future.The current types of research, as mentioned in the text can help someone:* Define their market.* Assess their customers’ changing attitudes (customer satisfaction).* Gain competitive intelligence (competitor analysis).* Launch a new product (new product development).
* Extend an established brand (image and awareness).* Plan market diversification (new market opportunities.)* Simply assess a current situation or trend (market studies analysis -sizing & trends and usage & attitude studies).
Predictive research, as mentioned in the text, seeks to forecast the likelihood of particular phenomena occurring in given circumstances. It is nearly always quantitative because it involves identifying and / or defining measurable (i.e. quantifiable) variables, which can be manipulated to cause measurable (i.e.
quantifiable) effects. Quantitative research concentrates on what can be measured. It involves collecting and analyzing objective (often numerical) data that can be organized into statistics. Qualitative research concentrates on investigating subjective data, in particular, the perceptions of the people involved. The intention is to illuminate these perceptions and, thus, gain greater insight and knowledge.Given the comments made in the text above, what do you see happening with market research in the next ten years?Today, we are living in a chaotic transition period to a new age defined by global competition, faster flow of information and communication and increasing business complexity. As outlined in our text, “technological advances in information processing have greatly increased the availability and applicability of information to the point that managers will find less need to conduct traditional projects or ad hoc studies.
” According to Burns and Bush, “Technology is having a tremendous impact on marketing research and the types of marketing research studies will change as technological improvements occur. Thus, we still see a world full of managers who need a lot of information to help them make their decisions.”Over the next decade our need for accurate and timely market information will very likely increase. More than ever, managers will need to be cognizant of change occurring in other macroenviroments and the role of marketing information systems will be more important than ever. Will a typical marketing research project be required to help clarify a problem, investigate an opportunity or help develop a competitive advantage, in the future? Time will tell.
The potential threat that marketing research will become passï¿½ could possibly weed out the minority of firms that are currently damaging the industries reputation. As the competitive forces endure a ‘natural selection’ only the strong firms will prevail by providing value with their projects. This could become more relevant should the proposed certifications or auditing programs become a reality.Many managers currently believe that marketing research often does not deliver the information that they really need, that it costs too much for what it actually delivers, and even when it does deliver useful information it comes in late – perhaps the digital medium offers an opportunity to address these limitations.On the surface, the digital medium could result in significant new ways by which marketing research will be enhanced. Without a doubt, there will be an entrenchment of the customer within the marketing planning and product development process. We are seeing this happen already.
The Internet will likely be used for controlled research experiments on an on-going basis with marketing research professionals moving towards gathering data from the Internet perhaps though ‘research portals’ etc. Already new computer technologies have sprouted up that facilitate the faster completion of surveys and virtually eliminate the need for data entry. This provides the advantage that data can be analyzed at any time in the survey process, so that ‘bad questions’ can be adjusted or eliminated.