Marketing research comprises one of the most important and fascinating facets of marketing. In this chapter, we give a formal definition of marketing research and classify marketing research into two areas: problem identification and problem-solving research. We provide several real-life examples to Illustrate the basic concepts of marketing research. We describe the marketing research process and the six steps that are involved in conducting research and discuss the nature of marketing research, emphasizing its role of providing Information for marketing decision making. Next, we provide an overview of marketing research suppliers who collectively constitute the marketing research industry, along with guidelines for selecting a supplier. The demand for well-executed marketing research leads to many exciting career opportunities, which we describe. We show that marketing research is also an integral part of marketing information systems or decision support systems.
For the purpose of illustration, we examine a department store patronage project, which was an actual marketing research project conducted by the author, and use it as a running example throughout the book. The scope of this project has been expanded in the sixth edition to include questions, and we also make available the relevant data for analysis. These “Project Research” sections appear in each chapter. The topic of international marketing research is introduced and discussed systematically in the subsequent chapters. The ethical aspects of marketing research and the responsibilities each of the marketing research stakeholders have to themselves, one another, and the research project are presented and developed in more detail throughout the text. This chapter includes several Internet and hands-on applications of marketing research in the form of “Active Research,” “Experiential Research,” and “Decision Research” illustrations with exercises, other emphases that pervade the entire book. For instructors wishing to implement a real-life marketing research project, we include a section titled “live Research: Conducting a Marketing Research Project.” Perhaps there is no better way to present an overview than to give a few examples that provide a flavor of the varied nature of marketing research
The Boeing Company has been the premier manufacturer of commercial jetliners for more than 40 years and provides products and services to customers in 145 countries. Headquartered in Chicago, Boeing had about 12,000 commercial jetliners in service worldwide as of 2009. which is roughly 75 percent of the world fleet. Boeing Commercial Airplanes (SCA) is the division of Boeing that develops and sells airplanes in the commercial segment. Although the airplane manufacturing industry is an oligopoly with only a few players, the competition is intense and the stakes are high. The division understands that it is important to continuously monitor the dynamic marketplace and understand the needs and priorities of BCA customers (airlines) and their customers (people who fly). To achieve this purpose, BCAemploys marketing research on a regular basis
Boeing recently entrusted Harris Interactive with a study of this type.
Hams Interactive, one of the largest market research firms in the world, is based in Rochester, New York. It is best known for The Harris Poll and for pioneering Internet-based research methods. Boeing commissioned a study to determine the aircraft preferences of fliers. “We presented respondents with real-life air travel scenarios to better understand the attitudes and feelings that led to their chOices,” said Dr. David Bakken, senior vice president of marketing sciences, Harris Interactive. “What we found was that travelers taking very long flights generally prefer the more convenient and flexible experience provided by smaller planes.”
The study was a survey based on 913 interviews conducted in the United Kingdom. Tokyo. and Hong Kong with international travelers (age 18 and over) who had taken at least one recent eight-hour or longer flight. Interviews were conducted between November 2003 and February 2004 using a two-stage methodology. Respondents were first screened and qualified by telephone or via in-person interviews, and then !hey completed an online survey at home or work or at a central interviewing location. In each region. Harris polled equal numbers of Premium Class Business. Economy Business. and Economy Leisure travelers. Some key findings
• More than 60 percent preferred a single-deck. 250-passenger airplane to a double-deck, 550-passenger airplane for nonstop flights.
• Seven out of 10 travelers preferred a nonstop trip on a single-deck. 250-passenger airplane to a trip involving a connecting flight on a double-deck. 550-passenger airplane with an on-board lounge.
• Travelers in all the classes of service from all three regions believed smaller airplanes would provide a better experience with check-in. boarding, disembarking, baggage claim. and customs/immigration than the 550-seat aircraft
From Boeing’s point of view, these were important insights. The company is responding with enhanced products. Based on these findings and subsequent product research that involved in-depth interviews and surveys of airlines, BCA developed a new version of the Boeing 737, which caters to the 100- to 215-seat market. The new concept is focused on bringing more economical solutions to airlines, a better flight experience to passengers, and improved environmental performance to the world. The newest members of the Boeing 737 family-the 737-600/-700/-800/-900 continue the 737’s preeminence as the world’s most popular and reliable commercial jet transport. Meeting the market demands, the 737 family has won orders for more than 5,200 airplanes, an amazing feat even for Boeing
Many of the nation’s largest corporations are realizing that the information they can get from clients and customers through marketing research can best be used if it is provided each day. How about each minute? This is the basis upon which a company called company. operates-real time. The Satrnetrix Customer Relationship program is designed to maximize the impact of customer interactions by continuously gathering and transforming customer dialogues into potential actions that can be taken to increase sales and customer satisfaction. This program is focused on feeding the voice of the customers back into the organization. Not only can customers go online and submit complaints and suggestions to the company, but Satmetrix also hosts live chat sessions for users of certain products. All of this is done with the aim of capturing the true words and emotions of consumers. and in turn using this information to improve or develop products and services. Satrnetrix capitalizes on the need for “live” marketing research.
As of 2009. the Internet continues to revolutionize the marketing research process. With the use of online services, there is no need for extra data input that traditional research methods require. Satrnetrix itself is not the traditional full-service supplier of marketing research. As a standardized limited-service provider, the company does not get involved with every aspect of the research process. The approach, design, and data preparation are the same for each customer, and these are the parts of the research process with which the company is involved
Their service, however, aids clients in identifying any problems with products through customer feedback and with problem solving. especially if customers give suggestions. For example, network station NBC takes advantage of Satmetrix services to obtain feedback from viewers. It helps the network to learn what viewers are looking for. their likes, and their dislikes. Ideally, the feedback is used and television shows are altered to more closely suit viewers’ tastes and desires. thus leading to an increased number of people tuning in to watch the shows. NBC found, for example, that viewers wanted a sitcom that was lighthearted, clever, and humorous; therefore, Kath and Kim, a remake of the popular Australian comedy
by the same name, was launched on October 9, 2008. Viewer feedback provided by Satmetrix has been instrumental in composing and modifying scripts and storylines, As a result, in 2009, Will and Grace was a top-rated comedy show on NBC