Visit and search the Internet to identify relevant information on Sears’ marketing strategy. Answer the following questions
1. What are the marketing opportunities and problems confronting Sears?
2. What role can marketing research play in helping Sears address these marketing opportunities and problems?
3. What type of marketing research would be needed to help Sears decide whether it should aggressively expand in rural areas in the United States
lnternotionol Marketing Research
The United States accounts for only about 40 percent of the marketing research expenditures worldwide. About 40 percent of all marketing research is conducted in Western Europe and about 10 percent in Japan. Most of the research in Europe is done in the United Kingdom. Germany. France. Italy. and Spain. Japan is the clear leader in the Asia-Pacific region. followed by Australia. China. Korea. and Taiwan. Brazil and Mexico lead the Central and South American markets in terms of marketing research expenditures.P With the globalization of markets, marketing research has assumed a truly international character and this trend is likely to continue. Several U.S. firms conduct international marketing research. including Nielsen. IMS Health. Information Resources. and the Kan tar Group (see Table 1.2). Foreign-based firms include
Infra test and GfK. both of Germany.
Conducting international marketing research (research for truly international products). foreign research (research carried out in a country other than the country of the research commissioning organization), or multinational research (research conducted in all or all important countries where the company is represented) is much more complex than domestic marketing research. All research of this kind. including cross-cultural research. will be discussed under the broad rubric of international marketing research. The opening Boeing example illustrated some of the complexities involved in conducting this type of research, The environment prevailing in the countries. cultural units. or international markets that are being researched influences the way the six steps of the marketing research process should be performed. These environmental factors and their impact on the marketing research process arc discussed in detail in subsequent chapters. In addition. Chapter 24 is devoted exclusively to thi Globalization of companies is the trend of today. Whether going online or setting up physical operations in a foreign country, research must be conducted so that relevant environmental factors are taken into consideration when going global. Many companies have faced global disaster because they did not take into account the differences between their country and the country with which they wished to do business
Despite the complexity involved, international marketing research is expected to grow at a faster rate than domestic research. A major contributing factor is that markets for many products in the United States are approaching saturation. In contrast, the markets for these products in other countries are in the early stages of development, and marketing research can playa crucial role in penetrating the market, as illustrated by the success of Starbucks in Japan.
Starbucks Buck Up in Japan
A very well- known example of ingenious marketing for the Japanese marketplace is the success of Starbucks Coffee Shops in Japan. Starbucks is able to market cups of coffee at high-level prices. was inconceivable before Starbucks began with a shop in Ginza, Tokyo. in 1996. Starbucks Coffee Japan, Ltd.. is a U.SJJapan joint venture, which has achieved success through store design and constant branding to .loreatc a sophisticated atmosphere attracting sophisticated
When Starbucks entered the Japanese market. it wanted a detailed assessment of its options. Image Inc. , Tokyo-based full-service marketing research and consulting firm. conducted analyses on consumer behavior and preferences. The survey utilized Image’s Central Location Testing Facilities in downtown Tokyo and also mail survey methodology. as well as resources from the research company’s Business Information Services. The survey provided some important information to Starbucks. They understood that their intended customer segments were willing to pay in the ballpark of 250 yen (USS2.08) for espresso and 280 yen (USS233) for caffe latte, The survey also revealed that the customers wanted plenty of food items on the menu. including sandwiches and salads. The survey in general gave the company an idea of acceptable consumer price range. differences in prices, and packaging. This played an important pan in the success of Starbucks Japan. As of 2009. Starbucks operated more than 4.500 coffeehouses in 47 countries.2
Ethics in Marketing Research
Several aspects of marketing research have strong ethical implications. As explained earlier. marketing research is generally conducted by commercial (i.e .• for-profit) firms thai are either independent research organizations (external suppliers) or departments within corporations (internal suppliers). Most marketing research is conducted for clients representing commercial firms. The profit motive may occasionally cause researchers or clients to compromise the objectivity or professionalism associated with the marketing research process.
the stakeholders behaving honorably. Codes of conduct, such as the American Marketing Association code of ethics, are available to guide behavior and help resolve ethical dilemmas. We give the URLs of important marketing research associations, and you are encouraged to review their codes of conduct