• Conclusions Conclusions concerning, for example:
• Customer behavior
• Customer attitudes or perceptions
• The nature of the markets studied
Generally, in studies with samples designed to represent the market
Avoid interesting results that are not relevant to the conclusions
• May be in the form of statement or paragraphs
• Use subheadings to identify conclusions covering different subjects or market segments
A report should be written for a specific reader or readers: the marketing managers who will use the results. The report should take into account the readers’ technical sophistication and interest in the project, as well as the circumstances under which they will read the report and,how they will use it.
Technical jargon should be avoided. As expressed by one expert, “The readers of your reports are busy people; and very few of them can balance a research report, a cup of coffee, and a dictionary at one time.”” Instead of technical terms such as maximum likelihood, heterosexuality. and non parametric, use descriptive explanations. If some technical terms cannot be avoided, briefly define them in an appendix. When it comes to marketing research, people would rather live with a problem they cannot solve than accept a solution they cannot understand.
Often the researcher must cater to the needs of several audiences with different levels of technical sophistication and interest in the project. Such conflicting needs may be met by including different sections in the report for different readers, or by separate reports entirely
Presentable and Professional Appearance
The appearance of a report is important. The report should be professionally reproduced with quality paper, typing, and binding. The typography should be varied. Variation in type size and skillful use of white space can greatly contribute to the appearance and readability of the report
Guidelines for Tables
Statistical tables are a vital part of the report and deserve special attention. We illustrate the guidelines for tables using the data for U.S. automobile sales reported in Table 23.1. The numbers in parentheses in the following sections refer to the numbered sections of the table.
Arrangement of Data Items
The arrangement of data items in a table should emphasize the most significant aspect of the data.
Thus, when the data pertain to time, the items should be arranged by appropriate time period. When order of magnitude is most important, the data items should be arranged in that order (2a). IT ease of locating items is critical. an alphabetical arrangement is most appropriate
Explanations and Comments: Headings, Stubs, and Footnotes
Explanations and comments clarifying the table can be provided in the fonn of captions, stubs. and footnotes. Designations placed over the vertical columns are called headings (Sa). Designations placed in the left-hand column are called stubs (Sb). Information that cannot be incorporated in the table should be explained by footnotes (5c). Letters or symbols should be used for footnotes rather than numbers. The footnotes should come after the main table, but before the source note
Sources of the Data
If the data contained in the table are secondary, the of data should be cited (6a).
Geographic and Other Maps
Geographic and other maps, such as product-positioning maps, can communicate relative location and other comparative information. Geographic maps can pertain to countries, states, counties, sales territories, and other divisions. For example, suppose the researcher wanted to present information on the relative number of Coca-Cola Company bottlers versus the bottlers for PepsiCo and other .
competitors for each state in the United States. This information could be effectively communicated in a map in which each state was divided into three areas, proportionate to the number of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and other bottlers, with each area in a different color. Chapter 21 showed examples of product-positioning maps derived by using MDS procedures (e.g., Figure 21.4).
Round or Pie Charts
In a pie chart, the area of each section, as a percentage of the total area of the circle, reflects the percentage associated with the value of a specific variable. A pie chart is not useful for displaying relationships over time or relationships among several variables. As a general guideline, a pie chart should not require more than seven sections.s Figure 23.2 shows a pie chart for U.S. automobile sales.
Histograms and Bar Charts
A bar chart displays data in various bars that may be positioned horizontally or vertically. Bar charts can be used to present absolute and relative magnitudes, differences, and change. The histogram is a vertical bar chart in which the height of the bars represents the relative or cumulative frequency of occurrence of a specific: variable (see Figure 23;6).
Schematic Figures and Flowcharts
Schematic figures and flowcharts take on a number of different forms. They can be used to display the steps’ or components of a process, as in Figure 23.1. Another useful form of these charts is classification diagrams. Examples of classification charts for classifying secondary data were provided in Chapter 4 (Figures 4.1 to 4.4). An example of a flowchart for questionnaire design W.;lS given in Chapter 10 (Figure 10.2
The marketing research report should be distributed to appropriate personnel in the client organization. The report could be in a variety of formats including hard copy and electronic. Increasingly, research reports are being published or posted directly to the Web. Normally, these reports are not located in publicly accessible areas but in locations that are protected by passwords or on corporate intranets. The various word-processing, spreadsheet, and presentation paces
have the capability to produce material in a format that can be posted directly to the Web, thus facilitating the process
There are a number of advantages to publishing marketing research reports on the Web. These reports can incorporate all kinds of multimedia presentations, including graphs, pictures, animation, audio, and full-motion video. The dissemination is immediate and th,e reports can be accessed by authorized persons online on a worldwide basis. These reports can M electronically searched to identify materials of specific interest. For example, a General Electric manager in Kuala Lumpur can electronically locate the portions of the report that pertain to Southeast Asia. Storage and future retrieval is efficient and effortless. It is easy to integrate these reports into the decision support system.
Subaru of America. Inc.: A Report on Reporting
Tomohiko Ikeda, chairman, president, and CEO of Subaru of America, Inc, knows that customer loyalty is a big part of the automotive industry today, and Subaru has long been aware of this fact. Subaru, in the past, relied heavily on the traditional, paper-based customer response surveys. Short, follow-up purchase experience surveys and service experience surveys were mailed to customers within 7 to 14 days after purchase. These surveys entailed both multiple-choice questions and open-ended questions.
The response rates from the mailings ranged from 30 to 45 percent. After all the data were collected from the mailings, dealerships received a Subaru Owner Loyalty Indicator (SOLI) rating quarterly report.
These reports provided valuable information to the dealers, but they used to receive this information only four times a year. Upon
To address this situation, the answer for Tomohilco Ikeda was the Internet, which would jlrovide faster, more flexible service and information to dealers, field staff, and the management team. Subaru hired Data Recognition Corporation (DRC) of Minneapolis, Minnesota, to set up the program design and provide the ongoing service. The procesa begins by scanning the responses from customer survey forms using optical character recognition. Customer comments are captured and categorized. Next, all survey information is electronically added to the appropriate dealer’s database using a customized program developed by DRC.
The entire process-is managed by DRC; hence, Subaru may concentrate on selling cars. The Web-based reports give field managers an opportunity to see what is happening at their assigned
dealerships. They can access up-to-the-minute reports on a specified dealership before meeting with the dealer. This works well because the managers are able to access this information from anywhere as long as they can tap into the Internet.
The Marketing Research Decision
1. While Subaru management finds the report very useful, the dealers have a slightly different opinion. How should the report be modified to improve its usefulness to the dealers?
2. Discuss the role of the type of report YOIl recommend in enabling Tomohiko Ikeda to make the dealer sales effort more effective.
The Marketing Management Decision
1. What should Tornohiko Ikeda do to make the dealer sales effort more effective?
2. Discuss how the marketing management decision action that you recommend to Tornoliiko Ikeda is influenced by the type of report that you suggested earlier
The entire marketing research project should be presented to the management of the client finn. This presentation will help management understand and accept the written report. Any preliminary questions that the management may have can be addressed in the presentation. Because many executives form their first and lasting impressions about the project based on the presentation, its importance cannot be overemphasized.’
The key to an effective presentation is preparation. A written script or detailed outline should be prepared following the format of the written report. The presentation mUM be geared to the audience. For this purpose the researcher should determine their backgrounds, interests, and involvement in the project, as well as the extent to which they are likely to be affected by it. The presentation should be rehearsed several times before it is made to the management.
Body language should be employed. Descriptive gestures are used to clarify or enhance verbal communication. Emphatic gestures are used to emphasize what is being said. Suggestive gestures are symbols of ideas and emotions. Prompting gestures are used to elicit a desired response from the audience. The speaker should vary the volume, pitch, voice quality, articulation, and rate while speaking. The presentation should terminate with a strong closing. To stress its importance, the presentation should be sponsored by a top-level manager in the client’s. organization. as in the following example