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Chapter 5

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COMM 131
Ethan Pancer

Chapter 5: Managing Marketing Information to Gain Insights Marketing Information and Customer Insights  To create customer value and build relationships, marketers must first gain fresh, deep insights into what customers need and want – this comes from good marketing info  In general, you don’t need more information, you just need better information  Don’t give customers everything they want, just what they need  Managers need the right marketing information system (MIS)  gives right info, in the right form, at right time, in order to create customer value & stronger relationships o An MIS consists of ppl & procedures for assessing info needs, developing needed info, & helping to use info to generate & validate actionable cust. & mrkt. insights Assessing Marketing Information Needs  The MIS primarily serves the company’s managers but also provides info for external partners like suppliers, resellers, or marketing services agencies  A good MIS balances the info users would like to have against what they really need o Start by asking managers what info they want to have – some carelessly name things they don’t need, some omit important things  The MIS must monitor the environment to provide decision makers with information they should have in order to better understand customers and make key marketing decisions o Sometimes can’t get certain info – either unavailable or due to MIS limitations  Companies must also assess whether the value and gains of the info outweigh the costs Developing Marketing Information Internal Data  These are electronic collections of consumer and market information obtained from data sources within the company network  Managers can access this info and identify marketing opportunities and problems, plan programs, and evaluate performance – can provide a strong competitive advantage  Contains info about demographics, psychographics, sales transactions, website visits, etc.  Can be accessed more quickly and cheaply compared to other information sources o So much info being gathered, data ages quickly, having right info is costly Competitive Marketing Intelligence  This is a systematic collection and analysis of publically available info about consumers, competitors, and developments in the marketing environment  The goal is to improve strategic decision-making by understanding the consumer environment, assessing and tracking competitors’ actions, and identifying opps & threats  Good info gives marketers insight into how consumers talk about and connect w. brands  Also used to actively monitor competitor’s activities – new products, strategies, strengths o By looking at websites, you can get a lot of info about competitors  Goes both ways and now companies are trying to protect this info from competitors Marketing Research  This is the systematic design, collection, analysis, and reporting of data relevant to a specific marketing situation facing an organization  Gives marketers insights into customer motivation, purchase behaviour, & satisfaction  Can help assess market potential and market share or to measure the effectiveness of pricing, product, distribution and promotion activities  Some do research themselves or pay others to do it & some pay for other ppls’ research  There are four steps in the marketing research process (see below) Defining the Problem and Research Objectives  Managers understand the decision for which research is needed; researchers understand how to obtain info  must work together to define problem & research objectives o This is often the hardest step since the cause to a problem may be unknown  Research objectives o Exploratory Research is marketing research to gather preliminary info that will help define the problem and suggest hypothesis o Descriptive Research is marketing research used to better describe marketing problems, situations, or markets – ie. potential market for new product o Causal Research is used to test hypotheses about cause-and-effect relationships Developing the Research Plan  Need to determine the info needed, develop a plan to gather it, & present plan to mgmt.  The plan outlines sources of existing data, specific research approaches, contact methods, sampling plans, and instruments that researchers will use to gather data  Research objectives must be related to specific info needs  Written proposal should cover problems & how research will help resolve these problems Gathering Secondary Data  Secondary Data is info that already exists, having been collected for other purposes o Company’s internal data base, commercial data services, gov’t sources  Web search engines can be a help in finding secondary info sources  Generally located faster and at a low cost – rarely find the exact info you need  Must make sure this data is relevant, accurate, current, and impartial Primary Data Collection  Primary Data is info collected by a company themselves for a specific purpose  Need to make sure info is accurate, relevant, current, and unbiased  Need to make a number of decisions about research approaches, contact methods, sampling plan, and research instruments Research Approaches Observational Research – Best suited for exploratory research  This involves gathering data by observing relevant people, actions, and situations  Often observe consumer behaviour to get new insights they can’t obtain with questions  Also observe what consumers are saying – via blogs, social networks, websites, etc.  Observations can be very difficult to interpret  Ethnographic Research is a form of observational research that involves sending trained observers to watch and interact with consumers in their “natural habitat” Survey Research - Best suited when gathering descriptive information  This is gathering primary research by asking people questions about their knowledge, attitudes, preferences, and buying behaviour  A major advg. is flexibility – can obtain many different kinds of info in diff situations  Some people have difficulty answering questions or are unwilling to respond o Some people also answer questions even if they are unsure just to appear smarter Experimental Research – Best suited for causal research  This is gathering data by selecting matched groups of subjects, giving them different treatments, controlling related factors, and checking for differences in group responses Contact Methods Mail, Telephone, and Personal Interviewing  Mail questionnaires can be used to collect large amounts of info at a low cost o Respondents may give honest answers, no interviewer bias, low response rate  Telephone interviewing allows you to gather info quickly and allows for greater flexibility than mail questionnaires – you can also determine who to talk to o Able to explain questions, ignore/probe some, higher cost, interviewer bias  Personal Interviewing o Individual – talking to people inside their homes, on the street, in malls – flexible, can guide convos, can demonstrate products, observe reactions, expensive o Group – participant usually paid, fee and easy discussion, trying to bring out actual feelings and thoughts – aka focus group interviewing  Try to use small groups to keep cost down – hard to generalize results Online Marketing Research  Gathering research via internet surveys, online panels, experiments, and focus groups  Can use questionnaires on websites ad offer incentives for completing it  Can exp
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