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Chapter 2

MARK312 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Entscheidungsproblem, Kraft Foods, Food Bank


Department
Marketing
Course Code
MARK312
Professor
Webb Dussome
Chapter
2

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Chapter 2: Problem Definition,
Exploratory Research, and the Research Process
The Critical Importance of Correctly Defining the Problem
crucial first step
research problem defined wrong, research objectives also wrong
ultimate goal is to develop clear, concise, and meaningful marketing research objectives
Recognize the Problem or Opportunity
marketing managers challenged with the question “should we change existing marketing mix?”,
and if so, “how?”
use marketing research to evaluate products and services, promotion, distribution, or pricing
alternatives, find and evaluate new opportunities
opportunity identification - using marketing research to find and evaluate new opportunities
e.g. consumers are demanding companies become more socially and ethically sustainable,
shown through purchasing power by buying from companies that represent these things.
Marketing research including surveys, secondary data, key informant interviews, and focus
groups all showed the same desire from consumers. presents an opportunity for many
companies to attract consumers to their products.
e.g. saw a rise in use of Canadian food bank after 2008 recession so Kraft Canada donated
money to the food bank for every signature they received, showed their contribution back to
the community from one of Canada’s largest food companies
Find Out Why the Information is Being Sought
want to avoid requests for marketing information being poorly formulated or misunderstood by
marketing managers
marketing researchers find the following activities useful to avoid this:
discuss what information will be used for and what decisions might be made as a result of the
research. work through detailed examples to help clarify the issue.
try to get client or manager to prioritize questions. helps sort out central questions from those
of incidental interest (nice to know information)
rephrase the question in several slightly different forms and discuss the differences
create sample data and ask if such data would help answer the questions. simulate the
decision making process
remember that the more clear-cut you think the questions are and the more quickly you come
to feel that the questions are straightforward, the more you should doubt that you have
understood the real need
Understand the Decision-Making Environment with Exploratory Research
to fully comprehend the problem, could talk to brand managers or new product managers, read
company reports, visit production facilities and retail stores, talk with suppliers
situation analysis - the study of the decision-making environment within which the marketing
research will take place; the industry, the firm, its products or services, the target market
exploratory research - preliminary research conducted to increase understanding of a concept,
to clarify the exact nature of the problem to be solved, or to identify important variables to be
studied
is preliminary research, not the definitive research used to determine course of action

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can take several forms - pilot studies, experience surveys, secondary data analysis, case
analysis, focus groups
pilot studies - surveys that use a limited number of respondents and often employ less rigorous
sampling techniques than are employed in large, quantitative studies
Experience Surveys Analysis
experience surveys - discussions with knowledgable individuals, both inside and outside the
organization, who may provide insight into the problem
rarely include formal questionnaire
may have a list of topics to discuss - more like an informal discussion
e.g. Airline wants to design interiors of aircrafts - talk to interior designers, frequent flyers,
flight attendants and pilots
Secondary Data Analysis
data that have been gathered for some purpose other than the one at hand
use internet to access quickly, cheaply, and easily
helps to precisely define the problem
Case Analysis
the review of information from situations that are similar to the current one
researchers must always take care to determine the relevancy of any case study to the present
research problem
Focus Groups
in-depth discussions usually consisting of 8-12 participants, led by a moderator and generally
limited to one particular concept, idea or theme
have what one person says generate thoughts and comments by others, therefore creating
group dynamics
interplay of responses yields more information than one-on-one
probably the most popular form of exploratory research
help clarify and understand the problem and issues involved
Using Intranets for Exploratory Research
intranet - systems within an organization that contain information from previous research
studies, and all company information
capability to determine whether the needed info is available within the organization
organizations are developing systems to permit much more effective managerial use of
information resources within the company - search systems of past studies, etc
can also perform internet searchers for external sources of information - fast and delivers
massive amount of results
Completing Exploratory Research
end of exploratory research is when the marketing researchers are convinced that they have
found the major dimensions of the problem
may also end because they feel further research is not needed or is not presently possible due
to time, money or other constraints
Use the Symptoms to Clarify the Problem
must be careful to distinguish between symptoms and the real problem
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symptom is a phenomenon that occurs because of the existence of some thing else
e.g. managers talking about falling sales, customer complaints, defecting customers. these
are the symptoms of a deeper problem - something is causing the customers to leave.
iceberg principle - focusing on the symptoms rather than the true problem (what is above the
water rather than the bigger part below the water)
approach to eliminating symptoms is to ask “why did this happen?”. when you can no longer
answer this the problem is at hand
Translate the Management Decision Problem into a Marketing Research Problem
marketing research problem - a statement specifying the type of information needed by the
decision maker to help solve the management decision problem and how that information can
be obtained efficiently and effectively
marketing research objective - a goal statement, defining the specific information needed to
solve the marketing research problem
management decision problem - a statement specifying the type of managerial action required
to solve the problem. tend to be broader in scope and more general than marketing research
problems
e.g. management decision problem - “should we change the layout of our stores?”
e.g. marketing research problem - to examine whether the current layout needs improvement
or not. would evaluate current store layout to provide management with answer
e.g. marketing research problem becomes marketing research objective - “to evaluate the
effectiveness of the current store layout”
Determine Whether the Information Already Exists
using existing data can save managers time and money if the data can answer the research
question
do not underestimate the power of already existing data
Avoiding Nice-to-Know Syndrome
nothing wrong with interesting findings, but they must be actionable - findings must provide
decision making information
one of best ways to determine if it is actionable is to determine how the research results will be
implemented
Determine Whether the Question Can be Answered
when marketing researchers promise more than they can delivers, they hurt the credibility of
marketing research - need to avoid being impelled into an effort that has a small probability of
success
can discern in advance the likelihood of success by identifying the following:
instances in which you know for certain that information of the type is required exists or can be
readily obtained
situations in which you are fairly certain, based on similar prior experiences, that the
information can be gathered
cases in which you know that you are trying something quite new and there is a real risk of
drawing a complete blank
State the Research Objectives
culmination of the problem definition process is a statement of the research objectives
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