Marketing on the marketing research department

It is to be recalled that at the meeting of the Board of Directors of Company X held on 30 June, 2006, approval was given for the establishment of a Marketing Research Department. This decision was finally taken after several presentations were made to the Board to that effect.  The newly created department was charged with the following responsibilities:

a.Determine how various customer groups are reacting to present marketing mixes of company X

b.Evaluate the effectiveness of operational marketing mixes

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d.Assess changes in the external environment and the effect they would have on product and service strategy

e.Identify new market  (a to e are after McDaniel and Gates, 1999)

f.Assess present relationships with external marketing agencies with the view to making them stronger.

This report presents the current and potential problems confronting our organization from the perspective of marketing and how the newly created department intends to solve them. It also considers new opportunities that have been thrown up since the creation of the department and how it intends to take advantage of them. The marketing department also plans to recruit additional staff. The new staff shall be given an orientation to enable better cope with our style of working. Details of the marketing research process have been given in Appendix 1.

IDENTIFIED PROBLEMS

As with most start-up departments, the newly created marketing research department has no past records to guide its work. The only available records are those from our relationships with external marketing agencies. They cover mostly farmed out work from our organization. As a baby trying to walk, we anticipate to encounter difficulties but shall learn as we crawl forward. The department is seriously understaffed, so additional staff must be recruited to enable it discharge its assigned responsibilities.

The new staff members would be given an orientation to enable them cope with our unique style of working. The department would also have to put in place expanded information systems to cope with the additional responsibilities assigned to it. Such systems would enable us handle the data that we collect and analyze effortlessly. There is also the need to put up in-house facilities for focus-group work and telephony research.

IDENTIFIED OPPORTUNITIES

It is estimated that about over One billion people use the internet worldwide (Business week, 2005). Available reports indicate that this figure shall increase in future. This is a big opportunity for our company, if we can identify our customers and offer them tailor-made goods and services.

Some of the market segments of our company are presently underserved. There is the need to accurately identify them and map out strategies to fully serve them. New markets have also opened up in other countries and regions that we must adequately research and go after.

PROPOSED SOLUTIONS

We shall have to develop discussion guide book for our focus group work and also a manual on the research process orientation. Five additional staff shall be recruited for our in-house research work. Of the staff employed two with a background information technology and electronic business or commerce shall be needed for our web-based businesses. Materials shall also be procured for our in-house focus group work. New Information systems shall be purchased to seamlessly weave data output from the different departments with that of marketing research.

From our customer research studies, we shall be better placed to take advantage of the opportunities that have risen up online.  It is our goal to match the enormous opportunity online with the strength of our new staff members, with the background in electronic business or commerce.  The business and marketing plans shall provide details on how new emerging markets shall be entered into and existing ones developed. The plans shall also outline ways and means of forging solid relationships with marketing agencies and other stakeholders.

Conclusion

It is our wish that if these measures are implemented, we shall not only see a vibrant marketing research department but also the kind that contributes enormously to our company’s bottom line results.

Appendix 1

THE MARKETING RESEARCH PROCESS

McDaniel and Gates (1999) have outlined an eight stage procedure for conducting marketing. These are:

a.Problem or opportunity identification and formulation

b.Creation of research design

c.Selection of research methodology

d.Selection of sampling procedure

e.Collection of data

f.Analysis of data

g.Preparation and writing of report

h.Follow up

a.Problem or opportunity identification

During this stage attempt is made to identify the problem at stake or the opportunity to be taken advantage of. Attempt is also made to grasp the scope of the problem and also the opportunity. The information needed in solving the problem and the way and manner it should be obtained is also determined.  After having grasped the scope of the problem or opportunity, the research objectives are outlined. It must be stressed that it is essential for the problem under investigation to be thoroughly understood as the other subsequent stages rest on this stage.

b.Creation of research design

At this stage, the researcher devises a plan or an approach for answering the research question. In doing so, the researcher must opt for an approach that is cost-effective and also provide the highest possible information for decision making.

C.Selection of research methodology

There are essentially three major methods for carrying out marketing research. These are surveys, observation and experiment. At this stage therefore the research should select one or a combination of them to collect the information needed.

d.Selection of sampling procedure

A sample is a subset of the population the researcher is interested in.

At this stage therefore, the researcher decides on which members of the target population should be used for the research… The researcher must determine whether he would give each and every member of the target population equal opportunity to participate in the research or only a select few shall be used.

e.Collection of data

This stage entails the collection of the information that the researcher is interested in.  This can be interviewing, survey questionnaire, and observation. The researcher can decide to collect the information himself or ask other persons to do so on his behalf.

f.Analysis of data

The data collected is analyzed at this stage to give meaning to it. From the analysis, it makes it possible for the researcher to interpret the results and offer recommendations and conclusion

g.Preparation and writing of report.

The analyzed and interpreted data must be communicated to the desired audience in a report. Since the objective of this stage  is to give understanding to what the researcher has found, the report was be tailored to needs of the audience.

h.Follow-up

At this stage, the researcher seeks to find out whether the results and recommendations made in a report have been used and also what has been the outcome of it

AReferences

1.Businessweek (2005). The Future of Tech, Businessweek ,20th June edition.

McDaniel, C. and Gates, R. (1999). Contemporary Marketing Research, South-Western College Pub

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