A market research programme arises from the need to address a problem or a business need. When the problem is not clearly understood, it is useful to first identify the symptoms, consider the possible causes and the actions that could be taken to resolve the problem. Ultimately some decisions need to be made, and the purpose of the research is to guide decision makers and mitigate their risks.
Once a problem is understood it may be defined by explicitly articulating the business issue, the business objectives that the research needs to address, and the research objectives. A research proposal should start by outlining these objectives.
From the previous chapter we know that different forms of research address different types of business needs. Quantitative research can find answers to questions such as: How many people use my brand? What is my brand’s brand equity? Is it rising or falling? This type of problem is called descriptive — it describes or summarizes observations.
Quant is also well suited for inferential problems that interpret the meaning of some descriptive measure or verify a hypothesis. For instance — What are the factors driving brand equity? Do more consumers prefer product formulation ‘A’ over formulation ‘B’? A research question becomes a hypothesis when it is rephrased as a statement that can be proved or disproved. For instance, the prior question may be rephrased as the hypothesis — more consumers prefer product formulation ‘A’ over formulation ‘B’.
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Marketing has changed. More so in practical terms, and marketing education is lagging.
The fundamental change lies in the application of analytics and research. Every aspect of the marketing mix can be sensed, tracked and measured.
That does not mean that marketers need to become expert statisticians. We don't need to learn to develop marketing mix models or create perceptual maps. But we should be able to understand and interpret them.
MarketingMind helps. But the real challenge lies in developing expertise in the interpretation and the application of market intelligence.
The Destiny market simulator was developed in response to this challenge. Traversing business years within days, it imparts a concentrated dose of analytics-based strategic marketing experiences.
Like fighter pilots, marketers too can be trained with combat simulators that authentically reflect market realities.
But be careful. There are plenty of toys that masquerade as simulators.
Destiny is unique. It is an authentic FMCG (CPG) market simulator that accurately imitates the way consumers shop, and replicates the reports and information that marketers use at leading consumer marketing firms.
While in a classroom setting you are pitted against others, as an independent learner, you get to play against the computer. Either way you learn to implement effective marketing strategies, develop an understanding of what drives store choice and brand choice, and become proficient in the use of market knowledge and financial data for day-to-day business decisions.