Last Updated 21 May 2021

Unit Three – Marketing P3

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Market research indicates decisions made by a business, in this case Tesco, by helping the decision makers understand undercurrents of its market. This process involves research done on customers, competitors and the overall marketing environment. For example, when Tesco is promoting a product, they need to know the likes and dislikes of their targeted consumers in order to target the correct market successfully. They would also be required to research about their competitors, to find out if by any chance they offered a product that was similar, and how they would differentiate their product from it. Also, as an overall, they would be required to research the environment of the market, as well as the size of their target market, in order to decide how they are going to offer the product to the consumers. Example: sold in store, online, or both.

Primary and Secondary Research

There are two types of research:

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  • Primary Research
  • Secondary Research

Information for these types of research can be done internally – within the organization, or externally, from another organization or source of information outside the organization, in this case Tesco.

When information or data is gathered for a certain purpose and has not been gathered before is known is primary research. Internal primary research data source could consist of:

  • The business’s sales figures of products
  • A central database holding customer data

External primary research data source could consist of:

  • Various questionnaires and surveys
  • A variety of focus groups and interviews
  • Observation techniques

When data or information that has been collected before, either internally or externally, is used for research is known as secondary research. Another name for secondary research is ‘desk research’.

Internal secondary research data source could consist of:

  • Sales and regional reports
  • Market research gathered in the past

External secondary research data source could consist of:

  • Websites and trade journals
  • Newspapers and books
  • Public reports
  • Census data
  • Industry reports

For business like Tesco that operate in many different fields, secondary research is more cost-effective, before they decide to conduct primary research. This allows Tesco to have a better understanding of the market, as well as recognize any major obstacles before conducting expensive research.

Secondary research also allows them to make assumptions based on similar products and therefore, once primary research is conducted, it can be used against the assumptions to evaluate and compare. This will help indicate how much primary research they are required to do and therefore they don’t end up doing too much that is not required. However, Tesco is required to take the limitation of secondary research into consideration:

  • The information may be outdated
  • The information may be biased in order to promote particular causes
  • The methods used to collect the research may be unreliable.

Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Research methods can be qualitative, quantitive or can include both methods. Well-planned market research consists of both methods in order to result with a good combination of information revealing different things about the same market. Qualitative research is one-sided and normally unrestricted. It normally is gathered through interviews with customers or focus groups and therefore result in a wide range of research based on personal experiences and feelings.

A qualitative question allows the individual go give a broad answer and not based against options. Qualitative research can be used to: Find the perceptions of customers about an organization or brand. Discover how changes in price and other factors affect customers and spending decisions. Explore customer preference, interests and other factors. Quantitative research involves numbers and figures that can be examined mathematically or graphically. This may consist of sales figures, market values, etc. , as well as responses from customers on questionnaires.

This is only categorized as quantitative research if the responses from the customers a chosen from series of answers provided on the questionnaire.  The information collected for market research prevents businesses like Tesco making wrong business decisions. If the product designer for Tesco progresses a new product without market research, then the business is not moving forward on reliable sources and therefore are unaware if customers are interested in the product or not. This indicates, effective market research improves the chances of success and reduces the risks. Tesco’s can also measure progress effectively over time. This can be done by, carrying out market research, to found out the awareness of the product before managing national advertising campaigns.

Once they have conducted the research, they can put their national advertising campaigns into action and again conduct research and compare the two. Therefore, this indicates, market research can be used to measure progress as well as the effects of marketing activities. Limitations of market research – costs, effectiveness and validity of data collected Weather market research is done at a small or large scale, any time is required to be performed accurately and appropriately otherwise it gives irrelevant results.

All market research conducted has the chances of being wrong no matter how well controlled and planned. There are various reasons why market research may not provide accurate or good results but a usual problem is deciding whether the research conducted really measures what it claims to be measuring. Marketers for Tesco are required to decide how reliable the information they have obtained is. Also they need to take into consideration, if the research contained had different respondents or different set of data points, would the results be similar.

Validity refers to whether the research conducted is what it intended to be. Validity involves dependability, which means, a valid measure must be reliable. But, reliability doesn’t have to link to validity, a reliable measure is not required to be valid. The difference between reliability and validity:

  • Reliability guesses the point to which an tool processes the same way each time it is used in under the same conditions with the same subjects.
  • Validity involves the point of accuracy of your measurement.

For organizations like Tesco’s, validity is considered more important than reliability because if a process does not precisely measure what it is supposed to, there is no use of it and therefore it being reliable is useless. Costs are also an essential consideration for Tesco when carrying out market research, as they are required to take into consideration if they money spent is worth the research undertaken and its potential benefits to the product, as well as the organization. A lot of time, effort and money can be spent on market research and in the end the solution discovered might not be worth implementing.

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