Market research

by Business Case Studies on Tuesday 31st May, 2011

For organisations to be successful, they need to know what their customers want. The same is true for performers. Take That, it appears, do know what their audiences want…or at least they have done in the past. As a result of this, they have sold 1.67 million tickets for their current tour of UK and Ireland. The Progress Live tour of 29 stadium dates, has broken Take That's own record for ticket sales. The last tour in 2009, in which Robbie Williams did not appear, sold 1.08 million tickets. When it was announced that Robbie would be touring with the group back in October, fans bombarded ticket agencies. It is the first time he will have toured with the other four bandmates for 16 years. (BBC News 27th May 2011)

It is difficult to imagine Take That's support team carrying out structured market research activities to find out about their customers and competitors, but there is no doubt they will be using any data available to them to ensure the performers deliver what the audience wants. Market research is vitally important for organisations when developing new products and services. Consider Kellogg's, for instance. Before launching its new Crunchy Nut Bites breakfast cereal, it undertook a range of both primary and secondary research in order to gain both qualitative and quantitative data to support the development of this new product. By bringing this new product to market, Kellogg's have been able to attract new customers to the brand. In fact, sales data shows that it was one of the best performing brands in its first full year of sales. The market research that was carried out meant that the new Crunchy Nut Bites was successful with customers straight away.

Questions

1.Define both primary and secondary research.
2.Explain the difference between qualitative and quantitative data.
3.Using the Kellogg's case study, identify and explain some of the different market research techniques that Kellogg's used.

Answers to questions

1.Define both primary and secondary research.

  • Primary research involves finding out new, first hand data. Methods of primary research include observations, questionnaires and focus groups.
  • Secondary research involves finding existing data from sources such as firms' financial accounts and trade journals.

2.Explain the difference between qualitative and quantitative data.
Qualitative research is associated with finding opinions, feelings and attitudes of consumers, whereas quantitative research is associated with figures or numbers to help make the research more objective. Qualitative research may be better obtained through interviews and focus groups whereas quantitative data may be found using questionnaires.
3.Using the Kellogg's case study, identify and explain some of the different market research techniques that Kellogg's usedMethods include:

  • Secondary research from Mintel and Datamonitor was used to find out about innovation trends in the cereal market.
  • Focus groups were used to find qualitative data about new food ideas.
  • Quantitative surveys were carried out to get responses to different product ideas.
  • Testing was carried out prior to the new product launch – this was called the 'In Home Usage Test'.

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