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Marketing and Consumer Science

What is marketing research? How has the Internet affected marketing research? As a part of your answer, address time, cost, approaches, and validity. Why is marketing research important to developing a marketing strategy?

Marketing research refers to the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting the different marketing problems that a business is facing (Kotler, 2005). The internet has facilitated research due to the provision of sufficient information that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Customers can be asked to give their opinions on the products and services that they are provided by the business over the internet. Information can be collected easily without having to travel long distances to meet the customers. The data that can be accessed freely over the internet saves a lot of money.

The approaches that can be employed in the research are so many that the business is able to choose the method it considers the most efficient and appropriate. The marketing strategy may involve long-term plans and therefore requires sufficient information before strategic plans are made. Therefore, for the decisions to be effective, the market has to be understood so that the plans can be made to meet the specific needs of the market. This requires market research to understand the market so that decisions made can be useful in meeting the goals of the organization.

What is competitive intelligence? What is the importance of competitive intelligence and analysis in modern-day marketing? How can a company’s marketing organization ensure that it is able to identify newly emerging competitors in time to plan and execute an effective marketing strategy in response to these competitors?

Competitive intelligence is the process of collecting data, analyzing it from the external environment of the business, and then using it in making decisions. It is important to the organization since it can be used in competitive benchmarking by comparing the organization with its competitors. It can be used in testing the organization’s plans with the various market responses as well as in finding out the risks or weaknesses it is facing within the environment (Leonard, 1985).

Such information can be used in exploiting the opportunities available and also in improving the weaknesses of the organization. Resources can be invested in these areas so that they can have a competitive advantage over the competitors. For example, the internet can be used in research and advertising as a modern-day marketing strategy. The marketing department should do market research continuously in order to identify newly emerging competitors.

For instance, it should find out why its sales are declining as it may happen due to the switching of consumers from the business to the competitors. Appropriate solutions should be made and the organization should set aside sufficient funds for the marketing strategy so that it can respond promptly to the strategies being set by the competitors. Sometimes the organization may send its own employees to go and buy from the competitors in order to understand the various strategies that the competitors are employing. It should plan and execute its responses immediately before the competitors acquire a larger market share.

What are the different types of buyers and consumers? How does the type of buyer or consumer affect marketing strategy? As part of your response, consider the characteristics of buyers and the factors that influence their purchasing decision. How can an organization ensure that its market strategy is appropriate for its target market?

Different buyers and consumers include organizational buyers and individual consumers. The marketer should understand the specific needs of the consumer as they affect the strategy to be used.

Organizational buyers are the companies or organizations that buy products to use in the production or for resale purposes. Individual consumers are the households who use the products but not for resale. Organizational buyers are more focused on product quality and specifically buy certain products for a long time. They develop a long-term relationship with the organization as long as it is able to meet their needs. The individual consumers are very dynamic as they do not use one product for a very long time.

Factors that influence the purchasing decisions are psychological factors, sociological factors, the price, product, promotion, and place. Psychological factors may be in form of tastes and preferences or the lifestyle of the consumers. Sociological factors may include the culture of society and religion. The price should be attractive to the consumer by not being too high, the product should meet the specific needs of the consumer by ensuring that they are of high quality, and promotions like advertisements, free samples, and warranty can influence customers’ purchase decisions.

The channel or place of distribution should be near to the customers to reduce the distance for accessing the products (Armstrong& Kotler, 2011). The organization should first know the specific needs of consumers so that it does not waste its resources on consumers who have no interest in its products. It should then mix all the four P’s in order to be appropriate for the target market. The organization should also scan the environment before coming up with plans. The strategies should be dynamic to allow changes or adjustments to be made due to uncertainties in the market. Market segmentation and dominance are some of the strategies to be used for the target market.

References

Armstrong, G., & Kotler, P. (2011). Marketing: An introduction. New Jersey, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Kotler, P. (2005). Marketing management. New Jersey, NJ: Pearson Education.

Leonard, M. (1985). Competitor intelligence. New York, NY: Wiley.