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Marketing Basics - Kotler Philip

Marketing research system

Marketing managers need to study specific situations in detail. Here are some examples:

• Playboy, Inc. would like to know more about the income level, education level and lifestyle of current readers of their magazine, their reading preferences, and their attitude to a number of possible changes in the publication.

• Pacific Stereo has a nationwide network of audio equipment stores. Management wants to explore the market potential of some cities in the southern states with a view to possibly placing new stores there.

• Barat College, in Lake Forest, Illinois, is keen to enroll high school graduates with higher than average academic performance. The college management needs to know what percentage of the target market audience have heard about Barat, what exactly they know, how they learned about the college and how they relate to it. This information would help the college improve its communications program.

In such situations, managers cannot wait for information to be received in parts. Each of them requires a formal study. And since the manager does not, as a rule, have the time or the ability to obtain such information on his own, formal marketing research needs to be ordered. We define marketing research as follows:

Marketing research ? systematic determination of the range of data necessary in connection with the marketing situation facing the company, their collection, analysis and report on the results.

A company can order marketing research in several ways. A small company may ask students or teachers at a local college to plan and conduct such a study, or it may also hire a specialized organization. Many large companies (more than 73%) have their own marketing research departments3. In such a department there may be from one to several dozen employees. The manager of the marketing research service is usually subordinate to the vice president of marketing and acts as the research manager, administrator, consultant and advocate for the firm. Among department employees? developers of research plans, statistics, sociologists, psychologists, modeling specialists.

Marketing researchers are constantly expanding their field of activity (see table. 1). Here are 10 of the most typical tasks they solve: studying market characteristics, measuring market potential, analyzing the distribution of market shares between firms, analyzing sales, examining business activity trends, studying competitors' products, short-term forecasting, studying the reaction to a new product and its potential, long-term forecasting studying price policy.