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Market research testing

Market research testing can unleash potential opportunities for new products, as well as rejuvenate existing products, perhaps by incorporating new features or finding new markets. This process links the consumers, customers, and public to the marketer through information - information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process.

Corporate success is not the realisation of visions, aspirations, and missions - the product of wish-driven strategy. It is the result of a careful appreciation of the strengths of the firm and the economic environment it faces. But nor is success often the realisation of a carefully orchestrated corporate plan. The strategy of successful firms is adaptive and opportunistic. Yet in the hands of a successful company an adaptive and opportunistic strategy is also rational, analytic, and calculated. Adaptiveness does not mean waiting for something to turn up. Opportunism is only productive for a firm which knows which opportunities to seize and which to reject.

It is important to acknowledge that people's tastes change slowly; they gradually see and acknowledge the adoption of products by others; and are influenced by regular exposure to promotions. Corporate success derives from a competitive advantage which is based on distinct capabilities, which is most often derived from the unique character of a firm's relationships with its suppliers, customers, or employees, and which is precisely identified and applied to relevant markets. (Kay, 1993)

Key questions that should be asked in any market research testing include the following:
  1. Is the purpose of the concept clear and can potential users be persuaded of the product's benefits?  (This will show the clarity and purpose of the offering.)
  2. Does the product meet a need?  What is the specific nature of potential users' requirements?  (This will assess the demand for the product.)
  3. How are existing products used, i.e. for how long, how frequently, precisely what for etc.?  (This will show the behavior of people buying existing products.)
  4. What challenges do people face in using existing products and what requirements are not being met?  To what extent are users of current products satisfied with these products and their suppliers? (This will identify any gaps in the market.)
  5. Is the price reasonable in light of the concept's perceived benefits? (This will show if people are prepared to pay an appropriate price for the new product.)
  6. How likely are potential users to buy the product? (This will show purchase intent, i.e. how many people are likely to buy the new product - at least at face value as this will certainly be affected by the promotional push.)
Methodologically, market research testing uses the following types of research designs (their in-depth details are ommitted here, as it's out of scope for our website. It's recommended that you make a Google search to find out more on these designs.):
  1. Based on questioning

    1. Qualitative marketing research - generally used for exploratory purposes - small number of respondents - not generalizable to the whole population - statistical significance and confidence not calculated - examples include focus groups, in-depth interviews, and projective techniques
    2. Quantitative marketing research - generally used to draw conclusions - tests a specific hypothesis - uses random sampling techniques so as to infer from the sample to the population - involves a large number of respondents - examples include surveys and questionnaires. Techniques include choice modelling, maximum difference preference scaling, and covariance analysis.
  2. Based on observations

    1. Ethnographic studies - by nature qualitative, the researcher observes social phenomena in their natural setting - observations can occur cross-sectionally (observations made at one time) or longitudinally (observations occur over several time-periods) - examples include product-use analysis and computer cookie traces.
    2. Experimental techniques - by nature quantitative, the researcher creates a quasi-artificial environment to try to control spurious factors, then manipulates at least one of the variables - examples include purchase laboratories and test markets

Researchers often use more than one research design. They may start with secondary research to get background information, then conduct a focus group (qualitative research design) to explore the issues. Finally they might do a full nation-wide survey (quantitative research design) in order to devise specific recommendations for the client.

Marketing decision models


Business strategies definition

  1. Market and product development
    1. Beta testing
    2. Market research testing
    3. Commercialization of a product
      This is often considered post-NPD (New Product Development).
  2. Business and revenue model
  3. Positioning and differentiation
  4. Multi channel distribution
    'With each new sales channel, a company expands its sales and market coverage'.
  5. Multi channel communication
    The goal of writing multi channel communication plan is to get an audience to invest their time, money or efforts in a product or service.
  6. Marketing communication mix
    The importance of online service for some organisations are indicated by bank Nationwide.
  7. Organisational capabilities
  1. Idea generation
    1. Opportunity analysis
      The strategy of assessing the potential for a change or enhancement to enhance the generation of revenue.
  2. Idea screening
  3. Business analysis
    1. Break even analysis
    2. Benefits of break even analysis
    3. Fourt Woodlock equation
      The tool used to determine whether the product idea will be profitable or not.
  4. Critical path analysis
  5. How to make critical path analysis?
  6. Critical path in business
  7. Logistics strategic plan
    Logistics is how to get raw materials, move them in the system, distribute and replace them.
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