When not to do research?

A great many research projects are concerned with gathering information on current and recent consumer attitudes and behavior. This type of research is commonly used because (typically) consumers have such information, they are likely to remember it, and more often than not they are willing and able to give to researchers.

Listed below are some occasions where certain types of research may be difficult to do.

1. Often respondents will be unable to give valid answers to questions concerning something that happened in their recent past to that might happen in the far-off future. In a test of two advertising copy treatments, for example, consumers can indicate which they recall or which they find more appealing, but they are unable to describe the long run effect each will have on their attitudes and behavior.
2. Unimportant events in a person’s past are less likely to be remembered than important ones. People may always remember their first car, but they may not remember all the brands of cereal or toothpaste they purchased within the last month.
3. Respondents have difficulty communicating their emotions and sensations to researchers. For example, consumers may be able to identify which of two coffees or beers tastes better, but it is unlikely that they will be able to communicate to the interviewer the sensations they experienced in arriving at their choice.
4. While researchers can obtain consumers’ attitudes and opinions about most new product concepts and descriptions, certain types of prospective new products or services may not be researchable or may be only partially researchable. For some new products or services it may not be possible to run a sales test or test market to evaluate their potential for success. For example, Sears Roebuck and Co could not run a limited test market on its new Discover travel and credit card because the success of such a card requires that its holders be able to use the card everywhere in the country.
5. Because of the nature of some products there may not be enough time available to do research. As a result of their very short life cycle, for example, very little research is undertaken on women’s fashions. Brand loyalty and/or repurchase rate studies cannot easily be undertaken for products purchased only occasionally such as those purchased only about once a year or less frequently. In still other cases, a competitor’s actions must be responded to almost immediately hence there may be no time for research.
6. If the advantages associated with a company’s new product could easily be copied by competitors once they had become aware of the new product, it is not practical for the company to undertake any kind of marketing research that may expose their product to competitors. In such cases companies try to gain national distribution as soon as possible and hope to enjoy the advantages associated with being the first to market such a product.

MR has failed rarely as in the case of Coca-Cola Corporation (US) in 1985. This was regarding New Coke to be launch and the research has shown customers where mostly favorable after the New Coke and with the new taste. The New Coke was launched based on MR results and failed within Six months from the date of launching

This is one of Cases were the MR have not given expected results. Besides marketing research has often been de linked from the business strategy. When that happens, MR exercise is a waste of resources .Often the researchers has the temptation to conclude what the top management may like to hear. For example, most chief executives and marketing chiefs would like to believe that everything about their operations is good. The researchers may find just the opposite. For example, he may find that the firm’s distribution plan and strategy is not competitive and channel members do not have faith in company’s policies.

There are other situations where it may be very difficult even impossible to do certain types of research or to obtain accurate and reliable information through research. Both researchers and managers should be aware that such situations exist.

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