Identifying a potential opportunity – Marketing

Such research might help the company and its advertising agency identify new product ideas or developing more effective advertisements.

Specifying the objectives of the research:

Is some ways the identification of a potential opportunity is similar to the situations concerned with describing an apparent problem. When research is being carried out with the hope of identifying a potential opportunity, the researchers often have only some general notions about what opportunities might be uncovered. Such notions are likely to be oriented towards findings new uses for a product, finding new packaging or new product ideas, or finding ways of promoting the product more effectively. Thus the objectives of the research may be no more specific than to identify new ideas that might be applicable to product usage, product features packaging and communicating about the product.

Listing the needed Information: Typically the list of needed information is stated in a rather general way when researchers are concerned with identifying a potential opportunity.

Example: A manufacturer of frozen foods was looking for new product or packaging ideas that might appeal to working women, both married and unmarried. The manufacturer’s list of needed information included such items as attitudes and behavior toward meal preparation, especially with regard to using frozen foods; likes and dislikes about the use of frozen foods and frozen food packaging; dislikes and inconveniencies associated with the preparation of foods not available in frozen food form, or not available in a frozen form that could be prepared in a microwave oven and suggestions regarding new or improved frozen foods or frozen food packaging.

These items of information were stated in rather general terms because the company did not have any specific new product or packaging ideas that they wanted consumers to evaluate They also did not wish to be too specific in their listed information needs for fear of restricting the free flow of ideas and comments that might be forthcoming from the women participating in the research.

Designing the Data Collection Project:

Ideas regarding potential opportunities are often solicited from consumers, so the data collection projects that are used typically involve some members of the consuming public. Because researchers would like to hear any and all ideas that consumers might have, the data collection projects will not allow a structural format. More than likely the research will be very unstructured.

Research projects concerned with trying to identify potential opportunities such as new ways to promote or use a product, or ideas regarding possible new products – are commonly called exploratory research. Such research projects tend to be unstructured and usually do not involve a specified list of detailed questions. Exploratory research projects can be carried out in different ways.

Target Market Awareness, Attitudes and Usage:

What percentage of the target market is aware of the firm’s product? What do they know about the product, and what is their attitude toward it? What percentage of the target market has tried the product? Of those who have tried the product, what are their attitudes it, and what percentage has repurchased it? What are the repurchases?

The answers to these questions can help managers determine if past advertising and promotions have been successful in achieving the desired levels of awareness, trial, and repurchase among target market members. This can be useful trouble shooting information, especially if market share objectives are not being met. In such a situation, management will want to know if the poor sales record results from low consumer awareness of the product, unfavorable attitudes toward the product or, low acceptance of the products’ benefits and features. The above questions will provide management this information.