The research objectives in marketing are:
1. To illustrate how different research situations affect the first three steps (research objectives, needed information, and research design) of the marketing research process in different ways.
2. To suggest that unstructured and informal research designs are likely to be used when attempting to arrive at a more clear description of an apparent problem.
3. To indicate that exploratory research designs are typically used when researchers are trying to identify a potential marketing opportunity.
4. To explain why several research projects are likely to be used to assist the marketing planning activity and why those research projects tend to be large scale descriptive studies.
5. To explain why experiments may be used when managers must make a choice between two or more specific alternative courses of action.
6. To illustrate how a decision tree analysis can sometimes help managers choose between alternatives without the benefits of additional research.
For its Breyers ice cream account, the Young & Rubicam advertising agency wanted to get a taste of what ice cream really means to American consumers market researchers visited six families at home to observe ice cream indulgence firsthand. They photographed people lounging in their favorite chairs and taking the first scrumptious lick. They snooped in freezers, inspected bowls and utensils watched people spoon on toppings and listened to one woman describe how she dims the lights and flips on her stereo before digging in. We learned about people’s emotional response to ice cream and found that it’s a very sensual, inner-directed experience said the marketing director for Breyers.
When Liggett & Myers Tobacco Co. decided to make a play for the Hispanic market it looked like a nearly impossible sell. Hispanics tend to be usually brand loyal: in the case of cigarettes many are diehard fans of Philip Morris’s Marlboro and R J Reynolds Tobacco’s Winston brand.
So Liggett dug in and conducted door-to-door interviews with 477 Hispanic families in New York, Miami, San Antonio, Texas and Los Angeles to learn more about their smoking habits. The results: not merely an ad campaign, but a recipe for an entirely new cigarette. It had to be a full flavored blend. Menthols and low tar products wouldn’t do. To covey status and machismo, the package was designed with gold lettering on paper that has rustic rosewood look. And the brand name? Something with a slight Latin ring, Dorado and L&M Superior turned out to be the most popular in Hispanic consumers’ tests: Liggett is trying out both names.
When Sears Roebuck and company wants to use new display or layout in one of its departments (e.g. sporting goods) it might first test the display or layout in one of its stores for six months. If sales during the six months test period increase (say 15%) over the sales during the same six month period in the previous year when the old display of layout used, the company would have an indication that the test has been a successful one. To more accurately measure the effects of the test, the company would also take into consideration total store sales during the six month test compared with total store sales during he same six month period in the previous year. If total store sales during the test period had increased 5% over the total store sales during the same six month period in the pervious year, the sales increase (15%) attributable to the new display or layout would be adjusted downward to 10% (i.e. 15% — 5%) to reflect the fact that the sporting goods department’s sales probably would have increased 5% without the new display.
Each of the above represents a different type of research situation. The objectives of the research are different in each case, as is the information needed from the research. Consequently, the type of research used in each situation is also different.