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Establishing Customer needs - Primary research.

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Introduction

Establishing Customer needs Primary research Any information that is original and is obtained outside an organisation is known as primary data. It is obtained by research conducted by or on behalf of the organisation, is specific to its needs and will involve a range of methods, such as discussions, questionnaires and surveys, and testing through pilots and field trials. Discussions with people One of the best ways of finding out about people's knowledge, feelings, preferences or thoughts is by asking them directly through discussion. There are a number of research methods that involve discussions with respondents. Face to Face interviews Face to Face interviews may include the following: * Street surveys. This is sometimes referred to as clipboard surveys. This involves people being approached in streets, often in busy town centres, and are asked to complete a survey immediately. * Shop surveys. These take place in shops, often in the entrance, and shoppers are asked to take part in the survey as they leave the store. * Household surveys. This involves interviewers going from door to door asking questions. * Hall surveys. Involves booking a hall and inviting respondents to attend, or bringing them in from the streets. Respondents are often offered free gifts or food to encourage them to take part. ...read more.

Middle

Surveys and sampling Surveys are one of the most common ways used to collect market research information. There are two types of surveys: A census- involves questioning every supplier or customer within a particular market. Sample- involves questioning a selection of respondents from the target market. There are a number of different ways of choosing a sample. Random sampling With this method, individuals and organisations are selected from a 'sampling frame', which is simply a list of all the members of the market or population to be surveyed. There are three main forms of random sampling: 1. Simple random sampling- allows the researcher to choose the size of the sample required and then to pick the sample on a purely random basis. 2. Systematic sampling- involves selecting items from the list at regular intervals after choosing a random starting point. 3. Stratified random sampling- it weights the sample on the basis of the importance of each group of customers in the market Cluster sampling With this method, the population/customers are divided into small areas but, instead of sampling from a random selection of these areas, sampling is carried out in few areas that are considered to be typical of the market in question. Quota sampling With quota sampling interviews are given instructions as to the number of people to interview with certain characteristics. ...read more.

Conclusion

* Magazines and trade journals- the obvious ones are The Economist and The Grocer. * TV and radio- these include specialist news and current affairs programmes. * Teletext- this provides a wide variety of current information covering many topics. Directories There are many business directories that provide general information about industries and markets. Trade associations Trade associations publish information for their members concerning their particular fields, and there are associations for almost all trades. The internet The internet has rapidly become an invaluable research tool, providing a rich resource for information from a multitude of resources. Market research companies There are a number of commercial market research companies offering a range of services and selling data they acquire from a variety of sources. For example, Mintel is a commercial research organisation which, in return for a fee, provides a monthly journal containing reports on consumer markets. Marketing databases A database is a large number of files or a large file structured in such a way that the data can be processed by different users in a large number of different ways. Databases may help managers to make the following decisions: * Product decisions * Pricing decisions * Distribution decisions * Promotional decisions Profit opportunities As products go through their product life cycle the profitability of different products changes. Marketing analysis helps to direct an organisation towards those activities where profitability and other business objectives can best be satisfied. ...read more.

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