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To Coerce or Not to Coerce--That is the Question; Marketing Research and its Place in Business Strategy.

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Introduction

To Coerce or Not to Coerce--That is the Question; Marketing Research and its Place in Business Strategy. David Oxley MKT 421 Professor Vellore Sunder May 5, 2004 To Coerce or Not to Coerce--That is the Question; Marketing Research and its Place in Business Strategy. We live in a "use it up and wear it out" society. The world's resources are being depleted at unsustainable levels to feed a rampant consumerism justified in large part by the mirage of higher standards of living under the broad banner of capitalism and free markets. The chief champion of consumerism is the marketing industry. While this paper does not necessarily intend to suggest that a properly monitored market economy can not succeed in balancing consumerism with reasonable environmental and egalitarian ideals, the central theme involves whether pure pursuit of "anticipating customer or client needs and directing a flow of need-satisfying goods and services from producer to customer or client" can be taken to unhealthy extremes (Perreault-McCarthy, 2002, p8). ...read more.

Middle

With the scientific method, managers don't just assume that their intuition is correct. Instead, they use their intuition and observations to develop hypotheses...Then they test their hypothesis before making final decisions. (2002, p223). In the above context, the use and importance of marketing research seems not only sensible but imperative to effective decision making. However, the underlying assumption easily missed in this conclusion is that consumers will respond consistently from research to eventual purchase. Saying a new product sounds compelling versus actually making a purchase are very different. Equally, the focus of marketing research could easily become fixated on how to make one manufacturer's product more appealing than another's. Pushing the Buy Button In a frightening nod toward the extreme cutting edge of marketing research, Clint Witchalls exposes just how far some companies are prepared to go in order to understand how potential customers make decisions over what they buy (2004). ...read more.

Conclusion

Already, they point out, aggressive marketing contributes indirectly to obesity, diabetes, alcoholism, lung disease and gambling. Others object to the commercial use of medical equipment. (2002, p2). Conclusion There is a place for marketing research in attempting to avoid the great product failures of the past. Ford's Edsel and countless other "inside out" developed products seem to underscore the importance of effective marketing research. In the narrow context of ensuring that when a company may intend to invest millions of dollars and risk thousands of jobs, undertaking targeted marketing intelligence must be a prerequisite. However, in the seemingly ever increasing circle of improving sales and making a profit, the pursuit of selling $150 trainers to families on food stamps, or cigarettes to third world nations must be questioned. In the context of the macro definition of marketing as "the creation and delivery of a standard of living," somehow pursuit of profits may simply have overshadowed marketing's role in improving the quality as opposed to quantity of living for the majority of U.S. and other Western societies. ...read more.

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