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APA Papers

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Unit 1Individual Project

Dwight Caldwell

American Intercontinental University

Unit 1 Individual Project

MKTG420-1301B-01

3/29/2013

Abstract

In the business world companies want to position themselves in a way to stand out to consumers. One way this task is accomplished is by marketing research. Researchers are able to dissect a marketing environment and determine which demographic group should be targeted based upon statistical findings and data gathering in many different forms.

Unit 1 Individual Project

Introduction

Companies who are successful in meeting the needs of consumers are often the companies who do things that appeal to consumers on many different levels. These could include economical, geographical and psychological elements when determining whom to market.

Part 1: Store Profiles

Wal-Mart is a modern day titanic when it comes to the world of retail. This company has found ways to dominate the global market around the world. Sears is a store who is in direct competition with Wal-Mart and other chains such as Target. Wal-Mart has made a huge impact on consumers by offering low prices for products by buying from vendors and then selling products to meet the needs of consumers

Part 1: Company Research

One major aspect about this company is that those who make more than 70,000 dollars per year are the biggest spenders with the store. Consumers who shop as this store are less likely to make trips to a brick and mortar location but they will spend as much as 3% more during the times that they do frequent the stores (Everett, 2008). Wal-Mart also has a major appeal on the younger shoppers within the retail industry because many of them are not making the big bucks and want to buy products at a cheaper price as well as using many supercenters to save money at the gas pump as well.

Sears has been around for a great while in the retail business. This company targets those who want quality products but will have to pay a more expensive price for products that they offer. One demographic area this company was able to target in the past is the middle class families in particular Moms. The company headquarters is based in Chicago Illinois and has seen its fair share of downtime within the last decade. Sears is trying to find ways to rebound and gain back consumers who have jumped ship by using online specials rewards cards and multiple media sites to reach younger consumers as well by using celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and LL Cool J.

Part 2: Theory-Based Research on Marketing Segmentation

When it comes to effectively reaching consumers within a market a company must first gain an in-depth understanding of the wants and desires of those consumers. This begins with having finding out as much information on the consumer, competition and the entire marketing environment being researched. Any business looking to appeal with consumers must find something that is of importance and value and then advertise this product or service highlighting the benefits (Malhotra, 2010) of it for customers. This will allow the brand image to make a solid and positive connection with consumers who are viewing ads, commercials or other forms of advertisement.

Wal-Mart has been very successful in making a connection with consumers because they have found that many consumers want products that are of quality but can buy them a cheaper price. This approach for the company has given them a major advantage over other stores such as Sears owned K-Mart who at one time was a force in this market but has been in decline for many years. One reason for Sears being decline is because they decided to expand the company as opposed to finding ways to appeal to consumer with what they already had on hand. In other words sometimes going big can be a decision that can cause a business to die a slow and painful death because of over extending.

Problem Identification research is one way to help any company in getting the needed data for them to market a product correctly. No business should put resources into any product without first finding out what the market forecast is displaying. This will help to give the business an inside about the attitudes of consumers and what they want and need within the market. The more a business knows about consumers the better equipped they will be when it comes to satisfying consumers. One question that could be asked by both of these stores should be how can we increase sales overall in stores? This is a great place to start because all companies should want to have increasing sales. Now that this problem has been identified the organizations can now begin to gather information from consumers about product quality, prices and response to pricing changes within the stores.

Product quality is one major area that will make or break a business. This is vital in the research process because if a business is presenting a product that is not quality or up to standard consumers will have a negative image of the product and also the store who is selling the product. An example of this could be purchasing a lawn mower on sale at Wal-Mart and after a few uses being more than 3 but less than 10 it begins (Malhorta, 2010) to smoke and cut off while the customer is trying to cut the lawn. This product now will leave the consumer frustrated because they are not able to finish cutting the lawn and now have to have the product diagnosed and this will possibly cost them more money than they are willing to spend. In the long run the store who sold them the product will possibly face losing this customer to a competitor because of the product they purchased breaking down so soon after buying it from Wal-Mart.

The next area that is a concern for many consumers is of course the cost of products. When it comes to finding out if consumers are satisfied with the prices of a product a business can offer surveys that will could as consumers about prices of products on a of 1 to 5

1=I would buy this 2= I might buy this 3=Undecided4=I probably won’t buy this5= I would never buy this. This is one strategy that could help the business gage the attitude and spending habits of consumers before they place the product on the store shelf. This can help reduce spending vast amounts of money (Cuneo, 2003) on product that will not be of use or interest to consumers because they may be able to find the same or another comparable product for a cheaper price. Taking this approach in researching is great to feel out the spending attitudes of consumers while they are in the store shopping.

Pricing changes can play a tremendous role in how consumers respond to products that a company offers. When prices go up many consumers begin to rationalize the change in the price and can in return not buy the product because of the change in the price. On the other hand some consumers who are loyal to a certain brand or product will make the purchase regardless if the price has changed and will not be detoured because of spending more money. Sears and Wal-Mart both could offer changes in the price of certain products such as personal care products. They could have a promotional rate for a more popular brand within the store and see if consumers are still as supportive now with the promotion of if they have had a change of heart by the change in the pricing. All this will help the store to identify if they are moving in the right direction when it comes to pricing the product and also if consumers are willing to accept the change with a positive response.

Part 2: Cost-Benefit Analysis of Investing in Segmentation Research

When it comes to spending on researching segments of a market a company has the option of using internal experts or external agencies to gather data and process information.

One positive of using in house staff to conduct the research for the companies is that they can already be on salary and not have to allocate more funding to get the job done. This can help to also save on time when trying to select and outside agency as well. Another benefit investing in research is that the business will be able to forecast the marketing environment based off the research and data that has been gathered. This will also allow the company to gain information on the movements and marketing techniques of rival stores who are in the market as well. With this information in hand the businesses can then offset competitors by finding ways to target consumers who have not been reached or use different methods such as emotional marketing.

Part 3: Initial Research Design

Exploratory research for both of these companies will help them both be able to identify changes that need to make in the marketing approach. The main reasoning behind the design is that researchers want to gain as much understanding of the questions that they need answered. This will help those conducting the research to build the data collection forms in a way that can give them the most accurate, honest and transparent results available. An example of this would be having a questionnaire asking consumers what they would like to see implemented as a product within the store. This approach would give companies a direct to the heart of consumers who frequent the stores. Another example could be using surveys that show the satisfaction of the consumer during the shopping experience while they are in stores. This could be set up in the form of the wait times checking out, customer service and product availability. All of these components will help to improve the interaction with customers if changes are made based upon the data findings. Once that data is compiled then the findings are presented to leadership who then will determine the marketing approach based upon the evidence and as well as the position of competitors in the market.

Conclusion

Find unique creative and yet simple ways to market consumers will continue to propel companies into financial dominance or leave them in reliving the glory days of yesteryear.

References

Advertising Age 10/6/2003, Vol. 74 Issue 40, p35-35. Alice Z. Cuneo Copyright 2013 EBSCO Industries, Inc. All rights reserved

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505123_162-33340211/taking-a-look-at-the-wal-mart-shopper/

Lisa Everett September 28th 2013 Copyright CBS services 2013 retrieved March 29th 2013

Marketing Research: An Applied Orientation, Sixth Edition

Naresh K. Malhotra Prentice Hall Copyright year: © 2010 

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