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Scope of Online Market Research in India

ABSTRACT
Marketing research research specifies the information required to address the vital issues in decision making, designs methods for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes and communicates the findings and their implications. In simple marketing research research is about researching the whole company's marketing research process. Internet became the part and parcel of the businesses to make and convey decisions. The decision-making is done based on the information generated by the marketing research research. Increasingly Internet is becoming a major source for the marketing research research. The reason is Internet contains vast resource of information available for market research. The Internet can be an effective tool in conducting market research; especially since the Internet is used by both consumers and businesses. Market research can be conducted by performing keyword searches for a particular product, publishing surveys or questionnaires for consumers, and even by reading trade journals and research performed by other companies and businesses. Although the methods of market research you use may vary depending on the nature of the topic you are researching, you can use this article to learn about the most effective ways to conduct market research online. This research examines the role and scope of Internet in marketing research research and its implications on the business decision-making processes.

Contents

ABSTRACT ................................................................................................................................................. 2

CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................. 4

CHAPTER 2 - LITERATURE REVIEW ................................................................................................. 7

CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY .................................................................................. 27

CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS ........................................................................................ 28

CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATION ................................................................. 47

REFERENCES .......................................................................................................................................... 51

CHAPTER 1 - INTRODUCTION
Market research is a continuous process for gathering data on product characteristics, suppliers capabilities and the business practices that surround themplus the analysis of that data to make acquisition decisions. This requires one to collect and analyze information about the market that subsequently can be used to determine whether the need can be met by products or services available in the commercial market; whether commercial practices regarding customizing, modifying products or tailoring services are available to meet customer needs; what are the customary terms and conditions, including warranty, buyer financing, and discounts under which commercial sales are made; and whether the distribution and logistics support capabilities of potential suppliers are sufficient to meet the needs of the government. Market research information can be used to shape the acquisition strategy, to determine the type and content of the product description or statement of work, to develop the support strategy, the terms and conditions included in the contract, and the evaluation factors used for source selection.

Conducting market research in India is partially science, partially art. Market information that is needed by companies is very sketchy. Internet and other communication tools that is mature in developed world is not systematically available. At the same time the market is growing at an unprecedented rate which changes the market landscape. There are pockets of Indian market where we can use the most sophisticated data collection methods that can match with any other country, but on some other segments we have to use the techniques from the 60s. There are too many moving parts to this system.

Large multi billion dollar companies with large research budget can conduct research at big budgets, but in the same market, small and medium size business are trying to compete with these large competitors and they need market information. Market information is the battleground of tomorrow. Everyone needs market information to succeed. We have been helping many small and medium sized companies with Market Research in India using innovative techniques that involves secondary research that is combined with primary research and business savvy to deliver results.

In todays competitive business scenario, every company small or big, Indian or MNC, family owned or professionally managed would like to make better business decisions. It has now been accepted that the best way to make better business decisions is through professional support rather than gut feel and experience as earlier. Marketing research today is a complex task in a competitive market. In this context, Market Research is becoming increasingly popular as far as business decision making is concerned.

Market Research helps companies in three ways; By helping understand current customer tastes and preferences in order to ensure that they continue to buy companys products Help understand the tastes and preferences of competition customers in order to try and sell companys products to them Helping launch new products and services effectively by understanding the potential of the market

Market Research has grown substantially during the last 20 years. The current size of the Indian Market Research industry is estimated at Rs. 675 crores small compared to the size of the advertising industry which is estimated at Rs. 16,300 crores but large compared to what it was around 20 years. The growth of Market Research during the last 20 years is a testimony to its increasing popularity in India. At the same time, Market Research in India is at a crucial phase as far as acceptability is concerned. Although many companies accept the importance of Market Research, decision making related to commissioning a Market Research study can sometimes be long and time consuming. Some of the typical questions / issues / concerns which companies have before commissioning a Market Research study are;

Market Research is always customized based on the needs and budgets. It is also said that cost of marketing research decisions based on incomplete or inadequate information can sometimes be higher than a Market Research study. Response of Market Research agencies - This was what marketing research teams used to say earlier. Now most marketing research teams say that Market Research is an indispensible tool for decision making. Response of Market Research

agencies - Every Market Research study throws up a couple of insights which can be very valuable. It is always advisable to use a Market Research agency. Collecting information internally always leads to bias. Market Researchers are professionals in collecting information. Information collected by a Market Research agency is validated extensively. Clients are encouraged to participate in the process

The outlook for Market Research in India; With the economy back on the growth With markets getting more complex and competitive With companies increasingly realizing the value and importance of Market Research

The Indian Market Research industry can only grow further. All of us in the Indian Market Research industry look forward to helping companies make better business decisions

CHAPTER 2 - LITERATURE REVIEW


Introduction: Market research is essential to optimize the potential use of commercial items, commercial services, and non-developmental items to meet agency needs. The DoD acquisition community has been challenged to reduce unique military requirements that result in unique processes within defense production facilities. Removal of these requirements will broaden the industrial base available to fill DoD requirements and allow historically defense oriented production facilities to expand and become competitive in the commercial market. The benefits of a globally competitive, national industrial base are not only reduced cost, but also reduced acquisition cycle times. We need to deliver new systems to warfighters within commercially available cycle times, which are much shorter than the average 12-to 18- year development cycle for a major DoD weapon system. Access to the commercial marketplace will also provide access to the latest advances in technology. Military R&D no longer leads commercial in areas such as electronics. In the global marketplace, everyone has access to the same commercial technology base. In the future, part of the military advantage will belong to those who capture state-of-the-art technology, get it into weapons systems, and successfully field those systems first. The preference for utilizing the commercial market applies to more than items and systems. To meet its budget and readiness goals, the Department of Defense is turning increasingly to the commercial market for services it needs, as well. From a practical standpoint, we can achieve none of these mandates and goals without market research. Thorough market research provides the basis for identifying opportunities for using commercial items or services to meet defense needs, determining the availability of other existing items (non-developmental items) to meet defense requirements writing product descriptions and statements of work which allow companies to offer their commercial items and services in consonance with commercial practice, and

Crafting acquisition strategies, solicitations, contracts, and support and test plans that accommodate and take advantage of commercial business practices and encourage commercial competition.

Not only does utilization of the commercial marketplace make sense from cost, schedule, and technology considerations, it is also required by law. The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (FASA) requires that federal agencies to the extent practicable buy commercial items, commercial services, and non-developmental items to meet agency needs, require prime contractors and subcontractors at all levels to incorporate commercial and non-developmental items as components of systems they develop for federal agencies, state specifications in terms that enable and encourage companies to supply commercial and non-developmental items, and Revise procurement policies, practices, and proceduresnot required by lawto remove impediments to the acquisition of commercial items. FASA also specifically requires federal agencies to conduct market research prior to developing new specifications for procurement and before soliciting bids or proposals for a contract which exceeds $100,000.

When Is Market Research Done? Market research is done throughout the acquisition process, beginning with the mission needs statement. The level of specificity and scope varies at different points, but market research is a continuous process. Market research, done early in the acquisition process, also provides information about commercial practices that you can use to shape the acquisition strategy, support and test plans, product description, statement of work, evaluation factors, and contract terms and conditions. Early in the acquisition process, before the operational requirement document (ORD) is validated, for example, it is possible to compare the users need to the capabilities of the commercial market and determine The availability of products to meet the requirement as is, The ability of suppliers to modify their products to meet the users requirement, and

The flexibility of users to modify their requirements to allow the purchase of commercial items, commercial services, or non-developmental items.

More thorough market research must be conducted later in the acquisition process to identify the correct set of performance characteristics for the product or service description (system specification, commercial item description, statement or work), the appropriate contract terms and conditions, and the commercial practices affecting the support strategy and the acquisition strategy in general. Figure 1 illustrates the ongoing market research areas during the acquisition process.

For system acquisitions, market research is iterative. If the initial market research leads to the conclusion that no existing system can meet the need, market research must continue throughout design to identify commercial and non-developmental items that can be integrated as subsystems, components, and support equipment even though the overall system is militaryunique. DoD 5000.2 and FAR Part 11 instruct program managers and contracting officers to require contractors to incorporate commercial items as components of systems developed for the DoD. Market research has two phases: market surveillance and market investigation. Market surveillance is an ongoing process and includes all the activities that acquisition personnel perform continuously to keep themselves abreast of technology and product developments in their areas of expertise. Market investigation, which involves more comprehensive research, is

conducted in response to a specific materiel need or need for services.

Who Should Be Involved In Market Research? The military services and agencies do not have a specific group of people called market researchers; instead, a wide range of people are called upon to perform market research related to their area of expertise. Your participation may vary, depending on your organization and the types of items for which you are responsible. A team effort may be the best approach since many functional areas may need information gathered during market research. Consider the factors which will affect the success of the entire acquisition when you identify who must have input to the market investigation. What information is needed to make the decision to buy from the commercial market? To prepare the product description you need to know the performance characteristics upon which products and services are valued and distinguished from one another. If an item needs follow-on support, such as spare parts and repair, you will need to know the characteristics of the follow-on support system. Is third party testing used? What business practices are standard? What practices are standard for the insertion of new technology? The market investigation lends itself to a team effort because of the many aspects which may be involved. The team may be composed of the following specialists as appropriate:

Technical specialist Depending on the stage of the acquisition, and the type of acquisition this person may be the program manager, the technical specialist, or the project officer. The program manager is responsible for defining and executing the acquisition strategy. He may join a market research team in the early stages of the acquisition as the materiel developer representative to better understand the analysis of alternatives and other market factors affecting the acquisition. The technical specialist or project officer has overall responsibility for market research after concept exploration. That individual may be the person responsible for translating the requirement into a product description (commercial item description, statement of work, or specification). The technical specialists base of knowledge of the product and industry ensures that the item or service meets the identified need. Because he identifies the potential tradeoffs

and product modifications that the users and the potential suppliers will consider, the technical specialist must be extremely conscious of the cost-quality tradeoff.

User The userthe customermust be satisfied with the items performance. The user has two roles: to evaluate whether the potential product can operate in the environment in which it must function and to refine the requirement or identify techniques for mitigating performance risk as new information raises the possibility of tradeoffs. Market research is also important to the user during the preparation of mission needs and operational requirements documents. Market research allows the user community, in conjunction with the technical community to identify risk acceptable or leading edge technologies for systems to provide leap ahead capabilities.

Logistics specialist The team may need a member who is experienced in the supportspare parts, maintenance, warranties, and other support issuesfor the potential commercial item. The logistics member can identify what information needs to come from the market investigation on the existing support system and the support-related aspects of the item.

Testing specialist In a commercial item acquisition, the emphasis is on test and evaluation and past performance rather than on research and development. The test and evaluation specialist can provide insight into the validity and relevance of outside testing results and help specify the information which will be needed to address the criteria defined for operational testing.

Cost analyst The cost analyst can assist by reviewing and comparing the affordability aspects of various alternative solutions to meeting a DoD requirement. The cost analyst may also need information related to price analysis.

Legal counsel

Legal counsel can determine if commercial business practices conflict with government contract law and assist in identifying appropriate documentation of market research findings and conclusions.

Contracting officer The contracting officer can identify information on general business practices and contract terms and conditions that will be needed to successfully carry out the acquisition.

How Is Market Research Done? Think of market research as the sum of two interrelated processes: market surveillance and market investigation. Market surveillance is the process of staying abreast of general industry practices and trends. Acquisition personnel performing market surveillance are not looking to fill any specific need. While market surveillance is general and ongoing, market investigation has a narrow focus and a specific time frame. Market investigation focuses on a defined requirement and results in a recommendation on whether or not commercial items or services can fill that need. The following sections discuss these two phases.

Market Surveillance Market surveillance gives you the background and knowledge needed to carry out timely and thorough market investigations for specific acquisitions. When a new DoD requirement is identified, the military service or component must decide which of the following two propositions is valid:

It is likely that the item or service is available from the commercial market or from other sources (NDI). It is highly unlikely that the item exists or that the service is available in the commercial market. The DoD component defining the requirement also needs to know whether a commercial product or service would be available if the requirement were modified somewhat. Acquisition personnel must be able to say, for example, to the users: If you can relax this part of your requirement statement, we can provide a commercial item to fill your need cheaper, better, and faster. Can you relax it? Good tradeoff decisions are made possible by early user involvement and the information gathered during market research.

How do you become informed enough about the marketplace to be able to assist in these preliminary decisions? You rely on market surveillance to provide a general sense of the products and services available in the market and their characteristics and capabilities. Obviously, market surveillance is easier in some product or industry areas than for others. For example, it is easier to stay abreast of a stable market area than a very volatile one. The types of fork lifts, and their capabilities, for example, change far less rapidly than those of computers or other electronic gear. Either way, you must stay well informed about your segment of the market. A good base for market surveillance is subscribing to, and regularly reading, trade journals for a specific market and maintaining active membership in professional societies. Personal contacts are another valuable source of information. Identify your counterparts in the other DoD components, federal agencies, and private industry. Exchange tips and information with those contacts. There are also companies that prepare commercially developed market surveys that provide information on a specific technology or commodity. For example, there is a yearly report identifying technology trend information for embedded computer products. Other valuable contacts are the DoD users of your equipment. If your specialty area lends itself to dialogue with your users, they often can alert you to new products or new applications that meet their needs. The users, who have a vital interest in getting good equipment fast, frequently are very well informed. Government laboratories are also good sources for market surveillance information, especially in identifying technology trends and capabilities. Industry representatives also can provide valuable information. Site visits to suppliers of products and discussions with other users can help you get a better feel for the realities of the industry than you can get by relying solely on advertising brochures and sales pitches. Such visits can help you gauge production prowess and capacity, which can be just as important to the Department as product characteristics. Industry shows, conferences, and symposia in your product area are good sources of information. Talk to the suppliers representatives at these affairs. Market surveillance resources are also available on-line. Automated data bases can provide a quick, cost effective way of keeping up with the published material in a field. Many data bases provide the full texts of articles covering a specific industry. For example, the Materials Business File contains information on technical and commercial developments in iron and steel, nonferrous metals, composites, and other materials. It covers more than 1,300 publications including some less common sources such as dissertations

and conference proceedings. You can search patent records on-line, as well as industry registers such as Dun & Bradstreet and the Thomas Register. Extensive indexes in these data bases allow the user to view information on a subject by entering keywords. Computer-based Resources for Product and Service Information, suggests some data bases that may help you do market surveillance. While far from complete, it provides examples of the broad range of data bases currently available. Also, check with your organizations library. They have the skill, experience, and resources to locate needed data and often have access to resources at other organizations through cooperative arrangements. Symposia in your product area are good sources of information. Talk to the suppliers representatives at these affairs. Market surveillance resources are also available on-line. Automated data bases can provide a quick, cost effective way of keeping up with the published material in a field. Many data bases provide the full texts of articles covering a specific industry. For example, the Materials Business File contains information on technical and commercial developments in iron and steel, nonferrous metals, composites, and other materials. It covers more than 1,300 publications including some less common sources such as dissertations and conference proceedings. You can search patent records on-line, as well as industry registers such as Dun & Bradstreet and the Thomas Register. Extensive indexes in these data bases allow the user to view information on a subject by entering keywords. Appendix A, Computer-based Resources for Product and Service Information, suggests some data bases that may help you do market surveillance. While far from complete, it provides examples of the broad range of data bases currently available. Also, check with your organizations library. They have the skill, experience, and resources to locate needed data and often have access to resources at other organizations through cooperative arrangements.

The scope, extent, and documentation of a market investigation depend on such factors as the anticipated dollar value of the item, its complexity, criticality, and the number of items needed. In the following subsections, we present a generic model of such a market investigation. The model provides enough detail to apply to complex, high value items, but not all parts are necessary for all acquisitions; the model should be tailored to the specific market information needs of your acquisition and the potential for commercial supply. In addition to or instead of a market survey, consider the following ways to get information on market products and practices: (1) hold presolicitation conferences; (2) circulate draft product descriptions, statements of work,

and requests for proposals; (3) conduct government/industry offsites. If, for example, time is short or the acquisition doesnt warrant a survey, you can at least make draft acquisition documents available to as many potentially interested companies as you can identify. Many buying activities are using the Internet for communicating and receiving comments on draft documents.

Survey of Suppliers The survey of suppliers may consist of a few telephone calls, or it may be a comprehensive questionnaire sent to a group of potential suppliers, or it may involve the evaluation of product samples. If you decide to use a mail survey, a cover letter or introduction explaining the survey goals and the expected size of the acquisition and a follow-up contact may increase the response rate. Personal contact is best because it provides an opportunity to answer any questions about the survey. The follow-up step is particularly important for encouraging suppliers who have not participated in defense work to respond. After receipt of the information, it is important to analyze the data to determine whether the information received is sufficient to determine whether the product or service meet the needs of the requirement. It is not uncommon to get incomplete or erroneous data from suppliers. In some cases, you may need to contact an applications, field service, or design engineer for clarification of issues. You may need to appraise the survey information using market surveillance information, analyzing market trends to fill in missing data. For example, you can estimate an end of production date for a product for which you have no data by analyzing comparable products for which data exists and is available. If a written survey is overly burdensome, many suppliers will not respond. Be careful to request the minimum amount of information you need to make your acquisition decision. The following types of information may be needed depending on the acquisition:

Product data Product data is information describing the range of products in the market that may meet the DoD requirement. For example, information on the performance and interface characteristics of products in the market; applicable regulatory commercial, and de-facto standards; open system definitions; product differentiating factors; cost driving factors. Product information may be samples, test results, product literature, etc. The most useful product literature includes

documents such as product data sheets, independent test reports, and product instructions -- not advertising brochures.

Supplier capability Supplier capability includes the number of suppliers in the market and production capacity. For some items, questions about the producers capability to meet surge and mobilization demands need to be included.

Market acceptance data Market acceptance data includes information on annual sales, product maturity, returns on warranty, and other acceptance data related to whether the product meets the governments needs.

Support data Support data is information on product support records and experience and the existing support system. Suppliers can provide information on warranties, repair histories, or their policies and procedures on repair and replacement. Questions on how the supplier supports or upgrades discontinued models, when particular products will no longer be produced or supported, and how upgrades are provided in general are also appropriate.

Test data Suppliers may be able to provide test data from their own laboratories or from private laboratories. This data can be used to validate suppliers claims regarding product performance. In some instances, test data can eliminate or reduce the need for further testing. For some products or services, information on regulatory or third party testing or certification (FAA, UL) may be requested.

Business practices

Business practices is information on standard commercial contract terms and conditions and financing arrangements gathered to carry out a commercial acquisition using FAR Part 12 direction. It also includes information on factors affecting how products are sold or distributed in the market.

References and validation data One of the most important pieces of information is a list of those currently using the product. After the information gathering part of the market investigation is done, the references are used to verify the information submitted by the supplier and to get other users views on how the item performs or on the quality of the service provided. Suppliers may be able to provide test data from their own laboratories or from private laboratories. This data can be used to validate suppliers claims regarding product performance. In some instances, test data can eliminate or reduce the need for further testing. For some products or services, information on regulatory or third party testing or certification (FAA, UL) may be requested.

Business practices Business practices is information on standard commercial contract terms and conditions and financing arrangements gathered to carry out a commercial acquisition using FAR Part 12 direction. It also includes information on factors affecting how products are sold or distributed in the market.

References and validation data One of the most important pieces of information is a list of those currently using the product. After the information gathering part of the market investigation is done, the references are used to verify the information submitted by the supplier and to get other users views on how the item performs or on the quality of the service provided. Another approach is to interview current users of the item or service. Acquiring items-by lease, charter, loan, or purchase-to test in the field is not always feasible. As an alternative, the customers identified in the suppliers response to the survey can be interviewed for information on actual performance. Some items or services can be verified by telephone calls to current

users. An on-site inspection is another possibility. Private sector users are often willing to discuss good and bad features of products or services. DoD experts can question their private sector counterparts to get additional technical knowledge and to make an informed judgment on whether it meets DoDs need. For example, the logistics representative on the team could interview maintenance personnel who have experience with the item to determine their maintenance philosophy, how much maintenance is needed, whether parts are easy to replace, etc. Combining approaches may also work.

Evaluation The fifth part of a market investigation is to evaluate all the information acquired during the investigation and determine whether a commercial acquisition is feasible. The result may be a determination that it is not feasible; that commercial products or services meet the need as stated; that commercial products or services can meet the need if certain requirements in the original statement are relaxed; or that commercial products or services could be modified to meet the requirement. For example, when the results of a market investigation are compiled, the candidate products may meet the requirements in varying degrees. Or it may be that no candidate meets a particular requirement, but they all meet all the other requirements quite well. In these situations, it is very useful to have an individual who is responsible for the operational requirement on the market investigation team. You may avoid reducing the candidate field or eliminating a commercial solution by relaxing or deleting the problem requirement if in the judgment of the user that is a reasonable thing to do. If the user is unwilling to relax or eliminate a particular requirement, then ask the candidates about the feasibility and cost of modifying their product to meet the requirement. For some products, suppliers routinely modify their products for their commercial customers. Another possibility is that the candidates will see that the modification would be commercially marketable and be willing to make the modification in anticipation of a return from the commercial market. Evaluation The fifth part of a market investigation is to evaluate all the information acquired during the investigation and determine whether a commercial acquisition is feasible. The result may be a determination that it is not feasible; that commercial products or services meet the need as stated; that commercial products or services can meet the need if certain requirements in the original statement are relaxed; or that commercial products or services could be modified to meet the requirement. For example, when

the results of a market investigation are compiled, the candidate products may meet the requirements in varying degrees. Or it may be that no candidate meets a particular requirement, but they all meet all the other requirements quite well. In these situations, it is very useful to have an individual who is responsible for the operational requirement on the market investigation team. You may avoid reducing the candidate field or eliminating a commercial solution by relaxing or deleting the problem requirement if in the judgment of the user that is a reasonable thing to do. If the user is unwilling to relax or eliminate a particular requirement, then ask the candidates about the feasibility and cost of modifying their product to meet the requirement. For some products, suppliers routinely modify their products for their commercial customers. Another possibility is that the candidates will see that the modification would be commercially marketable and be willing to make the modification in anticipation of a return from the commercial market. item may be jeopardized as a result of modification. The test and logistics support plans must take the scope of the modification into account to ensure the success of the effort. Evaluate the total effect of modifications, particularly in the area of logistics support. For example, a vendor may not recognize or support the resulting redesigned item and the Department of Defense may have little or no organic support capability for it. In addition, sometimes additional engineering effort is required to fully evaluate products identified as potential candidates during market investigation. Environmental or conformance tests may be needed to determine whether the product meets particular aspects of the requirement or site visits may be needed to determine if the supplier can provide a consistent product or service.

Documentation The documentation of the results of the market investigation is a critical aspect of the process. FAR Part 10 states that agencies should document the results of market research in a manner appropriate to the size and complexity of the acquisition. The results should also be documented in a manner appropriate to how they might be used in the future. That is, the type and amount of information you keep should in part be based on how you expect it will be used in the future. Documentation serves several purposes. First, it provides a historical record of the market research effort and provides evidence that proper market research was done for the acquisition. Second, it may be used in the future by other market research teams investigating similar products to get a feel for what might be available and to get ideas on where to start their

investigation. Third, it may be used by the contracting office working on the solicitation for your acquisition to further determine appropriate contract terms and conditions. Early market research must also be documented in the Operational Requirements Document. DoD 5000.2-R requires the evaluation of requirements based on the potential of the commercial market to meet the users need. This evaluation addresses how the desired performance requirements could reasonably be modified to facilitate the use of the commercial market. The results of the evaluation must be included as part of the initial Operational Requirements Document. Consider documenting information such as the companies contacted, the questions they were asked, a summary of the information provided, test results, and your evaluation of their products or services. The graphic on the following page gives a sample of this type of documentation.

Market Research For Services Services require the time and effort of a contractor whose primary purpose is to perform an identifiable task rather than to furnish an end item. Generally, market research for services should provide information on practices used in buying the same or similar services in the commercial market, the identification of potential service providers, and an understanding of the range of capabilities available for the performance of the service sought. Your market investigation should include communication with other users of the service, including those persons involved in service acquisition and administration, as well as the providers of the service needed. A major difference between market research for services and for products is found in how to determine the quality of what you intend to buy. For services, the determination is more subjective and less precise and requires a different approach to the types of information obtained. For example, past performance is always important, but for services it is paramount. The best indication of the quality of services a contractor will provide is the quality of services that have been provided in the past. You should obtain information about the past efforts that are related to the kind of services you need. Ask potential contractors to supply the following information on past contracts: Title and objective of effort Contracting agency Time period of effort

Value of contract Type of contract (fixed price, cost reimbursement) Accomplishments of effort

Point of contact at the organization receiving the services (to include address and telephone number) Many service sectors have developed their own standards to which they voluntarily adhere or are governed by regulatory standards. These standards describe the minimum performance you can expect. So if the standard meets your requirement, you can be reasonably confident that a number of companies can provide the needed services. The standard will also provide acceptable quality levels, if they exist. An acceptable quality level establishes the maximum allowable error rate or variation from the standard. For example, a standard for maintenance services may require that a particular maintenance action be completed in four hours, with an acceptable quality level of five percent. That is, the service may take more than four hours only five percent of the time. This is important because, unlike products, services can rarely be delivered 100 percent to standard.

The typical costs of services should also be a topic of the market investigation, including the costs of differing acceptable quality levels. As with products, costs can vary considerably depending on the level of quality you need. The cost of a two percent error rate should be greater than the cost of a ten percent error rate. Consider answering the following types of questions during your market investigation: How are services segmented or packaged commercially? Which services must be provided locallywhich can be provided off-site? What factors are used to evaluate service providers? What kinds of performance incentives are used? What is the normal length of contract? Who owns and furnishes needed equipment and supplies? What are the qualifications of the people who are providing services? How is an on-line search conducted?

There are two methods of conducting on-line searches. The first is to conduct an individual search through Internet sources. The second is to use a search service. If you are very familiar with the product or service on which you are conducting market research, you will probably find

yourself well prepared to undertake an individual search. If your time is very limited or your familiarity with the topic is low, then employing a professional research service may be the best option. For example, DIALOG information service from Knight Ridder has over 500 data bases, many of which cover trade and industry data. Other search services include LEXIS-NEXIS, Westlaw, NewsNet, Profound, and Data Times. These services generally have access to more information than you can get off the Internet; however, a search service can be expensive.

Online Market Research - A Tool to Make Optimal Business Decision: Organisations that operate in the business-to-consumer (B2C) market are increasingly turning to market research to support their decision making processes. A retail business, for example, might be considering opening new stores, expanding internationally, proposing to diversify its product range or thinking about acquiring another company. Before proceeding, the business will require specific information to understand the implications of making such changes. The process of collecting this information and developing this understanding is known as market research. Jd Sports 17 Image 4This case study focuses on how JD (part of JD Sports Fashion PLC), the UKs leading retailer of fashionable sports and leisure wear, uses market research to support and develop its business. As a B2C retailer, JDs performance depends on providing the most desirable brands and products at the right price and in the right locations to meet with the demands of the consumer. Founded in 1981 in Mossley, near Manchester, JD today is a nationally recognised UK high street fascia. For 20 years, the business expanded through organic growth, meaning that growth was generated by building sales revenue through increasing its network of stores.

Growth JD has expanded more rapidly in recent years through acquisitions (inorganic growth), significantly increasing its JD store base through the purchase of First Sport (2002) and All:sports (2005). Through the purchase of Scotts (2004), Bank (2007) and, most recently, Blacks (2012), it has diversified the business into the young branded fashion and outdoor markets. The Group has also made international acquisitions including Chausport (France), Champion Sports (Ireland) and Sprinter (Spain) as it has expanded its business overseas. The

group has also secured brands such as The Duffer of St George, Sergio Tacchini (under UK licence) and the fashion brands Chilli Pepper, Nanny State and Sonneti. The JD Sports Fashion Group now has over 900 stores across the UK and Europe and a reputation for stocking exclusive and stylish ranges.

The exchange between sellers (supply) and buyers (demand) for particular goods or services is called a market. A market does not necessarily exist in a single location, nor need it be a real location products can be bought and sold online.

Markets change constantly and businesses need to have a clear understanding of both the supply and demand. The principal role of market research, therefore, is to provide a business with a comprehensive view of consumers in order to develop products and services that satisfy their needs better than the competition. Also, given the increased complexity of the business environment, it is no longer enough to make key decisions using a gut -feel approach alone. Decisions need to be informed and market research helps to support this process, significantly reducing the level of financial risk attached with investment decisions. Market research involves the capture and analysis of consumer, competitor and market trend data. This enables JD to assess more accurately the level of demand for its products. It also influences decisions to target capital investment on projects that will offer the best return on that investment, such as opening a new store or entering a new market.

JD Sports 17 Diagram 1Market research provides consumer feedback. It is essential for JD to have this dialogue with the consumer to gain insight into what they think about its range of products, brands and services. This enables the business to meet its demands and outperform the competition. It helps the business develop a clear and informed strategic business plan which all business colleagues can work towards fulfilling. For example, this information can create a winning marketing research mix to target promotions to reach different customer groups or influence decisions on range planning in new stores.

There are principally two types of market research primary and secondary. Primary research is sometimes known as field research. This is because it involves gathering data through new research. This data can be collected in either a quantitative or qualitative format.

Quantitative research Quantitative research is numerically-based and obtains the hard numbers from which decisions can be made with confidence. Examples of quantitative market research at JD include: Exit surveys carried out face-to-face with consumers as they leave the store. This is a simple survey covering a cross-section of stores to gather the views of consumers in different locations and regions. At JD the purpose of the survey is primarily to understand the reasons for visit, frequency of visit/purchase and reasons for and against purchase. The shopping bag survey the JD research team monitors what carrier bags customers entering JD stores are carrying. This helps identify what other stores JD customers use and are spending money in. It provides competitor insight and an idea of which retailers attract a similar customer profile to JD, a variable that can influence the location of new JD store openings. On-site fieldwork JDs dedicated Site Research team invests significant time researching new locations. This involves defining the extent of a locations catchment area, reviewing the presence and quality of the competition and assessing the pitch and visibility (i.e. how busy the area is) of a unit. This helps build a detailed SWOT analysis of each new site. Qualitative information is a primary form of market research which focuses on consumer feelings and opinions on a product or service. This type of research illuminates the facts and figures collected through quantitative research. Examples of qualitative research at JD include: Focus groups by speaking at length with small groups of 8-10 people, more insightful questions can be asked regarding brands and new product developments. At JD these are typically run in schools and colleges, where it can get direct feedback from its core consumers. Depth interviews this involves a researcher accompanying the consumer on a shopping trip in store. This drills deeper into shopper behaviour and their reactions to stores. When undertaking market research, it is important to reflect the views of all consumers within the business target market. However, this would be a huge exercise. One way of managing this is to use sampling methods. Sampling involves taking the responses of a

representative group of consumers that are likely to reflect the opinions of the customer base. Secondary research is sometimes known as desk research. This research draws on material that has been collected by another organisation to provide market information. Secondary research data provides a fact based overview of the market. Examples of secondary research include: Government census data the census is conducted every 10 years across the UK and brings together data on factors such as the number of people, their ages and occupations in a location. Geo-demographic data collected by specialist agencies, this segmentation tool profiles consumers based on their lifestage (e.g. marital status, number of children) and their lifestyle (e.g. newspapers read, leisure activities, TV programmes watched). Commercial market research reports prepared by research experts, these provide estimates of the size (volume of sales) in each product or market category and market share by operators within these sectors. At JD this information is invaluable when assessing new product markets (e.g. outdoors) or international opportunities (e.g. France and Spain). However, there are drawbacks with any form of market research. It costs money to collect and analyse large amounts of information and the results are not always definitive. Numerical data might be biased, particularly if the sample size is too small. Focus groups may be skewed if one member of a focus group is too dominant and stops others from voicing their opinions.

The location of stores is a critical element of the success of a retailer in any market. Sound competitive locations can provide a source of competitive advantage. To achieve this it is essential to build a clear understanding of the consumer and how they interact with a retailer and its sales channels (i.e. stores, internet or kiosks). So, how does JD build up information about its consumers and develop a clear location strategy? One method employed by the company is its check-out survey. This is a simple but highly effective survey that is carried out with customers at the till. By collecting the customers home postcode, gender and age and matching this data to the products purchased, JD can build up detailed consumer profiles. JD also asks purchasers a further question: has the item been purchased for yourself or for another person? This helps JD to understand the difference between customers (the purchaser) and its consumers (the end user). For example, some purchases are made by parents buying

clothes or shoes for their children. This additional question helps prevent the survey results from being misinterpreted.

The survey is carried out annually over a two-week period and involves over 350,000 customers. This provides a robust sample from which to extract invaluable insights into consumer buying behaviour. In-depth analysis of the survey results helps the company: understand how far customers travel to stores this enables JD to define real catchment areas for each store and understand the overlap with other existing stores build consumer profiles by gender, age, brand and lifestyle identify and quantify new store location opportunities influence product ranges to meet the buying habits of customers in different locations assist with marketing research strategies to target the consumer more effectively. This type of information is collected regularly by large retailers such as supermarkets through the data collected on their store loyalty cards. However, loyalty card schemes can be very expensive to run. Till surveys, although only providing a snapshot of the consumer, offer a cost effective means of gathering data. JD is relatively unique on the high street in using this type of survey to capture additional customer information. More recently this survey has been replicated across JD stores in France and Spain.

Evaluating data It is important that research is properly managed to ensure that the data collected is valid and reliable. It is also useful, where practical, to use a variety of methods to validate research findings. At JD the findings from the exit surveys (smaller sample sizes) are validated by the check-out survey (larger sample size). Put together, this information helps JD to anticipate the level of demand customers may have for its products. Sales expectations can be accurately forecast to ensure profitable stores are opened. JD has also embraced the internet as a means to support business strategies. The data collected through the online ordering process is live information and it provides a valuable insight into consumer demand. It can influence store ranges and support decisions about its stores network by highlighting hotspots with high levels of demand but no physical presence. In an increasingly multi-channel world, capturing, analysing and acting on this information offers a business a key competitive advantage. Again, this information can provide useful insight into potential international opportunities.

In recent years, the UK retail industry has faced challenging conditions. However, against this tough economic backdrop, JD has managed to maintain growth through a thorough understanding of market opportunities. Market research is not a one-off process. Markets change and a business like JD needs to evaluate customer trends and monitor competitors on a regular basis in order to remain competitive. JD has therefore established research mechanisms to provide ongoing feedback. These provide a mix of qualitative and quantitative market data obtained directly from consumers and from published research. By understanding its consumer base, JD has established itself as the market leading retailer of fashionable sports and leisure wear.

CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

Introduction This research work will analyze the role of internet in market research and scope of online research in India. The researcher has used both primary and secondary data.

Primary Data: Qquestionnaire Survey. Secondary Data: The secondary data in this research will be collected through news articles, journals, magazine, peer reviews and published databases. A comprehensive of the collected data will be presented with the help of tables, charts and graphs.

Sample Size: 80 Sampling methodology: Quota Sampling Sampling Area: Delhi NCR Target Respondents: Market Research Managers, Assistant Managers

CHAPTER 4 FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS

The Role of Internet in Marketing research Research: Internet became the part and parcel of the businesses to make and convey decisions. The decision-making is done based on the information generated by the marketing research research. Increasingly Internet is becoming a major source for the marketing research research. The reason is Internet contains vast resource of information available for market research. Access to Multiple Resources Accessing information through the Internet is an efficient alternative to hours spent with traditional sources like libraries. The Internet connects businesses, academic institutions, trade associations, government agencies and private individuals. Using browsers, it is possible to access the sites or user groups who are linked through the Net. Information at Finger Tips Any kind of information that is available in Internet is just a few clicks away. For marketing research research, the Internet has two important sources of information. One is the websites,

which represent companies, organizations and individuals to promote their products, services or communicate their views. The other source is user groups. The information given in the websites rather than the user groups is more reliable for a researcher. The companies and organizations generally give genuine information about their businesses in their official portals. The user groups can give some useful leads by giving key words and URLs.

Figure 1 - Internet Market Survey Exchange Information Globally in Less Time Through Internet it is possible to send and receive information from far distant countries. For example, you can send and receive market reports to and from China as easy as Canada. All this will happen in few minutes with less effort and cost. The effortless transmission of information across the boundaries made the job of the marketing research research easier, to process both globalized and localized information for the marketing research research.

It is undisputed to state that Internet has a vital role to play in the marketing research research. The information base in Internet is expanding by the online versions of the other sources of information such as libraries, press, books etc. This will give a new exposure to the marketing research research to become more effective and efficient in delivering better results.

Response from various entities I got responses from Companies and Consumers but none from 3rd party marketing research agencies. Results are presented in the table shown below. It was surprising to see that inspite of contacting only known people, consumer response to survey forms was quite poor.

Category

Succesful in getting responses (Yes/No) Companies Marketing research agent physical presence with Yes company/ Email contact Consumers Contacted only a set of known people Yes 3rd Party Email No agencies Table 4.1: Methods adopted to contact respondents and their response

Approach used to contact them

Though I took care in designing in the survey questions, there were a few comments/doubts on survey questions after the survey form was presented to the companies, consumers. There are described here. For example one of the consumers wanted the currency to be explicitly mentioned when their income bracket was asked. I should have mentioned dollars to clarify it better. Another customer did not understand what internet market channel meant may be I could have specified it in a clearer way.

Survey Results and analysis We have divided questions into 4 categories because of the methods used to analyze them. The three categories are named as CATEGORY A, CATEGORY B and CATEGORY C and CATEGORY D

CATEGORY A: Questions that fall under this category mainly involved consumers/companies to rank options based on order of preference. The questions that fall under this category are questions 10, 12 and 23. We have assigned suitable points to these preferences to decide the overall rank from the set of 7 consumers and 7 companies individually that have participated in this survey.

CATEGORY B:

There is only 1 question which falls under this category i.e. question 36. We calculated the percentages of the consumers/ companies who have selected a particular option.

CATEGORY C:

Questions 1-4 in the survey form are used to gain basic information about consumers/companies and dont serve any other purpose beyond this.

CATEGORY D:

All other questions fall under this category. We have used the following method to analyze the result.

Statistical Method for analysis:

We have used 7 point Likert scale system for all the questions under this category. We have assigned points from 1 to 7 where 1 corresponds to Strongly disagree and 7 corresponds to strongly agree. 4 points is assigned for undecided.

Response

Points

Strongly Agree Agree Agree somewhat Undecided Disagree somewhat Disagree Strongly Disagree

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

We calculated the mean for all responses for both companies and consumers under this category. Refer to STAT TABLE1 and STAT TABLE2 in Appendix D (Category D). Formula arrived at based on mean:

Mean Value:

Result

Mean > 4 Mean <4 Mean = 4

Agreement Disagreements Undecided

We realized that for mean values that slightly greater than 4 we were not very sure how an increase in the sample size could change the decision. So in ordered to make the conclusion more reliable we decided to use a modified formula for the same.

Modified formula based on confidence interval:

For the calculation of confidence interval we assumed that the alpha value of 0.5. Our sample size was small and all samples were selected at random. We had no idea whether these companies/consumers were already aware of internet marketing research or not. So we were not very sure if companies/consumers would understand all these questions and provide correct answers. That was primarily the reason why we set alpha value to 0.5.

Our sample size is small i.e. < 30. We have adopted the following method to calculate confidence interval.

Calculation of confidence interval (CI):

The sample mean= M

The sample size=n

Sigma (M) = S.D/ sqrt(n)

SD stands for standard deviation, sqrt stands for square root

t*alpha/2 values are obtained from the t distribution table.

We have used Microsoft excel function CONFINDENCE for our calculations. M t*alpha/2*Sigma(M) CI M + * t*alpha/2* Sigma (M)

Mean +/- confidence interval > 4 Mean +/- confidence interval < 4

Agreement Disagreement

Mean -confidence interval < 4 Mean+ confidence interval > 4

Undecided

Use this techniques we have obtained results which shown in STAT TABLE1 and STAT TABLE 2 in Appendix D (Category D)

Question 1:

What are the successful techniques used in Internet marketing research?

Answer:

Most successful marketing research technique from both company and consumer perspective is search engine marketing research. To arrive at this result we used point system to rank the preferences obtained from both consumers and companies. We assigned six points for most preferred technique and one point for least preferred techniques. After summing up all the points, we compared the points for each technique to decide which had the highest ranking amongst consumers and companies. Question 23 under Appendix C contains all the calculations to substantiate our claim. Survey question number 23* Criteria comparison of Companies Consumers

Successful techniques used for internet marketing research

Search engine was most preferred. Second preference is for both video advertising end email marketing research. Blog marketing research was ranked third. Viral marketing research and affiliate marketing research were ranked fourth.

Search engine marketing research was most preferred. Email marketing research was ranked second. Affiliate marketing research was ranked third. Blog marketing research was ranked fourth. Video advertising was ranked fifth. Viral marketing research was ranked sixth.

Question 2: Does internet marketing research really bring revenue for the companies or just end up attracting junk traffic which does not generate any revenue for the company?

Answer: Based on results obtained from STAT TABLE 1 and STAT TABLE 2 in Appendix D Category D, I have presented the result here in tabular form.

Survey Criteria for comparison question Numbers 5 Companies have to necessarily focus their internet marketing research based on the gender difference so as to make more money.

Companies (Agreed/disagreed/ Undecided) Agree

Consumers (Agreed/Disagre ed/Undecided) Undecided

15

16 19

26

28

29

Variation in import duty in Undecided different countries prevent suppliers from indulging in internet marketing research It is immaterial whether it is Agree industrial products/consumer products, internet marketing research can be used successfully. Internet marketing research Agree improves the brand image of the company or products or both Internet marketing research is not Disagree a revenue earner Reliability of the country is very Agree important for success of internet marketing research Internet marketing research Undecided focused on geographical regions only can generate revenue Many of the 3rd party internet Agree marketing research provide only junk traffic which has a negative impact on the growth of internet marketing research 3rd party agency will only Disagree generate better revenue than the direct internet marketing research by company Table 4.6: Revenue for companies/junk traffic

Agree

Undecided

Agree

Disagree Agree

Undecided

Agree

Undecided

Suggestions for companies to positively affect the trend based on the consumer mind set: Consumers are sure that gender difference is a key feature that would affect internet marketing research campaigns. Companies could initiate gender based campaigns see how consumers react to it and how their mind sets could be changed. This would give companies a clear idea whether such campaigns are really revenue winners or not. Companies have to keep in mind how import duty would affect consumers when they make product offerings to them because consumers do agree that this is what prevents them from indulging in internet marketing research.

Companies agree that it is immaterial whether it is industrial products/consumer products, internet marketing research can be used successfully. They would have to work towards convincing consumers on this. Companies are undecided internet market campaigns based on geographical regions only can generate revenue. They could launch test marketing research campaigns to see whether this can change their mindset. Only then will they companies be able to change the consumer mindset because consumers themselves are undecided. Since companies are sure they dont have depend on 3rd party agencies, they could directly interact with customers through their websites and provide marketing research campaigns to change the mindsets of the consumers.

Conclusion based on consumer and company data: Both consumers and companies agree that internet marketing research improves the brand image of the company or products or both, internet marketing research is a revenue earner, reliability of the country is very important for success of internet marketing research , many of the 3rd party internet marketing research provide only junk traffic which has a negative impact on the growth of internet marketing research.

Companies agree that they have to necessarily focus their internet marketing research based on the gender difference so as to make more money. Consumers are undecided on this. Companies are undecided that variation in import duty in different countries prevents suppliers from indulging in internet marketing research. Consumers agree to this. Companies agree that immaterial whether it is industrial products/consumer products, internet marketing research can be used successfully. Consumers are undecided on this. Companies and consumer are undecided that internet marketing research focused on geographical regions only can generate revenue. Companies disagree that 3rd party agency will only generate better revenue than the direct internet marketing research by company, where as consumers are undecided on this.

Question 3: How big is the internet marketing research industry today and what is the growth potential for this?

Answer: For question 35 I have obtained the result from STAT TABLE 1 and STABLE 2 in Appendix D Category D, I have presented the result here in tabular form. For results on question 36, refer to Category C in Appendix C.

Survey question Numbers 35

Criteria comparison

of Companies Consumers

Research analyst views

More number of Agree internet marketing research players would enter to cater to the growth in the next 5 years

Agree

David Hallerman notes that in 2007 the rate of growth will be "only" 18.9 per cent, largely because of overall economic weakness. Other research from eMarketer reveals that shoppers are due to increase online spending by 41 per cent in 2007.

36*

In your opinion, how big is the internet marketing research industry in terms of turnover

Zenith predicts that global Internet advertising spend will increase 30 per cent to $24.1 billion this year and by 84 per cent to 2008. As per As per David Hallerman, senior analyst companies consumers at eMarketer, notes that this internet internet year's online ad spend in the US marketing marketing increased by 30.8 per cent from research research 2005, up to $16.4 billion (8.4 will be will be 20- billion). between 40 billion 20-40 and above. billion.

Table 4.7: Size/growth of internet marketing research companies

I have used some information available on news sites because of the lack of availability (to the best of my knowledge) of publications or journals that could provide me with the most recent

details about the trend. These details will provide us more clarity on the size and growth of internet marketing research.

Conclusion based on consumer and company data: As per companies internet marketing research potential is between 20-40 billion dollars. As per consumers the industry marketing research potential is between 20-40 billion dollars and above. Companies and consumers agree that more number of internet marketing research players would enter to cater to the growth in the next 5 years.

Question 4: Which is the most preferred internet marketing research approach?

Answer: All the result are obtained from STAT TABLE 1 and STABLE 2 in Appendix D Category D, I have presented the result here in tabular form.

Survey question Numbers 7

Criteria for comparison

Companies (Agreed/disagreed/Und ecided) 3rd party internet marketing Agree research service is more suitable than company running internet marketing research campaign on its own. Internet market has less channel Disagree focus and hence does not have long term growth 3rd party internet marketing Agree research agencies are more suitable than direct marketing research done by the company

Consumers (Agreed/Disagreed/ Undecided) Disagree

22

Undecided

27

Undecided

itself 28 Many of the 3rd party internet marketing research provide only junk traffic which has a negative impact on the growth of internet marketing research 3rd party agency will only generate better revenue than the direct internet marketing research by company. Online support is an important factor to make internet marketing research a success?. More user friendly, better key word matches will drive the future search engine marketing research. Click fraud is a deterring factor for your company, not to go into internet marketing research Web-mavens (internet product review experts) will play a major role in establishing the brand image of the company in the mindsets of people Agree Agree

29

Disagree

Disagree

30

Agree

Agree

31

Agree

Agree

32

Agree

Agree

33

Agree

Agree

Table 4.8: Most preferred internet marketing research approach

Suggestions for companies to positively affect the trend based on the consumer mind set: Companies believe that 3rd party agencies are the most preferred internet marketing research approach. On the other hand consumers disagree to this view. This is in a way good for the companies because they could try out the internet marketing research on their own and see if they are able to successfully reach large amount of consumers and attract them to visit their site and avail services/email. They could offer incentives such as discounts, gift coupons, surprise gifts to retain the customer with them. The commission to consumers would be more because middlemen is cut.

Companies believe that internet marketing research has channel focus. Consumers are undecided about it. Companies could help bring the benefits of internet channels over traditional channels to convince them of the channel focus. Companies are sure that 3rd party internet marketing research agencies are more suitable than direct marketing research done by the company itself but consumers are undecided about it. Companies should inform 3rd party agencies to be more proactive with the consumers to make them prefer them over direct marketing research from companies.

Conclusion based on consumer and company data: Companies and consumers agree that many of the 3rd party internet marketing research provide only junk traffic which has a negative impact on the growth of internet marketing research. Companies and consumers disagree that 3rd party agency will only generate better revenue than the direct internet marketing research by company. Consumers and companies agree that online support is an important factor to make internet marketing research a success. Companies and consumers agree that more user friendly, better key word matches will drive the future search engine marketing research. Companies and consumers agree that click fraud is a deterring factor for your company, not to go into internet marketing research. Consumers and companies agree that web-mavens (internet product review experts) will play a major role in establishing the brand image of the company in the mindsets of people. Companies agree that 3rd party internet marketing research service is more suitable than company running internet marketing research campaign on its own. Companies disagree that internet market has less channel focus and hence does not have long term growth but consumers are undecided on this. Companies agree that 3rd party internet marketing research agencies are more suitable than direct marketing research done by the company itself but consumers are undecided on this.

Question 5: Would companies prefer internet marketing research to traditional marketing research?

Answer: All the result are obtained from STAT TABLE 1 and STAT TABLE 2 in Appendix

Category D, I have presented the result here in tabular form.

Survey question numbers 18 20 21

Criteria of comparison

24

25

34

Companies (Agree/Disagree/ Undecided) Traditional marketing research is more Undecided reliable than internet marketing research Traditional marketing research is more Agreed flexible than internet marketing research Traditional marketing research Agreed relationships are long term compared to internet marketing research Internet marketing research will fully Disagreed takeover traditional marketing research in my company From now on company will spend more Agreed on internet marketing research than on traditional marketing research From now on revenue gained through Agreed internet marketing research will be surely more than revenue gained through traditional marketing research

Consumers (Agree/Disagree/ Undecided) Agreed Undecided Undecided

Disagreed

Disagreed

Disagreed

Table 4.9: Internet marketing research or traditional marketing research

Suggestions for companies to positively affect the trend based on the consumer mind set: Companies should take steps to make internet marketing research more reliable. Unless companies themselves are convinced of this fact, they cannot make consumers agree to this view. Companies believe that traditional marketing research is more flexible than internet marketing research. But consumers are undecided. This is good for companies because there is a possibility for them to make internet marketing research easy to use so that those consumers who have even an iota of doubt on the flexibility can get convinced and use internet marketing research.

Companies should realize that the growing internet marketing research and give more focus to establishing long term internet marketing research relations. Only then consumers can be convinced by this view. Though companies agree their spending on internet marketing research will be more, consumers disagreed to this. To reach the consumer and make them aware that the companies are going to spend more adequate promotional techniques to reach the consumers should be adopted.

Conclusion based on consumer and company data: Companies and consumers disagreed that internet marketing research will fully takeover traditional marketing research in their company. Companies agree that from now on company would spend more on internet marketing research than on traditional marketing research but consumers did not agree to this view. Companies agree that from now on revenue gained through internet marketing research will be surely more than revenue gained through traditional marketing research but consumers disagreed to this view. Companies are undecided that traditional marketing research is more reliable than internet marketing research but consumers agreed to this view. Companies agreed that traditional marketing research is more flexible than internet marketing research but consumers are undecided on this. Companies agreed that traditional marketing research relationships are long term compared to internet marketing research but consumers are undecided on this.

Question 6: Where is the internet marketing research trend heading to in the future?

Answer: All the result except for questions 10 and 12 are obtained from STAT TABLE 1 and STABLE 2 in Appendix D Category D, I have presented the result here in tabular form.

Survey question Numbers 4

Criteria of comparison

Companies (Agree/Disagree/Undecided) Agreed

Consumers (Agree/Disagree/Undecided) Agreed

11 13

14

17

19

33

Awareness of internet marketing research trends is mandatory for internet marketing research growth Irrespective of product/service internet marketing research is useful Internet marketing research will surely grow Only for selected products and services internet marketing research will be successful. Virtual world internet advertising campaigns such as Second Life are the future trend setters for internet marketing research Payment frauds are unavoidable in internet marketing research, in spite of this internet marketing research will grow Reliability of the country is very important for success of internet marketing research Web-mavens (internet product review experts) will play a major role in establishing the brand image of the company in the mindsets of people

Undecided

Undecided

Agreed Agreed

Agreed Undecided

Agreed

Undecided

Agreed

Agreed

Agreed

Agreed

Agreed

Agreed

Table 4.10: Internet marketing research trend of the future

Survey question Numbers 10*

Factor

Companies attribute it to the Consumers attribute it to the following following. Consumers ranked wider reach as one. Additional revenue was ranked two. To counter market pressure was ranked third. Management policy was ranked fourth.

Drivers for Companies ranked wider reach internet as one. Additional revenue was marketing ranked two. To counter market research pressure was ranked third. Management policy was ranked fourth

Table 4.11: Drivers for Internet marketing research

Survey question Numbers 12*

Factor

Companies attribute it to the Consumers attribute it to the following following.

Growth in Companies ranked Internet and Companies ranked Internet and internet marketing research mobile users are growing as rank mobile users are growing as rank 1, easy accessibility to products 1, easy accessibility to products from any part of the world as from any part of the world as rank 2, Television will be going rank 2, traditional marketing

the internet way as ranked 3, research costs are growing was traditional marketing research ranked as third. Everything is

costs are growing was ranked as going the personalized marketing four. Everything is going the research way was ranked as four.

personalized marketing research Television will be going the way was ranked as 5. Ease of internet way as ranked fifth. tracking success or failure was Ease of tracking success or

ranked 6.

failure was ranked sixth.

Table 4.12: Growth in Internet marketing research

Suggestions for companies to positively affect the trend based on the consumer mind set: Companies should explore different internet marketing research techniques to convince themselves and can then convince consumers that irrespective of product/service internet marketing research is useful. Companies believe that virtual world internet advertising campaigns such as Second life are the future trend setters for internet marketing research but consumers dont think so. Companies could invest in existing internet marketing research techniques to be confident of attracting consumers through these campaigns or rely on 3rd party agencies to do the same. Companies dont believe easy accessibility to products from any part of the world, traditional marketing research costs are growing which could drive internet marketing research growth. Consumers on the hand believe that these play a role too. Companies could re-examine their view so that they can give importance to easy accessibility to products from any part of the world which will then bring them more customers. Companies and consumers agree that wider reach, additional revenue and countering marketing research pressure will be drivers for internet marketing research companies to pursue internet marketing research in the future. In addition to this companies could also implement management policies to encourage internet marketing research instead of the marketing research department alone to act as a driver.

Conclusion based on consumer and company data: Companies and consumers agreed that awareness of internet marketing research trends is mandatory for internet marketing research trends. Both companies and consumers agreed that internet marketing research will surely grow. Both companies and consumers believed that payment frauds are unavoidable in internet marketing research, in spite of this internet marketing research will grow. Both companies and consumers agreed that reliability of the country is very important for success of internet marketing research . Companies and consumers agreed that web-mavens (internet product review experts) would play a major role in establishing the brand image of the company in the mindsets of people. Both companies and consumers were undecided whether Irrespective of product/service internet marketing research is useful. Companies agreed that only for selected products and services internet marketing research will be successful but consumers were undecided on this. Companies agreed that virtual world internet advertising campaigns such as Second Life are the future trendsetters for internet marketing research but consumers were undecided on this.

CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSION & RECOMMENDATION

Conclusion: From the perspective of developing an efficient marketing research strategy, the Internet provides better insights into sometimes hidden and unavailable data regarding customers, their impacts on business, consumer behavior and buying decisions. It also offers an opportunity for businesses to create an image, offer information about products and services, develop relationships with profitable customers, better understand the consumer buying practices, ensure continuous product improvements with respect to customers needs, etc. However, some studies showed few different perceptions. For example, Karayanni (2006) conducted a study, in order to determine the purpose of the business usage of the Internet and found that the important usage motivation is to distinguish oneself from the competition, which includes both marketing research research and market expansion opportunities. However, one should compare the Internet, as a research tool, to the more traditional means of conducting market research. This has been done by Furrer and Sudharshan, (2001) and Wilson and Laskey (2003), who have analyzed whether the Internet poses a serious threat to the traditional ways of conducting research. Their studies showed that, although there were numerous valuable insights which could be obtained via Web-based analyses, the Internet-based research is often used as a special type of study applied exclusively for the Web evaluation.

The Internet is a far cheaper and easier medium for conducting research and has a number of other benefits. They include an opportunity to survey a high number of respondents at once, ease of conducting a survey in a couple of clicks, inexpensive respondent reach (larger sample), pre-

screened panels (prompt responses to online questionnaires), or rapid turnaround (research and results in a short period of time). Other studies note that the major advantages of the Web-based research as the possibilities for targeting a larger population, flexibility and control over formats, simple data entry, high participation, usage of a variety of media, simplicity of administration, etc. When analyzing data collection techniques, it is important to note that there is a growing trend of administering the Web-based data collection methodologies that have numerous advantages over other data collection approaches (Albrecht, Jones, 2009). From the perspective of developing an efficient marketing research strategy, the Internet provides better insights into sometimes hidden and unavailable data regarding customers, their impacts on business, consumer behavior and buying decisions. It also offers an opportunity for businesses to create an image, offer information about products and services, develop relationships with profitable customers, better understand the consumer buying practices, ensure continuous product improvements with respect to customers needs, etc. However, some studies showed few different perceptions. For example, Karayanni (2006) conducted a study, in order to determine the purpose of the business usage of the Internet and found that the important usage motivation is to distinguish oneself from the competition, which includes both marketing research research and market expansion opportunities.

However, one should compare the Internet, as a research tool, to the more traditional means of conducting market research. This has been done by Furrer and Sudharshan, (2001) and Wilson and Laskey (2003), who have analyzed whether the Internet poses a serious threat to the traditional ways of conducting research. Their studies showed that, although there were numerous valuable insights which could be obtained via Web-based analyses, the Internet-based research is often used as a special type of study applied exclusively for the Web evaluation.

The Internet is a far cheaper and easier medium for conducting research and has a number of other benefits. They include an opportunity to survey a high number of respondents at once, ease of conducting a survey in a couple of clicks, inexpensive respondent reach (larger sample), prescreened panels (prompt responses to online questionnaires), or rapid turnaround (research and results in a short period of time). Other studies note that the major advantages of the Web-based research as the possibilities for targeting a larger population, flexibility and control over formats,

simple data entry, high participation, usage of a variety of media, simplicity of administration, etc. When analyzing data collection techniques, it is important to note that there is a growing trend of administering the Web-based data collection methodologies that have numerous advantages over other data collection approaches (Albrecht, Jones, 2009).

Recommendation: An emphasis is put on the usage of the Internet as a form of an advanced research tool for the better segmentation of the potential customers, but it may be even more important to provide real-time data, which can be achieved by several technologies. They include, for instance, Web services, being usually defined as a means of tracking and monitoring the business activities in real time, using the events that occur as a result of those activities as entry values that activate the business rules for delivery of the filtered information toward other processes and target groups of customers, which represent the core business intelligence of the company (Panian, Klepac, 2003, p. 227). The role of the Web and the real time information is emphasized in many situations, especially in the field of Web analytics, where companies strive to find who their customers/visitors are, where they are coming from and which online events brought them to the site, as the easy and useful e-commerce represents a valuable experience both for the customers, as well as for the companies doing business and research online (Murray, 2008). From this perspective, there are several practical applications of different Business Intelligence tools and technologies in the marketing research context:

Managers, especially the marketing research and sales managers need to assess their corporate Web pages and determine the role of the Web site in everyday business operations, since it does not have only an informational role, but also serves as a communication and sales channel. Web analytics are indispensable for such a purpose.

With respect to traditional methods of market segmentation, managers should use the Web segmentation opportunities, in order to define and understand the Web users, their motivation and buying habits.

It is not enough to use regular data or simple reports to fully understand the online customers and adapt the marketing research strategy (marketing research mix) effectively.

Marketers/managers should pay attention to the corporate Web content, structure and navigation if they want to present the company in the best possible manner. It is important to conduct marketing research research on the Web and to implement Web analytics or other methods frequently, as to collect the real time data.

Finally, it is important to encourage companies to use the Web as an interactive medium for establishing a connection with their customers. With the growth of the Internet and technology innovations, it is necessary to be up-to- date with such advances, in order to take advantage of the full potential that the Web offers.

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