Marketing Research in Companies.

Discussion

Marketing research is important tool of every company to examine and investigate market situation, competition and consumer demands. Since market environments specify the conditions that internal and external organizational arrangements must meet, market forces have a great influence on the total organization. T. G. Maxx is one of the organizations relying on marketing research and analysis. T. G. Maxx is consumer oriented company specialized in women and men footwear, bedding & domestics.

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In this organizational context, marketing research should be considered an intervening variable which, to a large extent, links the relationship between the company on the one hand and society on the other. For instance, the marketing research shows changes in markets, cost-price pressures, evolution of the product and brand manager concept, the shifting distribution structures, and changes in physical distribution, have resulted in the need for new views (Hartley, 2005).

Marketing research is closely connected with the marketing concept as it reflects the main marketing areas and issues of importance. As the focal point or hub of business activities, markets provide the basic reason for the existence of an enterprise. Organizational coordination and integration of behavior and activities to achieve a firm’s objectives should be achieved at three levels: the extracorporate level, which coordinates the marketing activities of separate businesses; the interdepartmental level, which coordinates with other departments; and the intradepartmental level, which coordinates within marketing.

As goal-directed units, marketing research has multiple objectives, and the relative importance of their various goals changes. Sometimes goals conflict; but it is desirable for them to be compatible. Since marketing sectors vary, the relative importance of goals must be determined to achieve organization and establish criteria for effectiveness. The goal of profit maximization, often assumed in discussions of economics, may not be the primary organization goal (Bearden et al 2004).

Marketing research influence decision-making in T.J. Maxx and determine its assortment and product lines, prices and displays in stores. In this case, marketing research helps the company to determine successful organizational arrangements directed by manufacturer-distributor-retailer relationships. Where a large manufacturer is linked to numerous small distributors, the manufacturer emphasizes marketing leadership.

Where a large distributor such as a wholesaler deals with a large number of manufacturers, retailers, or both, he furnishes the leadership. Organizational boundaries are dynamic and adjust to meet the changing needs of their environments. As a result, organizations have a life and style of their own, and at certain periods, the influence of different groups may increase. For example, organization structures may change in periods of surplus from their form in periods of production shortages (McDaniel and Gates 2005).

Marketing research assumes that organizational units are dynamic and interconnected. As they change they interact, the result being a network of reactions. It is this notion of interaction and relationship of components, rather than the perception of isolated elements, that is important to marketing organization (Hartley, 2005). Decision-making in the organization is based on marketing research which helps to join independent and total marketing systems: cooperatives or the voluntary linkage of manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers to promote and distribute products. A subsystem is something less than total marketing organization, such as the advertising or marketing research group.

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Where the elements of the marketing research are independent businesses, a company’s management often cannot directly influence the behavior of organizational units. Indirect influences must be used, and these make control less sure, leadership less autocratic, and frustration more certain. Indirect control also encounters difficulties in resolving conflicts of interest. What is best for the total marketing system, or even one part of it, need not be best for another segment. A major problem in the organizing of marketing activities is getting independent agents to coordinate their efforts to develop a more effective system (Hartley, 2005).

T. J. Maxx depends on fusing the contributions of independent entities and supporting agencies. These coordination tasks often fall to the manufacturer, who has the resources and capabilities to perform them. When retailers or wholesalers have the know-how and resources, however, as in wholesaler-sponsored cooperatives or retail chains, they may take the initiative. This leader has been referred to as a channel captain.

Businesses run most effectively when they are in a proper state of balance with their market environment. This alignment depends on organizational arrangements, both internal and external. Since markets are dynamic and consist of threatening competitors, managers must continually review their organizational patterns. Whereas technology influences organization, organizational arrangements also bring about the conditions and stimuli to advance technology. The advantages of American companies lie not only in their ability to mass produce, but also in their capacity to organize the marketing forces.

Marketing organizations that pay particular attention to the outside elements and to change are often the most difficult to control (Hartley, 2005). Decision-making cannot be successful in isolation from marketing research and analysis. It necessitates communication, formal and informal, vertical and horizontal, to and from the marketplace. In large firms with multiple levels of management, widely diversified products, and geographically decentralized plants and distribution centers, complex networks of marketing communication have come into being, and the information.

Breaking out occurs when functions are separated from each other so that they are performed in more effective and logical manner. Important organizational issues arise in the process: when to break out functions, how fast they should be developed, and how they should be organized in multidivisional organizations (Kotler and Armstrong 2005).

Marketing research helps decision-makers to predict and prevent negative market and environmental changes. Environmental forces and the existing business system together are critical factors shaping marketing organization. A balanced state of adjustment must be reached between them. Even though company environments establish conditions that marketing organizations and behavior must fit, internal and external organizational balances can be achieved. Internal adjustments occur through changing authority-responsibility relationships and departmental structures. External adjustments occur through the marketing mix and through the distribution network.

Coordination is one of the organizational activities essential to the marketing mix. The nature, intricacy, and magnitude of the marketing task, especially in conglomerate organizations, complicates the problem. Also, the “spill over” of marketing into other functional areas, the use of marketing specialists, and the necessity of linking independent operating entities such as manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers in an integrated system, places heavy burdens on coordination. These burdens are eased by greater use of committees that include people outside marketing, the addition of non-marketing personnel to marketing staffs, and the establishment of coordinating responsibilities such as research and development, product planning, and market planning (Hartley, 2005).

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Discussion Question 2

Recent years, decline in sales and profits are the main problems faced by T.J. Maxx. In order to solve these problems and find the solution to dales decline, it is important to investigate customers’ attitudes and customers’ behavior. In order to perfume a marketing research, several models will be chosen.

Consumer and buyer behavior is an area currently receiving as much research emphasis, or perhaps more, than other aspects of marketing. Stochastic processes are emphasized in the study of consumer behavior, and particular attention has been directed to the problem of brand loyalty. Equilibrium or steady-state solutions are usually derived. But from a practical problem-solving point of view, there are numerous significant problems with such models, including the determination of purchase probabilities, the determination of individual purchasing cycles and their correspondence with each of the state periods, and the projection of the results to relevant market areas (Kumar and Reinartz 2005).

Another model widely referred to in studying brand loyalty is the learning-theory model. In such an approach, purchases are treated as learned behavior, with the last purchase being dependent on the previous one, and so on. The probability of switching brands can be calculated, given the purchase of a previous brand, and lower and upper bounds for probabilities of switching brands can be established (Hollensen, 2007).

Advertising will be the main area of marketing research. Advertising is an area related to consumer and buyer behavior. The brand-switching and brand-loyalty models discussed previously have direct overlap. Quantitative models in advertising, however, are concerned with the very significant and complex problems of optimizing (or at least increasing) advertising effectiveness, and allocating advertising budgets among various advertising media. While these are difficult problems to handle, they have large potential payoffs. They are concerned with timing, lags, synergistic effects, interrelationships with other marketing variables, and intangible outputs that are difficult to measure (Hollensen, 2007).

Employee orientation report will involve four stages of the marketing research and the main areas of research. Stages of marketing research are

  1. A prequantification or conceptualization stage in which the management team witness a basic extension of economic concepts, the development of some fundamental quantitative data, studies of location, inventories, costs of distribution, sales analysis, sales forecasting, and conceptual articles on optimizing the marketing mix or parts of it (Kumar and Reinartz 2005).
  2. A realization stage. Here use is made of some of the available simple statistical and mathematical methods. Examples are fitting curves by regression analysis and the use of correlation to associate variables on advertising and sales or to make improved sales forecasts. Simple models are thus realized in the real world. The orientation is not so much toward solving significant marketing problems as toward fitting problems and data to available static descriptive models (Kumar and Reinartz 2005).
  3. A stage of analyzing total marketing systems. Currently the team is in this stage — trying to model totalities and developing models of marketing systems. We are facilitating a better understanding of realistic marketing problems at both the macro and micro levels. We are concerned with optimizing for a whole system and not just one part of it. We are witnessing developments in linking data of marketing research (such as behavioral data from scaling and ranking measures, or subjective feelings) with mathematical models and computers. The availability of new decision-making technology, including models and computers, affects our understanding of marketing, the decisions made, the quality of information, and methods of handling it. The result is greater attention to marketing planning, the creation of marketing-information centers, and a reorganization of marketing tasks (Kumar and Reinartz 2005).
  4. Results The result is not a marketing calculus, but improved decisions, insights, and data. Marketing has progressed from a focus to that of the analysis of total marketing systems. Quantitative disciplines have reshaped marketing by providing different approaches, concepts, and techniques. Examples are the application of systems analysis, the development of dynamic models, the evolution of new marketing courses, and improved research ventures.

During marketing research, a special attention will be paid to customers’ loyalty, purchasing decisions and life style. This data will help to improve marketing techniques and find the best solution to current problems. Advertising applications are usually related to brand loyalty and learning. But they also encompass a host of applications that focus on complex problems of increasing advertising effectiveness and allocating budgets among media. Industrial dynamics and dynamic programming have been used. The results have been improved approaches and new formulations and concepts, but limited problem-solving efficacy.

Pricing problems have long been approached on an analytical basis. New approaches involving Bayesian analysis and game theory have proven to be useful, at least conceptually. A variety of models involving simultaneous-regression equations, distributed lag regressions, primal partition, integer programming, beta, and gamma distributions have been applied. The result is not a marketing calculus, but improved decisions, insights, and data.

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Marketing has progressed from a focus to that of the analysis of total marketing systems. Quantitative disciplines have reshaped marketing by providing different approaches, concepts, and techniques. Examples are the application of systems analysis, the development of dynamic models, the evolution of new marketing courses, and improved research ventures (Kotler and Armstrong 2005).

Product decisions are among the most critical in marketing. This is particularly true for new products. Yet the progress made in the application of quantitative models in this area does not parallel that of physical distribution. There are numerous examples of the application of network theory such as PERT and CPM to new product-development processes. There are also examples of the development of product life-cycle functions and of the use of a variety of simple accounting and finance models such as discounted cash flow, return on investment, and break-even analysis. Several rating schemes have been created to quantify the factors associated with new-product ventures, and quantitative techniques have been described for analyzing risks and reaching effective new-product decisions (Kumar and Reinartz 2005).

Quantitative models have been employed to determine whether a new product should be marketed. BBD&O has developed such a model, referred to as DEMON. To use it, management specifies various parameters such as profit limits, marketing program elements, pricing plans, and estimates of sales. Based on these inputs, the model indicates whether management should drop the product, gather additional marketing information, or market the product on a national basis.

This is a fine planning tool for sharpening executives’ new-product focuses and for planning marketing strategy. Dynamic programming has been adopted in new-product analyses. Urban has a model in which he uses four submodels in the areas of demand, cost, profit, and uncertainty to treat the situation. Then, through dynamic programming, optimization is achieved (McDaniel and Gates 2005).

Bibliography

Bearden, W. O., Ingram, Th. N., LaForge, L.W. 2004, Marketing, Prentice Hall.

Hollensen, S. 2007, Global Marketing: A Decision-Oriented Approach. Financial Times/ Prentice Hall; 4 edition.

Hartley, R.F. 2005, Marketing Mistakes and Successes (Marketing Mistakes). Wiley; 10 edition.

McDaniel, C., Gates, R. 2005, Marketing Research. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Wiley; 5 edition.

Kotler, Ph., Armstrong, G. 2005, Principles of Marketing. Prentice Hall; 11th edition.

Kumar, Y., Reinartz, W. 2005, Customer Relationship Management: A Databased Approach. Wiley.

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