Managers cannot always wait for information to arrive in bits and pieces from the marketing intelligence system. They often require formal studies of specific situations. For example, Toshiba wants to know how many and what kinds of people or companies will buy its new superfast laptop computer. Or Barat College in Lake Forest, Illinois, needs to know what percentage of its target market has heard of Barat, how they heard, what they know, and how they feel about Barat. In such situations, the marketing intelligence system will not provide the detailed information needed. Managers will need marketing research.
We define marketing research as the systematic design, collection, analysis, and reporting of data and findings relevant to a specific marketing situation facing an organization. Every marketer needs research. Marketing researchers engage in a wide variety of activities, ranging from market potential and market share studies, to assessments of customer satisfaction and purchase behavior, to studies of pricing, distribution, and promotion activities.
A company can conduct marketing research in its own research department or have some or all of it done outside. Although most large companies have their own marketing research departments, they often use outside firms to do special research tasks or studies. A company with no research department has to buy the services of research firms.
The importance of packaging products appropriately
In recent times, numerous factors have made packaging an important marketing tool. Increased competition and clutter on retail store shelves means that packages now must perform many sales tasks-from attracting attention, to describing the product, to making the sale. Companies are realizing the power of good packaging to create instant consumer recognition of the company or brand.
For example, in an average supermarket, which stocks 15,000 to 17,000 items, the typical shopper passes by some 300 items per minute, and 53 percent of all purchases are made on impulse. In this highly competitive environment, the package may be the seller's last chance to influence buyers. It becomes a five-second commercial. The Campbell Soup Company estimates that the average shopper sees its familiar red and white can 76 times a year, creating the equivalent of $26 million worth of advertising.