Please read the scenario below, and then answer the questions that follow in a 3-page analysis. The questions will guide your analysis of the situation, but they will need to be presented as part of an analysis to John and Ellen on what is needed for their marketing plan.
John and Ellen want to open their own grocery delivery service in a medium-sized city consisting of 250,000–750,000 people. The service will offer elements suited for the targeted demographic needs of the core consumers.
The desire for grocery delivery services has exploded in recent years. Given people’s busy schedules and frustrations in finding daycare and balancing activities, grocery shopping can feel more and more like a chore, especially with small children. However, there is a great deal of competition between current services, spanning from Amazon’s Whole Foods to Instacart to Fresh Direct. Keeping this in mind, Joe and Ellen’s need for intensive marketing research is critical.
Marketing research involves defining the problem that the business is attempting to address (and the opportunity it is seeking to exploit), developing a research plan, collecting the data, analyzing the data, and finally making the research actionable (Tomasetti, 2019). In this instance, this might include specifically addressing the problem of the target demographic. Is it busy professionals who simply don’t have time to shop? Families with young children? People who are elderly and are concerned about shopping? The service would likely have to target several demographics to be viable, but addressing the different needs of these target groups might require different strategies.
Just as a varied approach to analyzing consumer demographics is necessary, so is an equally triangulated approach to research. Seldom is one type of research useful. For example, conducting surveys of the typical groups that make use of such services might be helpful. Focus groups (over Zoom or phone conferences) can likewise be useful to collect more anecdotal research that would yield unexpected insights that quantitative insights might not provide. Surveys require relatively little effort, which can yield large amounts of data, although the feedback can be low-quality. In contrast, interviews tend to be more involved and require more effort on both the part of the participants and the researchers. Interviews can be useful, even though they are anecdotal in nature.
All of these data must be infused into constructing a viable business plan. Investors or backers, whether offering a loan or venture capital, wish to see evidence that there is a need for the service and that it will be successful. Once the service is launched, however, the market research must continue. For a Web-based service, this might require keeping track of goods and services bought, the number of Web site hits, and what promotional strategies (such as offering online coupons or 10% off a first-time order) result in return customers. To ensure continued investment and support, the company must not simply generate interest and customer traffic, but it must also be financially successful. Thus, the cost of running the business cannot just not exceed the gains.
The marketing research should also be presented attractively to potential investors so that it can be easily assimilated and make a persuasive case for the business. If necessary, industry research about the grocery market in general may be useful to support the business’s case. For example, one concern of potential investors might be that post quarantine, interest in online shopping will decline. However, according to the leading trade publication, this is not the case. “Online grocery will swell to 21.5% of total U.S. grocery sales by 2025, more than doubling its current share of the overall grocery market” (Redman, 2020). Investors are likely eager to get on board with an industry-wide trend, and preliminary market research prelaunch can be costly, even when largely conducted online, so combining research from such trade publications with personal research is likely the most feasible approach for a startup.
Address the following questions in your response:
- What is true of marketing research?
- Marketing insights provide what type of information about how and why people observe certain effects in the marketplace?
- When defining the problem, marketing managers must do what?
- What are the steps of the marketing research process?
- What is an example of primary data?
- What is a gathering of 6–10 people who discuss topics for a small payment?
- What is the most scientifically valid research?
- What type of research is small, relatively indirect, and unstructured?
- What type of research systematically provides measurable statistics?
- What phase of market research is usually the most expensive?
- What are the measures that quantify, compare, and interpret performance called?
- What tracks the satisfaction of various constituencies who have a critical interest in a company’s performance?
Submitting your assignment in APA format means, at a minimum, you will need the following:
- Title page: Remember the running head. The title should be in all capitals.
- Length: 3 pages minimum
- Abstract: This is a summary of your paper, not an introduction. Begin writing in third person.
- Body: This begins on the page following the title page and abstract page and must be double-spaced (be careful not to triple- or quadruple-space between paragraphs). The typeface should be 12-pt. Times Roman or 12-pt. Courier in regular black type. Do not use color, bold type, or italics, except as required for APA-level headings and references. The deliverable length of the body of your paper for this assignment is 5 pages. In-body academic citations to support your decisions and analysis are required. A variety of academic sources is encouraged.
- Reference page: References that align with your in-body academic sources are listed on the final page of your paper. The references must be in APA format using appropriate spacing, hanging indent, italics, and uppercase and lowercase usage as appropriate for the type of resource used. Remember, the Reference page is not a bibliography but a further listing of the abbreviated in-body citations used in the paper. Every referenced item must have a corresponding in-body citation.