Introduction Bob Block ,president of sage advance , whichmanufactures the copper cricket (a patented geyserpumping solar water heat for home use). In 1983 they built the first working prototype, end of the1984 they are searching for licensees for the technology But during the previous ten years of solar tax credits ahurricane on mediocre technology had to swept the solarindustry.
Countd…. In 1985 government are canceled tax credit. Next year 85% solar manufacturers disappearedbecause of tax credit. They able to sale 30 system to individuals bygaining popularity a new shelter magazine. The firm was not at the breakeven sales level as ofJanuary 1, 1991.
The Product The copper cricket have widely recognized, Popularscience named it one of 1989’s “Greatest Achievementin science and technology”. The geyser pump isprotected by a strong patent. A recent survey of copper cricket owners founds that 98% would recommend the product to a friend.
Feature of the product No outside power required. No moving parts to fall. No maintenance. Freeze proof. Nationally certified. 10 year warranty. Kit form for easy installation. No exposed plumbing. Less expensive than electricity, gas or coal.
The Environment The energy crisis of 1970 & introduction of taxcredit created a huge market of solar energysystem, Particularly solar water heating system. Because of the energy crisis & the removal of thetax credit program in 1985 devastated the industry. In a year approximately 90% of the solar waterheater producers dropped out of the business. In 1990’s market picture was uncertain, theenvironment was main concern. The Persian Gulf crisis had increased fuelprices, but an increasing recession had consumersnervous about capital outlays.
Marketing Efforts The firm’s marketing efforts have extremely limited dueto its severe cash flow problems. A significant percent of firm’s sales occur in Oregon. Sage’s attempts to attract dealers have not been verysuccessful. Two large manufacturing who survived the 1985shakeout have substantial distribution and sales despitehaving a less advanced product. To encourage word-of –mouth communications. Sage is also working with a number of large electricalutilities.
Discussion Question How could marketing research have helped SageAdvance before the cooper cricket was introduced tothe marketplace? Ans.- Attract Distributors, manufacturers, customers Able to identify target segment and be able to sale atlower price
How can marketing research help Sage Advance now?It can test market and make market strategyaccordingly.Assume Sage Advance survives its current cash flowcrisis , what role marketing research play in the firm?It will grab it business easily
How should Bob set a budget for marketingresearch? Definitely little bit of exploratory research is neededand as company faces fund crisis. It could go withliterature review and case analysis(Benchmarkingand ethnography).