• Share
  • Email
  • Embed
  • Like
  • Save
  • Private Content
Marketing Research - Toy Industry
 

Marketing Research - Toy Industry

on

  • 1,892 views

 

Statistics

Views

Total Views
1,892
Views on SlideShare
1,891
Embed Views
1

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
34
Comments
0

1 Embed 1

https://twitter.com 1

Accessibility

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft Word

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

    Marketing Research - Toy Industry Marketing Research - Toy Industry Document Transcript

    • Table of ContentsExecutive summary .................................................................................................................... 11. Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 22. Findings .............................................................................................................................. 2 2.1. Market definition ......................................................................................................... 2 2.2. Secondary data collection and analysis ....................................................................... 2 2.3. Methodology ................................................................................................................ 3 2.3.1. Quantitative research ............................................................................................ 3 2.3.2. Qualitative research .............................................................................................. 4 2.4. Presentation of the report ............................................................................................. 53. Conclusion & Recommendations ....................................................................................... 5Reference .................................................................................................................................... 6Appendix 1: The definition of the UK traditional toys and games market ................................ 6Appendix 2: The analysis of the questionnaire .......................................................................... 6
    • Executive summaryThis report was commissioned by order of Fred Foster, Managing Director, to evaluate theresearch report by Hatfield Market Research Consultants UK to Playful Times Toys. Thisreport was to be submitted to him by 19th January 2011.All sections of the subject report were evaluated in the period of December 17th andDecember 30th concerning:  The appropriateness of secondary data collection and analysis  The suitability of the sampling  The appropriateness of primary data collection and analysis  The consistency of the questionnaire  The conclusions and recommendations in the given report  The presentation of the given reportSince the brief and the proposal are not provided, an in-depth evaluation of consistencyamong the brief, the proposal and the given report could not be achieved. Also, the researchobjective was not clearly stated in the given report. Hence, the objective given in themethodology section [„if the company‟s new range of toys will be popular in the market‟] wastaken in consideration by evaluating the report overall.This report explains the findings in detail, based on the above mentioned terms of reference.Also, a detailed analysis of the questionnaire can be found in appendices. Fundamentally, thereport draws attention to the issues below:  Both secondary and primary data are not up-to-date  The content of secondary data is not consistent in itself. Some information does not have back-up, consequently, does not have credibility.  Overall, both secondary and primary data are unconvinced to relate to the research objective. Samples are not representative.  The relevancy and usefulness of information is not always the case.  There are unethical practices regarding both secondary and primary researches.In conclusion, it can be suggested to not accept the report by Hatfield Market ResearchConsultants UK. 1
    • 1. Introduction The report consists of two main sections – Findings and Conclusion &Recommendation. First, findings will be produced under four main sub-sections including„market definition’, ‘secondary data collection and analyses, ‘methodology’ and ‘presentationof the report’ respectively. There is no separate section for the analysis of „ethical issues‟. Therelevant ethical points will be argued within the findings. Finally, the report will be concludedwith recommendations. 2. Findings 2.1. Market definition In line with the Keynote (2010) definition of „The UK Traditional Toys and GamesMarket (see Appendix 1), it appears that the market definition given in the report is not clear.The target market for Playful Times Toys was defined as all items that can be used for Playand Leisure such as dolls, games, and puzzles in the UK. First of all, “all items” has complexmeanings. It is too big to define. So the definition has no boundaries. In addition, we do notknow what the target age group is. Also, the content of the toys in question is not clear. Arethey including electronic contents? Does the market cover computer games and consolesystems? What are the sub-categories in the market? From the introduction section of the report, it is understood that Playful Times Toys isa company manufacturing a range of simple toys for „pre-school age children‟, under 5 yearsold. So, the company‟s target audience already focused on the infant/pre-school categorywithin the toy market. However, the definition stated in the report shows that the consultantagency defined its own target market for Playful Times Toys. 2.2. Secondary data collection and analysis Malhotra (2007) indicates that decision makers require current data, so the value ofdata is decreased as they become dated. In the report the secondary data is based on thefigures in 2004. Considering the recent economic crunch, it can be argued that the data maynot reflect accurate figures for household disposable income and the market value based onsix year-old retail prices. The content of the secondary data should be examined based on the definition of keyvariables, the categories used, the units of measurement and so on (Malhotra, 2007).However, as mentioned, the definition of market is not clear. The effects of the poor marketdefinition can be seen especially in secondary data collection. Different measures were usedin the figures such as “Traditional Toys and Games”, “Games and Toys market”, “Toys andGames Market (including computer games)”. Table 1 shows the value of “traditional” toys and games market, while Table 3consists of information that includes “computer games”, which are normally excluded fromthe traditional toys and games market definition (see Appendix 1). Based on Table 1 thereport suggests that the games and toys market is slowing down. However, this might beexplained by falling retail prices. Therefore, it is not secure to say that the market is slowingdown based on only this figure. The report claims that the annual rise in household disposable income (Table 2), alongwith “falling family size” means that per capita spending on children has risen. There is no 2
    • evidence in the report to show that the family size in the UK is decreasing. So it can be saidthat the credibility of the information is a question mark, based on the given data. The relevance and usefulness of secondary data to the problem at hand is an ethicalissue (Malhotra, 2007). It can therefore be inferred that the use of secondary data that is notapplicable to the research objectives is unethical. Table 3 shows the frequency of purchasersbased on age groups. As mentioned, first of all, this figure includes computer games, whichshould have excluded from the traditional toy market. Secondly, this figure is irrelevantregarding the objective of this research (see section 2.3). 2.3. Methodology From the methodology section of the report, it is understood that the objective of theresearch is to decide „whether the company‟s new range of toys will be popular in themarket‟. With this in mind, the consultant agency claims that the research was designed to beconclusive. The objective of conclusive research is to describe specific phenomena, to test specifichypothesis and to examine specific relationship (Malhotra, 2007: 72). Hereby, it can beargued that the given objective of the research does not fit to conclusive research design. On the other hand, exploratory research is the research to provide insights and tounderstand of the nature of the phenomena. It can use both quantitative and qualitativeexplorations. Exploratory research may be designed at investigating whether there is anyinterest in a new product idea (Wilson, 2006). Therefore, it could be suggested that the givenobjective leads to the exploratory research design, rather than the conclusive one. 2.3.1. Quantitative research 2.3.1.1. Sampling The report states that the agency worked in conjunction with the university andobtained 15 LEAs in England to conduct research at their primary schools. First of all,primary schools are for children aged from four to eleven year-old. However, Playful TimesToys is a company manufacturing toys for pre-school-age children (see section 2.1). As aresult, the research place, and consequently the population of interest are not appropriate forthe purpose of this research. On the other hand, we do not know which schools were chosen to carry out interviews.Are they from only the South Mimms area? Or are they from fifteen different regions inEngland? Are they private schools or state schools? All these questions affect therepresentativeness of the sample and eventually the results of the research because thevariables such as household disposable income, demographic indicators, education, number ofchildren per family, and many others will change based on these questions. Interviews were carried out between 1st and 15th December 2006. First of all, as is thecase for secondary data, again the primary data is not up-to-date. Secondly, the period of timemay be arguable since it is just before Christmas when toy sales are the highest at thatmoment of the year. It may influence the questions 4, 5, and 7 in the given questionnaire. The reports claims that respondents were selected using a „simple random sample‟.Simple random sampling, which is one of the probability sampling methods, refers to thesample in which every member of the population of interest (which is stated in the report as„mothers with children at school‟) has an equal chance of being selected. “Simple random 3
    • sampling is only possible when we can get a complete, up-to-date listing of the population ofinterest” (Wilson, 2006: 201). However, it appears to be the case that it is not the simplerandom sample what the agency carried out, but „convenience sampling‟. Malhotra (2007)states that convenience sampling is a method in which the selection is left primarily to theinterviewer. Interviewing people on the street is one example of this type of sampling.Respondents are selected since they happen to be in the given place (that is the gates of theschools in our case) at the right time. He goes on to say that convenience sample is notrepresentative and not recommended for conclusive research (Malhotra, 2007). From the above discussion, considering the agency‟s claim of using conclusiveresearch design, coupled with the fact of using a simple random sample, it can therefore beinferred that the consultant agency has no idea what they are doing. 2.3.1.2. Questionnaire The agency states that 1250 interviews were completed. However, Table 7 indicatesthat only 270 people reached to the end because there are several „exit questions‟ in thequestionnaire. From the questionnaire, it is observed that there is a concentration on„electronic teddy bear‟. It is difficult to understand why there is such a focus since the briefand the proposal were not provided. However, even if the company‟s new product range is„teddy bear‟, then, primary schools are not the right places so as to measure the potentialinterest for „teddy bear‟. In conclusion, Brace (2008) states that it is an ethical issue to ensure that thequestionnaire is fit for the purpose of the research, which is in our case „to understand if thecompany‟s new range of toys will be popular in the market‟. With this in mind, it can be seenthat the questionnaire is not appropriate to measure this phenomenon. Further reservations about the questionnaire were presented as an appendix. Pleaserefer to Appendix 2 for in depth information. 2.3.2. Qualitative research Qualitative research is an unstructured exploratory design based on small samples soas to provide insight and understanding of the subject (Malhotra, 2007). It is particularlysuited to measure likely interest in the concept (Wilson, 2006). Therefore, it is appropriate tocarry out qualitative research techniques such as focus groups, personal interviews andobservation for the purpose of the given research objective. However, there are somereservations related to sampling, execution and ethics. Firstly, it can be argued that the usage of company employees whose children areregistered at the company‟s crèche is not appropriate in terms of sample. Their opinions willmost likely be biased since they work in Playful Times Toys. They are already aware of theproducts and have (or would have) positive criticism about the company‟s products. As amatter of fact, the results that the consultant agency pointed out based on focus groups andpersonal interviews are not reliable. In other words, it is secure to say that the sample is notrepresentative. On the other hand, it appears that the respondents were talked about thedangers of fast food. This is irrelevant information, and consequently unethical since it is notfit for the objective of the research at hand (Malhotra, 2007). In addition, an informant‟s namewas declared in the report which is unethical based on the „respondent‟s rights to anonymity‟(MRS, 2010a). 4
    • In terms of the observation technique carried out in two other crèches, there are alsosome reservations. Firstly, parents were used in the observation process, which is notappropriate since they are not trained researchers. Moreover, parents might have effects ontheir children‟s interest during the observation process. Secondly, it appears that the nurserieswere not told about the research process so as to get unbiased responses. However, this is anethical issue. The consent of a parent or responsible adult - who are nurseries in our case -must be given sufficient information about the nature of the research process to enable themto provide informed consent (MRS, 2010b). If it is needed to camouflage the purpose, thenthe informants must be told beforehand that this is the case, and entire details supplied at theend of the research (Hall et al, 2010). 2.4. Presentation of the report First of all, the report does not have cover page, executive summary and table ofcontents. Sections and sub-sections are not numbered. In addition, there are two backgroundsections in the report. Research objective does not appear. It normally should have been statedbefore the terms of reference. However, the objective is understood afterwards from themethodology section. This implies that the consultant agency did not have a proper researchdesign and planning. Overall, it can be concluded that the report fails to relate to the researchobjective. Moreover, there are some pitfalls in both secondary and primary research.Especially in secondary research, numbers based on figures were mainly repeated withoutproper interpretation. In addition, some explanations and recommendations were offeredbased on a single statistic. Consequently, it can be concluded that data analysis is inaccurate(Hall, 2010). 3. Conclusion & Recommendations In light of the above mentioned findings, it can be commented that the report byHatfield Market Research Consultants UK is poor to answer the research objective about thePlayful Times Toy‟ s new range of products. Also, it should be borne in mind that all abovementioned ethical issues are in charge of Playful Times Toys as the client, as well as theresearcher company. In conclusion, it can be recommended to not accept the report. The following research approach could be suggested in regard to measure children‟sinterest to the company‟s new range of products: An exploratory research design in crèches (rather than the company‟s own crèche), covering different regions (not only South Mimms), with trained researchers (not parents) in co-operation with nurseries, by using video record equipments to further analyse of children‟s behaviours and reactions toward the company‟s new range of toys, and regarding all ethical issues for the research process. 5
    • ReferenceBrace, I. (2008) Questionnaire Design: How to plan, structure and write survey material foreffective market research. 2nd ed. London: Kogan PageHall, E., Large, C., O‟Connor, E. and Dunne, S. (2010) Workbook for Research for MarketingPractitioners. (September) University of HertfordshireMalhotra, N. K. and Birks, D. F. (2007) Marketing Research An Applied Approach. 3rd ed.Essex: FT Prentice HallMRS (2010a) „Respondents‟ Rights to Anonymity. [Online]. Available at:http://www.mrs.org.uk/standards/downloads/Code%20of%20Conduct%202010.pdf[Accessed 20th December 2011]MRS (2010b) „Preparing for fieldwork- Children. [Online]. Available at:http://www.mrs.org.uk/standards/downloads/Code%20of%20Conduct%202010.pdf[Accessed 20th December 2011]Wilson, A. (2006) Marketing Research An Integrated Approach. 2nd ed. Essex: FT PrenticeHallAppendix 1: The definition of the UK traditional toys and gamesmarket According to Keynote (2010), the UK traditional toys and games market includes theproducts are primarily targeted at the under-14s, although there is some overlap with the adultmarket where toy products are designed for or bought for adults. The products may have someelectronic content, but they exclude video, PC and console systems and games. The marketconsists of ten categories: action, activity, dolls, electronic, games/puzzles, infant/pre-school,outdoor and sports, plush, vehicles and other products.Appendix 2: The analysis of the questionnaireDo you live in this area? : This is an irrelevant question. It has no ability to measure the givenobjective. Moreover, as mentioned before, we already do not know which area or areas we aretalking about. As a matter of fact, this information was not used in the report as a conclusionor recommendation.What age are you? : This is an irrelevant question. Based on this question, we see that theagency prepared Table 4 in the finding section, claiming that 25-34 year-olds age group is 6
    • most-likely to buy toys, while 65 plus age group is least likely to buy toys. First of all, wealready know this information based on the secondary research. So, it is unethical. Secondly,this question measures the age of people who are waiting at the outside of the primary school.They might be siblings, nannies, grandparents. But the population of interest was stated as„mothers at children at school‟. Also, considering the fact that primary school is for childrenaged at least four year-olds, the category 15-19 under the question does not make sense at all.In addition, if the respondents answer is „no‟ for the next question, we cannot use the resultsof question 2.Do you buy children‟s toys? If no go to end: If we do not interview for people who say „no‟ tothis question, what is the purpose of asking them first two questions? If the population ofinterest is the people who buy children‟s toy, then this question could be asked as a firstquestion in the process of selecting respondents.The categories under question 5 - weekly- monthly- yearly, etc. - are not appropriate. Whatexactly is meant by weekly? Does it refer to „one time a week‟ or „five times a week‟?Brace (2008) states that the questionnaire sequence should be easy to follow by bothinterviewer and respondents. Question 4, 8 and 10 include long lists that are difficult to followby respondents. In fact, question 10 refers to this list in question 8, which is difficult forrespondents to remember all items again. On the other hand, question 12, which includes theexpression „if yes to any‟, is difficult to follow by interviewer, looking at all past yes-noquestions to check whether all of them are „yes‟.Bruce (2008) suggests that a question should not cause interviewer to turn the page to see allpossible responses. The questionnaire looks too long, 3 pages. This may affect the responserate if the respondents think that the questionnaire is long. In addition, a crowded layout mightlead the interviewer mistakes (Bruce, 2008). Therefore, it can be suggested that smaller fontor more intense layout could have been used to fit questions on to one paper.In question 12, „other‟ answer code should be written what „other‟ is.For the list questions, an instruction should be given in order to clarify whether single ormultiple responses are expected (Bruce, 2008). Based on this, question 10 should have beengiven instruction as is the case in question 4, 8, 12 and 13. Besides, Bruce (2008) suggeststhat single set of responses can be used next to each other for the questions which have thesame list of codes. Hereby, question 4, 8 and 10 could have prepared based on this structure inorder to facilitate to follow by both interviewer and respondents.It is unreasonable to assume that everybody will remember an issue that may have happenedsome time ago. So, „Don‟t know‟ or „Can‟t remember‟ categories should be included inquestions where necessary (Bruce, 2008). Hereby, it can be suggested that especially question4, 5, 7, 8, and 10 could have included „can‟t remember‟ or „don‟t know answer codesaccordingly. 7