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Upcea version when and how to use market research - sls edit



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  • Most frequently used comment I hear – why do I need to do market resaerch? Answer – Maybe you don’t! But… Misperceptions or things that you think are one way but are really another.
  • Some reasons why you may need to conduct research: Direction for alternative courses of action – if you already are dead set on what you are going to do, YOU DO NOT NEED RESEARCH. Help you explore changes in the market – if the market has always been that way and does not change, YOU MAY NEED RESEARCH. Understand a new marker -- if it is a current customer base or a product line extension, or if you are matching a competitor’s product, YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO RESEARCH. If everyone agrees within the organization of what direction to take and there is no disagreement, Research probably will not help.
  • Target audience availability Cost (ACPT example w/ insurance decision makers for products/services covered as a reimbursed service?) Are you confirming validating vs. seeking a new insight What is the availability of your target audience vs. cost (ACPT example w/ insurance-; could it be covered for reimbursement?) vs. the value of what you’ll get from it? Is what you have is good enough vs. it doesn’t give you what you need to know. (outcomes vs what you already know) Examples of information you have: Social media data Prior research reports Secondary data available via internet etc. Census Client data base Data mining-financials Access to some customers for conversation/dialogue
  • INTERNAL Initial Stages-in very early stages, you can talk with your own customers (McK did that for initial feedback on conceptual ideas) and then went external for a more broad perspective. OUTSIDE COMPANY Market researchers are trained to be objective. We do not have a vested interest in the outcome (as much as you do) and can compare to other products and services researched. They may have a certain expertise that you need. Often research firms have the resources or the experience to do the project faster than you can on your own. IT TAKES A LOT MORE TIME AND EFFORT THAN YOU MIGHT THINK. It is difficult to conduct blind studies internally and in many cases you really want your new product development research to be blind. EXAMPLE OF “HOLD OFF ORDERS, THEY ARE GOING TO OFFER A NEW PRODUCT.
  • The more that your research partner knows about your business, the better the results! It is a partnership relationship – keep in mind the market research firm is working for you. Withholding information or making the researcher waste time learning information you already know does not do anyone any good. It is not at all unusual for marketing managers to neglect to tell the researcher the precise purpose of the research. They often do not appreciate the need to do so. Instead, they simply state what they think they need to know. This is not quite the same thing. Need an example of when we need to know something that we don’t and it backfires. (Chip)
  • Problem Formulation - Clearly define business issues and decisions to be made Research Design and Planning Define research questions to be answered to make decisions Develop approach based on decisions to be made Plan research details (specs, timing, location, content etc) Execution Data collection Qualitative/Quantitative Analysis & Conclusions Synthesize data and relate it back to key objectives and business problems; create recommendations Implementation Make decisions based on objective intelligence
  • Kettering: One of the most creative Americans of his generation. INVENTOR EMGINEER 140 PATENTS Head of Research for GM for 27 years; founded DELCO Information needed—We need to know how and when are customers are using our product. When the business problem may be—We think we’re losing market share as some of our customers are using competitive products in addition to ours. Problems—Can be targeting wrong segment (i.e., all customers vs. those who use both). Asking for what reasons they use our product vs. asking what reasons drives choosing one product over another.
  • A clear definition of a research problem lends direction to the research if the purpose is clear. Chances of collecting necessary and relevant information increase. Poorly defined research problems cause most marketing research failures in B2B research.
  • Begin at the end. Know what is to be accomplished ; helps determine the research approach. Sometimes you need to use research to help identify the problem; “secondary” or “exploratory” to transform the ambiguous to well-defined. Can use data analysis, talking with business folks, informal investigation, previous research. Example: CCPEDs - is the problem about awareness? Understanding decision process for pediatrician selection? Brand image? Clearly Articulate Your Business Objectives with Your Partner Clearly define the problem: What is the problem that I am trying to solve? Why does research need to be conducted? What are the symptoms? Suspected causes? HYPOTHESIZE! What business decision(s) will you make if you learn about this issue? What do you need to achieve? What do you want/need to learn? How will you use it? Business problem must be clear and well defined-NOT VAGUE
  • EXAMPLE: PROBLEM: Loss of Market Share OBJECTIVES: Overall Industry Trends Attitudes toward and usage of brands Satisfaction levels of customers in the space Product improvement ideas Brainstorm on specific objectives for the project, listing as many objectives as you can that would cover the topic under consideration.
  • Exploratory : Gather preliminary information that will help define the problem and suggest hypotheses If your information review turned up little or no data, you may need exploratory research, to collect initial data to help form assumptions to test later. Descriptive: To describe market potential for a product or describe demographics and attitudes of consumers who buy the product Or you may have a partial picture, and you need a descriptive study to better illustrate specifics, including the potential growth for a new product or the demographic profile of a typical purchaser of a particular item Causal: To test hypotheses re: cause and effect If you have a fairly well developed picture and are considering next steps or a final decision, you may be ready to test cause-and-effect or if-then, and need to conduct a causal--also termed casual--project.
  • Start research action with an ACTION verb! Verb examples include identify, define, evaluate, select , test, explore, develop, etc. Information types include market opportunities, product requirements, competitive alternatives, customer preferences, or customer usage.
  • Strategy : Shifting Philips’s focus to healthcare technology and lighting First : Set up LinkedIn groups, run forums w/professionals in each industry to understand issues affecting them Next: Questionnaires and polls on the group pages to gain real-time feedback on customer experience and brand perception Outcome : Invaluable insights gained from the “inside” Of course, research need not just be B2C. Electrical goods manufacturer Philips has accompanied a strategic shift in focus away from consumer electronics and towards the healthcare technology and lighting by setting up user groups on LinkedIn, through which it can hold discussions and get an idea of what issues are affecting professionals in each industry. “ It’s very useful to be part of the discussion and find out what’s on people’s minds,” says Hand Notenboom, global director of online for B2B at Philips . “The next step will be to set questionnaires and polls to get instant feedback on what our customers in the lighting and healthcare industries are going through and how they perceive the Philips brand. We think this will give us invaluable insight, but we need to build up the user groups first.” According to Kevin Eyres, European MD of LinkedIn, the network’s research service is proving popular among companies looking at how they’re perceived by potential employees and clients. “The beauty of a social network is you know a lot about the people you’re asking questions of because of their profiles and which groups they’ve joined, you’re not just approaching people cold,” he says. “We worked with a major computer hardware company recently that was recruiting software people. Before it went to the market, it wanted to check it was a respected name in software and not just manufacturing. When we carried out the research, we found the company was virtually unknown among software engineers. So it realised it needed to work on getting that message out there before it would be noticed by the best talent.”
  • Since you’ve spent time defining objectives then you should let your research partner recommend the best approach.
  • Let the research firm help you to define the research methodology. Sometimes, you need to qualitative research first, before a quantitative study. Sometimes, you need a quantitative study. Sometimes a particular methodology is just not going to work – example – AGA Gas – I want to conduct web-based surveys with welding in the manufacturing plants – they do not have access to e-mail! MSC / CCP example of wanting awareness, but saying “focus groups.”
  • Better companies place a high value on customer information and data, Sounds pretty easy, but sometimes it is not so simple – EXAMPLE, client that goes through distribution, how do we get to the end use customer? Chat rooms/Social media example – deck contractors for treated lumber. There are tons of associations – there is even an association of associations! There are some resources available.
  • Target cannot be a needle in a haystack. At the end at some point, it goes back to cost vs. value. A C P T example CCPeds wanting the wrong mix of ethnicities (50/50 demand vs. census data).
  • Have you defined the key decisions to be made before you started? Don’t get off-track through too much “add-ons” Are you getting data or are you getting intelligence?
  • Rule #1 “Never take a piece of information as gospel unless you have three different sources confirm the same information.” Rule #2 “Always ask yourself - ‘Why would this person want to provide me with this information’ - before you ask the question.” Rule #3 “There is always another question after the question after the question.” Rule #4 “Everyone likes to be acknowledged as an expert or leading authority – even when they are not.” Rule #5 “Experts love to talk - we listen!” Rule #6 “Everyone has a unique perspective - you need to know the perspective.” Rule #7 “Different companies have different languages - test the language.” Rule #8 “If you are not doing it, someone else is. Never think you are alone.” Rule #9 “Never believe everything you read. Remember, the people who write the articles are only telling you what they want you to know.” Rule #10 “What you learn today may be outdated tomorrow.”
  • Good technology does not necessarily mean good product Hygiene monitor example Beware “rose-colored glasses” Everything is an opportunity – some are just better than others Identifying “customer” needs instead of “market” needs AGR example, chemical and plastic supplier examples Make sure you are asking the right question 30-pack Pepsi example Are you talking to the right audience? Have you thought of all influencers and decision makers Educating your consultants Have you told them everything they need to do a good job? What happens when things go wrong? The best plan is one with a back-up plan.


  • 1. Implementing Market Research in the Education Sector 101 When to move forward, how to get buy in, whether to engage a partner or go it alone and how to l everage this information to get started in market research for your institution
  • 2.
    • When Do you Need Market Research?
    • To Partner Externally or Not?
    • The Research Process
    • Food For Thought
    • Q & A
  • 3. “ I already know my (Prospects, Students, Parents, Alumni, Faculty) and the market. - Mark Twain Why do I need market research?” “ It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” When Do You Need Market Research?
  • 4.
      • To provide direction for alternative courses of action (e.g. marketing campaign or messages, brand positioning, new program or course, pricing, etc.)
      • To help you explore changes in the market (or changes in target audience preferences)
      • To understand a new market, a new set of potential students
      • To resolve internal disagreements
    When Do You Need Market Research?
  • 5. vs. vs. vs. vs. vs. vs. vs. Time Time Cost Confirm/validate Target audience availability What you have is good enough Blind Cost Value Value New insight Cost It doesn’t give you what you need to know Identified Trade-offs Evaluating Tradeoffs: Research or NOT?
  • 6. Internal Outside Company Objective Perspective Expertise Research Experience Time and Resources Blind Study Internal Knowledge Significant Dedicated Resources Immediate Need (can’t wait!) Existing Information Sufficient Initial Stages Internal or External Research?
  • 7.
    • What Information Do You Need to Provide?
    • History (what brought you to this point?)
    • Your Institution’s Challenge(s)
    • Current Services and Market Information
    • Competitive Environment
    • Target Audiences/Segments
    • Issues/Questions You Need to Answer
    • Timing
    • Budget
    Educating the Outside Partner
  • 8. External Market Research Process Problem Formulation Research Design and Planning Research Execution Analysis, Conclusions and Recommendations Implementation
  • 9. The Business Problem
  • 10.
      • “ The formulation
      • of a problem
      • is often more essential
      • than its solution.”
    - Albert Einstein The Business Problem
  • 11.
    • What is the circumstance that demands research?
    • Who are the stakeholders in the decision?
    • What decisions will the research information support?
    • What does administration want to learn that they don’t know already?
    • What specific information does administration need?
    • How will you take action based on the results?
    Here are six questions to help you diagnose and clarify the research problem. What Do You Need to Solve?
  • 12.
    • What information is needed to answer the well-defined business question?
    • Defining research objectives is the most important step in designing a marketing research plan.
    your research objectives. Crystalize Crystalize your research objectives. Translate Problem to Research Objectives
  • 13.
    • How will research help address or answer the problem ?
    Causal Descriptive Exploratory Must be actionable! Objectives can be: Defining Research Objectives
  • 14.
    • Describe the research action. What needs to be done (action) and with whom (segment)?
    • What information do you need?
    • How will the information be used ?
    3-Step Process to Define Objectives
  • 15.
    • Find out their preferences, rationale, feelings, and beliefs about each site.
    Obtain reactions of prospective adult learners, who are considering online learning, to four different branded online websites. Web designers and marketing will use the findings to screen beta sites for further development, usability testing and/or potentially for quantitative research surveys. Research Action Information Needed Information Use 3-Step Process to Define Objectives
  • 16.
    • What is the total market size?
    • What do adult learners think of our courses, programs, etc.?
    • What product or services do adult learners want?
    • How many will enroll in this course?
    • What is the available market to us? How large is the market that is applicable for this course?
    • What benefits do prospective learners see in our brand? What are “must have” features versus “nice to have”? What must be changed?
    • What do adult learners really value (i.e., what differentiates our institution, the brand?)
    • What would the demand be for different new course offerings or prices ? How would this course(s) compare relative to what our competitors offer?
    Vague Clear Defining Research Objectives
  • 17.
    • Qualitative Research
    • Necessary to obtain a deeper understanding of issues, such as requirements and unmet needs.
    • Allows more freedom for exploration based respondents' areas of interest.
    • Ability to probe and explore topics
    • Research tools include:
      • Observational research
      • Focus groups
      • In-depth interviews
      • Social media/Crowdsourcing
    • Quantitative Research
    • Necessary to quantify requirements, such as:
      • Size of demand
      • Usage habits
      • Feature and benefit assessment
      • Price/Value/Willingness to pay
    • Usually a pre-defined questionnaire (can have open-ended responses).
    • Requires a relatively large number of interviews to provide a robust and statistically valid result.
    • Principal research tools include:
      • Telephone interviews
      • Web-based surveys
      • Intercepts/Mail
  • 18.
    • In-depth exploration
      • Respondents can participate in a focused discussion
      • Moderator can adjust content as needed
    • "Scientific" findings not needed
      • Small sample size precludes generalization
    • Content or images to be displayed
      • Respondents can see and react to stimuli
    • Preliminary step to quantitative methods
      • Delineates issues to be included in surveys
    When to Use Qualitative
  • 19.
    • Understand the market and MEASURE it
    • Provide valid, reliable results/Achieve “scientific” or statistically significant result
    • Profile market segments or entire markets
    • Quantify trends
    • Test feasibility
    • Quantify level of interest and likelihood to enroll
    • Confirm or disprove hypotheses
    When to Use Quantitative
  • 20.
      • Don’t underestimate the value of a good database!
        • Does your institution maintain a student, alumni and prospective student
        • database? Who has it?
      • Other sources of databases
        • Panels Chat rooms
        • Social media Associations
      • The need for centralization
        • Do you have a central repository for information?
        • All student information = a valuable institution asset!
    Value and Use of Databases
  • 21.
      • Sources of information and feedback
        • Students Employers
        • Alumni Board Members
        • Prospective students Parents
        • Faculty Administration
      • Focus on all of the key decision makers and influencers
        • Do you know and have you considered the decision making process?
        • Who is involved?
        • How does it work?
        • What influences the decision?
        • When are decisions made?
        • Why are decisions made?
    Defining Target Audiences
  • 22.
    • Analysis and reporting should tie directly back to the purpose and goal of the research.
    • Know where you are going and what decisions you are trying to make.
    • To be useful, information must be presented in a manner that is easy to understand and actionable based on the objectives of the study.
        • If you don’t know where you want to end up, then it doesn’t matter which direction you take. – Lewis Carroll (paraphrased)
        • Alice in Wonderland
        • “ Planning: Designing a desired future and identifying ways to bring it about.” - George Steiner
    Ensuring Actionable Results
  • 23. Your Expected Involvement Market Research Project Flow Issue Resolution Cycle of Involvement Project Formulation Research Design Logistics Planning Execution Analysis Conclusions and Recommendations Implementation
  • 24. Experts love to talk - we listen! There is always another question after the question after the question Everyone has a unique perspective - you need to know the perspective What you learn today may be outdated tomorrow Rules to Remember
  • 25. 1. Identify “customer” needs instead of “market” needs 2. Make sure you are asking the right question 4. Be sure that you are talking with the right audiences 5. Educate your consultants 6. The best plan is one with a back up plan What have you learned in your experience? 3. Beware “rose-colored glasses” Lessons Learned
  • 26. “ If you haven’t got the time to do it right , when will you ever have the time to do it over ?” - Evan Schwartz Business Week A bad product is a bad product is a bad product. Beware of alleged needs that have no real market . The existence of a market does not ensure the existence of a customer . Price does not determine cost; cost does not determine price. Never delay the end of a meeting or the beginning of a cocktail hour. Final Thoughts
  • 27.
    • Q & A
    Thank You
  • 28. To discuss how we can work together, please contact: Amy S. Dubin Executive Vice President Campos Inc (412) 471-8484 x512 [email_address] Scan the code to download this presentation and our Market Research in the Education Sector packet