On the ground of the information collected and processed by the simulation project team, it is possible to conduct the analysis of the results of the simulation project. In fact, this stage is very important because it is the data analysis that leads the simulation project team to a definite conclusion on the outcomes of the project, namely whether the celebrity endorsement strategy will be effective or not and whether this strategy will attract customers or not. In such a way, the analysis of the data helps to make the conclusion whether to implement the tested strategy or not.
However, the company conducting the simulation project should be aware of possible difficulties that may arise in the course of the development and implementation of the simulation project (Schein, 193. In fact, difficulties and problems may arise from the beginning of the work of the simulation project team at the stage of definition of goals of the project. In this regard, it is important to define goals accurately. Goals should be clear and easy to evaluate.
Also, difficulties may arise at the stage of the selection of subjects being involved in the simulation. To put it more precisely, the selection of subjects may be quite a challenging task because it is important to select those subjects, who are the target customer group of the company and its product. The selection of the target customer group implies that the company should define basic criteria on the ground of which it can define its target customer group. After that the company can conduct the selection of subjects respectively to its target customer group. At this point, the problem of finding of subjects may be another challenge the simulation project team may confront. To overcome this problem, the company can interview and conduct questionnaires of its customers, while they make purchases, and stimulate customers to participate in focus groups through some material rewards such as discounts for its products or just some present being made to members of focus groups.
Furthermore, another problem that may arise in the course of the development and implementation of the simulation project is the accurate choice of effective methods. For instance, face-to-face interviews are very effective but they are not always possible to conduct, whereas online chats can save time for simulation, although they may be less effective compared to face””to-face interviews. Or else, focus groups are effective but they are complicated to manage and obtain and process results. Therefore, it is obvious that the choice of effective methods is very important but the company conducting the simulation project may have limited opportunities to use the best methods. For instance, the company cannot always conduct face-to-face interviews but it can replace them by online chat or interviews conducted via a phone. As for difficulties associated with managing focus groups, this problem may be solved through the employment of experienced project managers, who have an extensive experience and who can manage focus teams effectively. Due to their experience, they can maximize the effectiveness of focus groups and the company can collect important information from its focus groups.
Nevertheless, subjects involved in the simulation can fail to provide reliable results because they may feel uncomfortable being conscious of the fact that they are involved in the experiment. Therefore, the simulation should create comfortable conditions for subjects to make them feel at ease and to provide true results. Obviously, subjects may feel uncomfortable as they feel being subjects to an experiment. As a result, their behavior and responses will differ compared to their behavior and responses in the real life situation.
The data should be collected thoroughly and processed properly. Otherwise, the risk of error arises that puts under a question the reliability of the outcomes of the simulation project (Viardot, 109). In actuality, the risk of error is high, especially when qualitative analysis is conducted. Therefore, the company conducting the simulation project should pay a particular attention to the problem of the effective and accurate analysis to minimize the risk of error. At this point, the detailed analysis of interviews, questionnaires and focus groups along with the individual approach to each subject involved in the simulation can help to decrease the risk of error consistently because managers working on the simulation project will know each subject well enough to understand their responses correctly.
In addition, the simulation should be grounded on realistic plans and issues. Otherwise, results of the simulation project will not be applicable to the real life business environment. Many organizations set unachievable goals, when they just start their simulation projects. As a result, their simulation projects fails, whereas their results are not reliable and can hardly be applied in the real life (Peters, 182). In this regard, the use of the simulation project to assess the respond of customers to the celebrity endorsement is quite reliable because goals of the simulation are clear and its results can be clearly traced from the responses of the subjects.
Finally, results of the simulation project may still fail to coincide with the real life and companies using simulation projects should come prepared to introduce changes in their business plans developed on the ground of simulation projects. What is meant here is the fact that the results of simulation projects should be applied to the real life carefully because even the best simulation project can hardly mirror the real life (Viardot, 174). Moreover, the contemporary business environment is changeable. Therefore, companies using simulation projects such as the simulation project to test the effects of the celebrity endorsement on the customer behavior can differ from the real life responses of customers to this policy. Therefore, companies should conduct the detailed marketing analysis to back up the findings of the simulation project. Only after that they can start implementing their plans of change or introduction of new policies, products or strategies.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the development and implementation of simulation projects may raise substantial difficulties and problems. To overcome them, companies should conduct the simulation project through all the stages and pay a lot of attention to each stage from setting goals to the implementation of the project. In this regard, companies should pay a particular attention to the choice of methods and subjects involved in the simulation project. At the same time, whatever the results of the simulation project are, companies should still conduct the detailed marketing analysis before making any changes in their real life policies.
Peters, T. J. (2002). In search of excellence: Lessons from America’s best-run companies. New York: Harper & Row.
Schein, E. H. (1999). Organizational culture and leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Viardot, E. (2001). Successful Marketing Strategy for High-Tech Firms. New York: New Publishers.