Walnut Hill is a company that sells everything you could possibly need to make your own candles.
Before its owner expands into other crafts areas, she wants to do some marketing research. She has heard of too many companies that have gone out of business as a result of inappropriate or ill-timed expansion. First, explain the three types of market research firms from which she can buy market research. Then, offer her three suggestions on ways that she can obtain less expensive market research.
The marketing research is crucial for the development of business because it allows assessing adequately the existing marketing situation and potential of the market. As a result, the company can develop the strategic direction in its marketing expansion and achieve a tremendous success if the results of marketing research reflected precisely the current marketing situation. At the same time, it is possible to use services of different firms which provide marketing research services: syndicated-service research firms, custom marketing research firms, and speciality-line marketing research firms.
On using services of different types of companies, it is necessary to take into consideration their specificities which define the major concerns of their marketing research and companies which can use their services (Gwynn, 2004).
In this respect, it should be said that syndicated-service research firms are mainly oriented on the provision of marketing research services to large companies which need the complex research of large markets, which may exceed national level and include the research of markets at the international level. In fact, these companies focus their attention on the analysis of basic marketing trends and potential in order to reveal the opportunities and possible threats a company can face while expanding its business or entering a new market (Caplan, 1987). It should be said that syndicated-service marketing research firms basically conduct the research in accordance with their own research plans and methodologies, which they consider to be efficient the goals of the research, which may be defined by the customers. In such a way, the services of syndicate-service marketing research firms can be useful for companies that are beginning their business and do not have any specific requirements or developments in regard to the market they aim at and its research, but they have certain objectives to meet.
Another type of firms providing marketing research services are custom marketing research firms, which are mainly provide a standardized set of market research services and conduct in-depth research of a market defined by the customer as the target market, with specification of certain customer groups. In this respect, it should be said that these firms conduct a detailed marketing research, but they actually use standard methodology and approaches to specific markets which the customer identifies and wants to enter or expand to. Basically, the advantage of these firms is the ability to conduct reliable research within a specific market, though, such firms cannot conduct such an extensive research as syndicated-service marketing research firms can (Breneman & Taylor, 1996). Nevertheless, the company which has defined the target market and have the vision of its target customer group can rely on the services of custom marketing research firms.
Finally, there are speciality-line marketing research firms. Basically, these firms research individually with each customer. What is meant here is the fact that they development unique marketing plans on the basis of specific marketing approaches which meet the best the demands of the customer and allows to use the full potential of the market research (Benfari, 1999). To put it in simple words, speciality-line marketing research firms work with the customer closely to identify the target market, customer group, the firm informs the customer about the development of the strategic plan, accords the plan with the customer and informs in details on the implementation of the plan, taking into consideration demands and, if appropriate, recommendations of the customer. The use of such firms is particularly for companies, which have already got certain experience in the development of marketing research and which have a clear vision what they actually want to research, specific areas on which they are willing the research firm to focus on.
On analyzing possible ways of making market research less expansive, it is possible to focus on saving costs on the development of projects. This can be done by means of engaging students and professors into the development and carrying out projects since the costs on the involvement of students and professors will be consistently lower compared to costs of the involvement of professionals. Furthermore, it is possible to decrease the cost of market research using Internet, which allows saving costs on communication and facilitates interaction between people involved into the research. Finally, it is important to take into considerations researches conducted by competitors and their actual position and policies since it can provide valuable information on the subject of market research and it does not need funds to be spent on retrieving this information.
Thus, it is possible to conclude that market research is very important for a successful development of any company operating in the contemporary business environment. At the same time, it is possible to minimize costs of market research and get valuable market data on the ground of which it will be possible to develop an effective marketing strategy.