Suppose McDonald’s® was considering bringing a new kind of hamburger to its stores. What kind of research would it need to do in order to have some confidence that the new product would sell well, not just in the United States, but in its locations all over the world?
With the introduction of a new product in the market, McDonald’s should conduct focus groups and this will help them to determine the type of hamburger Americans wanted. Focus groups entail small groups that are chosen by the company for their membership in various target markets that include the buyers. The focus groups will assure the company that the hamburger they intend to launch is the one that the Americans want. On the same note, McDonald’s should conduct market surveys that will include personal and mail interviews. Similarly, direct market testing would be important since the company would be able to forecast the demand for the new product. In addition, the company should consider how the new hamburgers would fit its menu. From the survey carried out, the company would be able to know the tastes and preferences of their customers (Hamersveld, & Bont, 2007). McDonald’s should conduct an experiment and determine the response of the customers.
What are the trade-offs among all the types of research addressed? Suppose you are a manager of a small start-up firm with a limited budget. What kinds of research would be the most valuable? Why?
Trade-offs refer to the sacrifices that the company or an individual must make by losing one quality to get an alternative quality or experience (Brennan, Canning & McDowell, 2010). In life there are trade-offs, it is also true for the case of market research. In focus groups, a small group of individuals that share demographic or attitude characteristics engages in discussions about a particular product before it is launched. Focus groups would provide both time-series and cross-sectional data (Hamersveld, & Bont, 2007). Moreover, it can provide longitudinal data. Although focus groups would provide a clear picture of what people think about the new product, carrying out the operation might be expensive. For instance, since focus groups have high dropout rate, it would be difficult to maintain the interests of the groups involved. With the experiment, it can show causality, but it requires skilled and experienced personnel design and conduct the experiment and ensure that the information provided are statistically valid and reliable.
As a manager of a small start-up firm with a limited budget, I would recommend the use of a low-cost approach to conducting market research. The type of market research I will use is mail or internet survey. It would be important to have knowledge about the demographic information about the customers and the sales the company might make. I will also consult the secondary source of data for information on demographic characteristics of the customers. This would help me in forecasting the company’s market potential.
Brennan, R., Canning, L. E., & McDowell, R. (2010). Business-to-Business Marketing. London: Sage Publications Ltd
Hamersveld, M., & Bont, C. (2007). Market research handbook. Chichester, West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons.
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