ONLINE VIDEO CASE 1.1
BURKE: Learning and Growing Through Marketing Research
Alberta Burke, who previously worked in P&G’s marketing department, founded Burke, Inc., in 1931. At that time, there were few formalized marketing research companies, not only in the United States, but also in the world. As of 2011, Burke, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a marketing research and decision-support company that helps its clients to understand their business practices and make them more efficient. Burke’s employee owners add value to research and consulting assignments by applying superior thinking to help clients solve business problems. Burke is 100 percent employee owned. This video case traces the evolution of marketing research and how Burke implements the various phases of the marketing research process.
How Burke Implements the Marketing Research Process
We briefly describe Burke’s approach to defining the marketing research problem and developing an approach, research design, data collection and analysis, and report preparation and presentation. DEFINING THE MARKETING RESEARCH PROBLEM AND DEVELOPING AN APPROACH
The Evolution of Marketing Research
The first recorded marketing research took place more than a century ago, in 1895 or 1896. By telegram, a professor sent questions to advertising agencies about the future of advertising. He got back about 10 responses and wrote a paper describing what was happening. In the first years, most of the marketing research done was a spin-off of the Bureau of Census data, and the analysis was basically limited to counting. The next wave of marketing research, often done by ladies in white gloves who knocked on doors and asked about cake mixes, came in the early 1930s. The primary methodology was door-to-door surveys; the telephone was not a very widely utilized service at that time. Then came World War II, which saw the introduction of the psychological side of marketing research. Through the 1950s and 1960s, television became an integral part of life, and with that came television advertising. Testing of television commercials became the hot area of marketing research in the 1960s and 1970s. Another fundamental change happening at that time was when the marketing research industry made a shift from just generating and testing new ideas and sharing them with clients to working more with clients on how to use those ideas to make decisions. In the 1980s and 1990s, Burke moved a notch higher by developing processes to provide further value. It began working with customers to identify the basic decision that needed to be made and then determine what information would be required to make that decision. The marketing research industry started developing processes that generated information to be used as input into management decision making. The marketing research industry has come a long way from the telegrams of 1895. As of 2011, the industry is trying to find creative ways to research consumers using methods such as telephone interviews, mall intercepts, Web interviews, mobile phone surveys, social media, and multimode methods. As Debbi Wyrick, a senior account executive at Burke, notes, when people can respond in more than one way—responding in the way that is most efficient for them—it increases the chance of getting a response. To stay on the cutting edge, Burke conducts meta-research (research about how to do research). Recently, Burke was concerned whether the length of an online (Internet) survey has an adverse impact on the completion rate. In an effort to find out, Burke fielded two Internet surveys. One was brief (10 questions taking an average of 5 minutes to complete), and the other was longer (20 questions taking about 20 minutes to complete). The completion rate for the short survey was 35 percent, whereas it was only 10...