Market research is ¡§the systematic design, collection, analysis, and reporting of data and findings relevant
to a specific marketing situation facing the company¡¨ (Kotler, 2001, p.46). In order to carry out effective planning and control, managers must have relevant and accurate information on a continual basis. Market information can be verbal, visual, or written data that is relevant to the decision at hand. The market research process (Kotler, 2001, p.49), is comprised of the following steps:
1. Define the problem and research objectives
2. Develop the research plan
3. Collect the information
4. Analyze the information
5. Present the findings
This paper will concentrate on how the Allstate Life Company conducts market research and the impact of the Internet on market research.
Research within the Allstate Life Company
There are many different aspects of market research that are conducted at Allstate. Examples would be research on consumers for the Allstate Corporation as a whole, research on consumers for specific products, which would be a sub-set of the larger Allstate Corporation consumer group, and research on how we compare to our competitors. Lorraine Kern, Marketing Manager for Allstate Insurance Company recently explained to me how she conducts marketing research. Lorraine said, ¡§I conduct research for a variety of issues that impact Life Insurance products. I recently conducted some research to determine if there is a significant opportunity for life insurance sales in the Hispanic Market. To compile my data I utilized a variety of sources including:¡¨
X Interviews with management in the Ethnic Marketing department and Allstate Research and Planning Center.
X Review of all internal presentations and studies conducted for ethnic marketing that mentioned the Hispanic Market.
X Interview with an external consulting firm that prepared a presentation for Allstate regarding the opportunities in this market.
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