Utilizing Primary and Secondary Research

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The majority of successful companies would affirm that they are market driven. Such organizations express a belief in the value of the marketing concept and the relationship between a market orientation and firm success and profitability. A key component within the marketing concept is marketing research. This is the process of gathering information on the market through primary methods, on our own, and secondary methods, through outside sources. This paper presents a brief overview and analysis of the benefits of primary and secondary marketing research for Circuit City Stores, of which I am an employee. Marketing for Circuit City has been a constant process of changing and developing new sales techniques to help increase sales. Though the methods vary greatly they all have the same intended results, to increase profits within our company. In the computer department, the markup on computers is as low as 3% in some cases. Because of this, we generate most of our profit from attachments such as printer ink, cables, warranty plans, and other accessories. In order to help boost the sales of these accessories along with computers, my manager and I decided to put together bundled packages. These packages include computer, monitor, printer, installations, warranty plan, and many of the required accessories to get it all working in a timely manner. We prominently display one package for each computer on the wall behind it. We have implemented this approximately two months ago but have recently had a steady decline in the number of package sales. The purpose of this research is to find a way to change the signs or the way they are displayed and sold to bring the number of installation sales up significantly utilizing primary and secondary research methods.

Marketing research can be viewed as both a process and outcome of gathering, organizing, and analyzing information concerning the market. Marketing research involves the gathering and analysis of a broad spectrum of market information and intelligence in an effort to enhance organizational decision-making, planning, and marketing plan implementation. Circuit City's primary source of primary research would be looking at and analyzing past sales and look for trends. Such things to look for would be what days the majority of things were sold, how much the average customer spends, how often did the same people return to the store, and how often they purchased accessories. Through our internal systems all of this is automatically tracked and organized in reports which are readily available to our management and marketing team. Some trends that we initially noticed was that Saturday was our highest volume day, but not always the day we sold the most computer packages. We deduced that perhaps the problem did not exist within our signage but with our sales associates not offering and recommending these packages. We also noticed that some customers made small purchases shortly after buying a computer, typically for printer ink, cables, and surge protectors. These are things that are inclusive in our computer packages and the sales associate should already be recommending. Upon further analysis we found certain associates were not selling any packages while other ones did the opposite. Through our own internal investigating we were able to help train and teach these associates better ways to explain these packages to customers and better ways to recommend and offer them to our customers.

Primary marketing research has the major advantage of being designed to address the organization's specific current marketing problem. As a consequence, the primary data generated should be more directly applicable to the organization's information needs. Another major advantage of primary research is the timeliness of the information generated. However, none of these advantages will be utilized unless the primary marketing research is of high quality. Probably the biggest disadvantage of primary...
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