1. Identify the significant changes taking place in today's business environment that are forcing management decision makers to rethink their views of marketing research. Also discuss the potential impact that these changes might have on marketing research activities. Please provide adequate references for each of the points in your discussion.
Today's business environment is relentlessly subjected to significant changes. These changes force decision makers to reassess their views of marketing research and also induce changes in the marketing research processes themselves. No longer is marketing seen as a component of the sales branch in a company but it has established a well-deserved status as a vital element of the working of the entire organisational structure.
The growing complexities of today's market place have given rise to the business philosophy of total quality management. This practice "...focuses on integrating customer-driven quality throughout an organisation with continuous improvement of product quality and service" (Zikmund 2003, p. 8). Firms are now addressing problems from the perspective of their customer which in turn places a greater emphasis on the importance of marketing research.
There are a great many changes constantly occurring within the current business environment. Some of the prominent broad categories of change would include:
The global business environment, competition, and consumer demand is ever shifting. It appears that the only constant in today's business environment is change. With this in mind, consumer attitudes, perceptions, and preferences must be carefully taken into consideration when developing and launching new products into the market. Management decision makers must recognise and understand market trends, demographic and social changes, technological change and any other overall developments when they prepare marketing strategies for their products and services.
The "Information Explosion" has seen the shift of a great deal of power to the customer but at the same time this adjustment has created confusion and uncertainty amongst consumers. Consumers have never been more informed than they are today, but this information overload can sometimes prove counterproductive when making purchasing decisions. It is the job of today's management decision makers to recognise the need for effective marketing research in this situation. The abundance of information can lead to the increased ambiguity of problems, making research more time consuming. However it is in general benefiting marketing with the enormous amounts of descriptive information available on consumers. Market research can often be inexpensive in comparison to past years due to the high level of secondary data available for purchase or even free of charge. Fortunately, the rapid growth in volume of marketing information has been accompanied by great improvement in marketing research techniques.
Ecommerce and the internet have had a huge influence in developing the current business climate. Foreign trade and investment have grown significantly as a result of growth and improvement of mass communication technology. The internet has created a new market place and has greatly impacted on the functioning of existing markets. Marketing research now must incorporate new technological developments in data collection and distribution into the research design allowing researchers to dramatically reduce data collection times, especially across long distances. However, decision makers must also be aware of the limitations of certain technologies due to mismatches of technical infrastructure.
The evolution of the internet will and has no doubt significantly changed the way in which marketing research is performed with regards to both accessing secondary data and collected...
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