MKT 321: MARKETING RESEARCH METHODS JAN – APRIL 2013 CAT 1 Using the knowledge and skills acquired in this course (Research methods) explain how would improve the performance of your Research and Development Department in a firm (15 marks) A research and development (R&D) department in a firm is responsible for innovations in design, products, and style. This department is responsible for creating innovative new products to keep companies a step ahead of the competition. Many companies also rely on the R&D department to improve existing consumer products, and to explore new ways of producing them.
Companies thrive and succeed by creating innovative products, as well as by increasing company profit and utilizing cost-efficient methods. A research and development department is primarily responsible for ensuring that these goals are met. This is an especially important function in the fields of manufacturing and pharmaceuticals, but can be applied to virtually any industry. Often, research and development works closely with the marketing department. Marketing studies consumer trends by surveying and researching consumer demands, purchasing methods, product sales, and the existence and development of technology across the relevant market.
The marketing department gathers all the data, and makes this information available to the R&D department, which will take action in response to the findings and proceed to keep the company on top of current market needs. Consumer demands often change very quickly, and the research and development department must be alert and adapt to these market fluctuations accordingly. I would invest a substantial amount of money to research and development so that it can continually modify and update the firm’s products to preserve a brand’s position within the market.
This is because even if our product would be leading in the market, however much it is a key product, usually will not remain in the number one market position forever without some type of improvement and advancement. Research and development department software The progress of innovation research and product development requires a good balance between the team and management involved in R;D projects. VIP Task Manager provides this balance and allows to manage R;D projects and activities effectively.
The software helps to carry information on the latest developments and coordinate the resource assignment to new promising projects in efficient and timely way. VIP Task Manager can be used as R;D project management software for organizing the workflow of the department. The software gives the following options Quality is a major issue and R;D department is deeply involved in ensuring quality of new products and attaining the required levels of regulatory requirements. In cooperation with the quality assurance department, R;D department develops a quality plan for new products.
When a company sells a product on the marketplace, it should keep regulatory compliance with legal requirements. By using Centriqs, the R;D managers can organize the workflow for researches and development of new products. In Centriqs, there can be used task templates for researches of typical products as well as for a new product specification development. The software allows to add new workflow with specific task statuses. By introducing Centriqs shareware into the workflow, the R;D department can effective cooperate with QA department through sharing tasks and projects aimed to development of quality plans for new products.
The R;D managers can use the Files view to upload regulatory documents to the database and attach documents to required tasks shared between engineers, technicians and scientists. | | Research and development department goals/tasks The main goal of the R;D department is to provide the organization with pro-active leadership in the industry and strong competitive advantages through implementation of new technologies and solutions aimed to improve current product range and develop new products.
The R;D department closely works with the quality assurance department in order to create a new solution for enhancing the sustainability and the quality of products. The tasks of R;D department could be split into two main groups: research and development. The groups are closely linked with each other, however they have some peculiarities. The research activities allow the organization to find more effective ways to produce a product. The development activities are focused on how to implement these ways into manufacturing of the current or a new product.
Research and development department in company structure Research and development are often very expensive and it takes much time to get positive results from them. However most businesses invest a lot of money in research and development and build R;D departments. The organizations which have R;D departments in their structure, gain big advantages, because: 1. Products are commercialized faster 2. Products reach global markets 3. Contribution to customer confidence 4. Effective exploitation of technologies 5.
They gain advantages over rivalsThe research and development department will enable a more progressive and faster transfer of innovations into product development and exploitation. | CAT 2 As a manager you have noted that the sales for a certain product have dropped despite having increased the level of advertising. Explain in details how you would undertake a market research to know whether advertising affects sales (20 marks) a. Background information. The background serves to put research objectives into context, and it will help me to understand why I will pursue the objectives of knowing why advertising affect sales.
I would detail what i see as being the main events that have caused or contributed to the advertising effect on sales. Such a background gives a framework for the researcher to investigate other potential events, contributory factors or causes. b. Objectives. The first part of this section would detail which marketing decisions are to be completed once the research has been undertaken. This requires decision-makers to explain what they see as the focus of the decision they plan to make. They then go on to explain what gaps(s) they see in their knowledge. Those gaps create the focus to planned esearch activities and set the research objectives. The formulation of the marketing objectives can encompass two areas: organizational objectives and personal objectives of the decision-maker. For the researcher this may not be explicit or obvious to discern. It may take time working with a decision-maker or a particular organization to see the potential conflicts in organizational and personal objectives. This ‘first-step’ brief offers the opportunity for the researcher to draw out and develop a much clearer vision of marketing and research objectives.
Drawing out and developing decisionmakers’ perspective of objectives, helps the process of developing a common understanding of what the decision-maker is trying to achieve. c. Target to research. Any market research project will measure, understand or observe a target group of individuals. These may be distinct groups of consumers, channel members such as retailers or competitors, or company employees. In this section, details of the characteristics of the target group(s) can help in much research design decisions.
These cover areas of identification, gaining access to conduct research, understanding which techniques are appropriate to measure or understand these individuals, and the best environment or context in which to conduct the research. d. Who is to use the findings? This section would outline brief details of the decision-maker who will use the research findings. For example, certain decision makers may be entrepreneurial and introspective, looking for short-term tactical advantages. Managers with a background and training in statistics may expect results to be analyzed and presented in a particular manner to have any credibility.
Other managers may not have such training or may even be distrustful of statistical analysis and seek a more qualitative interpretation. These 19 issues have an impact upon the nature and extent of analysis conducted upon the data collected and the style and format in which research findings will be presented. e. Constraints. The main limitation to marketing researchers carrying out what they may perceive as being the correct way to research a problem is the time and money that the marketer can afford. With knowledge of time and cost constraints, the researcher can develop a research design to suit these eeds. The researcher may also demonstrate other courses of action that could demand greater amount of money or time, but could have clear benefits that the marketer may be unaware of. Other constraints, such as those imposed by the client firm’s personnel, organizational structure and culture, or decision making styles, should be identified to determine the scope of the research project. Yet constraints should not be allowed to diminish the value of the research to the decision-maker or to compromise the integrity of the research process.
In instances where the resources are too limited to allow a project of sufficient quality, the firm should be advised not to undertake formal marketing research. f. Administrative considerations. These would lay out the administrative details in completing the research project. Examples could be the expected delivery of interim reports, contacts in the organization that may be able to help supply further information, or reference to sources of materials and individuals that are needed to complete the research successfully.