Case Study: Business Research Analysis

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¶ … Business Research Case Study Analysis

No business is an island unto itself and any business that remains isolated will soon be no more. Consumers are becoming more and more fickle with higher expectations on customer service, convenience, and quality for where their money is spent. Applied business research is the professional field at the heart of determining what these consumers expect and how companies can effectively meet those expectations and stand apart from their competition. Through consumer interviews and study formulation, researchers are able to guide businesses to the next level of sales and customer service, and it all depends on their ability to effectively analyze consumer needs.

Modern consumer research is not what it used to be. Where once, simple studies and empirical information formed business opinions. Modern businesses harvest large amounts of information from customer databases and information gathering services. Specialists take this information and formulate presentations that inform management of trends, increases, and decreases within the market. This information is then the basis of business decisions and future advertising. Products produced by business are then budgeted and established based on the information.

Marketing Research Studies

Marketing research and development is vital to the success of all industries. Without that research and development, the market would become stagnant and consumers would no longer circulate wealth as readily. According to a study conducted by Scott Wallsten, this is why many governments now subsidize the research and development of certain businesses. For instance, in the United States, small start up business are permitted to apply all early research and development expenses as credits on their taxes. This allows the business a means of gaining a market edge from the start (2000). This subsidizing goes even further as the government reaches out to universities, seeking to educate graduates in this highly qualified field of study and offer incentives for those seeking to create their own business based on market needs.

Marketing research requires the ability to understand every level of a customer's motive for purchasing or interacting with a business. Traditionally, this was achieved through quantitative and qualitative research studies that involved interviewing consumers and gathering data. This data was then analyzed and market strategies created based on that analysis (Hauser, 2007). Modernly, however, it takes more than asking the right questions to get ahead in the retail world. A new technique, that was often overlooked in the marketing world, is mining (Hauser). According to Hauser, mining allows for a new level of data collection.

This data needs to be collected, verified, and turned into pertinent information. The information then needs to be analyzed, interpreted, and converted into intelligence. In turn, the intelligence then needs to be comprehensively linked to the goals and needs of the organization, thereby making it actionable. (39)

In other words, mining allows for greater information gathering than the other two traditional forms. Even more, data mining is less expensive for companies who once sent out pencil and paper mailed surveys. Instead, a data mining analyst is hired by a company and paid to gather data from various databases and sort the data according to management's specifications. The results are efficient and an effective method of finding trends that were otherwise highly elusive to those in the business world.

To many, mining may sound like a simple process, however, according to this study, it is actually a highly specialized form of research. Whereas the research industry was once ruled by business students with some knowledge of basic mathematics, modern research analysts have a strong background in math and statistics as well as an uncanny ability to integrate information and locate trends within data. Finally, these specialists are now able to communicate this information in formal presentations and aid in the conclusions of those making decisions.

Another way that business are seeking to expand their territory is through international sales. At the forefront of this effort are international marketers whose primary role is to determine the various areas of interest and how a business can fit into a different culture. In a study conducted by Leonidas Leonidou and others, the expansion of international marketing and advice on international marketing was examined and interpreted (2008). In their study, the top marketing magazines from 1975 to 2004 including Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, Harvard Business Review, Management Science, Advances in Consumer Research, Marketing Science, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Retailing, and Industrial Marketing Management were reviewed and all the international marketing articles reviewed. During this process, 508 marketing articles were found, however, these article were not what they appeared to be. According to their study, the articles tended to be primarily empirical in nature, meaning the articles depended primary on quantitative and qualitative research gathering methods to reach the conclusions. There was also a clear evolution seen with the articles that provided proof to the essential need for market analysis. According to the authors:

A central conclusion to be drawn from the previous analysis of international marketing articles published in leading mainstream marketing journals is their critically conducive role in gradually pushing this line of inquiry from an identification and exploration stage toward a more mature and advanced phase of development. The high standards set by these journals regarding submitted manuscripts have been responsible for upgrading and enabling the gradual expansion of the international marketing field over time. (507)

Information mining has expanded to a point that new technologies are being invented and utilized regularly to ensure the optimal harvest and utilization of all information. According to a study conducted by Zou Tao and others, the greatest growing point for modern business research has been the world wide web, which enabled businesses the ability to not only harvest information from their own sites, but also the sites of others through the use of mining and data-gathering companies (1999).

Over time, more and more new research methods are being developed and implemented in an attempt to improve the overall market success of businesses. In a study conducted by Roderick Brodie and others, six modern research methods were discovered:

1 Services marketing research

2 Research on inter-organizational exchange relationships: IMP and buyer-seller relationships, resource dependency theory, social exchange theory.

3 Channels research: . vertical marketing systems, control mechanisms, and channel relationships.

4 Network research

5 Strategic management and value chain research

6 Research on information technology within and between organizations.

As can be seen, as the market place becomes more competitive, so do the forms of research being utilized by companies. Once again, the prevailing trend was toward the marketplace using it related research where information can be gathered and interpreted on various levels with minimal customer interference and contact.

Lessons from multi-agency information management projects

Through the evolution of market research, private sector business has perfected many methods, which the public sector in many ways fell behind. The solution to this problem came through the utilization of market research in the public sector. In a study by Thompson Teo and Tat Koh, the evolution of public market research was analyzed through the improvements and implementation of a new application system by the government of Japan. Whereas bureaucracy is known for the constant red tape and inefficiencies, the world wide web was meant to remove some of those barriers. One such barrier that Japan sought to remove was the repetitive form filing necessary for citizens to start businesses within the country.

This was not going to be an easy overhaul, so Japan took some steps to ensure that they created the best method to satisfy the public. This change started through feedback by the Japanese business community. Responding to this feedback launched a full descriptive study by the government. The reason they chose a descriptive method was in order to… [END OF PREVIEW]

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