Marketing Response There Are Several Significant Advantages Term Paper

Pages: 8 (3792 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Business - Advertising

Marketing

Response

There are several significant advantages of using qualitative measurements in marketing research. The most significant is the ability to capture the voice of customers that may have evaded the more structured, numerically-based approaches that force respondents to provide a specific set of answers. Qualitative research can also lead to entirely new insights into a new market or service that has not been seen in the past, given the open-ended questions inherent in this approach to research. Qualitative research techniques also can be used to capture the shared knowledge of experts as well, as the Delphi Technique is so well-known and used for. Capturing the tacit expertise and knowledge of a specific group of thought leaders can also be accomplished using qualitative techniques as well. Additional advantages of qualitative measurements include the ability to complete greater exploratory or primary research into a specific subject, often following a specific line of questions as they develop within an interview. An additional advantage of qualitative research techniques are the ability to understand how prospects and customers make trade-offs on substitute products and services. While price elasticity studies are often highly quantitative in scope, the use of interactive discussions of pricing trade-offs can be highly effective in determining just how much a prospect is willing to sacrifice price for a given feature or benefit. The total value of a brand can also be ascertained through the use of these types of qualitative techniques, providing respondents with the ability to define in their own terms the value of the experience a brand delivers. The many advantages of qualitative research are predicated on having more interactive sessions with respondents, including the ability to ascertain how they make trade-offs over time on value vs. price.

For the many advantages of qualitative measurements, there are several disadvantages as well. First, the results of any study predicated on this approach cannot be analyzed at the higher levels of statistical analysis. As the results of studies and research completed with qualitative measurements are by nature not nominal, ordinal or interval in terms of data orthogonality, they cannot be used to represent an entire customer or segment population. At best they can be used as a means to capture nominally-based data that can lead to only a rough approximation of an overall market size or series of market dynamics. Qualitative data can only be as useful as the means used to capture it as well; if a methodology is very informal and focused on a series of loosely-guided objectives, the overall data will of mediocre quality at best. When the goals and objectives of a research study, in addition to the sampling frame and methodology lack rigor or precise focus, the resulting research can also lack precision and meaning. It is more difficult to create greater levels of meaning and transferability of data when the methodologies are highly qualitative in scope; the data is only relevant for a specific series of objectives and often is defined by applicability to a given point in time as well. Qualitative data is often also open to interpretation, as the methodology can be debated in terms of its relative appropriateness, robustness and value over the long-term. Finally, qualitative data cannot be taken entirely on its own; it must be combined with a series of other research sources to ensure relevancy and accuracy of interpretation, especially over time. In conclusion, qualitative data needs to be taken in context and often balanced with quantitative data to ensure a 360-degree view of a given situation or strategy of interest has the greater level of insights gained from research efforts.

Response to Question #2

Branding is by definition the personality of a product, service or company and acts to galvanize the emotions marketers want to associate with the value they are delivering. A brand is a very powerful, potent force in marketing as it creates a persona for a given company. Many globally-based corporation s have a multi-branding strategy that seeks to capture the overall corporate brand message, with each subsidiary product contributing a specific aspect of the total branding platform. Disney, Nike, Harley-Davidson and many others excel at this multi-product and multi-segmented approach to branding. Disney for example treats each character as a franchise in the overall branding strategy, often creating entire branding platforms around each to ensure a high degree of consistency. All of these companies look at their brand as a long-term investment in their overall marketing strategy, foundational to the long-term strategic marketing plans of the organization. The investment in branding by these and other leading companies who seek to create an effective long-term identity for themselves predicated on the emotions their brands evoke also see the Return on Investment (ROI) more in the context of Lifetime Customer Value (CLV) and less in terms of individualized sales churn or period-to-period sales over time. Branding is foundational to the development of an effective strategic marketing plan. These and other benefits are what marketers invest so heavily in their brands to accrue over time. A well-executed branding strategy sets the foundation for multi-year growth and the potential of creating a long-term, highly measurable level of strategic performance. Branding strategies, in the highest-performing companies deliver a cumulative effect over time, they successively contribute to the overall position of the company in their industry and with key customer audiences and segments. The ability to both unify existing branding strategies to a common objective as they are running concurrently, and also take a longitudinal view of their performance can lead to greater level of long-term value for a brand when branding strategies are orchestrated for the fulfillment of long-term goals and objectives. The world's most well-known brands have worked in some cases for decades to create a level of synchronization across their many branding initiatives and strategies globally all aimed at supporting a strategic vision of the value that a company strives to deliver.

For the consumer, the benefits of branding are equally as significant. A successful brand can create a level of trust that would take years for a late entrant into a market to attain. The lack of trust a new brand has in a market can take years to overcome, often at significant expense. Lack of trust takes literally years of effort and expense to overcome. Consumers then view brands as trusted advisor, shortening the purchasing decision process for those products they rely most on brands for. This includes personal care products including soap, toothpaste, paper and certain types of food. Consumers see brands as a means to save time through the trust they provide, in addition to the assurances of experiences being what they want them to be. New mothers buying products from Proctor & Gamble for example provides one example while those traveling on business often prefer Marriott due to the predictability and quality of the experience. Brands are indispensable for consumers in navigating the many options they have today for products and services as well. In addition to all of these benefits to consumers, brands also are increasingly creating communities and providing customers with the chance to share experiences and insights as well. An example of this is the level of customer participation Quicken has been able to accomplish with their accounting applications. The most loyal customers routinely get online and answer questions from less-experienced users, all in the hope of helping them. Brands are also a very powerful from the standpoint of defining a consumer's identity, as can be seen by the annual events that Harley-Davidson has annually for their customers, many of which are die-hard motorcycle rides. All of these factors combine to deliver a high level of trust, assurance of a positive experience, and the chance to socialize and learn from other customers.

Response to Question #3

The marketing of services is significantly different than products, in that the former is predicated on the commitment of delivering value in the future, while products deliver immediate value when delivered. Services are also predicated on providing a level of conveniences or expertise that the consumer themselves chooses not to pursue either due to time or cost considerations. A service is by its very nature a commitment of performance in the future based on the needs of a customers. As such, a service is going to be much more focused on the total experience, not just a given product or component of the offer. Physical products are challenged in terms of moving beyond the purely tangible nature of their value, with Apple striving to create experiences around their best-selling smartphones and tablet PCs. Services are by their very nature focused on the experience as much as the actual service delivered; both are indistinguishable in the context of how services are delivered.

As services require an inordinately higher level of trust than product do, the use of customer success stories and testimonials is commonplace when marketing them. Using actual customers to explain the services provided, including their results achieved with specific metrics defined, is… [END OF PREVIEW]

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