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Summaries of Five Lectures - Research Paper Example

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Summaries of Five Lectures

Often companies overlook the actual cause by focusing on the tip of the iceberg. At this stage, companies also decide whether to undertake exploratory (exploring the motivations of consumers), descriptive (answering questions such as what, where, when, how) or causal (establishing cause-effect relationships in consumer’s behavior) research. Next, a plan is formulated which is implemented by collecting either primary or secondary data is the desired manner. There are two main types of research: qualitative (comprising of focus groups, observations and third-person techniques) and quantitative. Primarily, companies engage in research by employing the four core media; that is, telephone, internet, mail and face-to-face conversations. For instance, Pepsi conducted a blind-taste test (known as Pepsi Challenge) where consumers were told to taste two cups (one with Pepsi one with Coke). The results revealed that Pepsi was the popular choice amongst Americans. Lecture 3 discusses the three core steps of marketing namely segmentation, targeting and positioning. Segmentation refers to grouping the population into categories based on common characteristics pertaining to behavior, psychographic elements or profile of customers. Segmentation based on behavioral aspects tends to focus on the purchase behavior, benefits, features, usage patterns as well as perceptions of the customers. Psychographic segmentation is based on lifestyle patterns and personality traits of the customers. Profile refers to categorizing the market based on age, income and socio-economic status. Targeting comes after segmentation and refers to the selection of one or more such groups towards which the elements of the marketing mix are aimed at. These segments are evaluated on the basis of criteria such as their potential profitability, size, as well as their coherence with the organizational goals. Finally, positioning refers to the whole or space in customers’ mind that the company wishes to acquire. In short, the company decides the area in which it would differentiate itself from competitors as well as how it intends to do so. For example, Diet Coke positioned itself against Coke Zero by appealing to a different target market (women) compared to Coke Zero that targeted athletics and sportsmen. Lecture 4 discusses the buyer behavior process. This begins with an analysis of the various roles that consumers take on as “initiators”, “influencers”, “deciders”, “buyers” and “users”. A personal consumer is one who is the end user of the product bought, whereas, an organizational consumer is one who buys with the intention of using the product in the manufacture of some other product. The process of making decisions involves recognition of the fact that the consumer has an unsatisfied need which he/she attempts to satisfy, searching for potential ways to satisfy that need, evaluating alternative products on the basis of various criteria, purchasing and finally, evaluating the decision in retrospect. When the product falls short of the customer’s expectations he/she may experience cognitive dissonance. Consumers purchase products owing to peer pressure (for instance, a Mercedes to show off his status) as well as his/her personality traits (for instance, drinking ground coffee instead of Nescafe’s 3-in-1 satchel). The buying process for organizations is far more complex and involves a more rational, well-informed choice as opposed to purely hedonic or impulsive behavior ...Show more

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Summaries of five lectures Customer inserts his/her name Customer Inserts Marketing Research is discussed in Lecture 2 which refers to the systematic gathering, analyzing and reporting of data to assist business decisions…
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