1. What role should marketing research play in helping a firm to implement the marketing concept?
Marketing research helps with opportunities and problems in the market and brings this crucial information up to management. The market research should find out target markets, find the best form of marketing, track satisfaction, look up customer history and so much more to help the company find the best way to market a good and/or service to potential customers. When a firm is debating on what type of outreach (mail, internet ads, TV ads, surveys, etc.) they want to use marketing research to test the market to find out which will be most effective. Research includes exploratory, descriptive, and causal to specify exactly what it is that the firm needs to implement to reach customers.
2. You own an elegant, high-priced restaurant in your area and want to improve the level of service offered by your thirty-person staff. How could observational research help you accomplish this goal?
I would send my managers on a mission to go somewhat undercover into local, successful restaurants to observe their practices just to see how things are run. Looking around a profitable restaurant could show some useful tips and secrets that may help my restaurant perform as well as the competitor. Aspects such as menu prices, portion sizes, food quality, cleanliness, and other visible factors can be easily seen and adjusted for my business. Using observational research I can find out best practices that maybe other owners and managers might not want to reveal to me. By simply looking around my own restaurant I can probably also find room for improvement for my thirty-person staff. Simply putting myself in the shoes of a consumer can let me know what an experience in my restaurant feels like, and if I don’t like the experience then I take action and change the process.
3. Compare and contrast internal databases, marketing intelligence, and marketing research as a means for developing marketing information.
The differences between marketing intelligence and marketing research is that marketing intelligence is used by smaller firms to know what the market is like including competition and demographics. Marketing research is not available right away and is gathered by companies. Companies gather all the information over phone calls, Internet surveys, and in person surveys. Internal databases are good in that companies big and small can access them very quickly. This allows for quicker access to opportunities, problems and programs. The sources for internal databases usually come internally so from on the floor sales associates, and the marketing department from the company.
4. Researchers usually start the data-gathering process by examining secondary data. What secondary data sources would be available to the manager of a full-service restaurant that wanted to research consumer trends?
For a restaurant that is in the hospitality industry, it is important for them to get as much information as possible from suppliers, conventions, tourist bureaus, and travel agencies. Managers must also be ready to treat vendors and suppliers in the most hospitable manner possible in order to gather information. They must also be ready to step up in leadership roles and in becoming involved in organizations in order to get as much market information as possible. Competing companies also provide a lot of information and restaurants can acquire good information by entertaining key information at their own restaurants.
5. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using guest comment cards in a restaurant.
Guest comment cards are very often seen in restaurants and can be very beneficial to the companies. They are primarily useful when it comes to identifying problem areas but can also provide other helpful information. However, there are problems that come along with relying on guest comment cards for information. As the textbook states, “only about t to 2 percent of the people who are very angry or very pleased take the time to complete a card.” One of the main problems with studying these cards is that they are not an accurate reflection of the general guest opinions, and quite often just fall either extremely positive or extremely negative. Employees interfering with the cards can also affect the results that come from them whether it be bias in who the employee passes out the cards too or even as far as people tampering with previously filled out cards. Overall though as long as the comment cards are placed in a secure accessible location and are used to identify and keep tabs on problem areas and other things instead of being used to measure overall customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction that they are a great tool for restaurants.
6. Which type of research would be most appropriate in the following situations, and why?
a. Indirect structured survey research because ultimately the parents of the children are the ones with the buying power.
b. Direct structured survey research because they are looking to gather opinion-based information about their market.
c. Observational because they are just looking around (observing) to see which place would be best for their new location.
d. Experimental because they are looking to test the effect of the advertising themes.
e. Observational research because he is trying to figure out how to properly utilize his new strategy as opposed to actually testing out his strategy on the market.
7. What are the advantages and disadvantages of focus groups?
-Broad to specific questions so that the participants are able to feel comfortable enough to open up about the topic at hand
-Easily access those willing to participate
-Only a small percentage of the population is able to give their opinions
-Those with the best ideas or biggest complaints may not be asked to participate
What are some kinds of questions that are appropriate for focus groups to investigate?
-Questions about parking, food, service, employees, times, etc.
-Would you prefer valet or self-parking at the hotel? Why?
-Is there a new food item that you would add to the menu?
-Is there an item you would remove from the item?
-What is your favorite thing about the hotel?
-What would you change about your least favorite thing?