Market research is a process that involves gathering of information, recording and analyzing the data. This process involves gathering information concerning competitors and customers that exist in the market. (Alreck, 1985 pg. 20)Market research is very fundamental in the launching of a new product into the market. It also helps organizations get vital information that helps in expansion to new markets. This helps in determining or forecasting the customers that will purchase the product. This includes the customer’s income levels, their location and age among others.
Market research enables one to find out the market characteristics of the target market. This enables a company to know the potential and the existing customers in the target market. Market research is very essential since it helps companies and organizations to make viable decisions. These decisions are usually those in line with marketing new products. It is also essential in presenting the consumers voice in an organization.
The entire process of marketing research seeks to know what is happening in the target market. It also aims at finding out the current trends therein. Market research helps companies to know the competitors in the market. This information is very important in launching a new product into the market. This paper explains how I would investigate the market in U.K for an eco-friendly motor car. (Alreck, 1985pg20)
There are various methods that I will use in investigating the market in U.K for an eco-friendly motor car.
This is one of the methods that I will use to investigate the market. It is a research instrument that consists of questions which help in information gathering. In this case I will prepare questionnaires and administer them in the U.K market. In the questionnaires I will seek to know the price of competitor vehicles in the market. These questions will be administered to the customers in the United Kingdom. (Burns, and Bush, 2001pg40) This will help me to know the price of other eco-friendly competitor vehicles that are sold in the United Kingdom. This will help me to forecast the range of price that the same customers can pay for the eco-friendly motor car that has to be newly launched in this market.
When drafting the consumer questionnaire, I will include questions on the designs that are preferred by the customers in the United Kingdom. This information will be helpful since the design that is preferred by majority of the customers will be manufactured in large quantities. Questionnaires will also seek to find out from the consumers where they normally purchase eco friendly motor cars in the United Kingdom. This will help me to know the competitors in the market in the United Kingdom. In the questionnaires I will find out the views of the customers on the other eco friendly and non eco friendly motor cars. (Burns, and Bush, 2001pg40)
This will help me to know their strong and weak points. Questionnaires will be administered to the consumers concerning the efficiency of the other motor cars that exist in the market. The degree of pollution that they emit will be inquired from the consumers through questionnaires. The questionnaires will seek to know the location of the consumers and how they can be contacted. Through questionnaires the quality of eco friendly motor car that is preferred by the consumers in the United Kingdom will be known.
Questionnaires will also seek to know from the consumers the period that they buy the cars in large quantities and the period when the purchases are low. The consumers will have to explain why this is so. Through questionnaires I will also find out how the price data for eco friendly motor cars has changed over the years. These questionnaires will be made in short and simple structured way that consumers can easily fill within minimal time. (Davis, 1993pg 312)
The questionnaires will be administered in places where motorists are largely found. This includes bus stops, parking sites and petrol stations. They will also be administered in households in the United Kingdom. The questionnaires will be answered and returned immediately to avoid cases where respondents fail to send them back. The questionnaires will be administered through random sampling method.
I prefer to use questionnaires in carrying out research in this market because they are cheap to administer compared to other instruments like telephone surveys. They do not require a lot of effort from the person administering them or the questioner. I prefer to use them in this research because they have standardized answers. It becomes very easy to compile and analyze the data after the research. (Davis, 1993pg 312)
It takes minimal time to carry out research using questionnaires compared to telephone surveys. This is because the questionnaires will be administered in large numbers in the same place. Questionnaires will be used in this research because in this case I will not need large staff for instance of skilled interviewers. There is great privacy and anonymity which influences respondents to give honest answers. Questionnaires do not have an interviewer bias and the respondents do not feel pressured by the interviewer too.
In investigating the market in the United Kingdom for an eco friendly motor car, I will use observation method. (Kress, 1988 pg100) This is whereby I will observe the people in United Kingdom on what kind of vehicles they purchase. I will incorporate other researchers who will be stationed in different towns in the United Kingdom. We will observe the general trends in the market in relation to the eco friendly motor car. We will observe the different models of eco friendly motor cars that are used by the consumers in the United Kingdom.
Through observation we will be in a position to know the various engines that are used in these cars. One of the things that we will look out for in our research is the degree of pollution that the cars emit to the environment. This is in line with the sound and air pollution. For instance we will observe the amount of smoke emitted from the cars that are commonly used in this nation. We will visit some of the eco friendly motor car manufacturing companies and observe the different kinds of models that exit. In these companies, we will observe the customer preferences. (Kress, 1988 pg100)
Observation will also be done in relation to the customer care services that are given in these companies. Observation method will give us information on consumer behavior in this market. This includes information on what the consumers buy and when they make the purchases. All these information will be recorded down by the various researchers and later on compared and analyzed. The information will enable me to forecast on the models that will mostly be purchased by consumers in this market.
This method will be used because it will give me first hand information concerning the market in the United Kingdom for an eco friendly motor car. This method will be used because it is very simple to use. It is simply watching and recording for later analysis. It gives current and very up dated information that is viable for use when launching a new product.
I will use interviews to carry out research on the United Kingdom market in relation to eco friendly motor car. A research interview is simply asocial interaction between a researcher and a respondent with the aim of getting some specific information. The respondent is normally identified by the researcher and in most cases he or she has knowledge in the subject. (Fowler, 1993pg 113)
The researcher in this case normally has questions previously prepared which the respondent(s) is asked. I will choose a focus group in the United States which will be the respondent in this case. The people will be chosen from various areas. Some of the respondents will be employees in motor vehicle manufacturing companies that are in United Kingdom. Others will be consumers who buy motor cars in this nation. The focus group will consist of fifteen people. This will be carried out in five of the major towns in the United Kingdom.
I will have questions which I will ask respondents concerning the market in United Kingdom in relation to an eco friendly motor car. Questions will be asked on customer preferences and the general consumer trends that exist in this market. The questions will also include simple things like the colors that the consumers prefer. Through these interviews I will get information concerning the price range of the eco friendly motor cars that exist in the market. (Morgan, 1988pg 67) Another question that I will ask the focus group is whether customers in this nation prefer imported or locally made cars. I will allow the respondents to elaborate on their answers in relation to this topic. The information sourced from the interviews will be comp red to that sourced through other methods and then analyzed. After this a report will be written which can be used for future reference concerning the market in United Kingdom. Through these interviews I will be in a position to amass quality data that will enable me to forecast on the future trends of the market in the United Kingdom.
The reason as to why I choose to use this method is because it allows me to get clarification from the respondents concerning their feedback. The respondents can clearly elaborate on what they mean by their answers unlike questionnaires. The interviews will involve a number of respondents and not just one. This will help in getting more reliable information than if the respondent was only one. This is because in case a respondent is giving wrong information then the rest will automatically be against it. (Morgan, 1988pg 67)
Secondary research normally involves getting information from already sourced work. Important information can always be got from books, newspapers company websites and magazines. In investigating the market in the United Kingdom for an eco friendly motor car, I will use some of the secondary research instruments. They include the following.
I will look out for companies that manufacture eco friendly motor vehicles in the business directory. This will help me to get their websites very fast. Through the internet I will get to their websites and find out information concerning any prior research that has been done in line with this topic. Through this I will be in a position to get information concerning the previous as well as the existing market trends. Through the companies’ website, I will get information concerning the number of cars that they sell in a year and models that are widely preferred by customers. (Patton, 1990pg 21) This will enable me to forecast on the number of sales that the eco friendly motor car can attract within the same period. Through these websites I will be in a position to know the challenge that exist in this business and hence plan before hand on how to deal with them. I will be in a position to easily know the competitors in the market. I will get information concerning the organization’s strengths and weaknesses that will help in launching of eco friendly motor car. The information in different companies will be compared.
This method is very simple and inexpensive to use. It gives the opportunity to compare data between the different companies that manufacture eco friendly motor cars.
I will use this as a source of research information in the United Kingdom market. This will be done through getting company magazines and searching for valuable information. This is because most of the companies normally have their magazines published on a monthly basis. This will help me to know the latest models in the market that may give competition to the eco friendly motor car to be launched soon. Through this I will know the prices of different car models that are manufactured by companies.
This method is so cheap to use and is also good for comparisons.
I will use the following forecasting methods in this research before launching the product
In this method there is examination of cycles and trends in relation to historical data. After this the mathematical techniques are normally used in extrapolation of the future. (Rutman, 1984pg18) In this method, the hypothesis is that the factors that affected the past trend are bound to affect the future too. (Rossi, 1983pg 104) This method is very vital in forecasting future trends that are short term based. In this case I will use information from secondary research concerning the past market trends to predict the future. I will use information concerning the past sales made by competitor companies to predict the sales that the eco friendly motor car will have. This will be done through the use of linear and curve fitting technique.
The reason as to why I will use this method to forecast the future is because the motor car industry has got substantial inertia. The factors that affected the past will most likely affect the future.
Cross – impact method
In this method of forecasting, events and possible developments are related. This method illustrates that when an event occurs it can affect other things too. In this case one forecasts the future basing on the occurrence or the absence of a specific event. Hanke, J. and (Reitsch, 1992pg47) I will use this method to forecast the future of market of eco friendly motor car in United Kingdom. (Rutman, 1984pg18)I will consider the occurrence of a number of events and the possible effects on the future market of this car. For instance an event like motor sports that will occur in the United Kingdom may influence more sales of the eco friendly motor car.
I will use this method to predict the future market of the eco friendly motor car because I know the sales are subject to the occurrence of various events in U.K
LAUNCHING THE PRODUCT
The product will be launched through various ways into the United Kingdom market. One of the ways that I will use to launch the eco friendly motor car is through test marketing.
This is where the product is introduced into a small part of the market. The general performance of the product is closely monitored. In this I will introduce the eco friendly motor car to a small portion of the market and observe the reaction of the consumers towards the car. This will enable me to know their views about the car and change strategies where necessary.
This is one of the ways through which I will launch the product into the market. In launching the product, I will use television as a means of advertising the eco friendly motor car. This is because television media shows the audience how the product looks like and where they can purchase it. This will enable the product to appeal to a large consumer base. (Davis, 1993pg 315) I will use prominent people in United Kingdom to advertise the car through television and radios. This will enable the entire population to be in favor of the car. This is because prominent people like politicians always appeal to a large group of people in their endeavors.
In launching the product I will also use billboards to advertise it. I will get professionals to make billboards showing the eco friendly motor car. These billboards will be placed in towns in the United Kingdom. This will help people to know that such a product exists. I will also establish a launch team that will be responsible for the entire launching process. In the launching process I will educate the sales team on how to appeal to consumers and also use them as channel of launching the product.
Market research and forecasting is very important to any business intending to launch a new product into the market. There are various instruments that can be used in the research process. They include questionnaires which are good because they do not have an interviewer bias. They are also easy to analyze and compare data. Interviews are also used as method of carrying out research. It is very easy for the researcher to ask for clarification in this case. Information can also be gathered through observation which helps researcher to get first hand data. Secondary research involves getting information from previously done work. This also gives viable information concerning the market trends and buyer behavior. Trend extrapolation and cross impact methods are used in forecasting future trends in market. The entire process of launching a new product is essential as it determines whether consumers in the market will buy the product or not.
Alreck, P. (1985): The Survey Research Handbook; Homewood; Illinois; Irwin; pg 18-29
Burns, A. and Bush, R. (2001): Marketing research; London; Prentice-Hall; pg 32-43
Davis, R. (1993): Experience; The role of market research in the development of new consumer products. Journal of product innovation management; Volume; 10, pp: 309-317
Fowler, F. (1993): Survey Research Methods; Newbury Park; CA; Sage; pg102-118
Hanke, J. and Reitsch, A. (1992): Business Forecasting: Fourth Edition; New York: Simon & Schuster; pg 45-51
Kress, G. (1988): Marketing research; Prentice-Hall; London; pg 98-105
Morgan, D. (1988): Focus groups as qualitative research; Newbury Park; Sage; pg 65-70
Patton, M. (1990): Qualitative evaluation and research methods; second edition. Newbury Park, Ca; Sage; pg 17-25
Rossi, P. (1983): Handbook of Survey Research; New York; Academic Press; pg 103- 108
Rutman, L. (1984): Evaluation research methods; a basic guide; second edition. Beverly Hills; Sage; pg 11-32