Questions

1 Small firms may think undertaking marketing research is too expensive and not worth their while. How might you persuade them otherwise? Under what circumstances might there be some truth in their viewpoint?

2 Construct a research proposal that has as its purpose identifying new product and market opportunities for a small computer software development company currently employing 30 staff and achieving an annual sales turnover of £8 million.

3 Discuss the basic methods of collecting marketing research information and outline the circumstances under which each of the identified methods might most appropriately be used.

4 Why is it important to indicate at the research planning stage how one is going to analyse the data?

5 What is meant by the limitations of a study? Why are they important?

The New Shoe Company, based in the English Midlands, is experiencing a fall in profits. The company measures profits in terms of the annual pre-tax return on capital employed earned by the company.

The sales director says that falling profitability is a reflection of the current slump in the market. Total demand in the marketplace is much less than it was 12 months ago and the company has struggled to maintain its market share at the previous level as competition has intensified. Competition from European manufacturers has been sharpened by changes in EU trading regulations and Spanish manufacturers, in particular, have taken advantage of their lower cost structure to make inroads into the British market. At the same time, the New Shoe Company has failed to take full advantage of opportunities in Europe. It has not fully developed its market niching strategy where it can gain a competitive advantage. The sales director blames the firm's lack of competitiveness on the poor performance of the R&D team and the inability of the manufacturing departments to control costs.

The technical director claims that the firm's products are competitive with any that are produced worldwide. Indeed, in her view, the firm's products are by far the best available at the price offered. She points to the lack of marketing effort expended by the firm in the past year, pointing to the necessity to keep the firm's name before the public at all times, especially when competition is increasing in

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Online Survey Champion

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