In this SLP for Module 3, conduct primary research for your task to glean first-hand insights. This is the third step of this cumulative research project. Be sure to revise the sections in SLP1 and SLP2, and include them in this paper following the marketing plan outline.
You will have to conduct personal in-depth interviews with individuals who are representative of the proposed target market. The purpose of conducting these interviews is to make sure that you are on the right track with your marketing plan. One of the biggest fallacies in marketing is often that a manager thinks he or she knows what members of the target market know, believe, and do. The development of a useable marketing plan, however, has to be based on consumer input.
Once you have completed your primary research efforts, you will need to revisit your situation analysis and your SWOT analysis. It is very likely that you overlooked specific factors that need to be added to these analyses.
Qualitative Research: Personal In-Depth Interviews
For the purposes of this marketing plan, you will focus on one target market only. Qualitative research is a first step to make sure that the issues you have identified are issues as perceived by your target audience. Qualitative research will give you insights into what consumers actually think, know, and believe. This type of research will allow you to investigate how consumers describe their behavior and why they do what they do. It also allows you to gain information on how difficult it would be to get consumers to accept new product, to learn which communication methods would be most productive, and to learn which incentives would be most successful with a specific consumer group. Finally, the results of qualitative research provide input for your marketing plan.
For this part you will have to develop an interview questionnaire and then conduct the interviews. Keep in mind that you will need at least three consumers representative of your proposed target market to participate in these interviews. Finally, you will need to report the results.
The following is a list of issues you should address (this is not a complete list, because the issues are likely to differ from project to project). The following example is a marketing plan you are going to develop in order to successfully introduce Apple iPad 4. The goals you have developed for your target audience are to promote awareness of the new iPad 4 and encourage purchase intention:
- What would your target market rather buy than the product you are promoting and why?
- What benefits do your target customers see to the other product? It might be that they like the reputation of the company, or something else you need to identify in the interviews.
- What costs do your target customers see to them? They might think the higher price or something else you need to identify in the interviews.
- What does your target market know about the new brand?
- Are target customers familiar with the brand?
- Are target customers familiar with the new features of the new brand?
- Do target customers know about competing brands that provide similar features and benefits?
- What does your target market believe? What are your target market’s values and attitudes relative to the desired behavior?
- What benefits do target customers see in the new brand? “What’s in it for them” to do this? If having a reputable brand to show their social status is more important than the price, then you will have to design messages accordingly in your marketing plan.
- What do target customers perceive as the costs of buying the new brand?
- What other issues do the customers consider when purchasing the new brand?
Make sure to develop the interview questionnaire based on the situation analysis, SWOT analysis, and the specific task for your research project. Note that only a properly designed interview guide will provide useful insights for your marketing plan. Refer to this Interview Questionnaire Example.
Check the following references on how to conduct interviews and analyze results.
Workbook E: Conducting in-depth interviews. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/…
For this section’s written report, address the following issues:
- Discuss the purpose(s) of the interviews, which should be related to the task for this research project.
- Explain where and how you collected your data. In other words, how did you recruit your subjects? Keep in mind that your subjects should be representative members of your target market. So your parents, friends, and neighbors are generally not to be recruited as subjects. If you have difficulty reaching those target populations due to a special situation, contact your professor to get permission to collect data from your family members, friends, and colleagues who are easily accessible.
- State how many subjects (at least three for this project) you interviewed and describe your sample in demographic terms.
- Give a summary of the answers to each question.
- Include an interpretation of the results: What insights are your findings likely to offer on your task?
- Also, include a copy of your interview questionnaire in your appendix.
SLP Assignment Expectations
Use the following outline to organize your paper. Note that the letters “a, b, c…” and the numbers “i, ii, iii, iv…” below are used to show the major issues you need to include but should not be used to format your paper.
IV. Primary Qualitative Research (3-6 pages)
- Identify the purpose of your research.
- Identify the subjects and the research process.
- What issues did you want to study?
- Present the key findings
- Present a concise conclusion of what you learned.
- Questions used in this analysis should be included in the appendix.
- Complete report of each interview should be included in the appendix.
Note: Use double-spaced, black Verdana or Times Roman font in 12 pt. type size. Include a title page and references. Revise your Module 2 SLP based on the feedback from your professor and your additional research, and include the SLP from Modules 1 and 2 in the Module 3 SLP. Explain clearly and logically the facts about your company and charge, and use the required reading to support your positions on the issues. Do not repeat or quote definitions. Your use of the required reading to support your opinions (that is, contentions or positions) should demonstrate that you understand the concepts presented.
Paraphrase the facts using your own words and ideas, employing quotes sparingly. Quotes, if absolutely necessary, should rarely exceed five words. Academic papers at the master’s level should include citations and references. Look at different sources, especially credible and reputable resources such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, and The Economist, to find the information for your paper. Also use Trident University’s online library databases such as ProQuest and EBSCO to find the information for your project. Your discussion on each topic should be a synthesis of the different sources. Taking shortcuts on the number and quality of your sources will result in a poor-quality marketing plan that will be of no use to your client.
Also, it is important that you reference your sources throughout the text of your marketing plan. Take the following paragraph as an example:
“As a result, telephone interviewers often do not even get a chance to explain that they are conducting a survey (Council for Marketing and Opinion Research, 2003), and response rates have steadily declined (Keeter et al., 2000) to reported lows of 7% (Council for Marketing and Opinion Research, 2003). This decrease presents a problem because not only does it increase the cost of conducting telephone surveys, but it also leads to questions concerning the generalizability of the results (Struebbe, Kernan & Grogan, 1986; Tuckel & O’Neill, 2002).”
There are different citation and reference formats such as APA, MLA, or Chicago. You need to use APA citation and reference format for this course. Also note: The marketing plan should use third person business writing. Avoid “we,” “our,” and “you.” Do not use contractions in business writing.
Here are some guidelines on how to conduct information search and build critical thinking skills.
Emerald Group Publishing. (n.d.). Searching for Information. Retrieved from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/learning/study_skill…
Emerald Group Publishing. (n.d.). Developing Critical Thinking. Retrieved from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/learning/study_skill…
Guidelines for handling quoted and paraphrased material are found at:
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Academic Writing. Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/2/
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing. Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/563/1/
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Avoiding Plagiarism. Retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/1/
Your paper consists of arguments in favor of your opinions or positions on the issues addressed by the guidelines; therefore, avoid the logical fallacies described in the following resource:
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Logic in Argumentative Writing. Retrieved from
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