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The aim of this unit is to enable learners to understand the purchase decisionmaking process and how marketing research techniques are used to contribute to the development of marketing plans.
This unit explores buyer behaviour and how this is influenced by a range of factors and situations. Learners will explore the marketing research process and assess the importance of different types of information. The approach is practical and learners will learn how to prepare and present a research proposal, assess the reliability of market research findings, and use secondary sources of data. Learners will then develop the skills needed to assess trends and carry out competitor analysis. Finally, learners will consider customer relationship management and how to assess levels of customer satisfaction. The unit seeks to combine a sound theoretical framework with the development of useful business skills
Customers and markets: purchase decision-making process; buying situations and types of buying decision; dimensions of buyer behaviour
Buyer behaviour: influences on buyer behaviour; stimulus response model; models of purchase behaviour; diffusion and innovation; model unitary and decision-making units
Buying motives:psychological factors, socio-psychological factors, sociological factors, economic factors and cultural factors influencing customer behaviour; lifestyle and life-cycle factors; customer and prospect profiling
Branding: relationship between brand loyalty, company image and repeat purchase
Market research: role and importance of marketing research; research process, objectives; issues relating to the use of primary and secondary data sources and methods; existing sources of primary and secondary market research; internal sources; external sources; competitor data and sources and customer data; ethics
Market research companies: benefits and limitations of use; cost; reliability and types
Research techniques: stages of the market research process; research proposals; qualitative and quantitative methods; surveys; sources of information; value and interpretation of data
Types: face to face, telephone/postal; data mining technique; focus groups; depth interviews; omnibus survey; psychological research; mystery shopper; sales, price and distribution research
Reliability of research: validity; sampling process; sample size; sample and interviewer bias; methods of recruitment
Researching developing and established markets:issues associated with researching the developing as well as the established consumer; industrial and service markets
Use of research data: research data supporting marketing planning; producing actionable recommendations; evaluating research findings for business decision making
Measuring: defining the market; estimating total market size, value and volume; growth and trends; forecasting future demand
Competitive analysis: competitor analysis – market/product profiles of competition, brand and market share; characteristics of the competition – market innovator/follower; objectives of the competition; strategies of the competition; strengths and weakness of competition; future behaviour of the competition and their strategic intent
Measuring customer satisfaction: post-sale surveys; data mining – web behaviour analysis; guarantees; complaint handling and suggestion systems; mystery shopping; product placement; service agreements; customer follow-up
Customer care: customer relationship management programmes, objectives, use and value in data collection, customer relationship management as a means of adding value and influencing purchase/repeat purchase behaviour, customer retention
Learners need access to market research and business information.