Marketing research describes a technique that helps decision makers and marketing research analysts to formulate or define a market study. A market researcher begins by formulating various stages by determining the specific objective(s) and developing a set of research question(s) he intends to answer to achieve that objective(s) (Roberts, Kayande, & Stremersch, 2014). Consumer behavior plays an important role in market research because the demeanors of a targeted consumer are identifiable by means of direct observation. This is achievable through examination of consumer motivations, preferences, and the purchase behavior of a particular target population. Knowledge the consumer trends, behavior and preferences will assist in successful launch of a new product or service into the market or even improvement of an existing one.
David and his wife, Alison has operated their garden supply and nursery business for over 10 years. The last three years have recorded mixed results in terms of sales performance, supplies and profits for D.A. Supplies. The performance data for the last three years shows the following:
Based on the statistics above, D.A. Supplies needs to identify why there has been steady decline in sales of nursery, a major contributor to the company profits, garden supplies and stagnation of garden supplies. The research questions therefore are proposed to include the following:
The researcher proposes the following research hypothesis:
H0: There is no relationship between decline in nursery sales, garden supplies sales, stagnation of landscaping projects and customer satisfaction.
HA: There is a relationship between decline in nursery sales, garden supplies sales, stagnation of landscaping projects and customer satisfaction.
To answer the above research questions, the proprietors of D.A. supplies will need to identify whether there has been unfair competition from other players in the industry in contravention of the Trade Practices Act (1974) consolidated from 19th of April, 2010. The aim of the Act is “to enhance the welfare of Australians through the promotion of competition and fair trading and provision for consumer protection.” Part XIII (Application and transitional provisions relating to the competition provisions) of the act underscores the issues related to price-fixing while part XIA The Competition Code provides for an avenue of redress in court where a plaintiff feels there has been unfair competition.
The owners of D.A. Supplies will need to consult the Australian Market & Social Research Society Limited (AMSRS) which is a not-for-profit professional membership body that has more than 2000 market research and social research professionals. The members of AMSRS are dedicated to providing and increasing the standard of market research in Australia (AMSRS, 2018). Members of AMSRS were consulted widely to determine the research needs. The requirements to conduct the research were the code of conduct of conducting the research, ethical considerations such as the need to obtain consent from participants of the market survey, and confidentiality assurance.
The proposed market research will need to address a number of issues. This will include: location of the study, scope of the intended study, research design, and the population of the study, sampling frame, sample size and sampling technique. Research design enables achievement of the study objectives. The type of research design chosen facilitates the level of achievement of the research objectives since utilization of an inappropriate research design may result in the research goals not to be achieved (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2009). Target population provides a set of characteristics that the researcher uses to gather information from which the researcher obtains results by applying selected data analysis techniques (Orodho, 2005).
According to Kothari (2013), it is expected that target population contains observable attributes that a researcher intends to use for the purpose of generalizing the study results. It is recommended that before commencing any research, the researcher has to decide whether to use the entire population or a sample (Kimwomi, 2015). This is because where the population in large, it is highly unlikely that a researcher will have neither the time nor resources to conduct a survey of all the elements of the population. Therefore, it is imperative for a researcher to utilize a sample to enable the findings of the sample studies be generalized for the entire population (Kimwomi, 2015). However, an adequate sample size is required to form the basis of generalization.
D.A. Supplies will need to consider the issues as to why there has been a drop in sales of nursery, garden supplies and stagnation of the number of landscaping projects by addressing the research questions suggested in this proposal. It is hoped that the senior management will commission a full market research plan.
Australian Market & Social Research Society Limited. (2018). Constitution and Regulations. Retrieved May 11, 2018, from https://www.amsrs.com.au/about/about-the-amsrs
Kimwomi, H. K. (2015). Knowledge strategy, organizational characteristics, innovation and performance of manufacturing firms in Kenya (Unpublished PhD thesis). University of Nairobi.
Kothari, C. R. (2013). Quantitative techniques (3rd ed.). Vikas Publishing House.
Roberts, J. H., Kayande, U., & Stremersch, S. (2014). From academic research to marketing practice: Exploring the marketing science value chain. International Journal of Research in Marketing,31(2), 127-140. doi:10.1016/j.ijresmar.2013.07.006
Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2009). Research methods for business students. (5th Edition). London: Prentice Hall.
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