By: Craig W. Roggow
Best Practices in Market Research
Marketing research is among the most essential pillars of success in the modern corporate environment. It is comprised of an evaluation in different marketing perspectives such as consumer trends and competition. These frameworks form the basis of developing the most effective marketing tactics. The United States has some of the world’s most recognizable brands. The fundamental attribute that characterizes such brands is effective marketing research. Marketing research is a crucial component of success for corporate entities. This post seeks to focus on Nike, Inc. and IBM as best practice companies in marketing research. This comprises of an assessment of the marketing research practices used by these two best practice companies.
Objectives of the post
- Identify and explain what these best-practice companies do in the field of marketing research.
- Define the similarities between Nike and IBM.
- Describe major differences between Nike and IBM.
- Critique Nike and IBM best practices.
- How to implement best practices.
IBM is a leading firm in the computer technology sector. Based in Armonk, this firm has an excellent history of developing innovative technological products and services. On the other hand, Nike is also among the most recognizable firms in the sports apparel industry. It is also an American company but has extensive networks across the globe. Although IBM and Nike are in different industries, it is vital to note that they have some of the most effective marketing strategies. These strategies are based on exemplary frameworks of marketing research. For instance, IBM invests millions of dollars every year on streamlining its marketing framework (Wit & Meyer, 2010).
The same case applies to Nike which has a tremendous framework for marketing research. It is vital to note that both companies integrate qualitative methods into their frameworks for marketing research. For instance, Nike always seeks feedback from consumers regarding its wide variety of sports-gear and equipment. The company then uses this feedback to enhance the quality of products in the future. On its part, IBM streamlines its framework for innovativeness through the use of qualitative research platforms. The company constantly examines the prevailing trends within the technology sector. This helps the company to develop innovative products and also maintain its client base.
Through effective marketing research strategies, both companies have managed to remain competitive in their respective industries. Competitiveness is a considerable issue of prioritization within the modern corporate sector. This is because all industries are filled with numerous dealers. The marketing research strategies for IBM and Nike are extremely useful for this study (Bradley, 2007). This is because both companies provide an exemplary framework of examining the different marketing strategies being used by companies in the actual market. Consequently, the evaluation of the marketing research strategies by IBM and Nike will help in the integration of theory into practice.
Although both Nike and IBM are in different industries, they also have numerous similarities. Firstly, both companies use marketing research as a platform for venturing into new markets. In recent years, IBM has been involved in extensive marketing research in order to assess the economic feasibility of emerging markets. This mostly applies to Eastern Europe, Latin America and the developing economies. In essence, IBM perceives these markets as pivotal towards the realization of its goals for global expansion.
Additionally, the marketing research for new markets helps IBM in developing the most appropriate strategies for entry. Similarly, Nike perceives marketing research as an excellent platform for identifying the emerging markets. This is because Nike has a goal of reaching as many consumers as possible. As with IBM, Nike conducts its marketing research regularly. This has been instrumental towards enabling the companies to maximize on the available marketing opportunities.
Another essential attribute of consideration with regard to the marketing research frameworks for Nike and IBM pertains to competitiveness (Mooi & Sarstedt, 2011). Both companies use marketing research as platforms for enhancing their competitiveness in the market. Both companies are profit-oriented. Consequently, they must remain as competitive as possible. For instance, IBM uses marketing research to investigate the role of price when consumers are purchasing computer hardware. Similarly, Nike uses qualitative research techniques to investigate the driving forces behind the consumer’s preferences for sports equipment (Lee & Johnson, 2005). All these perspectives highlight the prevailing similarities between the marketing strategies for Nike and IBM.
IBM specializes in the manufacture of computer hardware and software. In contrast, Nike specializes in sports apparel and sports equipment. This serves as the fundamental difference between the two companies. The differences between Nike and IBM are also evident in terms of their approaches to marketing research. Firstly, IBM integrates both qualitative and quantitative frameworks within its marketing research system. This approach has been helpful towards developing effective marketing tactics for the different segments.
In contrast, Nike mainly emphasizes on qualitative research. This is because the company focuses on the different preferences of customers while developing its products. It is also essential to note that IBM has a tremendous framework for technological research (Wit & Meyer, 2010). Within its research department, the company has thousands of employees who are specialists in professional surveys. This has given the company an upper-hand compared to its competitors.
Although Nike uses exemplary technological systems for its marketing research, the levels of sophistication are not comparable to IBM. Another difference between both companies pertains to their global reach. With the information and technology sector, IBM has a significantly lower market share. In contrast, the market share for Nike in the sports apparel sector is considerably greater. Consequently, Nike has greater influence than IBM in the respective industries for both companies. The difference between the two companies is also evident in terms of the strategies they use for marketing. For instance, celebrity endorsement is an outstanding attribute of the marketing strategies for Nike (Bradley, 2007). Additionally, Nike makes the extensive use of adverts in social media. These tactics are not evident in the marketing strategies for IBM. The company largely relies of conventional platforms for advertising and also the internet.
The best practices in marketing research for both IBM and Nike have shortcomings as well as merits. It is thus vital to develop a critical framework for these best practice companies in marketing research. On the part of IBM, its platforms for marketing research are based on innovative technological systems. This is strongly beneficial in terms of enhancing the implementation framework for the company’s marketing strategy.
Additionally, the emphasis on technological systems is extremely helpful in terms of enhancing the standards of accuracy from the marketing research framework. However, the marketing research framework for IBM focuses immensely on innovativeness. Whereas innovativeness is a vital component of IBM, there are other significant attributes of marketing (Szwarc, 2005). For instance, the company needs to devote additional resources towards the assessment of the most effective strategies for competition.
On the part of Nike, there are also some shortcomings and benefits of its framework for marketing research. For instance, the marketing research strategies for Nike help in identifying the most effective platforms for market segmentation. Over the years, Nike has always established unique brands that meet the expectations of the different segments. Another significant benefit of Nike’s marketing research framework is its emphasis on the minimization of promotional costs. This is an attribute that has far reaching effects on the productivity of Nike in terms of profits. Despite these merits, the marketing research framework for Nike is also characterized by various shortcomings.
Firstly, the company overemphasizes on qualitative research. Whereas qualitative research is highly effective, it is vital to integrate different kinds of methods in marketing research. This would be helpful in terms of enhancing the standards of accuracy in the marketing research framework. Nike should also establish comprehensive market research plans in the emerging markets (Lee & Johnson, 2005). This is extremely beneficial in terms of attaining adequate standards of accuracy. By addressing these issues, both IBM and Nike will manage to streamline the outcome of their respective marketing research strategies.
Implementing best practices in an organization requires adequate strategies that are based on the available resources and the potential benefits. This also applies to best practices for marketing research. The prevailing standards of marketing research have an inherent capacity to affect the productivity of an organization. This forms the basis of selecting the most effective marketing research strategy.
Firstly, it is extremely crucial to identify the marketing needs of an organization. Different organizations have diverse marketing needs (Malhotra, 2010). Consequently, it is necessary to consider such diversity while establishing a framework for marketing research. If the organization seeks to venture into new markets, it is vital to combine different methods of research in order to evaluate numerous variables. On the other hand, a qualitative research framework is the most effective platform for examining the prevailing consumer trends in a given industry. This is because qualitative research facilitates for the evaluation of consumer attitudes with regard to the products and services of an organization.
Another essential attribute of the implementation of best practices is the use of larger samples. Marketing research that uses small samples is highly ineffectual. Small samples increase the chances of bias in qualitative marketing research. Additionally, small samples do not help in evaluating the actual trends in the study population (Bradley, 2007).
Apart from sample size, it is also essential to incorporate professional services in marketing research. Whereas such professionals increase the costs of research, they are instrumental towards enhancing the outcome of research. Professional research firms have what it takes to establish an effective platform for marketing surveys. Another attribute for implementing best practice is to conduct frequent reviews. Such reviews help in ascertaining the quality of outcomes for any marketing research framework.
Marketing research is a crucial component of success for corporate entities. The marketing research frameworks for IBM and Nike have been influential in the performance of both companies. Although IBM and Nike are in different industries, it is vital to note that they have some of the most effective marketing strategies. These strategies are based on exemplary frame works of marketing research. For instance, IBM invests millions of dollars every year on streamlining its marketing framework. It is extremely crucial to identify the marketing needs of an organization. Different organizations have diverse marketing needs. Consequently, it is necessary to consider such diversity while establishing a framework for marketing research.
- Bradley, N. (2007). Marketing research: Tools & techniques. Oxford University Press: Oxford, NY.
- Lee, M. and Johnson, C. (2005).Principles of advertising: A global perspective. Routledge: New York, NY.
- Malhotra, N. K. (2010). Marketing research:An applied orientation,(Sixth Ed.). Prentice Hall: Boston, MA.
- Mooi, E. and Sarstedt, M. (2011). A concise guide to marketing research:
- The process, data and methods. Springer Publishing Company: New York, NY.
- Szwarc, P. (2005). Researching customer satisfaction & loyalty. Kogan Page Limited: London.
- Wit, B. D. and Meyer, R. (2010). Strategy, process, content and context: An international perspective. South-Western: Mason, OH.