Although the marketing research conducted by the Wrigley Co. was fairly simple, it provided a new direction for their marketing strategy. BBDO developed four TV commercials with the "Gatta Have Sweet" theme. Roughly 70 per cent of respondents voluntarily recalled the Juicy Fruit name after watching the commercial (the average recalI for a brand of sugar gum is 57 per cent). Sales of 100-stick boxes of Juicy Fruit rose 5 per cent after the start of the ad campaign, reversing a 2 per cent decline prior to it. Juicy Fruit's market share also increased from 4.9 per cent to 5.3 per cent, the biggest gain of any established chewing gum brand during the year following the campaign.
Marketing research addresses the need for quicker, yet more accurate, decision making by the marketer. The impetus for this situation is the complex relationship between the business firm and the ever-changing external environment. In particular, most marketers are far removed from their customers; yet must know who their customers are, what they want, and what competitors are doing. Often the marketer relies on salespeople and dealers for information, but more and more the best source of information is marketing research.
It should be noted that most marketing decisions are still made without the use of formal marketing research. In many cases, the time required to do marketing research is not available. In other cases, the cost of obtaining the data is prohibitive or the desired data cannot be obtained in reliable form. Ultimately, successful marketing executives make decisions on the basis of a blend of facts and intuition.
In this chapter, we provide an overview of the marketing research process. We start the discussion with a look at business information. As noted in Figure 3.1, marketing research is applicable throughout the marketing planning process.