Sunday, April 6, 2008

Secondary data for Marketing research project: Creatitity


Creativity has come into attention of many consumer good manufacturers. In the attempt to position itself from competitors, my client, a major consumer good producer has pursued value co-creation strategy to create unique value to its customers by having customers involve in marketing mixed processes. In this report, I suggest some sources of secondary data that the company should use to answer some marketing research questions in such co-creation process.

Publish source

The academic paper Re-Inventing Value Propositions by Ajit Kanbil, Ari Ginsberg and Micheal Bloch at Stern School of Business, suggests that through value co-creation a company can create new value proposition to outperform competitors in commoditized industries. The research method is to study how a number of market leaders in different industries such as South-east Airline, IKEA, Dell and Airbus create value to their customers. The authors use value frontier analysis and value mapping technique to find out dimensions of     value prepositions as well as internal mechanism and characteristics of the creation.

According to the paper, a company needs to create value to customers in an innovative way to overcome strong competition of commoditized industries and challenges of lower profits. In other words, the company needs to break out commoditization trap, which includes similar products and services features, to deliver more value to customers. Because value, from customers’ point of view, is the difference between perceived benefits and perceived costs of a product, value creation should be focused on product performance that meets customers’ desires of features, attributes, design, service… and product costs (customers’ purchase price, risk and efforts). Value creation should base on the 4 roles of consumers: customers as a buyer to define their need, delivery, service…; customers as a user to see whether products meet their expectation and satisfy their need; customer as a co-creator to create a product that fit their specific need; customers as a person who disposes products. By considering these 4 roles the firm can create products that satisfy best customers’ need and desires. To implement value creation, the paper proposes a 3-step method. The first step is to define the value frontier, which is to determine the position of the company in comparison with competitors. The second step is to create new value by using these 4 roles of customers such as having customers co-create some features of products or design. The final step is to create an appropriate internal mechanism such as organizational system to deliver such new value to customers. By doing so, the firm can outperform its rivals, deliver unique value to customers and therefore bring more value to shareholders and satisfy better stakeholders. The company can have partnership with customers via co-creation, enhance brand loyalty and have competitive advantages since it can deliver to customers a unique value that non competitors can imitate.

Standardized source

IRI Consumer Network is useful source of data that help the firm understand customer behaviors so that company can have a clear direction of new value it need to its for customers. By understanding customer behaviors, it can determine the dimensions of value creation, how consumers can participate in this creation process and the result of this process. The Consumer Network, a service provided by IRI, is based on consumer panel research method in which data are obtained through scanning process and the panel is expanded by increasing number of scanners, markets, retail marketing areas and types of consumers. Therefore, it provides reliable information about consumer trends and helps the firm understand better its costumers. It also helps the firm measure the level of customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, attitudes to co-creation process and new value that the company wants to create. Unfortunately, I could not access any data from IRI in order to explain in more detail how to use this standard source of marketing research information in creativity process for the company.

Unlike IRI database service, ACNielsen Consumer Panel Services by AC Nielsen helps the company understand not only customer behaviors but also purchase behaviors in different countries and geographic regions. This database provide consumer purchase information in 24 countries for about 125,000 households by using scanning technology in warehouse clubs, convenience stores, supermarket, drugstores and mass merchandisers. By using the database the firm can have a clear picture of customer behaviors and shopping patterns in a region or country it want to expand business. Therefore, the firm can answer the question of what value to create, how to co-create (par example customers co-design products) and how to sell (e.g. customers can buy a custom products from catalogue) and where to sell. The shopping patterns may give the company a great idea to create a unique shopping environment.

Internet source:

Claritas is a comprehensive online marketing data source that includes census data, detailed market analysis data, customer analysis data…to help firm answer its marketing questions. For example, to answer the question in which industries the firm should create a new product, we can use Behavioral Profiles by Claritas. This marketing data will provide concrete information about media preferences, shopping habits, travel, restaurants, auto, financial services, income, housing, age, race etc. By analyzing behavioral profile reports, the company can understand characteristics and lifestyles of customers and therefore, it can figure out potential market segment it would likely to serve, what kind of products is suitable for this segment, who are targeted customers, what is the level of participation of potential consumers in co-creation process and how they participate. A sample of this type of report is attached herewith as an example. Claritas uses audit method to collect data and therefore, the Behavioral Profiles are made based whether on Claritas’s own audit data or on its third parties’ syndicated data source. Claritas has many other online marketing research data such as market reports that the company can use to measure results of its co-created value.

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