Personal Reflective Blog 2

Does market research and analysis help develop opportunities?

Your reflection on insights into consumer behaviour motivations and attitudes:

With increasing competition in the global marketplace, it is ever important for companies to understand consumer motivation, attitudes and behaviour; in order to develop successful products that fit with the lifestyle of their target consumer (Whittaker, 2014).

Marketing considers who the customers are, what they think, how they feel, and why they buy particular products. By studying the behaviours of customers marketers can learn a great deal about how to keep the brand successful.

An approach outlined in Drummond, Ensor and Ashford (2003) considers the 4 major segment variables as Social, Personal, Psychological and Situational. The decision making unit that forms part of social understanding is fascinating as it provides insight into buying decisions and behaviours. The personal factor can be presented in the VALS framework (developed by Arnold Mitchell), which classifies consumers into eight lifestyle groups. Despite giving valuable insight to the target customer, it is hard to believe that all society can fit into 10 stereotypes. This appears to be a ridged and out dated model. With psychographic targeting, segmenting the market based on social class lifestyle or personality characteristic can help to appeal to customers with relevant values, beliefs, attitudes and interest. With increasing competition in the global marketplace, it is ever important for companies to understand consumer motivation, attitudes and behaviour; in order to develop successful products that fit with the lifestyle of their target consumer. (Whittaker, 2014) Breaking groups down around individual mind-set can be risky


The issues in developing a research instrument which provide useful data as a basis for decision-making:

Upon segmenting the market, targeting is everything, being able to address and engage with the segment makes that segmentation useful.

Challenges appear when segmenting a market where the product is new with no comparisons. Behavioural segmentation therefore is the best for new to market products, understanding the gap the product will fill can indicate the target customer. A Ted talk from Malcolm Gladwell (2006) discussed the nature of choice, and the parallel between what we think we want and what we actually want. Gladwell raises some interesting points to be considered when segmenting the marketplace.


Challenges in collecting external market data to provide a rationale for product development:

Organisations must ensure the design, collection, analysis and reporting of the data all conform to published practice. This means ensuring each segment is measurable, accessible, substantial, differentiable and actionable to ensure a good success (Drummond, Ensor and Ashford. (2003)).

A common research instrument is an interview or focus group, or survey, each will need a questionnaire and either a paper or online approach is available.

Studying consumer choice can be challenging and confusing. Marketers get around this with ‘buzz marketing’ by finding opinion leaders, or key individuals, who can represent consumer lifestyle groups.

A key challenge with gathering market information is ensuring that the data is representative. This may be affected by sample selection and accuracy of responses. (Did people ‘lie’ about race on November election surveys? No evidence, says CBS News panelist | Cornell Chronicle, no date)


Your perspective on the learning which links market opportunities to the distinct competencies of an organisation:

The challenges of outside-in, are a lack of innovation. Can you ever been truly innovative if you are looking at competitors and asking customers what they want? What if they don’t know what they want?

By analysing its own strengths (resource based view) a company can target opportunities identified in the market. This aids competitive advantage without the need to invest in new resources (Barney 1991)


Has this research and investigation informed or changed your own agenda:

Marketing and research identifies new opportunities rather than products. The product development stage is still required, however the assessment of macro, micro and internal factors allows the product to be tailored to the market conditions. The strengths of a company can be used to target market opportunities. This has changed my agenda as I am more likely to use the RBV to fully understand the assets and capabilities available and more likely to assess the macro environment.


Whittaker, J. (2014) Understanding drinks consumers. Available at: http://futurethinking.com/understanding-consumer-motivation-attitudes-and-behaviour-in-the-drinks-market-2/ (Accessed: 25 May 2015)

Drummond, G., Ensor, J. and Ashford, R. (2001) Strategic marketing: planning and control. 2nd edn. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann

Gladwell, M. (2014) Malcolm Gladwell: Choice, happiness and spaghetti sauce | Talk Video. Available at: http://www.ted.com/talks/malcolm_gladwell_on_spaghetti_sauce?language=en (Accessed: 9 March 2015)

Did people ‘lie’ about race on November election surveys? No evidence, says CBS News panelist | Cornell Chronicle (no date) Available at: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2009/01/do-people-lie-surveys-if-so-why (Accessed: 25 May 2015)