The Importance of Market Research: Whole Foods
Marketing research is invaluable to an organization. The information that is gathered from marketing research allows the management team to make educated decisions. Market research tools are chosen for various reasons, it may be a financially feasible choice for the organization or the organization may be graced with the capability to use many different tools. This paper discusses market research and lists a few tools used by one of the world's largest retailers of natural and organic foods, Whole Foods.
Marketing research is the collection and analysis of data relevant to a particular market and the “communication of this analysis to management” (McDaniel, 2006). Whether the organization is a local store or a large corporation, marketing research is important for quality management, customer retention, and understanding trends. Marketing research is important for receiving feedback on the success of the marketing mix (product, price, promotion, and place) and for discovering and launching new opportunities.
There are so many reasons why marketing research is beneficial to an organization of any size and success rate. It can be used to develop options through market segmentation, opportunity analysis, or studying product usage. It can be used to test new products or advertising. It can also be used to assess product performance. Of course, the research is only beneficial to the organization if the benefits outweigh the costs, so it is important to know when to decide research is necessary.
Some types of marketing research could be studying product usage, corporate image, and customer satisfaction through surveys. Consumers can be asked to trial new concept products or get feedback from consumers on how they react to an ad campaign. Consumer panels or focus groups can help to give information on their buying patterns and using bar codes on products helps track sales.
The Internet plays a huge role in marketing research. Surveys can reach targeted respondents immediately and the response back could be just as quick. Imagine how long it would take interviewing people one-on-one to get data for your research. E-mailing is effective, however, with the amount of spam and phishing, e-mails often go into a junk folder or deleted if not recognized. The Internet puts the surveys, questionnaires, or blogs out there for the most available response. Social networking is now one of the most widely used tools on the Internet and probably the best exposure an organization can get for feedback.
Whole Foods, the world’s leader in natural and organic foods, has more than 300 stores spreading across North America and the United Kingdom. They are predominantly known for carrying the finest quality products, natural, organic, and have maintained their commitment to these high standards and sustainability. To stay in touch with trends and changes in the industry, Whole Foods has become extremely interactive on the...