MARKETNG 796 - Market Intelligence

Course Purpose and Objectives

MARKETNG 361 is a course about gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data about markets and customers. The course is for managers who will be using market research information rather than doing "marketing research." It is intended for people wanting to go into marketing management, consulting, and entrepreneurship. The last decade has witnessed an explosion in the quantity and quality of data available for market analysis, accompanied by the development of useful analytical frameworks for transforming this surfeit of data into information used for specific classes of marketing decisions. Participants will learn about the sorts of marketing decision problems in which research information might prove useful -- problems of selection of target market, new product or service introduction, customer retention, pricing, etc.

The course has three objectives that map roughly onto the beginning, middle, and end of the course:

The organizing theme of the course is "backward market research." This is a process of starting at the end of the process, envisioning decisions that will be taken based on research. We must think through what the marketing decision problem is, what courses of action you might conceivably recommend, and what information would be necessary to choose from among those courses of action. This ending point then drives any subsequent data collection.

After we know what information we need, the question arises of how to get the necessary data and how to judge its quality once we have it. We will learn about evaluating the appropriateness of existing secondary and in-house data. If the relevant information does not already exist in a trustworthy form, we will have to commission a primary research study or series of studies. We will learn the basics of how such research is conducted, beginning with exploratory research and ending with more rigorous experiments or surveys.

Once we have acquired relevant and trustworthy data, there is typically some analysis that must be done in order to translate it into the marketing decision. There are certain state-of-the art tools for crunching the numbers and drawing the right conclusion about what price to set, which product concept to develop or launch, how to segment the market, etc.

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