Please read the scenario below, and then answer the questions that follow in a 3-page analysis. The questions will guide your analysis of the situation, but they will need to be presented as part of an analysis to John and Ellen on what is needed for their marketing plan.
John and Ellen want to open their own grocery delivery service in a medium-sized city consisting of 250,000–750,000 people. The service will offer elements suited for the targeted demographic needs of the core consumers.
The desire for grocery delivery services has exploded in recent years. Given people’s busy schedules and frustrations in finding daycare and balancing activities, grocery shopping can feel more and more like a chore, especially with small children. However, there is a great deal of competition between current services, spanning from Amazon’s Whole Foods to Instacart to Fresh Direct. Keeping this in mind, Joe and Ellen’s need for intensive marketing research is critical.
Marketing research involves defining the problem that the business is attempting to address (and the opportunity it is seeking to exploit), developing a research plan, collecting the data, analyzing the data, and finally making the research actionable (Tomasetti, 2019). In this instance, this might include specifically addressing the problem of the target demographic. Is it busy professionals who simply don’t have time to shop? Families with young children? People who are elderly and are concerned about shopping? The service would likely have to target several demographics to be viable, but addressing the different needs of these target groups might require different strategies.
Just as a varied approach to analyzing consumer demographics is necessary, so is an equally triangulated approach to research. Seldom is one type of research useful. For example, conducting surveys of the typical groups that make use of such services might be helpful. Focus groups (over Zoom or phone conferences) can likewise be useful to collect more anecdotal research that would yield unexpected insights that quantitative insights might not provide. Surveys require relatively little effort, which can yield large amounts of data, although the feedback can be low-quality. In contrast, interviews tend to be more involved and require more effort on both the part of the participants and the researchers. Interviews can be useful, even though they are anecdotal in nature.
All of these data must be infused into constructing a viable business plan. Investors or backers, whether offering a loan or venture capital, wish to see evidence that there is a need for the service and that it will be successful. Once the service is launched, however, the market research must continue. For a Web-based service, this might require keeping track of goods and services bought, the number of Web site hits, and what promotional strategies (such as offering online coupons or 10% off a first-time order) result in return customers. To ensure continued investment and support, the company must not simply generate interest and customer traffic, but it must also be financially successful. Thus, the cost of running the business cannot just not exceed the gains.
The marketing research should also be presented attractively to potential investors so that it can be easily assimilated and make a persuasive case for the business. If necessary, industry research about the grocery market in general may be useful to support the business’s case. For example, one concern of potential investors might be that post quarantine, interest in online shopping will decline. However, according to the leading trade publication, this is not the case. “Online grocery will swell to 21.5% of total U.S. grocery sales by 2025, more than doubling its current share of the overall grocery market” (Redman, 2020). Investors are likely eager to get on board with an industry-wide trend, and preliminary market research prelaunch can be costly, even when largely conducted online, so combining research from such trade publications with personal research is likely the most feasible approach for a startup.
Address the following questions in your response:
Submitting your assignment in APA format means, at a minimum, you will need the following:
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