Skills & Talents
Links & Resources
Facts & Trends
Facts & Trends
- Global Business
Supermarket Display in Japan
- Market research has gone completely global. Techniques applied yesterday in a supermarket in
Chicago are now being used to understand consumer preferences and behavior in Japan.
Marketing research as a discipline has spread to Western Europe, Asia and Latin America.
This career is a global category killer.
- Tech Savvy Critical
- Talent with and understanding of
technology will be a primary driver of career success in the
future. Today's marketing graduate needs to have a comfort level
with web-based marketing techniques, demographics and potential. The use of data warehouses to better meet customer
needs is exploding. Databases
and marketing messages easily meld on the web and create enormous
opportunities for the web-savvy.
- Get ready to scanalyze
- Gathering secondary research used to be an arduous task with hours spent in
libraries searching through government documents and other
resources. Today, the data is much more easily accessed through
on-line data bases. The ability to scan
information, drill down for
detail and identify relevance is a
skill in the work of today's product manager.
- Consumer Research Getting Challenging
- Consumer research can be gathered in in-home interviews, shopping mall
intercepts, mail surveys or by telephone. Because of the rapid
increase in home solicitations market research is becoming more difficult
to gather. We are also seeing increasing use of relational research
where a customer agrees to be paid to be a long-term research
subject. Nielsen, for example, has put viewership monitors on
some homes. Other companies send out surveys each month along
with product samples, coupons and promotional ideas.
- Generational Marketing is Gaining Currency.
like Levi Strauss and DaimlerChrysler are acutely aware of which
demographic group they are targeting with their marketing
campaigns be it members of the Depression Generation, the Baby
Boomers or the so-called slackers in their
twenties. Segmentation of markets is huge. An extreme example is
Absolut Vodka, which tailors ads to magazines targeted at
specialized demographic groups. An Absolut ad in a golfer mag may
feature grass inside the Absolut shape. In upscale mag's there's
an emphasis on Absolut, art and creativity. In funky mag's
there's a focus on Absolut, cool and sex. For example, the
company recently attached black latex Absolut cutouts in a sexy
mag aimed at twentysomethings.
- Customer is Key
- Market research is increasingly focusing on
satisfaction with products. Did you like the
product as opposed to would you buy this at X price? Market
researchers are also focusing more on micro-issues like do our
customers really want restaurants to be non-smoking. The focus on
consumer preferences has recently driven major changes in airline
service, for example.
- Consumer Behavior an Essential Discipline
- A critical task of any product manager is understanding the
receptiveness of customers. Companies such as Guinness (part of
brand giant Diageo) have
become far more effective in recruiting drinkers by identifying
customers as being available (potentially interested in
Guinness), sympathetic (drink some Guinness but not yet fanatics)
and supporters (enthusiastic about Guinness and willing to ask
others to try a drink).
- Anthro is cool
it or not, there is increasing interest in marketers who
understand anthropology! Heck, they're even hiring anthropologists.
And why not? These anthro people uncover myths in focus groups and
bring an understanding of civilization and culture to product
- Usability Research
- A related field is how consumers react to software and hardware devices.
Firms like Microsoft and Google increasingly invest heavily in usability
research. This is an exploding job area.