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Example Of a Marketing Research Brief

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Following an audit of J W Farina’s marketing planning process it is clear that the company has become a market leader in the supply of Italian wines and oils to countries outside of its home country (Italy). The company is particularly strong in France, Austria and the UK. As well as being used in salads or sauces olive oil has many other applications. It soothes dry skin, it helps to keep the heart healthy and regular use is shown to prevent a build of cholesterol in the arteries. In the UK, Farina supplies its oil to restaurants but not to the general public. This is not the case in France and Austria, where Farina has been selling to the mass market for several years. The possibility of offering the same quality olive oil, to the UK general public, is being considered and therefore research needs to be conducted in order to aid decision making. In addition the name for the oil is ‘Domestoil’ and is it suspected that this name may be confused with a bleach that has a similar name.


The overall objective is ‘to examine attitudes on the use of olive oil in the home’. This has been broken down into sub-objectives: 1. To examine how oils are used in domestic settings

This would seek to follow the oil from arrival in the home until it is consumed or disposed of in some way. It will establish how many households keep olive oil in the home and what kinds of olive oil are usually kept. It will look at what olive oil is currently used for and attempt to identify who should constitute the target audience. 2. To identify attitudes to Domestoil and competing brands We will introduce the product and discover which groups of people are most likely to make use of the oil. This should give indications of the quantities they are likely to buy and whether they would be prepared to pay more for Domestoil. It will also establish what other kinds of olive oil householders are aware of looking for both spontaneous and prompted awareness.

3. To determine promotional platforms that can be used to launch Domestoil This will be far more exploratory and will help to discover what appeals to the most promising segments for the brand. The proposed research will have 2 stages. The first stage will involve qualitative research to provide in-depth information on oil usage in the home, attitudes to oils and possibilities for the use of olive oil. This will help to design a questionnaire for the second stage.

3Qualitative research

Given the exploratory nature of some aspects of the objectives detailed qualitative information will be provided. Focus groups will be used to explore and understand the attitudes of potential customers towards the new brand and subsequent quantitative research will be used to measure how widespread these attitudes are. The qualitative phase will probe the following: * How and where olive oil is stored in the home?

* The kinds of olive oil that are usually kept?
* Olive oils which householders are aware of?
* Current uses of olive oil?
* Which groups of people are most likely to make use of this olive oil?
* Quantities they are likely to buy?
* Whether they would be prepared to pay more for Domestoil?
* Whether the brand name Domestoil is confused with one for household bleach?

3.2Population and sampling
We propose 4 groups with the following profiles:

Group 1| Group 2| Group 3| Group 4|
North ABC1| North C2DE| East C2DE| West ABC1|

These will include:
* Light users and heavy users
* Mix of males and females

As we will have the opportunity to show the product we intend to describe, then show, the product along with the likely competitors. One issue here is that of packaging, which could be an important variable.

4Quantitative research

We propose to conduct a telephone study using a questionnaire on CATI. This has been chosen as a cost-effective way of contacting relevant respondents as personal interviewing may go outside Farina’s budget. We have not proposed a postal study or online approach as we feel that the telephone gives us the opportunity to select people accurately and quickly. This gives the assurance of achieving the desired number and type of respondents.

This stage aims to quantify how many households keep olive oil in the home and the kinds of olive oil that are usually kept. It will also give percentages of olive oil brand names of which householders are aware. We will provide percentages of both spontaneous and prompted awareness. By establishing classification data we will know what type of people buy and use, and the prices they are prepared to pay. We do not think the negative name association will need to be probed at this phase but we can add a question on that too.

4.2Population and sampling
We have made the decision to carry out 200 interviews in households of different sizes. This will give a spread of responses and the opportunity to identify interesting differences. It will be with ‘the person mainly responsible for the household shopping’.

The questionnaire will probe the following:
* What kinds of olive oil are usually kept?
* What other kinds of olive oil are householders aware of?
* What is olive oil currently used for?
* Which groups of people are most likely to make use of high-quality olive oil?
* What quantities are they likely to buy?
* Would they be prepared to pay more for Domestoil?

Where possible, questions will be pre-coded, but, for costing purposes, we have assumed 5 open-ended questions and a maximum duration of 10 minutes. In the case of the open-ended questions, code frame will be prepared, based on the response of the first 10%. The analysis will involve computer tabulations, in the form of frequency distributions.


Following the research we will provide a formal presentation of all the findings together with conclusion drawn and recommendations. Copies of a report, summarising the findings from the 2 phases of the research will also be available.

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