Market Research Is A Fundamental Element Of Any Complete Inbound Marketing Plan.
The sample market research report below is a basic example of how a business might approach compiling the needed data to create it's market research report. Remember that there is a significant difference (getting bigger all the time) between inbound marketing and traditional marketing. This market research report represents elements of both.
Section 1: Market Research Executive Summary
This consumer research report was created to assist Bill Jackson and Amy West, the principles of the business “The Singles Dinner Club” identify the current condition of their 3 month old venture. This research report will also offer Mr. Jackson and Ms. West some ideas, opportunity and supporting data that will help them determine some possible new services that will address their developing concerns of declining average weekly attendance, shifts in their original target markets, gender gaps and attractions, perceived value, and finally the growth of additional services by both offline dating services like theirs adding social media engagements and predominantly online dating services starting to offer, new location based dating services. The Singles Dinner Club is located in Santa Fe, New Mexico but the data and methodology used in this specific marketing research report is using data, observations and recommendations connected to Sarasota Florida.
This marketing research report is broken down into two major categories or sections. The initial research was accumulated through a process known as secondary research and then a more primary form of data collection using an online survey.
The nature of the secondary data and secondary research process is to use data that has already been collected. This report includes a review and analysis of secondary data. The idea of using this secondary data is that in most cases, most research projects are not completely original. In other words, it is likely that beneficial information is available through other sources. These data sources have produced usable data from similar companies or similar research projects. The secondary data included in this marketing research report will come from census reports and other data supplied from similar types of companies. Secondary data can be found through sales data, stockholder reports and customer profiles. The clear advantages of researching, then using secondary data include quality input and feedback from different but reliable sources. It also offers different perspectives that might be useful in further developing our own determinations and recommendations. In a perfect scenario, secondary data might lead this research and more importantly the conclusions to a sold answer more quickly than if we started and pursued our research from scratch. Another advantage of utilizing this type of data within our research is that we may uncover different or newer methods of data research. There may also be other opportunities for a researcher to identify new problems that have yet to be considered. In short, when secondary data is used wisely, it can provide a framework or skeleton that already exists thereby making the entire research project faster, less costly and more accurate.
The other type of research used in this consumer marketing report will include an online survey and the results from that online survey. The online survey is newer research that has only become available with the advent of the Internet. As Internet users continue to explode, so does the opportunity to gather more data and in many cases, better data. Advantages of using online surveys as a part of research projects include higher response rates, ability to contact those that were “out of reach”, reduced costs and more direct data sources. The online survey used as part of this marketing research report employs a question format that consists mostly of closed ended questions and using two-stage format with an ordinal (or nominal) scale. The primary idea behind this specific online survey is to have the ability to evaluate the results in an easier method using data produced from an either yes or no response.
Section 2: Background
This section of the consumer marketing research report will provide basic background information. The current parameters of The Singles Dinner Club were established to anticipate approximately a 30% profit derived from a meeting mark-up. In other words, each weekly singles meeting would take place at an area restaurant and along with an annual club fee, The Singles Dinner Club would also receive a 30% profit agreed upon with the establishments in advance. The research included in this report was created and developed to better understand the growing challenges of this new business. Although current membership has reached more than 550 at month number four, far exceeding projections of 1000 members at the 28 month mark, management has identifies the follow concerns that need to be addressed immediately on an annual budget of $10,000.
1. An average attendance of approximately 42 guests or members per dinner. Management feels that the initial growth that was experienced is a great indication of the primary business strategy but at the same time is also highlighting weaknesses and concern about steady, future growth.
2. Original target marketing determinations highlighted a younger target market than seems to have developed. Currently there is an average age of attendees (not necessarily membership) hovering around 45 years old. Although this membership contributes to overall success, The Singles Dinner Club would like to attract a younger membership and a younger event attendance. There is some level of success here as younger people have become members but they seem to attend only one event and then do not return for many months. This must be addressed and solved.
3. It is important than membership as well as event attendance produce a productive gender mix. Currently the women attendees out number the males’ attendees an average of 3 to 1. The marketing plan and marketing mix need to be modified so that even numbers of both genders are attracted. Having a group of women forced to wait to meet men or only end up socializing with other women will translate to a lower membership.
4. Overall perceived value is critical for stable, measurable growth, stability and return on investment. It has come to light after recent singles events that some members are questioning the value that comes with membership. This is an important concern as it could translate to not only a declining membership base, it could also be a part of a dated image and effect the overall image in the light of ever growing competition.
5. Service expansion needs to be evaluated and considered as part of the business’s marketing strategy and plan. Taking into account all of the concerns above, expanding services into some various online tools including the use of social media may help address multiple issues with one solution. For example, The Singles Dinner Club could easily develop a Facebook fan page and configure its use for many different degrees of membership. This would offer more connection and levels of engagement depending levels of membership. The possible combinations are many within Facebook alone.
Free Step By Step Inbound Marketing Guides:
Section 3: Market Research Methodology
Secondary research methodology including findings & conclusions: The primary objectives of the Singles Dinner Club are to identify and evaluate expansion opportunities such as:
1. Guided Tours
2. Movie previews
4. Wine tasting
5. Online resources
There are more than 54 million single people in The United States. This statistic alone shows the potential for any online dating solution. One conclusion that must be drawn is that it is important to position the proposed dating product in terms geography and resources. The current owners have accomplished this to a certain extent by establishing their base model of on-location dinners. However, after the owner’s own initial analysis, The Singles Dinner Club demands changes in the form of expansion as current data shows success may have peaks and possibly on the decline if left alone. Currently there are no online tools to help members learn more about each other or learn about any possible new members. There are also more than 40 million people that have tried online dating (Statistics Category Information – Statistic Brain. 2012 Statistic Brain Research Institute, publishing as Statistic Brain. Verified 6-18-13 http://www.statisticbrain.com/online-dating-statistics). This finding alone suggests that any company expansion into the online dating industry will offer a larger market share at least. Since 44% of the adult American population is single (“Online Dating Statistics – Grab Stats.” 2013 Statistic Brain Research Institute, publishing as Statistic Brain. Verified 11-13-13 http://www.grabstats.com/statcategorymain.aspx?StatCatID=44) it is safe to conclude that business growth from online prospects is attainable.
In Sarasota County alone there are 54,120 singles that have never been married and 37,327 divorced singles. This breaks down further into the following graphs below:
Primary Research Needed: Information that has not been uncovered in the secondary research but must be isolated during the primary research phase includes how many singles that have never been married are “actively” dating or actively taking part in single activities that include subscriptions or connections with any form of dating service. We will also need to show statistics or projections highlighting singles that are divorced but also actively involved with dating services and other dating activities.
From a competition standpoint, we will need to interview singles and dating service participants to learn the most attractive features and benefits. We already know that the major online dating sites like match.com, eHarmony.com and Christian singles.com have already expanded into full service dating. For example, the dating services mentioned above started as an online dating resource exclusively but have now branched out into live events like dinner clubs, meet and greet and other events like “The Stir” offered by match.com. Other areas that need exploration is secular dating statistics vs. a more religious foundation. Should The Singles Dinner Club cater more to prospects that have a certain religion, or no religion as a primary element of their criteria? Also, along this line of thinking, I think we need to extract more data regarding specialty dating sites like Christian Mingle that is focused on a single religious connection, Our Time that is focused on a certain age group (50 years of age and above) and possibly even more risqué websites like adult friend finder although I believe this is targeted to a completely different market.
Population Of Interest & Recruiting Plans: Based on the data that we already have, we can start with some assumptions about our current population of customers and how they are connecting with the Singles Dinner Club. We have already determined that the number of one-person households has increased by 20% over the last decade. This tells us that to accurately establish and effective and focused online survey, we will need to isolate online platforms that are likely to already be attracting this demographic. We also know that there are 3 million women in the 30 to 40 age bracket that have never been married. Couple this fact with an ever increasing divorce rate and one of the more tangible challenges of having a 3:1 women to men ration taking place in the events they have already held. This tells us that we need to discover online interview locations where single men may have more interest and become more active in the dating or even just the communication process.
Some initial online locations that might make sense to begin an online survey could be any website that gives great flexibility in configuring target markets. Some examples are Facebook, procured databases and Twitter. There are many survey software developers like mail chimp, survey monkey and survey gizmo to develop a survey that allows us to configure our questions in the most productive manner.
Section 4: Market Research Data Analysis
Data analysis, findings and conclusions have been determined from two forms of research. Direct research was performed by the use of an online survey. This format has given this research report the ability to directly ask potential customers the questions we feel are most important and will potential provide The Singles Dinner Club with answers and data that contribute to a complete analysis. The sample of our online survey is below. The data produced in this case is still missing, and therefore the results of the online survey have not yet been established. This is my fault, as I believe I needed to supply the instructor with requested edits to the original online survey so it could be created using Survey Monkey. As I have failed to make that request, this research report is incomplete. However I can report the expected results at least as a part of marketing projections.
The initial question in our online survey separates married or “non-dating” individuals from single and “open to dating” individuals. We have also defined this target group with age in mind so we have aimed to speak with or interview singles that are between the ages of 30 and 50. This was to address the concern that event attendees (not necessarily membership) may be a little older (42) than desired. When considering the projected responses, I pass on the findings as applied here in Sarasota Florida. I believe that the median age in this growing city is 44.5 years and higher than the Florida equivalent. The percentage of males is currently under 50%. Again after considering the projected answers to our online survey, I believe that local Sarasota growth will be difficult. If these initial statistics alone that tell us the average age in this city is higher than most, we can draw the conclusion that there should be many other cities more in line to launch or expand the services offered by The Singles Dinner Club.
Section 5: Appendices
1. Sarasota County Demographics – Point2Homes. 2013 Point2Homes.com, publishing as. Published 09/01/12 http://www.point2homes.com/US/Neighborhood/FL/Sarasota-County-Demographics.html
2. City-Data.com – Flvec. http://www.flvec.com/sarasota/content/UrlView.aspx?id=6783
3. Match.com – Match’s blog site – published May 18th 2012 - http://blog.match.com/2012/05/11/the-stir-events-by-match-com/
4. Google Search – Keyword = “survey software”, published 11-14-13 - https://www.google.com/search?q=survey+software&oq=survey+software&aqs=chrome..69i57j0j5j0.4316j0j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
5. Google Search on Sarasota census data – City-Data - http://www.city-data.com/city/Sarasota-Florida.html
Sample Of Online Survey Development:
Introduction: Would you be interested in helping us develop a dating service for business professionals who are single, interested in meeting new people but have a limited time in their schedule for these social activities? Your input will help our local community increase the quality of their social life by having tools and resources that make it more manageable to meet new people and connect and engage with people of similar mind and social goals. This survey should only take approximately 10 minutes and will be kept completely confidential. Your answers will only be used to help us analyze common desires, tools and activities for local singles. We sincerely thank you for your valuable time and we want to be sure that you understand how much you will be helping our community connect and have the ability to create new, happy and loving relationships.
Question Format: Mostly closed ended questions and using two-stage format with an ordinal (or nominal) scale. Interviewer will mark a “check” in the appropriate column.
Are You Married?
If yes – How did you meet?
Are you between the age of 30 & 50?
Are you in the dating market?
Have you ever joined a local dating service?
Have you ever joined an online dating service?
Would you consider joining a local dating service
Would you consider joining an online dating service?
Do you regularly have dates? (2 or more per month)
Have you ever gone to a speed-dating event?
Do you currently use social media as a part of the dating process?
Would you consider a wine tasting event to meet others?
Would you consider dance lessons as part of a dating experience?
Would you consider a group dinner as a dating event?
Do you work 40 or more hours per week?
Is it difficult finding social activity time?
Do you think its important to meet face to face as part of the introduction stage of dating?
Do you live within a 30 mile radius?
Do you spend $75 or more on a date?
Would you consider a local dating club?
Would you consider a local dating club that has a membership fee?
Are you familiar with social tools like Facebook?
If this or any other inbound marketing information is helpful, I encourage you to visit this web page where I provide a number of free inbound marketing guides.