All hospitality organizations seek to improve customer satisfaction. How would you implement the six steps of the research process to identify ways to improve customer satisfaction in your organization?
around 200 words. Cite references if used.
Transcript: What is Marketing Research?
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In the hospitality industry, customer needs vary widely from the general to the specific. Marketing research is a process that helps organizations separate the vital high-priority needs from the trivial low-priority needs. High-priority needs are those that contribute most to value perception, customer satisfaction, and ultimately, profitability.
Marketing research also helps organizations identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve their understanding of marketing as a process.
Marketing Research fulfills three primary roles:
- Descriptive: gathering and presenting statements of fact
- Diagnostic: explaining data
- Predictive: attempting to estimate the results of a planned marketing decision
The Six Steps of the Marketing Research Process
- Define research objectives or problem
- Formulate hypotheses
- Plan the research design
- Develop the sampling plan and collect data
- Analyze the data
- Prepare the final report
Step 1: Define Research Objectives or Problem
Typical objectives of a market research project in the hospitality industry may include:
- Defining who the customers are, what they want, what their attitudes toward promotional programs are.
- Conducting a longitudinal study (tracking study) to track per-customer profit, brand or product awareness, patronage, attitude toward product/brand image.
- Obtaining information about the company and its business environment through internal research (for example, sales analysis and marketing cost analysis) and interviewing company officials. This method of research is called situation analysis.
- An informal investigation involving interviews with informed persons outside the firm.
Step 2: Formulate Hypothesis
An hypothesis is an educated guess about the relationships between events or about what will happen in the future. In scientific method, hypotheses are developed and tested.
Step 3: Plan the Research Design
Create a plan that specifies what information will be obtained and how.
Step 4: Develop the Sampling Plan and Collect the Data
The total group that the researcher wants to study is called the population or universe. If all sources are contacted, the results are known as a census. If a representative group is contacted, that group is known as a sampleâ€“a subset drawn from a larger population. Samples can be classified as:
- Probability samples: those in which every member has an equal chance of being selected.
- Non-probability samples: arbitrary samples not subject to statistical tests. For example a convenience sample simply targets respondents who are easily accessible.
A key issue in sampling is determining how representative the sample is of the total population.
A properly selected sample will have the same characteristics as the universe from which it is selected.
Sampling error occurs when a sample is not representative of the target population.
Step 5: Analyze the Data and Interpret the Findings
- It is up to the researcher to analyze the data and identify relationships, trends, and patterns.
- This is frequently done through the use of statistical packages. There are several easy-to-use computer programs that analyze data, such as SPSS or SAS.
Step 6: Write and Present the Report
- Findings of marketing studies should be presented in such a way as to increase the likelihood of their usefulness to the decision maker.
- Reports should be clear and concise and directed toward management.