Recent Question/Assignment

Research project evaluation
Submission details
Candidate’s Name Phone No.
Assessor’s Name Phone No.
Assessment Site
Assessment Date/s Time/s
The assessment task is due on the date specified by your assessor. Any variations to this arrangement must be approved in writing by your assessor.
Submit this document with any required evidence attached. See specifications below for details.
Performance objective
This assessment task requires you to review the market research project and evaluate the findings that have been presented, as well as evaluating and recommending improvements to the research approaches and processes used.
Assessment description
You need to develop a report describing and evaluating the research undertaken and the findings presented. As part of this report you need to review the project performance against the initial research project plan, and review the process for future improvements.
Procedure
From the case study provided you are required to prepare a final report on the market research process including information under the following headings:
1. Findings: A review of the research report provided to you by the consultant including:
? a brief summary of the report findings
? a description of how you confirmed the validity of information and data included in the report
? a statement assessing the relevance and usefulness of findings against research objectives.
2. Performance: assess the project performance against the research plan.
3. Review: A review of the feedback provided to you from various stakeholders, and any changes to the process required by this feedback. Also review all of the monitoring reports and monitoring activities completed throughout the project (in AT2) and make recommendations for changes or improvements to the research process.
With your completed report you also need to submit a revised set of research guidelines (from Assessment Task 1) incorporating the changes noted in your report for use in the next market research project.
Adjustment for distance-based learners:
• No variation of the task is required.
Specifications
You must provide:
• A written Final Report (Steps 1-3)
• Written revised Research Guidelines for the organisation.
Your assessor will be looking for:
• Evidence that you have examined the case study and have reviewed the market research process for the organisation.
Distance-based learners:
• Complete assessment as per instructions.
Case study
You receive a market research report from Lombards Consulting (see following pages).
You sent out the market research report as well as your variance summary of the marketing activities taken to key stakeholders and asked them to reply by email.
Later, in discussion with the principals of Lombards Consulting, you are made aware of the location and availability of source data on which the report was based. These include the original responses to the customer surveys, taped interviews and focus groups (with signed participant consent forms) and notes taken during conversations with staff, with Houzit staff/managers and customers. Copies of secondary data was also available, crossed referenced and physically identified in the report and source document. Where possible Lombards Consulting used the scientific method of careful observation, formulation of hypotheses, prediction, and testing in their research. They also spoke of using multiple methods to ensure greater confidence in the findings.
When asked about the lack of time spent with the Houzit managers, Lombards consulting spoke about the healthy scepticism they have built toward assumptions made by managers about how the markets work. They also said that the intellectual divergences between the mental styles of line managers and marketing researchers often got in the way of productive relationships. The marketing researcher's report may seem abstract, complicated, and tentative, while the line manager wants concreteness, simplicity, and certainty. Lombards suggested they be involved in the earliest part of the planning process, in fact why not make them permanent feature in the marketing strategy team.
Emails from stakeholders
The general manager said in an email “I was disappointed that Lombards did not speak to the store managers more. They have real ‘day to day’ contact with customers and have much knowledge about what customers want. Perhaps next time they could be involved formally in the process”
The group buying manager said in an email “The report confirms what we thought about the new category. I would have liked to see more opinion from the consultants describing what they believed that the business environment data meant in terms of the business opportunity.”
The CEO said that the “feedback from the board was to pass on their congratulations to you on a job well done given the short time frame.” You replied that a research of that magnitude would normally require a 12-14 week turn around. The CEO agreed.
Market Research Report
Market Research Report
For: Houzit By: Lombards
Consulting
Scope: Conduct market research to determine the market feasibility of adding the lighting fixtures category to Houzit’s assortment.
The Industry
The specific category, ‘lighting fixtures’, is part of the home-wares market. Home-wares are linked to the domestic new dwelling and renovations industry.
Industry Size – The market for new dwellings and renovations is Australia wide with particular concentrations in demand in the high population growth states of Queensland and Western Australia. In Queensland there is significant demand in the South East corner of the state in which the greater Brisbane sector fits.
The value of new dwellings and renovations market in the greater Brisbane areas is estimated in 2009/10 at $3 billion. The size of the home-wares business in that market is estimated in 2009/10 as $130 million. The ‘Lighting fixtures’ category within the home-wares business is estimated in 2009/10 at $22million. There are approximately 12 independent outlets currently supplying this category. Our research identifies that 89% of people that purchase home-wares are also in the market for lighting fixtures.
Industry Growth- The new dwelling and renovations markets industry in Australia is growing at 3.2% p.a. and has been holding a long term growth rate of 2.7% p.a. The greater Brisbane area is growing at 4.5% per year. Outlook for the coming years is that this industry will continue to grow at above national averages and remain ahead of the long term trend by at least one percentage point. The lighting fixtures category within this industry is estimated to follow the same trend lines.
Target Market Statistics
The target segment is the ‘lighting fixtures’ category. The target market for this category are Houzit’s existing customers and new customers that share the same profile as the existing Houzit customers.
Target Market Size – All households that are engaged in constructing new dwellings and renovations in the greater Brisbane area are the target market for Houzit’s ‘lighting fixture’ category. This equates to 45,000 households p.a. in the 2009/10 years. These numbers are expected to grow in the coming years in line with the growth in the new dwellings and renovations industry in the greater Brisbane area.
Income and Activity Rates – The Houzit customer profile is skewed towards 25-45 year of age, professionals and managers in employment with a combined household income averaging at $110,000 per annum. Households spend on average $560 per year on home-wares.
Education - The Houzit customer profile is skewed towards higher education featuring both vocational and university qualifications. As a group, those customers born overseas tend to spend 50% as much on home wares as customers born in Australia.
Business environment
Economy: The economy is expansionary with a per annum growth in GDP of 3.2%. Average incomes have increased above the trend line for inflation. Unemployment is low at 4.1% and steady.
Social: The customers in the target area are concerned about environmental issues. They actively participate in recycling programs including the use of re-usable shopping bags. Research shows that the target area are not active church attendees, choosing to use their weekends in renovations and home maintenance.
Technological: Fast internet speeds are available for the target market. The shift in turning tradesmen equipment into Do-It-Yourself continues to gain ground.
Political: Governments are pushing for more medium density living in town-houses and units to cope with the growing population. The government is giving incentives for home wares that do reduce resource use or help minimize waste.
Competitive Factors
There are no chains offering lighting fixtures in the target market.
Direct Competition- There are 12 competitors in the target area which are each independently owned. They offer similar assortments as Houzit, although many offering laundry and kitchen equipment which is not in Houzit’s offer. One national chain that does offer very similar products to Houzit (including lighting fixtures) does not have a store in Brisbane, choosing the north and south coast instead.
Porter's 5 Forces- The competitive environment does not represent a significant squeeze on Houzit’s profits, however the power of suppliers is an area that has significant play in Houzit’s target market.
Indirect Competition- Electricians will represent a potential competitor in the ‘lighting fixtures’ category. Often they have the opportunity to sell ‘lighting fittings’ to customers and so undercut retailers.
Conclusion
The market research supports the view that the ‘lighting fixtures’ would be a feasible category addition to Houzit’s assortment, given the positive customer response, the growth in the market and the lack of organised competition.
Sources
Home-ware Trade association – Industry data
Australian Bureau of Statistics – Greater Brisbane area

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