Marketing activities allows Tesco to examine its business in great detail so they can further improve it and maintain their market position. It allows them to develop competitive intelligence which is a vital tool in a competitive market. Quantitative Research Quantitative research is numerical data or data that can be converted into numbers. Quantitative research is easily comparable due to the use of figures. Quantitative research can be in the form of both primary and secondary research. An example of Quantitative research which Tesco holds is data which they have collected from their Club Card.
For instance they have figures on the number of male and female customers which they could easily compare. All this numerical data is stored within a secure database due to legislation (Data Protection Act) and is accessible only by authorised staff. This numerical data is normally analysed and studied by staff in Tesco before they make decisions regarding purchasing of stock. Qualitative Research Qualitative research is non numerical data which Tesco collects. This information is much harder to collect, store and analyse but is still very important.
Qualitative research tries to understand people’s beliefs, experiences, attitudes, behaviour and interactions. This information is collected normally through interviews, experiences, focus groups or peoples own perceptions. This research is subjective and does not rely on statistics. Qualitative research is equally as important as Quantitative research for Tesco and must not be overlooked. A good manager will examine all research available to him and make a decision based on all the data he has analysed. Primary Research Primary research involves the collecting of original data.
An online survey is a programme or webpage which you are directed to, it details questions relating to a particular firm, product etc and you are kindly asked to fill it in with your answers/opinions. Tesco use online surveys on a regular basis through their website and through email. Whilst browsing the Tesco website you may be asked to kindly take part in a survey or you may receive an email asking you to take part. This method of gaining primary data is very efficient and very cost effective. Tesco already have names and emails of customers from their clubcard database and can direct surveys to their emails.
Tesco also carries out surveys through face-to-face interviews with customers/staff etc. This involves the interviewer pre-preparing a questionnaire listing a number of relevant questions. The interviewer then must confront the other party and kindly ask them for their time to answer some questions. Tesco usually tries to encourage customers to partake in these tasks by giving free pens, vouchers and other merchandise. Face-to-face surveys can often be expensive as Tesco must employee someone to design the questionnaire and also employee a member of staff to carry it out.
Using merchandise to encourage people to partake also makes this method slightly more expensive then the online option. This method also does not target as large an audience but can have better customer response. Tesco Monaghan regularly carries out surveys within the shopping centre and car parks, by encouraging customers to fill out a questionnaire. This helps Tesco Monaghan develop accurate, up to date, specific market information which they can use to help them make a decision. Tesco usually employee a specialised company such as MINTEL to design the questionnaire at great expense, striving to get the best possible results and accuracy
For instance one survey which Tesco Monaghan carried out back in 2004, established that 56% of customers believed that supermarkets like Tesco were not doing enough to make their products more accessible to people with disabilities. Tesco were able to therefore target efforts to better and improve the accessibility of products to the disabled community. As a result of this Tesco Monaghan have now widened aisles for wheelchair use and made aisles shorter. Tesco Monaghan introduced training schemes to help staff deal better with the disabled customer.
Tesco Monaghan believes that as a result of that survey they are now the best, friendly provider of groceries to the disabled community and gained extra sales from their new genre of customers. Tesco regard surveys as a useful tool but have also identified disadvantages associated with there use, mainly cost related. Telephone Interview Telephone interviews are very similar to face-to-face interviews but are usually much shorter and often require greater skill to get co-operation from the other party.
Telephone interviews involve a member of staff from Tesco or an employed market research company contacting a customer whose views Tesco consider important and recording it. Telephone interviews are very easy to administer although in order to get the co-operation from the other side skills are required, and an interviewer with such skills is usually expensive to employee. Telephone interviews are also very quick and an interviewer can conduct the interview from an office and input the quantitative results straight into a computer package.
Telephone interviews are also noted for being more productive than face-to-face interviews with the majority of people, as people often tend to be more honest when in the comfort of their own home. Telephone interviews are cost effective and are convenient for both parties. Another attribute of a telephone interview is the fact that a particular market can be directly contacted within a matter of minutes. Telephone interviews can also be recorded with the permission of the interviewee and can be thoroughly analysed at a later stage.
This analysis can allow Tesco to examine the interview further and examine other factors rather then just the answers. This may include response time and reactions to certain questions. These results can give Tesco a competitive advantage over their competitors and help them maintain their market position. Questionnaires A questionnaire is a document designed by or on behalf of a firm to gain information. A questionnaire is usually a detailed document consisting of a number of questions. The answer fields are usually prewritten and the answer usually only needs to be circled.
This helps reduce the time taken to complete a questionnaire and encourages people to partake. An example of an actual questionnaire used by Tesco Monaghan is located in the Appendix C. This questionnaire was designed and carried out by ‘Behaviour and Attitudes Limited’. They are an independently owned market research company, established in 1985 and currently the market leaders in Ireland. This questionnaire consists of 21 questions spread over 5 pages, there is also a clarification section located on page 6 asking the respondent for some personal details.