Research is considered as the most methodical factor for businesses to identify the specific problems (Collis & Hussey, 2013). This is because it is the first step to identify the likelihood of business success or failures at domestic as well as global level. In opposition, it differs in terms of market research and marketing research data (Craig & Douglas, 2005.). For instance, market research data is helpful in identifying the growth of a specific market in the relevant business (Surbhi, 2015).
By contrast, marketing research information is also essential to select the best tools for the modes of distribution (Surbhi, 2015). Thus, as a marketing manager of a firm (operating the business of baby stroller and trying to launch this product in the U.S through exports), international selling by collecting market research and marketing research data was essential that has been presented in this essay. In the first part of the essay, the existing market of the product would be presented followed by the fact that how the firm is going to select the U.S for its baby strollers.
Further, the market research and marketing research data would be evaluated for entry mode. Later, it will identify the major challenges that were faced as a marketing manager (due to the limited market research and marketing research data) and the fundamental solutions since the company was interested in grasping the new market (U.S).
For the baby strollers, Market research would be conducted defining the gathered information in order to gain market statistics, for instance, related to target market, market players, and market trends and so on. Besides this, the marketing research would be undertaken for the concerned product in terms of analysing the marketing activities.
The product selected for the report is a baby stroller from the origin of Australia. Australians usually do not spend a lot of money on items such as the baby stroller and look for items that are less expensive yet durable. With numerous innovations in the baby stroller, the concerned product is designed with rain cover and sun cover with Side mesh for ventilation, and shopping basket.
The stroller is made for newborn children up to 17 kgs of weight. It is easy to use and fold considering the size and weight of the newborn with complete layback positions. It is highly suitable for newborns due to the full reclinable backrest. The stroller has a Peek-a-boo window with an extendable canopy for additional coverage. The baby stroller has the lockable wheel to ensure baby`s safety.
The product is designed considering the guidelines set by the PSA (Product Safety Australia, 2016) since children are often at risk in case of no safety features in the baby stroller as evident from the market research. The product is aimed to be exported to the United States. The market research, therefore, is necessary for the product in terms of the country it is being exported.
According to Katsikeas et al (2006), globalisation in terms of trade policy liberalisation, monetary stability, economic integration, and technological advances has witnessed the profitable expansion of the business. Therefore, several small and medium-size businesses are trying to be internationalised and as mentioned earlier that the identified firm is also keen on expanding the business to the new market of the U.S and transforming the operations from Australia. However, this could not be successful without gathering the information about the U.S business environment to the product "baby stroller". This is because the exporting comprises the entry or expansion of a business in an attractive foreign market (O`cass & Julian, 2003). In this regard, it was essential to assess the market research and marketing research data of the new market (U.S) related to the baby stroller product.
Market Research is known as the study of the target market (Malhotra & Birks, 2007). This is further categorised as the process of collecting information related to the marketplace as well as consumers behaviours within the market (Narver et al., 2004). Its importance for entering into the new market is inescapable due to the analysis of the recent trends, needs of the product with preferences, and major players who may increase the competitiveness (Surbhi, 2015). Majorly, this tool acts as a guide in order to assist in determining the viability of success or failure in introducing a new brand product in the target market systematically. This is done by identifying problems, gathering information, analysing the results through cost and benefit analysis, and making rational decisions towards business expansion (Surbhi, 2015).
The market research tool was also used to export the baby stroller in the U.S in order to identify the new market information. In this regard, multiple sources were used to collect the data such as surveys of malls to talk with customers and shopkeepers and keeping the records in mobiles. At the same time, the phonic conversation was also made to contact with the supermarkets` authorities who keep the record of every transaction.
The market research data collected from the U.S demonstrated that the baby care market in the identified new market is composed of different products (referred in figure 1) (Statista, 2016). However, in this baby stroller is also included while the window of the purchase of such products is relatively small since the consumer`s behaviour is more towards receiving the quality products for their children. This ensured the need of improving product quality if a firm wanted to launch its baby stroller product within the region. Still, the baby stroller market is expected to be increased in the near future if export-led growth is doubled, as there is a growing urbanisation that has made it the second largest region in the world for baby stroller market (referred in figure 2) (Business Wire, 2016). Similarly, the cost-benefit analysis of the market research explored that the online retailing of baby strollers through exports is also anticipated to gain if the product is innovative.
From the market research of the region, it was also identified that multifunctional baby strollers have been the popular products in the US, as these enable parents to feel comfortable. Similarly, the needs and preferences of the parents and other segmented customers (shown in Appendix 3) were for twin strollers, which help parents in carrying two babies together (Akoor-Shahul, 2015). At the same time, the used of small accessories including detachable rain covers and carriage bags to store milk bottles and diapers is also highly demanded by the customers that are helpful for a marketing manager to make rational decision for the improvements in the product for introducing in the new market like the U.S. It entailed that the market research data helped in identifying the product-based segmentation of the product in the U.S such as demand of comfort, compact, multifunctional, and more accessories in the baby stroller.
The most important information gathered through the market research was the identification of the nature of competitiveness. For instance, from the survey questionnaires, it was identified that there is a big competitive landscape and the biggest competitors to the firm (to introduce its baby stroller product in the U.S) could be Chicco, Evenflo, Dorel, and Graco, as these are providing the innovative baby strollers at different prices. For instance, Graco’ cheapest price is $80 for simple stroller while Evenflo has the range of $20-$40, particularly in North America (shown in appendix 4) (Business Wire, 2016).
The market research data further indicated that the technological innovations by vendors are vital to growing in the U.S market for a baby stroller, which has a big size in terms of consumer dependency on such products. For instance, the luxurious baby transport system equipped with additional features including the insect nets and bottle holders make strollers stylish and comfortable, that is demanded by the consumers within the region (Business Wire, 2016). With the help of market research data, it was identified that the likelihood of introducing the product in the new market successfully is high if there is a considerable focus on the product quality, product segmentation, and competitiveness.
Marketing Research Data for Baby Stroller in the U.S
A marketing manager is responsible to not only collect the data about the market but also deal with the effective planning, which indicates the need of marketing research (Kotler, 2009). It is also a planning process to collect information about the consumer behaviour towards product and pricing and then plan to undertake effective distribution channels and promotional strategies (Malhotra & Birks, 2007). Discussing the baby stroller-business expansion in the U.S it was identified that the market research revealed a challenging situation to the firm for its growth into the new market. At this stage, marketing research could only be influential in order to undertake perfect solution, which plays a major role in selecting the efficient ways of satisfying the needs of demanders (Kotler, 2008).
For the marketing research, an observation method was used in which the social phenomena are analysed to get background information and then focus groups are contacted to explore the realities (Bailey, 2008). With the help of this method, the marketing research identified the problem of high competition, innovation, and product quality that were the major factors in attracting customers towards newly imported baby stroller in the U.S. After providing the facts, as a manager, a direction was found in order to make important marketing decisions through developing the plans.
Once the problems were identified and the innovation and quality improvement was integrated into the manufacturing processes, then marketing research data assisted in making the decision of using marketing channels for baby stroller in the U.S. In this regard, both direct and indirect methods of exporting the product could be equally successful since Baby boutique stores, Mass-market stores (direct methods to sell the product) and Online retailers (indirect method that involves the third party) currently dominate the U.S baby stroller market for more than half of market share (Weitz & Whitfield, 2010). The direct marketing was effective to access local market experience since the U.S customers prefer buying the product from baby boutiques. These stores have a large variety of the products and have the ability to provide proper information to consumers with the help of volunteers. In opposition, it reduces the control over market price due to the tariff (MacKinnon et al., 2004). Therefore, both the methods of distribution were selected to increase revenues from the baby stroller exports.
Furthermore, the marketing channels (social media and electronic media) were considered effective for advertisement of the exported business. Overall, the two concepts of market research and marketing research provided a comprehensive segmentation of the baby stroller in the U.S by product type and by promotional and/or distribution channels through the insightful analyses of the leading competitors, demanders’ needs and preferences.
Challenges Faced in Collecting and Validating if Marketing Research Data
As a Marketing Manager, the challenges faced are differentiated by marketing research and market research.
Challenges Faced in Collecting and Validating Market Research
The challenges faced by the marketing manager while conducting market research for the baby stroller includes integrating multiple data sources, choosing the right technological solutions, effective data management, and comprehensive reporting.
Integrating multiple data sources is an issue evident in market research because different sources are used as a method of data collection. Although the use of different resources is favourable for collecting rich information, it is rather difficult to integrate the sources in order to obtain meaningful outcomes (Ichijo & Nonaka, 2006). In addition, conducting research for a product that has to be exported in a foreign country is also difficult because of the obscurity and naivety gave the lack of knowledge about the market and methods used as evidence in this case for exporting baby strollers in the US.
Choosing the right technological solution is also a challenging issue because an array of different computer systems and tools are available for the facilitation of market research for collecting, analysing, and validating results; however, with multitude of options it is complicated to find a promising software since not every software delivers the desired options (Cooke & Buckley, 2008). Besides this, many technological solutions claim to be innovative and revolutionary; however, the reliability and validity of such solutions are unclear.
Effective data management and comprehensive reporting are also complex factors since the data has to be managed and reported in terms of numerous factors, for instance, culture. This part of the market research is dependent on the method and technology used for the research, since the need of each company is different, and without an effective data, reporting could not be detailed (GreenBook, 2015). In addition, because of the multiplicity of a target market for the concerned product, the management of data turns out to be more complex.
While conducting the marketing research for the baby stroller, challenges in terms of the multiplicity of target markets, difficulty reaching potential customers, problems of communication, and understanding the need of adaptation.
Marketing research is highly significant since the company is dependent on the outcomes of the research in order to devise its marketing strategies and activities. The challenges initiated due to multiple target markets since collecting data from more than one source for different markets is difficult (Tasić & Feruh, 2012). In addition, since the marketing research was for an overseas market, the issues of cost were experienced. This issue, on the other hand, was further extended since it was difficult to reach potential customers. Usually, respondents showed reluctance while responding. In addition, the chances of obtaining correct information were also evident to be less because of the hesitation prominent in respondents.
In addition, issues of adopting new methods were also encountered since it was assumed that effective data would not be obtained from old methods of conducting research (Proctor, 2005). Besides this, since Australians and Americans are different in cultural aspects, a different of understanding was experienced creating communication issue. Although both countries have English as the main language a difference in interpretation was observed initiating issues of obtaining pertinent details.
This essay aimed to evaluate the importance of the two concepts for expanding the business of baby stroller in the U.S. The analysis of the market and marketing research for the selected product of baby strollers has proposed a potential scope for the product. It is evident from the conducted market and marketing research that the company has the probability of penetrating the US market if it focuses on the quality and innovation factor.
In order to have a successful diffusion in the US market, it is recommended that the company utilise the data obtained from market and marketing research. In addition, the challenges faced by the company for the first time should be considered while conducting the researches later for understanding customer needs. In addition, it is recommended that the obtained outcomes from the marketing researches should be used for devising marketing and promotional strategies.