Marketing Project

Project 1: Decision Process Analysis

 

Length: No more than 7 pages. See Format Guidelines for Project Papers.

 

This project involves a detailed analysis of the decision process associated with a specific purchase. You must interview EXACTLY one individual (subject), who has recently purchased a product or service via a high involvement purchase decision process (e.g., the choice of a new microwave oven). Do not interview yourself. DO NOT USE YOUR SUBJECT’S REAL NAME OR DESCRIBE YOUR RELATIONSHIP (e.g., don’t say “my mother”) ANYWHERE IN YOUR PAPER. Products with only a few relevant attributes (such as airline tickets, lift tickets) usually don’t work well for this project. Items with too many relevant attributes (such as houses) also don’t work well. In addition, avoid products that you know very little about.

The outline used below to describe the final report should be used for the report itself (YES, use these headings). In general, be as specific as possible. Before you studied marketing, you may have used words such as “quality,” “performance,” “reputation,” “reliability,” or “style” to describe products. Now that you are sharpening your marketing mind, you need to use words which reflect your sharper insights (i.e. are more specific). For example, does a car’s performance refer to turning radius, 0 to 60 acceleration, ability to climb hills, ability to carry loads, or what? Be specific. If you use a word like “performance” in your paper, be sure to define exactly what you mean by performance. Automobile companies have spent millions trying to figure out what “quality” means. They need your help! Don’t be afraid to get technical. Better to be too technical about product characteristics than to be too vague.

At the end of each subsection, assume for a moment that the person you interviewed accurately represents a large market segment. Based on what your interview, make recommendations for improving the sales or profitability of the product in this segment. Be sure to tie your recommendations to your observations and the models discussed in class; don’t just offer unsupported opinion. Do not recommend lowering the price or offering substantial discounts. Also, only as a last resort should you make recommendations that are already common practice in the industry.

 

The keys to success in this project are probing and insightful interviewing, accurate integration of consumer behavior concepts, clear, concise, and grammatically correct writing, and following the directions extremely carefully! Use all the words underlined below in your paper and underline them in your paper. (See example in Appendix A.) Also, all tables and figures must be computer generated, not hand-drawn.

 

1. INTRODUCTION

In this section, describe the product that is the focus of your study. Describe also (briefly) the subject you used for your interview (i.e., sex, occupation and approximate age; full name is not important) and the dates and times the interviews were conducted.

 

2. PROBLEM RECOGNITION

Identify which mode of problem recognition best describes the decision you’re studying. What event activated problem recognition? What end goals did your subject have in mind? Offer marketing recommendations (see on the problem recognition model in the slides).

 

3. INFORMATION SEARCH

Describe the internal and external searches conducted by your subject. How did they determine the appropriate evaluative criteria (attributes)? How did they determine the appropriate alternatives? How did they evaluate the performance level of the various alternatives on each of these criteria? Include figures in the body of your paper describing the dimensional (space) and/or category-based (tree) perceptual map used by your subject. Describe any biases you observe (e.g., availability, confirmation, JND, or invalid inferences).

What specific sources of external information did they use? Which ads, magazines, or web sites? Which search terms did they use in online searches? Did they consult with their friends or family? In which stores did they shop? Was there any information that the subject wanted but could not easily get? Include, in the body of the paper, an information sources table for your subject. Offer marketing recommendations based on your observations of information search. Consider recommendations related to what you know about this customer’s journey and possible email drip campaigns.

 

4. ALTERNATIVE EVALUATION

Recap the evaluative criteria used by your subject. Describe the alternatives using a criteria-by-alternatives table in the body of your paper (e.g., see quantitative decision rule exercise and other examples in slides). Which seemed to be the most important attributes? (Note: you needn’t generate specific importance weights, but should at least be able to state which attributes were most important.) You must explicitly state which decision rule was used to receive full credit. Don’t just quote a rule; explain how, exactly, it was applied. If phased, describe the sequence of rules used. Did the subject choose the product first, or the store first, or both simultaneously? Offer marketing recommendations based on the decision rules used.

 

5. POSTPURCHASE PROCESSES

If the purchase has already been made, try to find out if the subject felt any postpurchase dissonance. Relate the level of the dissonance (high or low) to the factors listed in the slides. Include a post-purchase dissonance table in the body of your paper. Did they do anything to reduce the dissonance? Describe satisfaction in terms of expectations and performance on specific dimensions. Include an expectancy disconfirmation table in the body of your paper. Be sure not to confuse postpurchase dissonance and dissatisfaction. Did the subjects make any self-attributions? Offer marketing recommendations related to reducing dissonance or increasing satisfaction.

 

 

Project 1 Outline with Tables and Figures indicated

 

Introduction

 

Problem Recognition

 

Information Search

Figure 1: Dimensional Perceptual Map

Or Figure 1: Categorial Perceptual Map

See examples of each in slides

Table 1: Information Sources

(Column headings are source, what was learned, ease, trust; each row is a different information source.)

 

Alternative Evaluation

Table 2: Criteria by Alternatives

(Columns are alternatives, rows are attributes.)

 

Postpurchase Processes

Table 3: Postpurchase Dissonance

(Rows are the four factors, columns are factor heading and rating heading)

Table 4: Expectancy Confirmation

(Columns are expectation, performance, and confirmation; rows are attributes or other expectations.)

 

This project is typically completed without the use of appendices.

 

Appendix A: Sample page showing underlining

 

In this paper, I will refer to my subject as Francis, although that is not his real name.

 

2. PROBLEM RECOGNITION

 

Francis’s mode of problem recognition, to purchase a new xxxx xxxx, was x xxxxxx xx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxx xxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxxx xx xxxxxx xxx xxxxx xxx xxxx xxxx xx xxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxx xx xxx xxxxx. Xx xxxxxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxx x xxx xxxx-xxx xxxx xxxx xxxxx xx xx xxxxxxxxxxx xxx xx xxxxxxxxx xxx xxxxxxxxx xx xxxx xxx xxxxxxx xx xxx xxxx. Xxxxxxx, xxxx xxxxxx Xxxxxxx xxxxxxx xxx x xxxxxxxxxx xxx xx xxxx xxxxx xxx xxxxxxx xxx xxxx, xxx xxxxxx xx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxxxx, xxxx xx xxxxxxxx, xxx “xxxxxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxx friends teasing him about his old xxxxxxxx activated his decision to buy x xxx, xxxx-xxx xxxxxx.

Francis recognized xx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxx xxxxxxxxx xx xxx xxxx xx xxxxxxxxxx xxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx. Xx xxxxxxxx xxxx “xxxxxxxxxx xxx xxxx xx xxx xxxx xxxxxx, xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxx, xxxxx xxxx.” His end-goal was to increase xxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xx 5-10%. Xx xxxxxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxxxxx xxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxx xxxxxxx xxx xxxx xx xxxxxxxxxxx xxx xxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx.

Marketing recommendations based on the problem recognition model of change in life circumstance would include xxxxxxxxxxx xx xxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxxxx. Xxxxxx Xxxx Xxxxxxxx xxx XXXX Xxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxx xx xx xxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xx xxxxx xxxxx xxx xxxx xxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxxxxxx, xxxxxxxxxx xxxx XXXX xx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxx xxxxxxx xxx xxxx xx XXXX xxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx.

 

Project Evaluation Rubric

Score  
  Introduction  
  Product described, gender, occupation and approx. age of subject

described, dates and times of interviews noted…………………………………..

 

____

     
  Problem Recognition  
  Mode of problem recognition described……………………………………. ____
  Activating event described………………………………………………………………. ____
  End Goal described…………………………………………………………………………. ____
  Recommendations derived from observations and models………………. ____
     
  Information Search  
  Description of what was learned from internal search………………………… ____
  Description of what was learned from External search………………………. ____
  Specific info sources described, including search terms and websites if

used………………………………………………………………………………………………

____
  Perceptual map (dimensional or categorical) included and discussed…… ____
  Information sources table included and discussed………………………. ____
  Biases (confirmation, availability, JND, inference, etc.) discussed……. ____
  Recommendations derived from observations and models………………. ____
     
  Alternative Evaluation  
  Evaluative criteria described…………………………………………………………. ____
  Relative importance of criteria described………………………………………… ____
  Criteria by alternatives table………………………………………………….. ____
  Decision rule described and correctly used………………………………………. ____
  Recommendations derived from observations and models………………. ____
     
  Post-Purchase Processes  
  Post-Purchase dissonance table included and discussed……………………….. ____
  Dissonance reduction discussed (if appropriate)……………………………….. ____
  Expectancy Disconfirmation table included and discussed……………….. ____
  Dissonance and dissatisfaction clearly distinguished………………………….. ____
  Recommendations derived from observations and models………………. ____
     
====    
  OVERALL GRADE  

 

+ Very Good, (-1) O.K., (-2) Needs Improvement, (-3) Needs Substantial Improvement, (-4) Missing.

 

Misc. Deductions (this list is not exhaustive):

___ Tables/Figs not referred to by name ___ Keywords not underlined ___ Publication titles not italicized
___ Tables/Figs not numbered/titled ___ Hand drawn Tables/Figs ___ Numerals & numbers confused
___ Tables wrap across pages ___ Not spell checked ___ Not 12 pt
___ Tables confused w Figures ___ Not all pages numbered ___ Not double-spaced
___ Widow or orphan headings     ___ Misc grammatical problems