The Importance Of Market Research In Apple’s Innovation Strategy
Apple’s Belief in Understanding Consumer Needs
Apple believes on gathering the competitive edge over the competitors through innovation and the innovation comes from understanding the needs and requirements of the consumers. Apple beliefs that consumers are not responsible for finding their needs as the company itself is responsible for finding the needs and demand of the consumers. iPhone is one of the best innovation done by Apple and to gain competitive edge over the competitors especially, over Samsung, Apple does huge sort of market research related activities. Apple does the market research not only for understanding the needs of the consumers throughout the world but it does the market research because the leader of innovation wants to generate and incorporate the needs in the mind of the consumers (YouTube, 2014). Apple believes the concept of market research so that, they can understand the adoptability of the consumers and the choices of the consumers. In the product line of Apple most of the products are found as the innovation and the introduction of innovative products provide the company a reputation, competitive edge and brand name in the world market. Once the product becomes matured or the products go in the growth stage in the market the competitors of the company introduce the similar kinds of products and in the mean time the company gains the competitive advantage over the competitors.
The primary and the secondary research are used to collect data and for continuing the entire market research process very carefully. The primary research process is that research process in which the data are collected on the first hand basis and generally, the company conducts the primary research by taking the insights of the customers only. Apple conducts the primary research to gather the information of the customers about the product information. For iPhone, Apple generally does the primary research to add some information in their websites and to gather the feedbacks from the customers in order to enhance the efficiency of their products and services. The secondary research on the other hand helps to gather the information about the competitors of the company. From, the newspapers, business magazines and business journals the secondary research is being conducted. The marketing research is used by Apple i phone to understand the positioning strategy of the competitor, the insights of the consumers regarding the products and services of the organization and it is also used to understand the needs and requirement of the consumers to a large extent.
The marketing research process comprises of several stages and those data collection, data processing, data analysing, evaluation of the information and finally the presenting the data. The company iPhone conducts the research by focusing on data collection especially through the focus group interview for the primary survey method. In the secondary research process the company used to gather the information through business journals and magazines. Apple iPhone to understand whether the customers are happy with this iPhone or not or to find out the position of the company in the mind of the consumers, gather the data. The raw data is then processed by sorting and tabulating before it is analysed. To convert the data into information the data are analysed by the researchers. The analysts are responsible to evaluate the information through the data analysis process.
Market Research for Competitive Edge and Innovation
From the market research process iPhone comes to know about th4e preferences of the consumers in the specific geographical area. For example, from the market research survey it is understood that why the Chinese consumers demand for iPhone more than the smartphones. Secondly, to evaluate the reasons for purchasing the products of the company are understood by the market research process. The market research process answers the questions regarding why the Iphone is still popular than the smartphones among many users though the smartphones various attractive features. The market research questions have replied the company that in China people are more cautious and enthusiastic about the several features of iPhone which are known as the great driver for the company. By conducting the survey it is understood the level of sales potentiality in China and how the distribution channels can be formed (YouTube, 2014).
A case has been cited over here where the market research has been used to understand the preferences of the consumers. Apple believes that it is the leader of innovation but it is important for the company to understand what the customers believe. The research surveys have also answered iPhone regarding why people choose iPhone though there is a presence of Andriod device. The surveys in almost 7 countries have replied that “Trust Apple Brand” is the most important factor why people have purchased the iPhone and not the Smartphone devices. The research study says that features and designs are the two main factors which act as a factor of differentiation for the company. The company can use the facts and information gained from the survey and then can formulate the strategies in order to sustain in the long term.
The future of marketing research will depend on the technological development of the marketing research methods. The future marketing research would depend on the success of data collection method. The main market research tool which is used by Apple iPhone is the focus group information but the dependency on the focus group interview is not stagnant in nature and the company needs to change the way of research in the long run. The future marketing research process needs to focus on more data than ever. The future marketing strategy needs as much as possible data and information so that; the marketers would not need to depend on the judgemental decisions. The future marketers would need the data for making the future decisions and for that full passion is required. In the competitive business environment every competitors want to collect data and on the basis of the collected data the marketers establish the business decisions. The most likely tool which is used for gathering and collecting the data is survey method. But, the survey method is considered as the most tiring method for the consumers. People are bored off in providing information through the telephonic information and through the survey method. The future marketers should focus on some more scientific methods which are reliable in nature (YouTube, 2014). Because, taking decisions without focusing on the data will be proved as a costly phenomenon. The business decisions cannot be made on the basis of the judgement of the managers and the experience of the managers. As Apple claims that they are the need generator rather the need identifier and that is the reason the market research is not conducted by them to understand the prevailing need in the existing market. But, in the future scenario before innovating the products and services it will be important for the company Apple iPhone to understand the prevailing demand in the market. Demand estimation would be a great strategy for the market in this respect. In the new market scenario the company Apple iPhone should emphasis on some strategies to gather the data from the market which will provide more effective and huge amount of data to the company. For example, the eye tracking, brand equity research, concept testing and ad tracing etc to understand the current position of the company.
Primary and Secondary Research Methods
The survey method is conducted to know the insights of the selected sample size. The population is considered as the whole or the universe where the sample is considered as a part of population. The sample size generally does not exclude the size of 1/10 of the entire population. The sample survey is being done so that, the time frame and the resources can be matched with the availability. The more the size of the sample the less will be the extent of errors in the entire sampling process. The sampling can be classified into two different parts and those probability sampling and non-probability sampling. The probability sampling is considered as the sampling method where the inclusion of each and every member is similar in nature. In the non-probabilistic sampling method the judgemental method is engaged and the possibilities of the inclusion of the sample members are not same in the inclusion process.
The sampling technique comprises several processes including simple random sampling, systematic sampling, multi-stage sampling, stratified sampling and cluster sampling. The simple random sampling refers to that sampling process which has a chance of equal selection. Using the lottery methods and random sample generation the simple random sampling technique can be used. The simple random sampling is not used where the exclusion criteria’s are high and the sample size has been decided as large in nature. Apple iPhone does the random sampling to conduct the customer survey. For understanding the reasons for the product purchase the company Apple iPhone uses the random sampling technique. The systematic sampling technique which is considered as one of the non-probabilistic sampling and the sampling is done in a very systematic manner which is possible when the sample sizes are known and small for the company. The company Apple iPhone uses the stratified sampling which is also known as a non-probabilistic sampling. While conducting the survey to understand the purchase behaviour of the consumers of seven different countries the stratified sampling method was used (YouTube, 2014). The samples from different countries are being selected on the basis of stratified sampling. The stratified sampling technique is used because a specific set of data is required.
Questionnaire is a set of questions which are asked to the respondents for the purpose of obtaining particular type of information. The objectives of the questionnaire are collecting the appropriate data; compare the collected data and making the data in use of analysis, reducing the question bias etc. The questionnaire can be of different types; it can be descriptive in nature, can be analytical in nature and also can be self-administered in nature. The self-administered questionnaire can be used by the iPhone company so that, the researcher can send the handouts to the respondents, mailing questionnaire is also an important aspect of the company and the telephonic surveys are also possible for the company iPhopne. iPhone can arrange every kinds of questionnaire depending on the type of information the company wants to gather and on the number of available sample size it has. The mail questionnaire survey is done by the company when the relationships with the respondents are stable and when the company needs to take the feedback from the respondents about the product or service characteristics. The analytical questionnaire also can be used by the company iPhone to find out the association between two variables. The company for understanding the customer behaviour uses the descriptive questionnaire method. For example, the questionnaire is being made by IPhone Company to know the perception of the consumers of seven different countries and the researcher can use the close ended questionnaire for getting the compact insights of the consumers. One sample questionnaire is discussed below:
What are the reasons for using the iPhone over the smartphones?
Options: a. Design of the iPhone
- Product features of the iPhone
- Price of the iPhone
- Image of trust related to the name of Apple
The descriptive questionnaire can also help out the company to find out the positioning of the company. For example, one descriptive question is being formed and mailed to the customers.
- Do you think the company iPhone is able to secure the culture of innovation till date?
In the above mentioned question the respondent would have the choice for providing their in-depth insights and knowledge. The researcher requires such kind of questionnaire survey when the in-depth analysis of the topic is required.
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YouTube, (2014). What is a Questionnaire?. [online] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfEga-dr_Ww [Accessed 9 Aug. 2014].