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The Role of Marketing Research in the Development of Products
At that time oil prices and thus fuel prices raised enormously, most of car companies were searching for ways to produce cheaper cars with decreased fuel consumption. There was a general misconception in the business that the most important thing for possible byers was to save money on fuel. However, Chrysler decided to perform marketing research, using surveys, mall intercepts and focus group discussions, found out that people were still looking for a van that could be used as a car. The prototype of a minivan, a type of car that was not known before, met the needs of people, who wanted roomy, dependable and suitable car. Other companies of the ‘Big three’ feared going ‘against the flow’ and thus missed an opportunity, while Chrysler cashed-in on it. Chrysler decided to trust the results of marketing research and started producing minivans, car type that still accounts for approximately 25% of all Chrysler cars produced (Malhotra, p.6-7).
As it was decades ago and as it is now – every company seeks for opportunities to develop new products, thus attract new customers and increase profits. Every product goes through product life cycle and in each part of this cycle certain developments are needed. Marketing research helps companies to understand customer needs and the things that must be done in order to meet these needs in each of the product life cycle parts. As many real life examples show, the need for good quality marketing research is not only theoretical, but in fact very practical.
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