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Identifying Types of Analyses Marketers Use

Identify the different types of analysis used by marketers to determine product positioning, competitive positioning, customer perceptions, and distribution-channel analysis. Compare the strengths and weaknesses of each method and assess the different types of marketing analysis required to develop a marketing strategy.

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In product positioning, marketers try their best to create an identity or image for a product, brand, or company so that it will occupy a 'place' in a given market as perceived by a target market. Marketers facilitate product positioning through a graphical technique called perceptual mapping, other various survey techniques. Statistical techniques such as factor analysis, multi dimensional scaling, logic analysis, and conjoint analysis also determine position of a product in a market. Perceptual mapping technique attempts to visually display how customers or potential customers perceive the position of a certain product, product line, brand or company relative to its competition. Sometimes, it is questionable how valuable a perceptual map is since oftentimes, they give the appearance of credibility according to management's preconceptions.

Methodological problems may arise when a detailed marketing research is done but at least the information came from the consumers directly. When a company feels the need to gather quantitative information, opinions or factual information through a researcher administered survey; questionnaire, or interview, researchers administer statistical surveys. Surveys are flexible since a wide range of information can be collected; and since they are standardized, they are usually free from errors, easy to administer and have economy in data collection. However, a few disadvantages are as follows: they depend on subjects and the reasons for an action cannot be known; they don't give full sense of social processes making the analysis superficial; structured surveys with close ended questions have low validity when affective variables are researched; and usually, the survey samples are self-selected and thus, they couldn't infer non-probability samples from which the characteristics of the populations were sampled.

In factor analysis, the attributes of a product are used to evaluate the product. Also, quantitative marketing research techniques are used to collect data from sample target customers and the data are inputted into a statistical program and the factor analysis procedure is used to get the factors for the use of product positioning devices. Factor analysis is easy, inexpensive, and accurate. It can use both objective and subjective attributes, basis is direct input from customers, and there is flexibility in naming and using the dimensions. However, its usefulness depends on the researchers' ability to be able to develop a complete accurate set of product attributes and missing an important attribute will make the procedure valueless. Sometimes, naming of the factors can be difficulty and no matter how random, factor analysis will always produce a pattern between the variables. Multidimensional scaling (MDS), another statistical technique used in marketing and social sciences, is a procedure to take the preferences and perceptions of the respondents to represent them on visual grids called perceptual maps where the potential customers will be asked to compare pairs of products and judge them about their similarity.

An important advantage of MDS is that it obtains the underlying dimensions about the ...

Solution Summary

The solution is styled as a short essay looking at a marketer's tools for assessing their domain. 1798 words with many references included.