The Delacroix marketing team, namely Elizabeth and Natalie, must convince Henry and the team of higher-ups to start performing consumer research and taking those initiatives to show that audience input matters in order to better market its performances to the appropriate target markets. Unfortunately, they are being met with resistance and insistence that the norm should not change. Henry and his team feel as though it does not matter what consumers want and if their opinion is asked, the requests will get outlandish and begin to alienate the people who are loyal to the company, meaning the audience.
The Delacroix marketing and creative team have identified, although informally, two possible options:
Do research and get customer feedback on what the Delacroix audience wants
Continue to rely only on the objective of pushing the boundaries of modern dance through the expertise of the company artists themselves.
The objective for Delacroix is to “take the company in new directions.” The new directions include international engagements and television and film opportunities. However, there is no data on the people that come to the shows; they don’t know why them come or what opportunity to pursue next for Delacroix. Making moves into international markets are lofty goals, but a foreign market is an entirely new undertaking for a company and the cultural barriers between the domestic country and that one is going to take consumer research and education to overcome.
Breaking into international markets
This change will improve Delacroix’s reach and make for new opportunities in an entirely new target market. Although there are cultural, language and currency barriers, Delacroix will have to overcome these through some type of research. It will give artists opportunity for an expanded reach and the company itself more opportunity to make money. It will take work and education in order to overcome those challenges and break those barriers.
Television and film opportunities
Implementation of this change will create more economic and entertainment opportunity for all involved, especially for artists and their dedicated audiences, as well as those who will become aware of their work in ways that they previously were not.
Proof of the Recommended Option
Option 1 should be pursued. The recommendation will require convincing senior management and the board of directors for financing for the investment. The costs for distributing surveys and doing research in order to get insight into customer needs and desires have yet to be determined. Market research guides communication into the right way to find potential customers, identify opportunities, minimize risks and brings awareness.
Critique of Options
The other alternative to the first option would be to continue to listen to what the creatives involved and that work for/through Delacroix have to say. Continuing to stick with what Delacroix knows is what has worked for it in the past, without one gaffe in the past. The downside is that Delacroix misses out on opportunity to generate new audience members or a new audience entirely.
However, there are pitfalls of consumer research although they seem unlikely. When the research is not carried out correctly, several things can affect it—incorrect sample size, inadequate research methods, using the wrong research tools, overspending and improper analysis are just a few. In addition, market research is time-consuming, a lengthy process and often, very expensive. It is not to be taken lightly and due to natural human error, plus the psychological effects that make people answer in ways that are not truthful, those can alter market research results for the worse. Consumer behavior is complex and influenced by several factors, so its unpredictability can also negatively impact results. Also, as in this case, marketing managers are resistant to it as they feel that the results are not practical.
Delacroix’s team should persuade senior management to accept the recommendation, align stakeholders and executive each proposal. Natalie and Elizabeth should prepare a presentation with trusted partners and reach consensus on it with Harry and the board of directors for Delacroix. The implementation would start after thorough review with employees and stakeholders. Of course, there is a risk of not receiving approval or it take longer than anticipated, but with consistent communication and a way to get insight, the process will work. Management and personnel must work together to see that the investment in consumer research will pay off. The progress of all involved should be closely watched and the further information be evaluated.
- Armstrong, G., & Kotler, P. (2012). Marketing new mymarketinglab with pearson etext access card: An introduction. Place of publication not identified: Prentice Hall.
- Consumer Perception. (2010, October 14). Retrieved April 16, 2017, from http://marketingmixx.com/consumer-behavior-2/76-consumer-perception.html
- Schmidt, S. (n.d.). 5 Benefits of Market Research Reports. Retrieved April 17, 2017, from http://blog.marketresearch.com/5-benefits-of-market-research-reports
- 10 benefits of market research. (2013, January 10). Retrieved April 17, 2017, from https://happycreativeblog.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/10-benefits-of-market-research/