QUALITATIVE MARKET RESEARCH

INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT
A study to determine the role of the Launch Campaign, Taste Challenge, of MTR Snack Up and calculate its impact on the sales and consumer buying behavior

- Prakarsh Aren, 2012PGP263

MTR SNACK UP

The assignment was undertaken to device a complete qualitative research plan starting from research problem identification to research questions to research methodology and finally to possible results of the research for a newly launched promotional campaign.

A study to determine the role of the Launch Campaign, Taste Challenge, of MTR Snack Up and calculate its impact on the sales and consumer buying behavior

2013

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1 | INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................................... 4 1.1 MTR FOODS Pvt. Ltd. ........................................................................................................................ 4 1.2 ‘TASTE CHALLENGE’ CAMPAIGN, DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK ................................................... 4 1.3 COMPANIES PRODUCT RANGE ........................................................................................................ 5 2 | PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION & RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ............................................................... 6 2.1 RESEARCH PROBLEM ...................................................................................................................... 6 2.2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ............................................................................................................ 6 2.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS.................................................................................................................... 6 2.4 DATA COLLECTION METHOD .......................................................................................................... 7 2.4.1 ELITE INTERVIEWING OF COUPLE OF MTR’S TOP MANAGEMENT ........................................ 7 2.4.2 IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW OF 5 RETAILERS OF MTR’S SNACK UP PRODUCTS ............................ 7 2.4.3 COVERTLY OBSERVING THE CUSTOMERS DIRECTLY, AT 5 SUPERMARKETS ........................ 7 2.4.4 IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW OF 5 CUSTOMERS OF MTR’S SNACK UP PRODUCTS .......................... 7 2.5 PROFILING OF THE RESPONDENTS ................................................................................................ 8 2.5.1 RESPONDENTS OF ELITE INTERVIEWS ................................................................................... 8 2.5.2 RESPONDENTS OF IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS IN THE FORM OF RETAILERS ............................ 8 2.5.3 RESPONDENTS OF IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS IN THE FORM OF CUSTOMERS .......................... 8 2.5.4 SUPERMARKETS WHERE COVERT OBSERVATIONS WOULD TO BE CONDUCTED ................. 8 2.6 DETAILED GUIDE TO FACILITATE DATA COLLECTION.................................................................. 9 2.6.1 DATA COLLECTION FROM RESPONDENTS OF ELITE INTERVIEWS ........................................ 9 2.6.2 DATA COLLECTION FROM RESPONDENTS OF IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS IN THE FORM OF RETAILERS ........................................................................................................................................10 2.6.3 RESPONDENTS OF IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS IN THE FORM OF CUSTOMERS .........................10 2.6.4 SUPERMARKETS WHERE COVERT OBSERVATIONS HAVE TO BE CONDUCTED....................11 2.6.5 MEANS OF DATA COLLECTION FOR DIFFERENT DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES ............11 2.7 PLAN FOR CARRYING OUT ANALYSIS OF DATA ............................................................................11 2.7.1 PHENOMENOLOGICAL ANALYSIS ............................................................................................11 2.7.2 HERMENEUTIC / INTERPRETIVE ANALYSIS...........................................................................11 2.7.3 THEMATIC ANALYSIS ...............................................................................................................11 2.7.4 NARATIVE ANALYSIS ...............................................................................................................12 2.7.5 DISCOURSE ANALYSIS ..............................................................................................................12 2.8 EXPECTATIONS FROM THE STUDY ................................................................................................12

QMR | INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT | PRAKARSH AREN

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A study to determine the role of the Launch Campaign, Taste Challenge, of MTR Snack Up and calculate its impact on the sales and consumer buying behavior

2013

ANNEXURES ..............................................................................................................................................13 ANNEXURE I ..........................................................................................................................................13 ANNEXURE II .........................................................................................................................................14

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A study to determine the role of the Launch Campaign, Taste Challenge, of MTR Snack Up and calculate its impact on the sales and consumer buying behavior

2013

1 | INTRODUCTION
1.1 MTR FOODS Pvt. Ltd.
MTR Foods Pvt. Ltd., a trusted name with over 85 years of heritage, is an epitome of authentic Indian vegetarian meals bringing joy to every household. Being a pioneer in the food processing industry, MTR Foods is the guardian of culinary secrets that have been protected and handed down over generations. Our food is based on true genuine recipes from their region of origin. MTR products always personify the tradition of unmatched taste, purity and quality. Majority of the products are 100% natural and they use only the finest, most reliable ingredients. MTR Foods - the byword for authentic Indian food has marked its global presence for its wide range of packaged products and recipes. The brand is now home to almost every kitchen in the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East, Japan and South East Asian countries.

1.2 ‘TASTE CHALLENGE’ CAMPAIGN, DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK
MTR has launched Snack Up with a Taste Challenge - an innovative consumer promotion assuring consumers about the taste of the products else doubling the money back. The scheme is applicable for purchase of above mentioned Products with the "Taste Challenge" logo, from September 1, 2013 till November 10, 2013 or till stocks last. As per Terms & Conditions (Annexure I), to avail the claim customers were required to send the following documents only through ordinary post (all other means of sending the claim were clearly told not to be entertained) to the Bangalore PO Box of MTR within 15 days of the date of the purchase invoice:  Empty pack of the MTR Snack Up Product/s for which the claim is raised  Original bill or retailer stamped invoice showing the purchase date of the Product/s  Complete and correct details duly filled in the Customer Feedback Form (Annexure II).
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A study to determine the role of the Launch Campaign, Taste Challenge, of MTR Snack Up and calculate its impact on the sales and consumer buying behavior

2013

1.3 COMPANIES PRODUCT RANGE

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A study to determine the role of the Launch Campaign, Taste Challenge, of MTR Snack Up and calculate its impact on the sales and consumer buying behavior

2013

2 | PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION & RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
2.1 RESEARCH PROBLEM
Problem Definition: A study to determine the role of the Launch Campaign, Taste Challenge, of MTR Snack Up and calculate its impact on the sales and consumer buying behaviour. This study, first, investigates the role of the ‘Taste Challenge’ launch campaign of MTR Snack UP. Is it a trial inducing strategy or a way to present the company’s confide nce in the product with respect to the Quality of the product? Second, it tries to capture the extent of success received by the campaign.

2.2 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
To gather the company’s insights to find out the actual reason of the launch of ‘ Taste Challenge’ campaign and to conglomerate the retailer’s and customer’s insights to understand the manner in which consumers are taking the launch campaign and Snack Up products, Exploratory Qualitative Research is required to be done. This research would:     Help us in investigating the little understood phenomena behind the launch of the campaign Enable us to identify the core strategy behind the launch of the campaign Generate hypothesis for further research to device the future IMC strategy for MTR Let us judge if there is any change in buying behaviour of the customers after this campaign, are they asking for bill from the retailers on purchase of other products as well

2.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
.

Question 1. Is the ‘Taste Challenge’ Campaign a success or a failure? Question 2. Was it a product quality communication strategy or just a promotional strategy? Question 3. Has the introduction of new range of snacks met an unmet need of the existing customers of MTR? Question 4. What is the effect of the campaign on the sales figures of MTR Snack Up products? Question 5. Are the sales of MTR Snack Up products a result of the promotional launch campaign or are the products also have been liked by the consumers? Question 6. What should be MTR’s future Integrated Marketing Communications strategy while launching the Snack Up product in the other states of India and abroad? Question 7. Has the campaign had a bigger effect on the customers’ buying behaviours in terms of taking the bill of the purchased products?

QMR | INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT | PRAKARSH AREN

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A study to determine the role of the Launch Campaign, Taste Challenge, of MTR Snack Up and calculate its impact on the sales and consumer buying behavior

2013

2.4 DATA COLLECTION METHOD
Understanding the company’s perspective of the rationale behind launching a highly contextual campaign requires an in-depth exploration of the key subjects who have been instrumental in designing this campaign, in this case – MTR’s Top Management Officials. On the other side, interpreting the buying behaviour of customers in terms of the factors which drive the sales of the product, in this case – MTR Snack Up, is a four legged process.

2.4.1 ELITE INTERVIEWING OF COUPLE OF MTR’S TOP MANAGEMENT To understand the thinking on which the ‘Taste Challenger’ is based we need to conduct elite interviews of at least two of the key decision makers of MTR. The information could be collected even from one single in-depth interview as well but to validate the same, two elite interview becomes utmost important. This information could also be gathered through the means of a focussed group discussion (FGD), but to confirm the same it is better to conduct two separate elite interviews. Also, rigorous schedules of top managers would pose a hindrance in administering a FGD as finding a common free time for five to six top managers is a mammoth task in itself. 2.4.2 IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW OF 5 RETAILERS OF MTR’S SNACK UP PRODUCTS To reproduce the customer insights, in-depth interviews of the retailers is one of the best ways. The retailer would also help us to know if there has been any change in customers’ buying behaviour (in regards to taking bill of purchased products). 2.4.3 COVERTLY OBSERVING THE CUSTOMERS DIRECTLY, AT 5 SUPERMARKETS There is no better means to understand the customers’ preferences than directly observing them. Observations have to be conducted at 5 supermarkets to infer if the promotional offer is solely driving the sales or are the product features (including the quality of the product) making consumers buy the product. This data collection method will allow us to gather unbiased indispensible information about the buying behaviour & preferences of the customers. 2.4.4 IN-DEPTH INTERVIEW OF 5 CUSTOMERS OF MTR’S SNACK UP PRODUCTS To understand the communication media which affects customer’s buying behaviour and preferences the most. It would enable us to design the future Integrated marketing Communications’ strategy for MTR Foods Pvt. Ltd.
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A study to determine the role of the Launch Campaign, Taste Challenge, of MTR Snack Up and calculate its impact on the sales and consumer buying behavior

2013

2.5 PROFILING OF THE RESPONDENTS
2.5.1 RESPONDENTS OF ELITE INTERVIEWS For the elite interviewing, decision makers of the company are required and as the decisions in MTR Food Pvt. Ltd. are taken as per the top-down approach hence, the need is to interview the two top management officials. One of them should be the Manager, New Product Development and the other respondent should be the Manager, Marketing Division of MTR Food Pvt. Ltd. 2.5.2 RESPONDENTS OF IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS IN THE FORM OF RETAILERS This campaign was valid only in Bangalore & Mysore1 for all MTR Snack Up Products; Avalakki Mixture, Spicy Avalakki Mixture, Cornflakes Mixture, Spicy Cornflakes Mixture, Khara Boondi, Ompudi, Spicy Ompudi, Onion Nibbles, Spicy Thick Sev, Seedai, Spicy Chow Chow Mixture, Chow Chow Mixture and Benne Murukku, Butter Chakli. Hence, respondents for this technique should qualify the following attributes:  5 retailers; 3 from Bangalore and 2 from Mysore  Average monthly sales of INR 5,5002 per square feet  Stores all fourteen MTR Snack Up products 2.5.3 RESPONDENTS OF IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS IN THE FORM OF CUSTOMERS Due to the varied marketing communications (from radio to print advertising, outdoor to digital media advertising) adopted by the company, it makes more sense to interview the customers with following attributes:  Socially Active, Outgoing and Tech Savvy  Strong voice in household purchases  Makes consumption related decision with family, friends and etc.  Consumption areas: clothing, accessories, food, entertainment, consumer durables and etc.  Seeks ‘feel-good’ factor  Influencer in peer group, workmates and etc. 2.5.4 SUPERMARKETS WHERE COVERT OBSERVATIONS WOULD TO BE CONDUCTED This campaign was valid only in Bangalore & Mysore for all MTR Snack Up Products; Avalakki Mixture, Spicy Avalakki Mixture, Cornflakes Mixture, Spicy Cornflakes Mixture, Khara Boondi, Ompudi, Spicy Ompudi, Onion Nibbles, Spicy Thick Sev, Seedai, Spicy Chow Chow Mixture, Chow Chow Mixture and Benne Murukku, Butter Chakli. Hence, the covert observation should be conducted at Supermarkets which qualify the following attributes:  5 Supermarkets; 3 from Bangalore and 2 from Mysore  Average monthly sales of INR 1,8773 per square feet  Stores all fourteen MTR Snack Up products

1 2

http://mtrfoods.com/tastechallenge/terms_english.html http://www.financialexpress.com/news/kirana-stores-innovate-in-battle-against-retail-giants/1172379 3 http://www.financialexpress.com/news/kirana-stores-innovate-in-battle-against-retail-giants/1172379

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A study to determine the role of the Launch Campaign, Taste Challenge, of MTR Snack Up and calculate its impact on the sales and consumer buying behavior

2013

2.6 DETAILED GUIDE TO FACILITATE DATA COLLECTION 4
2.6.1 DATA COLLECTION FROM RESPONDENTS OF ELITE INTERVIEWS The following questions could be asked from the New Product Development Manger: Q1. Sir, please brief us about the new product, MTR Snack Up, which you have recently launched in the market. Q2. Has any primary research been conducted by MTR to find an unmet need of the consumers? If yes, what were the results of the same? If no, then one what ground has MTR decided to launch altogether a new product? Q3. What is the basis for the claims that these products are the best-tasting snacks? Q4. How did you plan to communicate the ‘best tasting’ and ‘best quality’ attributes of this product? [This question will probe in to find the role of the launch campaign ] The following questions could be asked from the New Product Development Manger & Marketing Manager: Q1. Has any primary research been conducted by MTR to find an unmet need of the consumers? If yes, what were the results of the same? If no, then one what ground has MTR decided to launch altogether a new product? Q2. How did you plan to communicate the ‘best tasting’ and ‘best quality’ attributes of this product? [This question will probe in to find the role of the launch campaign ] Q3. Why did you make use of print, radio, outdoor as well as digital media advertising to communicate about this campaign? Q4. What is the target segment for this product, MTR Snack Up? [Question 3 & 4 will provide the complete customer profile which MTR is targeting. This in turn will help to design the future IMC strategy. ] Q5. How much were the estimated sales as per the ground research done before the launch of the product? Q6. How much have been the actual sales of the product from September 1, 2013 to November 10, 2013? How much have been the sales after November 10, 2013 till last month? Q7. Are the actual sales more than the expected amount of sales? To which strategy would you assign this increase in sales? [Question 5, 6 & 7 will provide the success level of the launch campaign. Question 7 will also help us to investigate the company’s mind set behind rolling out ‘Taste Challenge’ campaign. ] Q8. Should we conclude that the launch campaign was more to do with inducing trial for the new product by giving guarantee for the best taste with the means of ‘Taste Challenge’ and double money back scheme?

4

After every question, the rationale for asking that question is written in grey colour.
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A study to determine the role of the Launch Campaign, Taste Challenge, of MTR Snack Up and calculate its impact on the sales and consumer buying behavior

2013

2.6.2 DATA COLLECTION FROM RESPONDENTS OF IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS IN THE FORM OF RETAILERS The following questions could be asked from the Retailers: Q1. Are the customers aware of the newly launched products of MTR? [This question will give us the success rate of the ‘Taste Challenge’ campaign.] Q2. Why are the customers excited for MTR Snack Up? [ First, let the retailer answer this question, on his own. He might give in reply some important customer insights. In absence of receipt of valuable data, further ask him the next part. ] Are they excited because of the double money back offer or because of the fact that this is a MTR’s product? Q3. Did you get to know any information about the communication channels which helped customers to be aware of the new products from MTR? [This question will help us to design the future IMC strategy.] Q3. What is the general perception of the customers about the taste and quality of these products with respect to existing products? [This question will help us find the success rate of the campaign in terms of making customers aware of the premium taste and quality of this product] Q4. Are the customers asking for the legitimate bill while buying this product? If yes, are they asking for the bill of other products as well or only for this MTR Snack Up products? [ This question will enable us decode if there has been any change in the buying behaviour of the customers or not? Are they asking for the bill while making any purchase or not? ]

2.6.3 RESPONDENTS OF IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS IN THE FORM OF CUSTOMERS The following questions could be asked from the Retailers: Q1. Are you aware of the newly launched products of MTR? [ This question will give us the success rate of the ‘Taste Challenge’ campaign.] Q2. What were the communication channels which helped you to get information about the new products from MTR? [This question will help us to design the future IMC strategy. ] Q3. Are you excited for MTR Snack Up products? If yes, then why? [First, let the customer her/himself answer this question. She/he might give in reply some important insights. In absence of receipt of valuable data, further ask her/him the next part. ] Are you excited because of the double money back offer or because of the fact that this is a MTR’s product? Q3. How did you find the taste and quality of these products? [This question will help us find the success rate of the campaign in terms of making customers aware of the premium taste and quality of this product] Q4. Did you ask for the legitimate bill while buying this product? If yes, do you now ask for the bill on purchase of other products as well or only for this MTR Snack Up products? [ This question will enable us decode if there has been any change in the buying behaviour of the customers or not? Are they asking for the bill while making any purchase or not? ]

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A study to determine the role of the Launch Campaign, Taste Challenge, of MTR Snack Up and calculate its impact on the sales and consumer buying behavior

2013

2.6.4 SUPERMARKETS WHERE COVERT OBSERVATIONS HAVE TO BE CONDUCTED Just visit the supermarkets which qualify the criteria given in section 2.5.4 and place yourself near to the MTR rack placed there. You should not be too close to the rack because the customers might get an idea that they are being observed and should also not be too far from the rack because that might affect the visibility of the customer and you may miss out on some important insights.

2.6.5 MEANS OF DATA COLLECTION FOR DIFFERENT DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES

In-Depth Interviews

Elite Interviews

Overt Observation
For Elite Interviews & In-Depth Interviews: Interview Transcripts & Audio Recordings For Covert Observations: Field Notes & Images/Videos

2.7 PLAN FOR CARRYING OUT ANALYSIS OF DATA
The data collected for a qualitative research could be analysed in numerous ways. I will try to bifurcate the data analysis on the basis of different data collection techniques used for different respondents. 2.7.1 PHENOMENOLOGICAL ANALYSIS It will used to analyse the data collected from the Elite Interviews of New Product Development Manager and Marketing Manager of MTR as this is a method that is used to find out the underlying structure or experiences that have led to the existence of a certain phenomenon. 2.7.2 HERMENEUTIC / INTERPRETIVE ANALYSIS It will used to analyse the data collected from the In-Depth Interviews of Customers as by continually interpreting words of the texts their meaning and their directives could be understood. Its focus is to discover repeated similarities in people’s stories. It will specially help in analysing customers’ comments on new product’s advertisements; digital media marketing. 2.7.3 THEMATIC ANALYSIS It will be used to analyse the data collected from the In-Depth Interview of Retailers, especially for the question which asks for the general perception of the customers about the taste and quality of these products with respect to existing products . It emphasizes pinpointing, examining, and recording patterns (or "themes") within data. Themes are patterns across data sets that are important to the description of a phenomenon and are associated to a specific research question. It helps in summarizing data into the most important themes. The key stages to be followed for the same are:

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A study to determine the role of the Launch Campaign, Taste Challenge, of MTR Snack Up and calculate its impact on the sales and consumer buying behavior

2013

1. Becoming familiar with the data, Searching for themes & Reviewing Themes: The idea is to obtain a basic sense regarding the direction in which data is pointing through preliminary observation. It is about trying to make sense of the data that has been collected. 2. Identify themes: Since we cannot make sense of all the Interview and FGD transcripts in isolation, we would look for common themes across data sets; summaries of ‘What’s going on here’. In other words, we are trying to create blanket categories wherein we would feed individual data. 2.7.4 NARATIVE ANALYSIS It will be used to analyse the data collected from the In-Depth Interviews of Retailers, especially for the question which asks if the retailer has any information about the communication channels which helped customers to be aware of the new products from MTR. The idea is to extract the main theme from the stories which customers must have told retailers about how they actually came to know about the MTR’s new product. It recognizes the extent to which the stories customers tell provide insight into lived experiences. 2.7.5 DISCOURSE ANALYSIS It will be used to analyse the data collected from the Covert Observations made at Supermarkets. It involves in looking closely at how people interact with each other. This could help us a lot while analysing and finding what are the customers perceiving from the launch campaign, do they take the campaign as the premium quality & taste assurance or just a chance to get double money back.

2.8 EXPECTATIONS FROM THE STUDY
After executing all the techniques, to undertake the Qualitative Research, as mentioned in section 2.4, 2.5 and 2.6, used to undertake the Qualitative Research, we should be in a state to formulate answers to all the Research Questions. We would be able to:     Check whether the campaign has been successful in inducing enough trials for the newly launched product, MTR Snack Up Calculate the extent to which the launch campaign has been successful on the basis of the expected and actual sales of the Snack Up products Investigate whether the campaign was a product quality communication strategy or just a promotional strategy Decide the Integrated Marketing Communications strategy which MTR should be using in future times and while launching the Snack Up product to the other states of India and abroad Observe if there has been any change in the buying behaviour of customers w.r.t. to collection of bills while making any purchase

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A study to determine the role of the Launch Campaign, Taste Challenge, of MTR Snack Up and calculate its impact on the sales and consumer buying behavior

2013

ANNEXURES
ANNEXURE I

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A study to determine the role of the Launch Campaign, Taste Challenge, of MTR Snack Up and calculate its impact on the sales and consumer buying behavior

2013

ANNEXURE II

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