The purpose of this assignment is to enable the student to understand buyer behaviour, the purchase decision-making process, marketing research techniques for the development of marketing plans, assessment of different information and customer satisfaction in a research proposal.

You work as a marketing manager for a medium-sized Hong Kong organization selling a consumer product or service. One of your major tasks is your involvement in your organization’s marketing research process. You are asked by the Board of Management to conduct marketing research that will be used by your organisation to gather marketing information for the launch of a new product or service to replace a current product or service. You should pick as the basis of your answer, a real business organisation with which you are familiar or the organisation where you currently work; or a previous employer or any organisation for which you have access to the required information. The plan will include a discussion of the buying behaviour and purchase decision making process of your organisation’s current customers, make use of marketing research techniques, make an assessment of market size and of future demand of the new product or service and carry out customer satisfaction measurement. (Tasks 1, 2, 3 and 4)

Task 1 – Buyer behaviour and the purchase decision making process:
1.1 Describe the main stages of the purchase decision making process as they relate to your organisation’s customers.
1.2 Explain theories of buyer behaviour in terms of individual customers and markets.
1.3 Explain the factors that affect buyer behaviour.
1.4 Evaluate the relationship between brand loyalty, corporate image and repeat purchasing as they apply to your organisation.
Task 2 – Using marketing research techniques:
2.1 Evaluate different types of market research techniques that can be used by your organisation.
2.2 Use secondary data sources to achieve a specific marketing research objective for your organisation.
2.3 Assess the validity and reliability of market research findings in the above scenario.
2.4 Prepare a marketing research plan to obtain information in a given situation related to your organisation.
Task 3 – Assessing market size and future demand:
3.1 Assess market size trends within a given market for your organisation.
3.2 Plan and carry out a competitor analysis for your organisation.
3.3 Evaluate your organisation’s opportunities and threats in respect of your chosen new product or service.
Task 4 – Measuring customer satisfaction:
4.1 Evaluate the techniques that can be used for assessing your organisation’s customer responses to your organisation’s new product or service.
4.2 Design and complete a customer satisfaction survey for your organisation’s customers.
4.3 Review the success of the completed customer satisfaction survey.
Student guidelines:
•    Discuss each assessment criteria separately and make clear which you are discussing
•    Discuss each assessment criteria in suitable depth and details
•    Write in your own words and acknowledge all sources of material you use to support your discussion
Plagiarized work will result in a REFERRED grade.
•    The report should be approximately 2,500 – 3,000 words in length, excluding tables of figures, diagrams and appendices
•    You should write this assignment in report style
•    You should use diagrams and tables of figures where appropriate ensuring to reference their source
•    Any text that is directly quoted (verbatim) from the Internet or other sources should be clearly identified as such, e.g.  Orwell (1948) wrote: “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen”.
•    Please bear in mind that it is your own original writing, rather than direct quotes, that will gain marks.
•     You should include a list of references using the Harvard referencing system
Sources of information:
There are a wide variety of resources available to you to help you complete your assignment and enhance the learning experience on the module. The sources you use will of course be based on the subject matter that you choose to research, such as :
•    The student’s chosen company
•    The student’s own research task
•    Textbooks on marketing research and marketing intelligence
•    Journal,  magazine and newspaper  articles
Remember that the more resources you use, the more information you will have to discuss and the better your assignment can be.
EBSCO on-line library
•    You should always make use of the EBSCO on-line library that is available as a link on the module web-page. This link provides access to many industry and some academic articles and books. By searching on the databases held on the on-line library you will find many relevant articles on tourism, travel and hospitality that you may be able to use in your assignment report.

There are many general texts that have been published in the fields of consumer behavior and marketing research that may be helpful for this module. Some examples of general texts follow:
•    Blackwell, R D, Miniard, P W and Engel, J F – Consumer Behaviour, (Thomson South Western, 2006)
•    Solomon, M R, Bamossy, G,  Askegaard, S  and Hogg, M K  – Consumer Behaviour: A European Perspective, (Prentice Hall, 2010)
•    Burns A C and Bush R F – Marketing Research: Online Research Applications, (Prentice Hall, 2005) ISBN: 9780132280358
•    Malhotra N and Birks, D – Marketing Research, An Applied Approach, (Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2006) ISBN: 9780273706892

•    Campaign (Haymarket Publishing)
•    The Financial Times and other daily newspapers which contain a business section and market reports
•    International Journal of Market Research (Warc Ltd)
•    The Marketer (Journal of the Chartered Institute of Marketing) Marketing Business (The Chartered Institute of Marketing Magazine) The Marketing Review (Westburn Publishers)
•    Marketing Week (Centaur Communications Ltd)

• website of A E Nielsen, marketing information company    The Chartered Institute of Marketing – A professional marketing body based in UK.
• The Economist Intelligence Unit
• Euro monitor International, provides market analysis
Outcomes and assessment criteria:

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this unit a learner will:    Assessment criteria for pass
The learner can:
LO1 Understand buyer behaviour and the purchase decision-making process    1.1 describe the main stages of the purchase decision-making process
1.2 explain theories of buyer behaviour in terms of individuals and markets
1.3 explain the factors that affect buyer behaviour
1.4 evaluate the relationship between brand loyalty, corporate image and repeat purchasing
LO2 Be able to use marketing research techniques    2.1 evaluate different types of market research techniques
2.2 use sources of secondary data to achieve marketing research objectives
2.3 assess the validity and reliability of market research findings
2.4 prepare a marketing research plan to obtain information in a given situation
LO3 Be able to assess market size and future demand    3.1 assess market size trends within a given market
3.2 plan and carry out a competitor analysis for a given organisation
3.3 evaluate an organisation’s opportunities and threats for a given product or service

LO4 Be able to measure customer satisfaction    4.1 evaluate techniques of assessing customer response
4.2 design and complete a customer satisfaction survey
4.3 review the success of a completed survey

Performance Criteria
Each assignment will be graded as a Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Pass is awarded for the achievement of all outcomes against the above specified assessment criteria.

Merit and Distinction grades are awarded for higher-level achievement as follows:

•    Merit – as for a pass, but with more detailed and analytical responses:
o    Elaborate various viewpoints and synthesize the opinions on buyer behaviour and decision process with justified method of choice
o    Discuss the appropriateness and reliability of the market research techniques used by the selected organisation with effective judgment.
o    Explain the reasons for choosing the particular method of data collection for a given product or service.
o    Interpret the analysis of market trends, competition, opportunities and threats for a given product or service.
o    Discuss viewpoints and give their own opinions with logical suggestions presented in the customer satisfaction survey.

•    Distinction – as for a pass, but showing sophisticated and in-depth insights of a high standard:
o    Apply comprehensive knowledge and understanding of key ideas and concepts of marketing research methods to a diverse range of complex issues in the marketing intelligence contexts.
o    Communicate findings and ideas of the marketing research proposal in a concise, logical, well-balanced and systematic way for managing and organizing marketing intelligence activities.
o     Demonstrate excellent ability with thorough and critical analysis on the marketing intelligence and customer satisfaction survey for marketing planning.

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