Important points to consider for research planning

  • Before a research is planned a few questions need to be answered like:
  • Why should a research be conducted?
  • What is its purpose? What is the problem area to be resolved? Or are the opportunities available in the market?
  • What alternatives can the researcher find besides and including research?
  • Who is the set of recipient using this research and what should be their expectation?
  • What should be the area on which research should be conducted? Establish research objectives.
  • What set of questions need to be prepared by the research proposal
  • What set of hypotheses need to be established?
  • Should there be any boundaries or limitations for the study?
  • Is the research topic undertaken worth the study?
  • What is the value of information and whether its cost be more then the cost of collecting it? Would it be possible also to obtain the information?
  • If the benefit is not exceeding the cost that is involved, one should not conduct the study as it is the suitable course of action for all.
  • What should be the way to design a research to achieve the set objectives?
  • Should it be primary or secondary research?
  • Which course of alternative to be chosen?
  • Specifying sampling plan
  • Designing the experiments.
  • Collecting the data.
  • Designing and collecting the data.
  • How should the data be analysed, interpreted and also used to give recommendations for further action?
  • Reporting the research results.
  • Providing strategic recommendations.

Media research

In India soft drinks perhaps one of the most hard fought categories in all regards be it distribution, communication, media, events, pricing etc. almost every year it maintains a consistent position of being one of the top categories on television whereby making it phenomenally a competitive segment. During the world cup and the festive time in 2007, there was a clear and predictable pattern showing the two specific peaks of ad spend. Aerated drinks are one category which is heavily advertised in movies, music soaps and cricket.

Almost every year the cola companies take on as the official sponsors of World Cup- Cricket, therefore major part of advertisement cost is attributed to this category. The cola giants are also sponsoring other sports as wrestling and soccer. There is 10 per cent of advertising of aerated drinks concentration on music channels, whereas MTV and Channel V scores over other music channels. It is basically in the general interest segment that about 98 percent of advertising of aerated drinks is concentrated which is an interesting insight. On the contrary concentration of only 2 per cent advertising is on film magazines, business, youth, women, in-flight, education and career related magazines.

It is the media spend distribution pattern that is mostly followed by brands in the soft drink category. It is Coke and Pepsi that follow a different pattern. In order to avoid the ‘ad clutter’ or overlap of advertising messages the broad group of targets for the brands can be similar and could be reached through varied combinations of media vehicles. This however does not imply that the marketwise strategy would remain the same for each brand. It could be specific for each brand.