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323 MARKETING RESEARCH CHAPTER TEN Based on marketing research, the YMCA has been rebranded to the Y, and local branches are encouraged to focus on its core values: ­caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. ©Kevin Wolf/AP Images members, and other stakeholders, were seeing. As the president of the national organization explained, even as membership numbers were climbing, other data related to charitable donations suggested some concerns. That is, people were perceiving the Y “as a gym and swim place. We’re also a charity, and that is the missing ingredient. We want people to realize that we’re deserving of their charitable donations.”49 To make that case, the Y (which rebranded in 2010 to take the single-letter moniker, though it also still relies on the longer YMCA acronym to maintain links to its historical functions) relies substantially on research. The goal is to show, with data, facts, figures, and graphics, how programs run by the Y and sponsored by charitable donations actually change lives and improve communities. For example, a vast survey of consumers across the nation showed that 98 percent of people knew of the YMCA, and 92 percent of them had favorable impressions of it. But only 50 percent indicated that they understood why the Y offered the ­programs that it did.50 The national organization considered its mission—to give ­families resources that they needed to build self-esteem and self-confidence, and thus build communities—evident, but the marketing research showed that these notions were not widespread among people who might use or contribute to their local organizations. In response, it encouraged the local branches (each of which is run autonomously) to emphasize four core values: caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility. It also recommended that local branches consider conducting their own research projects to ensure they were providing the types of resources their local members wanted and needed most.51 In other, more targeted, marketing research projects, the national and local arms of the Y also have sought to determine which price points will attract the most members. For example, the Boston branch cited extensive marketing research that showed that if it cut membership fees by 11 percent, it could attract 10,000 new members. The research got it a little bit wrong though: After it reduced the fees, the membership rolls swelled by more than 20,000 users.52 Research also has informed which initiatives the Y has made its primary focus for the near future. First, noting extensive academic literature that shows that impoverished students retain less of the education they have received during the summer months, the 324 Section Three TARGETING THE MARKETPLACE Y is expanding a summer camp program in an effort to reduce the well-documented “achievement gap” between children from poor and wealthy families.53 To support this initiative, the Y also instituted its first national advertising campaign, in which one televised advertisement highlights the various after-school, summer, and meal programs available for children. It also ends with a clear call for contributions to support such programs.54 Second, the Y cites national statistics about the number of people with diabetes or prediabetes, as well as scientific evidence that shows that losing even 5 percent of their body weight can help at-risk people avoid becoming diabetic. Accordingly, its second main initiative is to expand its diabetes prevention programs, in collaboration with national health care organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the “Let’s Move” campaign. Some evidence suggests its efforts are paying off. Visits to the Y’s website increased in just the two months after it launched the national advertising campaigns.55 In addition, the new communications are attracting attention to the Y in various outlets and sources, including a prominent role in a documentary about a swim team for people with autism.56 So the Y means a lot of things to a lot of people. The national organization continues to find out what people think of when they think of the Y. In addition, it seeks to learn how it can convince them to think about the Y and its valuable programs as a destination for their charitable donations. Questions 1. 2. 3. 4. What kinds of marketing research has the Y conducted? Which questions has the Y sought to answer with each different type of marketing ­research it has conducted? Who are the main stakeholders that the Y is attempting to reach with the information it has gained through its marketing research? Are there other types of marketing research that the Y could conduct in the future to answer other important questions? Give some examples of both the questions it still faces and the research methods it could use to answer them. Endnotes 1. Thomas H. Davenport and Randy Bean, “How P&G and ­American Express Are Approaching AI,” Harvard Business Review, March 31, 2017. 2. Ibid. 3. Eleanor O’Neill, “10 Companies That Are Using Big Data,” CA Today, September 23, 2016, 4. Bernard Marr, “American Express Charges into the World of Big Data,” Data Informed, January 16, 2016, 5. Alexandra Levit, “Big Data Analytics Doesn’t Have to Be ­Intimidating,” American Express Open Forum, August 4, 2017,­ openforum/articles/big-data-analytics-doesnt-have-to-beintimidating/. 6. Marr, “American Express Charges into the World of Big Data.” 7. O’Neill, “10 Companies That Are Using Big Data.” 8. Marr, “American Express Charges into the World of Big Data.” 9. Ibid. 10. Davenport and Bean, “How P&G and American Express Are Approaching AI.” 11. Nielsen Holding plc, “2015 10-K Annual Report,” The Nielsen Company, February 19, 2016. 12. McDonald’s Corporation, “About Us,” en-us/about-us.html; McDonald’s Corporation, “2016 Annual Report,” March 1, 2017. 13. The Wendy’s Company, “Wendy’s around the World,” www.; The Wendy’s Company, “2016 Annual Report,” March 2, 2017. 14. Detailed illustrations of scales are provided in two books: ­Gordon C. Bruner, Marketing Scales Handbook: A Compilation of Multi-Item Measures, vol. 7 (Carbondale, IL/Fort Worth, TX: GCBII Productions, 2013); William O. Bearden, Richard G. ­Netemeyer, and Kelly L. Haws, Handbook of Marketing Scales: Multi-Item Measures for Marketing and Consumer Behavior Research (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2011). 15. Jeff Kelly, “Big Data: Hadoop, Business, Analytics, and Beyond,” Wikibon, February 5, 2014, MARKETING RESEARCH CHAPTER TEN 16. Rachel Wolfson, “Retailers Using Big Data: The Secret behind Amazon and Nordstrom’s Success,” Big Data News, December 11, 2014, 17. “How Amazon Is Leveraging Big Data,” BigData Startups, www. 18. “Number of Active Amazon Customer Accounts Worldwide from 1st Quarter 2013 to 1st Quarter 2016 (in Millions),” Statista, 2018. 19. Wolfson, “Retailers Using Big Data.” 20. Bernard Marr, “Big Data at Tesco: Real Time Analytics at the UK Grocery Retail Giant,” Forbes, November 17, 2016. 21. Tesco, “Your Data Journey,”; Jenny Davey, “Every Little Bit of Data Helps Tesco Rule Retail,”, October 4, 2009. 22. Quentin Hardy, “Big Data Picks Up the Pace,” The New York Times, March 5, 2014, 23. Google, “Analytic Guide,” 24. Amitabh Joshi, “Puma Increased Order Rates to 7.1% via Google Analytics Insights,” Digital Vidya, March 15, 2016, www.; Google, “Puma Kicks Up Order Rate 7% with Insights from Google Analytics and Viget,” case study, 2013. 25. “Kinect-Enabled Solutions Offer Insights on Retail ­Customers,” Microsoft, January 26, 2016, https://blogs. msdn.­; Ronny Max, “12 Technologies to Track People,” Navigation, June 1, 2017, 26. “Retail Signage Gets Smart,” Microsoft, May 13, 2015, https:// 27. “Kinect-Enabled Solutions Offer Insights on Retail Customers,” Microsoft. 28. Vijay Mahajan, “How Unilever Reaches Rural Consumers in Emerging Markets,” Harvard Business Review, December 14, 2016,­ consumers-in-emerging-markets. 29. 30. Michael Brenner, “5 Examples of Brilliant Brand Communities That Are Shaping the Online World,” Marketing Insider Group, May 1, 2017,; 31. Kristian Bannister, “Understanding Sentiment Analysis: What It Is & Why It’s Used,” Brand Watch, January 26, 2015, www.; Rachael King, “Sentiment Analysis Gives Companies Insight into Consumer Opinion,” Bloomberg Businessweek, March 1, 2011, 32. Richard A. Krueger and Mary Anne Casey, Focus Groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research, 5th ed. (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2014). 33. 34. Adapted from A. Parasuraman, Dhruv Grewal, and R. Krishnan, Marketing Research, 2nd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007), Ch. 10. 35. Chris Boeckelman, “Everything You Need to Know about ­Survey Response Rates,” Get Feedback, January 26, 2017,; Andrea Fryrear, “3 Ways to Improve 325 Your Survey Response Rates,” SurveyGizmo, July 27, 2015, www.­ 36.;; “Asda Wins Vision Critical’s European Insight Community Award,” press release, Research, September 30, 2013, www. 37. Facebook, “State Bicycle Co.: Building a Strong Customer Base,” case study,­ stories/state-bicycle. 38. Facebook, 39. 40.­ software. 41. E. J. Schultz, “Facial-Recognition Lets Marketers Gauge Consumers’ Real Responses to Ads,” Advertising Age, May 18, 2015, 42. 43. A. K. Ahuja, “How Big Brands Are Using Neuromarketing to Stay Bold,” LinkedIn, October 27, 2017, how-big-brands-using-neuromarketing-stay-bold-a-k-ahuja; Philip Mahler, “15 Powerful Examples of Neuromarketing in Action,” Imotions, March 7, 2017,­ neuromarketing-examples/. 44.;; 45. “Security Breach Notification Laws,” National Conference of State Legislators, April 12, 2017,­ telecommunications-and-information-technology/securitybreach-notification-laws.aspx. 46. Somini Sengupta, “No U.S. Action, So States Move on Privacy Law,” The New York Times, October 30, 2013, www.nytimes. com. 47. YMCA, “History,” 48. YMCA, “Organizational Profile,” 49. Alina Tugent, “The Y Embarks on Its First National Advertising Campaign,” The New York Times, January 23, 2016. 50. Aaron K. Olson and B. Keith Simerson, Leading with Strategic Thinking: Four Ways Effective Leaders Gain Insight, Drive Change, and Get Results (New York: Wiley, 2015). 51. Foursquare, “What Is a Foursquare Market Research Study?,” Study%20for%20YMCAs.pdf. 52. Melissa Harris, “Kevin Washington Sets Agenda for YMCA’s National Organization,” Chicago Tribune, November 21, 2014. 53. Ibid. 54. Alina Tugent, “The Y Embarks on Its First National Advertising Campaign,” The New York Times, January 23, 2016. 55. Adrianne Pasquarelli, “Move Over Clinton and Trump: YMCA Backs a Toddler’s Run in New Spot,” Advertising Age, ­February 5, 2016. 56. Shanna Belott, “The Best Place for Community Is the One You Grew Up In,” Huffington Post, February 18, 2016. i. Dan Tynan, “How ‘The Revenant’—and Big Data—Will Change Movies Forever,” Yahoo! Finance, January 13, 2016; Matthew Wall, “Can We Predict Oscar Winners Using Data Analytics Alone?,” BBC News, February 26, 2016. ii. “Colleges Are Tracking When Students Work Out at Rec Centers,” The Wall Street Journal, October 28, 2014, Read the Chapter Case Study “Swim, Lift, Play—but also donate: Using marketing research to redefine the YMCA” from Chapter 10 “Marketing Research” Page: – 323 given in your textbook/Ebook – “Marketing” (7th ed) by Dhruv. Grewal and Michael Levy (2020) and answer the following Questions: Assignment Question(s): 1. What kinds of market research has the Y conducted? Explain. 2. Which questions has the Y sought to answer with each different type of market research it has conducted? 3. Who are the main stakeholders that the Y is attempting to reach with the information it has gained through its market research? 4. Are there other types of market research that the Y could conduct in the future to answer other important questions? Give some examples of both the questions it still faces and the research methods it could use to answer them. Answers 1. Answer2. Answer3. Answer4. Answer-
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