Marketing Research Marketing research is the systematic gathering, recording, and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data used for making well thought out business decisions. It is needed in order to “introduce (new) products and services that create value in the mind of customers” ("Marketing Research", 2010). It is a six step process in which (1) an objective has to be defined, (2) determine research design, (3) prepare the research instrument, (4) sampling/data collection, (5) analysis of data and (6) communicate the results. It is focused in understanding consumer behaviors such as change in preferences or demand ("Marketing Research", 2010). Marketing research helps firms make educated decisions based on the gathered data and its analysis. Marketing research also helps lower the risks that come along with expansion. As the owner, Kathy must perform a marketing research in order to determine whether her plans of growth and expansion are feasible and worth undertaking.
Areas that Require Additional Marketing Research Some of the areas that may require additional marketing research would be the consolidation of the Del Mar location with a new location in Carlsbad. According to the Kudler Fine Foods Strategic Plan 2003, “Our Del Mar location is not doing as well as expected due to the small population base of the area” ("Strategic Plan 2003", 2003). Kathy would like to open a new location in Carlsbad, California which holds a larger population specifically in Oceanside which has “…population of around 160,000 and is only five miles north of Carlsbad Village Drive” ("Strategic Plan 2003", 2003). Though a new location in Carlsbad looks promising due to a larger population of potential customers in comparison to the Del Mar, Kathy should also look into what type of demographics the location has. Kathy would like to open a new location in Oceanside, what type of products will she need to have in the location to properly cater to her potential customers. Kathy should also look at the costs of opening a new location, whether it will be more cost efficient to rent a location or construct a whole new building. Another area Kathy might want to perform a marketing research would be expanding her catering capabilities and advertising in local San Diego phone directory. According to Kathy, “the catering side of the business has not really been promoted, but it has been proven to be a profitable venture” ("Strategic Plan 2003", 2003). Placing an ad in the local directory can increase the number of customers that can be reached. Though the process is very costly, it is still worth looking into the additional revenue it might bring in to the business. Catering requires understand the customers in a deeper level. Kathy will not only be providing food to her customers but also service. Catering will also require additional resources such as possibly