Market Research in Recessionary Times – Chapter Two

Posted on 22. Jan, 2009 by in iGrok Research

Is market research a first-to-be-cut expenditure in these economic straits? The Professor recommends otherwise. The Professor thinks companies should plan to make modest market research expenditures to make the most of the marketing, advertising, and promotional budgets they still have at hand.

Why? Consumers will still buy necessities – such as food, shelter, utilities, gasoline, and clothing, as well as arguable non essentials like entertainment. Past recessions have shown that consumers will trade down if they can – ground beef not steak, lower thermostat settings, cars with better gas mileage, making last year’s clothes last another year. Modest research expenditures could help understand what consumers are thinking, and provide ways to help them find their way.

On the subject of groceries, a chief executive of a major supermarket conglomerate was recently quoted in the New York Times confirming that these trade-down food buying trends are happening currently. And your professor witnessed, through research, sales data, interviews with a major supermarket chain’s buying and marketing staff, and collaboration with a University of California business forecasting unit, this exact trend, following an upheaval in the past. So this trend should be no surprise. And again, a modest expenditure on consumer research could tap into ways to relieve consumers’ pain.

Regarding entertainment expenditures – consumers could decide to cut back. Modest research can track what consumers are thinking about their entertainment options and preferences. C.A. Walker has studied the filmed entertainment, home video, cable, and satellite markets extensively and can provide experienced advice.

The Professor would be happy to answer any questions you may have, and wishes you a prosperous New Year.

To contact The Professor, email Dr. Kevin Gentry, Group Vice President at C.A. Walker Research Solutions.

    The Professor has a doctorate in Social Psychology from the University of Southern California, and has been practicing market research for many years.

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