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Autor: anton 01 May 2011
Words: 1259 | Pages: 6
The American Marketing Association defines marketing as â€œan organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholdersâ€. (2005) Simply put, marketing is the process by which businesses assess the needs and desires of consumers in order to provide products and/or services to meet those needs in the most efficient and cost effective manner. Truly effective marketers do market research in an effort to understand their target market and create marketing strategies based on the characterization of those in the target area.
Market research â€œis the process of defining a marketing problem and opportunity, systematically collecting and analyzing information, and recommending actionsâ€¦market research seeks to reduce risk and uncertainty to improve decisions made by marketing managersâ€. (Kerin, Hartley, Berkowitz, Rudelius, 2006). In this paper, the author will assess the relative value of two pieces of market research done Kudler Fine Foods in addition to evaluating components of the marketing mix for Kudlerâ€™s new catering service.
Kudler Fine Foods is a specialty gourmet store with three locations in La Jolla, Del Mar and Encinitas, California. The company prides its self on providing premium gourmet food items to its customers and they operate on the premise that their target customers are willing to pay a premium for premium goods and quality service. With this in mind, Kudler has initiated some key strategic strategies to promote their services and build relationships with their customer base. These strategies include: (1). offering parties in the store to show customers how to prepare specialty foods. The draw for the consumers is that enjoy the privilege of training with world-renowned chefs, local celebrities, other food experts, and even Kathy Kudler herself, and are invited to exclusive, upscale events. The anticipated outcomes will be to increase the customer purchase rate of high margin food and beverage items and to get consumer to make an evening at Kudler Fine Foods part of their social network (2) tracking purchase behavior at the individual customer level and providing high value incentives through a partnership with a loyalty points program. The customer purchase behavior patters will help Kudler refine its processes and offerings to best satisfy their valued customers (3) focusing on internal (both front line and behind the scenes) processes, and how those can be improved to deliver increased value to the customer. From a service perspective, Kudler is benchmarking Nordstrom department stores. In addition, the firm is developing employee training programs and integrating new software systems to facilitate the effort. (Kudler Fine Foods)
In addition to the aforementioned initiatives, Kudler is planning to integrate a new catering service as a part of their strategic plan. In the process of making this decision, Kudler devised a market survey geared towards understanding their strengths and weaknesses from the customer perspective. To produce an effective market research tool, the information collected must consist of both primary and secondary data. â€œPrimary data are facts and figures that are newly collected for the project while secondary data are internal and external data that have already been collected and exist inside the organization and published data from outside the organizationâ€. (Kerin, Hartley, Berkowitz, Rudelius, 2006)
Kudlerâ€™s management team decided to use a questionnaire approach to collecting internal data for their marketing survey. It does not appear that these questionnaires were of much value in regards to developing a catering service, primarily because the questionnaire asked general questions about such things as store dÐ¹cor and hours. The questionnaires would have been of much more value had they asked specific questions about what the customers want, would they utilize a catering service, and to garner suggestions on what improvements the customers would like to see in the stores. However, the value of the marketing surveys collected did provide Kudler with good information regarding how customers view their products and pricing and the general customer service experience. By establishing relationships with their customers, the mangers of Kudlerâ€™s three stores were able to observe the customersâ€™ buying habits and obtain information about what other services the customers might utilize. By devising a questionnaire, management is able to see areas in which customers felt the company there was room for improvement and which areas the company excelled. Although the questions could have been more specific, a general view was enough for the company to see the areas in which they needed to concentrate improvement strategies. Kudler could also use some of the information gathered from the survey to determine the most profitable marketing mix for their organization.
The desired marketing mix is a combination of promoting the right product in the right place, at the right price for optimal profitability. In determining the most profitable market mix, however, it is imperative that the corporation continues to maintain customer focus. The components of Kudlerâ€™s marketing mix in regards to the catering aspect are the service and food, the price breakdown, and how, when and where to promote the service.
Since Kudler specializes in fine, organically grown produce and meats, the base price will automatically be higher than other types of catering specialties. Nevertheless, the fact that they will begin using local farmers of organic products, will enable them to lower their costs thus lowering costs to the consumers. The challenge will be in deciding which menu items to include in the catering service. Since all items may not travel well or taste as good hours after they are cooked. Again, by asking the right questions of consumers, Kudler has the chance to optimize the customer experience by giving them what they value. â€œCustomer value is the unique combination of benefits received by targeted buyers that includes quality, price, convenience, on-time delivery, and both before-sale and after-sale serviceâ€. (Kerin, Hartley, Berkowitz, Rudelius, 2005) However, if Kudler does not use the right approach to promoting their new service, it will prove to be an unsuccessful venture.
Since Kudler is a fine food company, whose catering will focus on a specific type of high class consumer, their promotion strategies need to be classy and tasteful. One suggestion is that the company advertise in local papers and magazines geared towards food and wine. The company can include promotional reminders in customerâ€™s bags as they leave the store as well as using signage in the store, and on delivery and catering vans. Emails are a very effective promotional device in addition to adding this new service to the Kudler Fine Foods web page. Kudler must also create catering menus that are attractive and bring mouth-watering visions to the consumersâ€™ eyes. Offering discounts to those who wish to utilize the catering service is a huge promotional pull and, of course, word of mouth is the most effective promotional tool.
â€œIntense competition in todayâ€™s fast-paced domestic and global markets has caused massive restructuring of many American industries and businesses. American managers are seeking ways to achieve success in this new, more intense level of global competitionâ€. Kudler Fine Foods as found a niche in the market place and must do everything within the organizationâ€™s powers to continue its growth by providing optimal service and developing customer relationships that promote loyalty.
American Marketing Association
http://www.marketingpower.com/content24159.php. Retrieved June 10, 2007
Kerin, Roger A, Hartley, Steven W., Berkowitz, Eric N., William, Rudelius and Balkin, David
(2006) Marketing, 8ed, New York, McGraw Hill
Kudler Fine Foods Marketing Strategy
Retrieved from University of Phoenix Database, May 28, 2007
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