Tuesday, June 4, 2013
MARKETING RESEARCH SOP
Marketing research in India is clearly at a point where it is set to become indispensable if the liberalization of the economy and expansion of consumer choice, which has become palpable in the recent years, is going to continue. With the opening of the Indian economy, the markets have gradually become buyers' markets. In India, market research is essentially used as a reactive tool, it is in the static stage; whereas, I feel that MR should serve as a proactive tool, helping corporations optimize their functioning by bringing research into all marketing efforts, by integrating it into the long and short term marketing strategies and by involving the operational staff who actually carry out the work that can use informed research results. Market research often ends up being used as an isolated tool that gives a narrow picture of the past without giving a holistic view and an insight into the future.
The need of the hour are MR professionals who are true managers - managers who have to facilitate a radical change in the way market research is looked upon today; very often as an activity done by a separate cell and an end in itself. I see myself, as an MR professional, using research as an actionable tool, incorporating cutting edge methodologies, getting the needed results while saving time and money. I want to turn it into a dynamic instrument, use it to feel the pulse of the market, make probabilistic predictions abut the market through sophisticated tools and ultimately get involved in product innovation and strategic planning.
To achieve this, I would like to gain exposure to the latest practices adopted by the trend makers in the field of market research and information systems. To this end, I would probably want to work with a leading international market research firm that would enable me to help corporations leverage their focus. I would like to bring this acquired expertise back to India, and use it to help companies to grow in the stiffly competitive market. I see market research as a sensitive and flexible instrument to be applied with insight, imagination and creativity.
Working at Centennial Cotex and then later at NMC Corp as a part-time associate intern led me to realize the importance of market research to a company. At Centennial Cotex, I was part of a cross-functional team that helped the firm shift its focus to the handicraft market where such coarse fabric was a good alternative. It is here that I gained wide exposure to the SPSS software and other tools of research design. At NMC, I have worked as an efficient and effective coordinator throughout research processes and work directly with numerous researchers on a wide variety of projects. I have experience in research design, questionnaire development, analysis, writing and interpreting results and a range of quantitative and qualitative methods. I am proud to say that I am an enthusiastic individual with good people skills and enjoy working as a team player in a multi-task environment across department lines and organizational levels.
The ability to work in a fast paced setting with time sensitive jobs made my summer internship at Pepsi a further step to learning. I was a part of a number of marketing promotions of the company on a local scale. My project on customer research on a key stock keeping unit required consumer profiling and a high degree of qualitative analysis through a study of buyer behavior using research tools like focus group interviews and perceptual mapping. Based on this study, I have planned and implemented marketing promotions to capture the home segment, within given budget constraints. At Cadence, one of the leading pharmaceutical firms in India, I had carried out a pre-launch survey based study for an antioxidant brand that helped the company identify its target segments.
Apart from these, working on various school projects has given me varied experience on the basis of which I have decided that MR is where I would like to base my future. A career in MR would give me an opportunity to work across boundaries of industry definitions with a number of industries ranging from consumer goods to innovative communication and high tech markets
I possess a broad-based management education. But, in order to attain what I am aiming for, I believe that I require a sharply defined and focussed course in marketing research. The expertise to analyze the marketing as well as the strategic problems faced by companies and implement corresponding solutions is what I want. An international exposure coupled with the immense opportunity in the Indian marketplace will help in breaking new ground in Indian marketing research.
I want to attend University Of Maryland's Master of Marketing Research program for several reasons. The focussed structure of the course will help me concentrate and work towards the attainment of my career goals. The internship provided within the MMR course work would help me gain exposure, insight, knowledge and hands-on experience with real time work environment. I am impressed with the quality of education provided by the university in terms of the well-structured curriculum and the recognized faculty. I look forward to shaping my career in the halls of University Of Maryland.