Market Research Project : Ocean Beverage Company

The vice president of Ocean Beverage Company has asked you to collect data on the company’s marketing mix and potential changes to the mix from both current and prospective customers residing within the company’s existing geographical market area.  You have decided to use a questionnaire to gather part of the data you need and experimental research to obtain the rest.

Ocean Beverage Company began operations in 1977 when the founder of a company producing a popular local brand of carbonated soft drinks decided to sell the company and retire. At that time the company’s market area consisted of southern California and Arizona.  The new owner embarked on an aggressive plan to add flavors and expand the geographical market. The growth campaign was successful and the company now offers a full line of the common cola and other soft drink flavors plus six flavors that are unique to Ocean. The market area has expanded and now encompasses all of California, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada. Oceans enjoys the third largest average share of the soft drink market in their market area.

The objective of the marketing research project is to provide data that will be useful as the company evaluates the alternative of moving into the health and energy drink market.  Some of the questions that have been raised are:

  • Will it be better to enter the health drink market using the well-known Ocean brand or a new brand name that would not be associated with soft drinks?
  • In terms of liquid ounces, what size container should be used for the health drink?
  • What is the existing sales volume of health drinks in the company’s market area and what rate of growth should be expected?

You must demonstrate the questionnaire and describe the process you followed during its development in a presentation to the vice president.  You must also gear your presentation to helping the vice president catch the vision of your plan for the experimental research project. NOTE: The focus of your research need not be limited to the three example questions.

Include the following in the presentation:

  • Identify the types of market data needed for this project that may be available from secondary sources and the types that must be obtained through primary research.
  • Develop a seven question questionnaire that includes both open-ended and fixed-alternative questions, including measurement scales that are focused on collecting information from current and prospective customers in relation to effectiveness of the marketing mix.  Display this questionnaire on the PowerPoint slides.
  • Emphasize any ethical cautions that relate to the development of scale measurements.
  • Outline your application of the “flower pot” approach to developing the questionnaire.
  • Explain the value of experimentation in marketing research.
  • Describe the variables used in experimental research design.
  • Identify and briefly describe five techniques you would use to minimize threats to internal and external validity of the experimental project.

Develop a 12 to 15 slide PowerPoint presentation.  The presentation must include at least one chart or graph and speaker notes must be included on all of the slides. Apply APA standards for writing style to the speaker notes.

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