Apple U.K is a firm that manufactures and sells its products globally. Examples of the products are the ipod, ipad, the apple computer. The company has grown over the years in its innovativeness, with its products realizing large volumes of sales globally. In fact, Kim and Yoffie (2010) describe the success realized by ipod and iphone as ‘smashing success’, and data monitor indicates that Apple devices continue to ‘generate column inches of profit’. Once a company has sold a product in the market; a market survey is done to ascertain the possible measure of success that can be realized upon launching the product. The survey report provides assurance to the company of the availability of the market for the product while at the same time reporting of the possible setbacks the product has compared with those of the competitors.
Ipod is a portable media player that is designed and marketed by Apple Inc. as one of its products. The product has been gradually added new features such as touch screen and upgraded memory in order to store more songs. In line with, there are numerous researches which have been carried out in the United Kingdom concerning the iPod as one of the products in this market. However, several problems were encountered during secondary data collection for this product in the U.K market. The data which was obtained indicated that other products were being bought at the expense of the ipod. Data monitor (2010) reiterated that smart phones, tablets and kindles were gaining popularity at the expense of the ipods. Initially, the product had distinguished itself in the market and gained celebrity status. Datamonitor (2010) outlined that the iPod and iphone transcended ordinary products to become iconic products that are globally recognized products. The problem with this information is that they did not give any specifications of the target item: the ipod. Instead the data obtained is general terms, for example the iPod products were generally referred to as electronic products. Furthermore, the information which was easily accessible on the market was old and therefore obsolete. The inability to obtained current secondary data on the iPod in the United Kingdom market posed a serious challenge to managers of Apple Inc. in marketing their iPod product in this particular market.
It is also important to understand that there is a lot of biasness in the presentation of secondary data concerning the iPod market in the United Kingdom. Notably, as a result of high competition in the market, most of the information which is presented on the market is biased or rather inclined towards supporting some products as the best while disregarding other products in the same line of industry. Therefore, it was easy for one to be misled by the information and data which was obtained in the market.
The collection of primary data was also identified as an important issue in market research. In reference to Kothari (2008, p.96), the primary methods available for collecting data on a particular market are face to face interviews, mail survey, and use of questionnaires). Face to face interviews vary in techniques but this method has many advantages and disadvantages. Some of the main advantages of this method is that more information in greater depth can be obtained since the interviewer can ask as many questions as possible as long as the respondents are willing to answer. On the other hand, the interviewer using his own skills can overcome any possible resistance, and greater flexibility is afforded since questions can be restructured as is the case in unstructured interviews (p.98). This method also facilitates easy obtaining of personal information besides giving the interviewer the chance to determine which questions to be answered by which respondent. In addition, the language of the interview can be adjusted to meet the education standard of the respondent. The possible shortcomings of this method are: bias on the side of the interviewer in his choice of questions; limited time given for each respondent; limited geographical coverage due to cost constraints and incomprehensive answers especially in the case of intensive interviews.
Use of questionnaires is also a common and effective way of gathering primary data especially where big inquiries are involved. Besides low costs involved in this method, the data collected is free from bias since it is written in the respondent’s own words. The respondents also have adequate time to respond to the questions and as a result give well thought answers. The use of e-mailing in market research is effective and will give unbiased results due to the fact that the respondent is not in direct contact the data interviewer.
The objectives of the research are: to determine the level of satisfaction of the customers with our products in the market; to determine the level of distribution and popularity of our products in the market and to also determine the level of technology advantage that will be needful for the customer to shift to another supplier. According to Wild and Diggines (2010, p.33), the research objectives give the reason for the research investigation with the understanding of the problem, opportunity and the tentative solutions. The objectives will also aid in the development of the research design. In order to collect data about the satisfaction of the customers in the market, this can be facilitated by using e- mail marketing. In this method, the customers give their views of the ipod product to the company through their e-mails. Due to the fact that earlier surveys indicated that most households in the U.K have personal computers, this can be the most efficient and cost effective way of getting the data required.
Data on the technology needed to prompt customers to shift to another supplier can be obtained through interviews. The use of interview in this objective will ensure that the real feelings and desired technological needs of the customers are understood. The views of the customers will help the company in designing new products that can meet the ever changing needs of customers. To determine the popularity of the ipod in the market, the use of questionnaires is most appropriate since it can reach many respondents and the cost is relatively low. The views of the whole market can be easily and cost effectively determined by using the questionnaires.