Depth Interview: Conduct an in-depth interview with someone who is not taking this class, about a recent purchase. Understand how the owner or user feels about the product or service in terms that can be useful to a marketing manager. The interview should be about a product or service costing either less than QR. 20 (low involvement) or over QR.400 (high involvement) that either performs a utilitarian function or a product the customer feels, reveals something about the kind of person he or she is (value-expressive function).
Objective: Your goal in the interview will be to discover how the decision-making process unfolded leading up to this purchase decision:
Need recognition: What led this consumer to realize that he or she needed or wanted to buy in this product category?
Information search: How many alternatives did the consumer consider?
Evaluation of alternatives: How favorable was the consumer’s evaluation of these alternatives? What product attributes were important to this consumer, and how favorably did the consumer perceive these different alternatives to perform on those attributes?
Product choice: Which product did the person buy? Why did the person decide to buy the alternative that he or she chose?
Post-choice evaluation: Will the person buy this same product (and brand) again? Why or why not?
Methodologies: In addition to asking questions such as the ones listed above to determine the consumer’s decision-making process, please select any one of the following two methodologies to enrich your analysis. Please include a discussion of what you learn using these methodologies within the text of your write-up, and include graphical illustrations of your results as exhibits at the end of the paper.
1. Laddering: Many interviewers find it useful to use a laddering technique to prompt the consumer to tell you the key benefits/values that they associate with important product attributes. First, ask them to name an important attribute of the product, and then ask them why it is important to them that the product has that attribute. After they answer, ask them why it is important that they get that benefit, and then why it is important to them that they get that benefit, and so on, until you have obtained a higher-level, more-abstract motivation underlying their preference for the attribute. For example, a consumer choosing a salty snack might say it is important for them to have a flavored potato chip because it has a strong taste, which produces the benefit of them eating less, which means they will not gain weight, which will enhance their self-esteem. In this way, you can use laddering to learn about the higher-order needs the product could meet (e.g., self-esteem, peace of mind, safety).
2. Associative Map: Ask the interviewee to tell you what associations (e.g., beliefs, feelings, memories, etc.) they have with the different choice alternatives. For example, ask them the first word that comes to mind when they think of the brand they chose; then ask them the associations they have to that first word; repeat until you can graphically depict the network of consumer’s associations to the brand they chose. Try to discover which of the consumer’s underlying higher level needs were associated with purchasing that brand.
You will begin this assignment by working on the appendices first.
• Two appendices are required. You should include an appendix for either an Associative Network (see page 317 of the text for an example) or a Laddering (see page 359-360, read the section “Discovering Purchase Motives” of the text), graphics are required for whichever method you use for this appendix. Latent motive need or manifest motive
( 2 marks)
• You should report the different decision making stages that your interviewee went through in a separate appendix. See chapter 1 (page 3) for the decision making stages. ( 2 marks)
• The body of the paper should be 2 pages numbered and double spaced. Below see the guidelines to write the body of the paper.
Assignment Write-up: You should begin your paper by providing your analysis (about one page) based on your appendices for the product. In your analysis, try to uncover the underlying higher level needs that your interviewee had behind making the purchase. For example, in seeking university education, the apparent need may be getting a job, but the higher level abstract need may be having more control in one’s life and to know more about the world. Link your interviewee’s purchase to the concepts covered in readings and lectures. The analysis should apply a range of course terms and concepts. Address the needs of your interviewee while discovering the most higher level abstract need based on your laddering or associative network exercise. (6 marks).
Next, you should answer the question; did brand play a role in this purchase? Why or why not? Explain either way (about ¼ of a page) – 2 marks).
Next, you should provide at least 3-4 implications (about ¾ a page – 3 marks) for the marketing manager based on your analysis and conclusions. (see below for an example of Tiffany’s Bracelet). By now you should have completed 2 pages.
This should give you 2 complete pages double spaced without 2 appendices. Attach your 2 appendices to the 2 complete double spaced pages of your analysis.
Some more guidelines for Write up including marketing strategy implications: Write a concise analysis of your interview findings, not to exceed 2 double-spaced pages of text, not including title pages or any exhibits or appendices you would like at the end of the paper depicting your research results (i.e., from the laddering, and/ or associative map). In your write up, try to apply concepts and frameworks from class discussion/ readings and discover the underlying abstract/ higher level needs of your interviewee based on his/ her decision making process and the methodology you use. In your analysis address the following question: “What role does the brand play in all of this?”
Include in your write-up your findings for marketing strategy implications for managers. For example, suppose your interviewee bought a Tiffany’s bracelet to reward herself after a week-long consulting project. An implication of this might be that firms should consider an ad campaign encouraging women to buy jewelry as gifts for themselves. Follow the detailed instructions given above in completing the assignment:
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