Consumer Goods Marketing Intelligence Report
Consumer Goods Marketing Intelligence Report
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The research purposes to analyse market demand for Instant Hand Sanitizer, a personal hygiene product manufactured by Averex Chemicals, Malaysia. Averex Chemicals is a Malaysian Company specializing in the production of personal hygiene products. The company has three brands; Hycare which focuses on food hygiene and sanitation, IDEX which focuses on total commercial hygiene, and Altimax which provides a range of industrial cleaning and surface treating solutions. Integrating marketing intelligence, significant research is carried out for the purpose of identifying the marketability and market position of Instant Hand Sanitizer. The project evaluates consumer buying trends and analyses key segments, distributors and intermediaries. The report also analyses relevant data with the intention of predicting specific segments in which the company should devote more resources. The rationale for this strategy is that the flaws from one method are often the strengths of the other. A qualitative research use two sets of questionnaires with the combination being prefers as it gives a complete picture with regards to the aspect of market intelligence. Qualitative research, being both exploratory and descriptive focuses on participants’ frame of reference and perspectives. The study uses a series of semi-structured interviews to elicit valuable insights on the marketing success of Instant Hand Sanitizer and to determine potential strategies that can allow the product to sell better.
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Cross tabulation is used to break down quantitative data into different segments for analysis. Findings indicate that Instant Hand Sanitizer is generally, poor selling as a result of a poor marketing strategy when compared to its other related products such as Bio-AID Waterless Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer and the Beauclair Delicate Hand Sanitizer. Key recommendations are that better, more elaborate promotional campaigns be implemented in order to increase the product’s competitiveness and drive up sales.
Market intelligence refers to the gathering and analysis of the information relevant to a company with the special purpose of making accurate decisions to determine market development metrics, devise market penetration strategies and determine opportunities. Although arguable, market intelligence is significantly related to market research entails systematically gathering, recording, examining and inferring data about a company’s market, customers and competitors. In essence, market intelligence is designed to help companies either enter a market or increase its presence within a market.
The research purposes to analyse market demand and brand preference for Instant Hand Sanitizer, a product of Averex Chemicals, Malaysia. Incorporated in 1995, Averex chemicals offer a wide range of products aimed at personal and commercial hygiene. Instant hand Sanitizer, an antiseptic used as an alternative to hand washing with water and soap, is one of the company’s key products. The company primarily operates Malaysia but exports its products to other Asian countries especially Japan The company has four primary product categories including IDEX designed for commercial hygiene, ALTIMAX designed for a range of industrial cleaning and surface treatment solutions, ALTIMAX Glove designed to carter for chemicals used in globe industry and HYCARE focusing on food and sanitation. The different product categories serves to meet the company’s overall objective of offering a range of world class products and applications to carter for different personal and commercial cleaning and sanitation needs. Typical tools relevant for market intelligence include analysis, size calculations, substitute product analysis, market growth prediction and competitor analysis.
Report by the Transparency market research indicates that Malaysian personal hygiene market was worth an estimated $501.7 million as of June 2014. This is projected to reach $701 million by the year 2017 representing a 28.5% growth within the period. It is also evident that the proportion of Malaysian population using hand sanitizers as disinfectants has significantly increased. Averex Chemicals faces a significant challenge from a number of companies who offer hand sanitizer products. Competition from related products such as Bio-Aid Waterless hand sanitizer offered by KR Global Solutions, Beauclair Delicate Hand Sanitizer offered by SIPRO and Esona Steri Clean a product of Esona technologies serves as a wakeup call for Averex to strengthen the market position of the Instant Hand Sanitizer.
Instant Hand Sanitizer, a product of Averex Chemicals, performed dismally in terms of sales volume within the Malaysian market. This is due to the fact that the market is awash with similar related products offered by other well established companies. The product can perform better if the company’s marketing segment taps into the cross section of Malaysian population who are using hand sanitizers. The product’s dismal sale performance can be attributed to cut throat competition in the industry, many alternative products and uncertainty in the demand decision making of consumers. The company also does not seem to effectively market the product as evidenced by its market share, profit and growth indicating poor decision making and poor leadership. Instant Hand Sanitizer’s poor market demand is linked to uncoordinated marketing initiatives hence the inability to increase the product’s sales volume within the Malaysian market. Finally, Averex Chemicals appears to be unable to track its competitors in the hand sanitization segment hence the need to implement new strategies of understanding its core customers, market, competitors, growth potential and problems.
The primary research objective is to evaluate market demand trends and brand preference for Instant Hand Sanitizer, a product of Averex Chemicals, Malaysia. Other objectives include:
To evaluate Instant Hand Sanitizer’s consumer buying trends in order to ascertain the volume needed within the Malaysian market.
Analyse the product’s key agents, distributors and intermediaries with the objective of finding the best possible ways of getting Instant Hand Sanitizer to consumers
To determine Instant Hand Sanitizer’s Key competing products performance and evaluate their performance within the Malaysian market
Analyse the relevant data with the intention of identifying strategies that would make Instant Hand Sanitizer, a top selling hand sanitizer in Malaysia
Evaluate customers buying patterns analysing key demographic segments that the product’s marketing team should infiltrate
RESEARCH PROCESS AND APPROACH
A mixed methodology that combines both quantitative and qualitative research approaches is used in the study. Questionnaires formed the base of quantitative research while semi-structured interview to a specific target groups formed the basis of qualitative research. Theoretically, the quantitative research aimed at either supporting or contesting an existing hypothesis. The data is often numerical and measurable, and the instruments such as questionnaires are used in the collection of data from a substantial number of individuals that are often representative of a larger population. Quantitative research analysis is also often numerical and is achieved through statistical procedures intended at either rejecting or failing to reject the hypotheses. This study utilised two questionnaires. The first demographic questionnaire solicits relevant background information Instant Hand Sanitizer while the second a 20 point questionnaire answered by selected individuals to determine the relative market position of the product.
The rationale for this strategy is that the flaws of one method are often the strengths of another, and by combining methods, a researcher can achieve the best of each while overcoming unique deficiencies” (Denzin, 1978, p. 302). . Combinations of the two approaches also tend to create a complete picture with regards to the problem rather than when each of the techniques stands alone (Creswell and Plano, 2007). According to Tashakkori and Teddlie (1998), the technique evolved from the pioneering work of Campbell and Fiske, who used more than one quantitative method to measure a psychological trait. To Creswell (1994), the concept of triangulation is based on the assumption that any bias inherent in a particular data source, investigator, or method would be neutralised when used in conjunction with other data sources, investigators, or methods.
Qualitative research, being both exploratory and descriptive, focuses on the participants’ own frame of reference and perspectives and derives its meaning from the source (Miles and Huberman 1994). Greater authenticity is achieved by utilising qualitative research. Qualitative approached also allows for in-depth description a given phenomenon. Conrad and Serlin (2006) argue that an in-depth description is essential in establishing an awareness of the participant’s within a research in addition to provoking action among the participants. It, therefore, not only explains experiences but their respective contexts, as well.
The qualitative component consists of semi-structured interviews. In semi-structured interviews, research tools are more unstructured, flexible, and diagnostic, and aim at obtaining information from respondents in an indirect manner. The results that this approach yields are more descriptive and such results are often utilised in exploratory research and are more appropriate for hypotheses generation. The use of semi-structured interviews also provide the opportunity for interviewees to receive feedback and personal assurance regarding the way in which the information supplied is to be used (Mauthner and Doucet 2003).
Semi-structured interviews were used to elicit valuable insight from key uses of Instant Hand Sanitizer to determine potential strategies to allow the company better serve its customers. The advantage of such interviews is that they provide a more accurate and clear picture of the target customers’ behaviours or positions. This level of clarity is facilitated by open-ended questions and that respondents are free to answer according to their own thinking since they are not constrained to a limited number of alternatives as in questionnaires (Mauthner and Doucet 2003). Overall, qualitative analysis brings access to well grounded, rich descriptions and explanations of processes in identifiable contexts that quantitative, statistical analysis often lacks (Miles and Huberman 1994).
DATA ANALYSIS METHODS
For the quantitative questionnaire, the data were analysed through descriptive statistics, including frequency distributions, means, and standard deviations. The quantitative data was cross-tabulated and summarised. Cross-tabulations, referring to the breaking down of data by data sub-segments, were performed. Due to the study’s exploratory nature, statistical analysis is limited to hypothesis testing. The quantitative results are graphically displayed through the use of tables. The data from the semi-structured interviews were analysed through content analysis, in which the responses were examined for similarities of themes (Hambrick, 1981). Specifically, a coding process was utilised, whereby the researcher categorised the data by themes or patterns, and a list of themes from the qualitative data was generated. A co-rater, a colleague of the researcher, independently coded the same data, and inter-rater reliability was determined statistically.
For research to be meaningful, its findings must be reliable and valid. Reliability is the extent to which an instrument or procedure yields the same results on repeated trials (Carmines and Zeller 1979). Reliability and validity are associated with the instruments used in a study. For example, for a questionnaire, reliability is how consistent the scores on the questionnaire are. Reliability is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for validity. A study can be reliable but not valid, and it cannot be valid without first being reliable. In the quantitative research section, extensive statistical analysis is used to illustrate the validity and reliability of the study. This proves that the sample studied is in line with and representative of the entire population.t Credibility and authenticity of the data is established through the triangulation method (Cresswell, 2003).
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
Respondents expressed their desire to use hand sanitizers although a majority noted they had neither used nor even heard of Instant Hand Sanitizer from Averex Chemicals. The average income level of respondents also increased an indication of increasing wealth levels in Malaysia as a result of better healthcare and improved economy. The research further found that the general population were moving into single homes hence the need for personal hygiene products. This indicates an opportunity for Averex Chemicals to introduce more products to meet the demand. Compared to other hand sanitizers such as Pedi Pro Deluxe and Pear Shower and Hand Wash, majority of interviewees had not heard of, Instant Hand Sanitizer implying poor performance in terms of marketing. Nonetheless, since the respondents who had used the product viewed it as ideal, the company has an opportunity for market growth within coming years which it should fully utilize.
Considering that Malaysia serves as the mother country for Averex Chemicals, it can be the entry point for launching Instant Hand Sanitizer into the South East Asian market. Respondents from Instant Hand Sanitizer’ core consumers cited quality and the principal motivating factor towards choosing the product. The sensitivity of its products which must be of high quality being hygiene oriented makes quality, service and innovation mandatory. Competitor analysis from quantitative research indicates that Averex Chemicals ought to come up with new strategies to make Instant Hand Sanitizer more competitive within the Malaysian market.
For Instant Hand Sanitizer to experienced increases in sales volume, Averex Chemicals ought to formulate aggressive marketing objectives, and a complex marketing strategy that takes into account specific target markets. Instant Hand Sanitizer market is the section of Malaysian population who use hand sanitizers and other personal hygiene products. These also include corporate clients such as the various Malaysian airlines, hotels, restaurant chains, hospitals and other institutions. The key strategies include slogans such as; ‘trust and reliability,’ ‘flexibility and open-mindedness,’ ‘professionalism and responsibility,’ and ‘integrated research’ are key to driving up sales for its Instant hand sanitizer product. Generally, the company should view the customer as the key determinant to its strategic orientation, constantly challenging them to think differently.
In order to experience considerable sales growth for the Instant hand sanitizer product, Averex Chemicals should consider expanding its market into other Asian countries. This will allow it to access regions where it currently has limited or no presence through a series of controlled expansion moves, and strategic alliances. Averex Chemicals should consider entering into non-binding MOUs to acquire stakes in companies offering hand sanitizer products in either Philippines or Singapore. The move would usher in a period of long term expansion into new markets hence increasing its profitability and sales of its Instant hand Sanitizer brand. Averex Chemicals can be a competitive player, not only in the Malaysian hand sanitizer market, but in other countries across South East Asia such as Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei.
The company should continue its strategy of streamlining production and distribution facilities to attain new marketing position in the mentioned regions. Basing from its operations in Malaysia, Averex Chemicals should also endeavour to penetrate further into other Asian markets such as China and Japan to increase the volume of sales of its Instant Hand Sanitizer brand. The move will, nonetheless, have significant implications on its current operations as it will bring about new cultural, financial and logistic challenges. The company should also consider using product differentiation and product position coming up with other Instant Hand Sanitizer products such as Instant Hand Sanitizer Plus and aligning them to its marketing campaigns. The company should divide its product marketing goals and objectives into different product categories. By emphasizing on strategic expansion of the Instant Hand Sanitizer brand portfolio, Averex chemicals will definitely achieve increased sales volume.
Averex Chemicals should use multiple medium to promote Instant Hand Sanitizer including newspaper campaigns, discounts and sales promotion, radio campaigns, TV commercials and billboards and holdings. The company should place, on a regular basis, front and inner page large color adverts in popular newspapers including the Borneo Post, Business Times, The Edge, Focus Malaysia and Malay Mail. The company should also carry out elaborate radio campaign initiative that emphasizes on discount, and taste promotional factors aimed at attracting existing, and potential customers to buy its products. Similarly, the company should opt to pay for a number of TV ads on different channels, an immensely successful promotion strategy since TV remains one of the most common promotion medium. Instant Hand Sanitizer oriented TV commercials should be creative and attractive. The company should also consider offering discounts on a promotional basis to its customers, an approach that will not only lead to loyalty and goodwill among customers, but also increase its sales and profit margins. Averex Chemicals should also carry out elaborate sales promotion initiatives through the different channels some of which could include; allowances, sales contests and free goods. It can for specified time periods choose to give a uniform offer reduction on Instant Hand Sanitizers, a move that will attract new customers. Finally, it should consider using billboards and holdings to Instant Hand Sanitizer, locating them at strategic sites with considerable population and traffic thereby attracting different people.
A critical tactic that can enable Averex Chemicals to effectively market Instant Hand Sanitizer is to realign its product strategy with its long term strategic vision. This will provide a roadmap and go beyond its current price based and product differentiation strategies. To ensure long term success of Instant Hand Sanitizer, Averex Chemicals should focus on gaining additional knowledge of its customer and marketplace, creating a well-coordinated and interfaced market function and developing more proficient marketing strategies by committing additional resources to the sale of Instant Hand Sanitizer. Averex Chemicals can also increase its investment in Research and Development and also ensure that the high level management is supportive of new Instant Hand Sanitizer products.
The market research project has provided significant insight into the operations and industry environment of Averex Chemicals. The main challenge faced by Instant Hand Sanitizer that limits its sales revenue is cut throat competition from other hand sanitizer products such as Bio-Aid Waterless Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer and Loving Hands manufactured and marketed by Loving Hands Inc. It is a fact that the company faces the greatest competitive challenge from established multinationals such as Johnsons & Johnsons. Moreover, Averex Chemicals has placed most of its financial resources in production rather than in marketing. From the analysis above, the assessment of the competition in the market shows a great threat from competitors since the seasoned market players such as companies from Japan, China and the United States take the highest percentage of industry sales revenue and, therefore, For Instant Hand Sanitizer be successful, Averex Chemicals has to use aggressive marketing to penetrate the market and ensure it gets a significant share. Hence the need to use the indispensable tool of marketing intelligence to boost sale.
Following the comprehensive research, for Instant Hand Sanitizer to be successful, Averex Chemicals Should:
Promote cost and business structure reforms within the Malaysian market so as to realize increased competitiveness within the changing market circumstances. Due to the cut throat competition surrounding the hand sanitization segment, the company should increase its marketing budget.
Expand Instant Hand Sanitizer’s marketing scope within different regions in the Malaysian market while meticulously and thoroughly monitoring market conditions
Consider new innovative marketing strategies to infiltrate new markets thereby increasing its customer base.
Consider employing all the five marketing communication strategies to create and boost brand awareness especially with Instant hand Sanitizer. This will significantly reinforce its brand name and features to the target market and prospective customers.
Consider increasing the advertising budget allocated to Instant Hand Sanitizer in order to allow it reach a large audience via target appeals.
Consider personal selling to enable it have the opportunity of communicating the Instant Hand Sanitizer product features directly to the customers. Direct marketing shall permit the company to reach consumers without using third party medium.
Consider sales promotion to provide customers with an enticement to increasingly use Instant Hand Sanitizer. Since this is a relatively newly established company (established in 1995), public relations will be essential in connecting with the public and customers through the company information outflow and building a strong starting history.
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1. Are you:
2. In which age gap do you fall?
60 or over
3. What is your level of education?
Post Graduate without Graduation
High School Graduand
Post-Graduate with Graduation
4. What is your marital status?
Divorced or separated
5. How many children under the age of 18 live with you? __________
6. What is your total annual income?
Less than $20,000
$20,000 – $39,999
$40,000 – $64,999
$100,000 – $150,000
Do you live in Malaysia?
Have you ever visited Malaysia?
Have You ever heard of Averex Chemicals?
.10. If yes. Have you ever used Instant hand Sanitizer?
11. What was your experience with using Instant Hand Sanitizer?
Would you consider using Instant hand Sanitizer again?
Have you used other hand sanitizers?
Would you choose Instant hand Sanitizer over other hand sanitizers?
13.If Yes. Why?
14. How do you rate Instant Hand Sanitizer prices?
Do you feel Instant hand Sanitizer is well marketed?
Do you have any specific area that needs improvement?
19.b. If yes, explain.
20. Please feel free to add any additional comment or suggestion.
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