By Geoffrey Lancaster, Robert A. Lomas
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Extra resources for Forecasting for Sales and Materials Management
A comprehensive list of all professional market and marketing research agencies is available from a number of sources, which are listed towards the end of Appendix 2. Areas of marketing research used for gathering forecasting data The types of field research and areas of investigation that can be used to gather forecasting information are numerous, and the question of which ones to use will clearly depend upon the individual firm's information requirements. The main areas of investigation are outlined below.
Data collection 45 establish the effect on demand of price increases or decreases and to judge the likely effects of future price changes. 7. Communication mix information. Here past data on the effects of advertising campaigns, sponsorship or direct mail programmes or exhibitions are analysed. Levels of expenditure on marketing communications, and the effect on sales of increases or decreases in such expenditure are noted. Again, such information will act as a guide as to the effectiveness of future comunication expenditure plans.
It may be that the data are somewhat obsolete by the time they are published, and market conditions, the position and actions of competitors, or other factors may have radically changed in recent periods. It may also be the case that the subject of the forecast is a new product concept and that existing data are simply not available. In such a situation the generation of primary data through test marketing and other research techniques may be the only possible source. When obtaining primary data, organisations have to decide whether to carry out the research work themselves or commission such work from outside research agencies.