Marketing Project Topics

Marketing Research as a Tool for Organizational Profitability Case Study of Unilever PLC

Marketing Research as a Tool for Organizational Profitability Case Study of Unilever PLC

Marketing Research as a Tool for Organizational Profitability Case Study of Unilever PLC

Chapter One 


  1. Highlighting and emphasizing the importance of marketing research on profitability.
  2. To assess the impact of marketing research to profitability.
  3. Assess circumstances under which marketing research is more likely to be used in profitability.
  4. Identify the factors that influence marketing research on profitability
  5. Also recommend as the need arises in order to create customers




Theoretical Framework

They say that success factors and their importance depend heavily on industry and firm characteristics. They also suggest that much research focuses too heavily on variable by variable analysis.

profitability studies are markedly broad. Over the past decades, a number of researchers such as (Cooper, 1979; Cooper and Klein Schmidt, 1987, 1993; Maidique and Zirger, 1984) investigated many aspects of innovation. What emerged from such work was that one of the key themes in innovation research was to identify the factors that are associated with profitability success. In facing vigorous competition globally, many manufacturing and engineering companies have adopted various techniques or advanced methods in order to be innovative and competitive. Although profitability brought many new opportunities to companies, however, the potential risks underpin the profitability process causes a number of cases of failure due the inadequate management process in profitability. Empirical studies thus point to high failure rates of s, especially in consumer markets (Brockhoff, 1999; Crawford, 1987; Urban and Hauser, 1993). It is therefore development of an impactive and efficient management approach in profitability process is highly expected to companies, particularly those small and vulnerable businesses.

Further, because profitability research has not translated very strongly into managerial practice, “managers are still relying on gut-feel with respect to „best practice‟ in development …” (Poolton and Barclay 1998,). Thus, it is important to look more carefully at success factors within the specific context, and more at the basic concepts, rather than at many specific variables.

Most larger and more mature firm where profitability is derived out of corporate strategy is undertaken as part of profitability. Additionally, it was argued that profitability should be considered across a number of process related dimensions rather than in terms of process-specific activities. That is, the elements of corporate strategy relating to profitability, process features and the adoption of success factors are dimensions of profitability that more accurately describe the profitability process in most company. In turn, the resulting profitability activity undertaken by companies has direct implications for success and as a result directly impacts on overall firm success. Additionally, as business incubators can play a positive role in the formation of new firms (Sherman & Chappel 1998), it further argues that this positive role may extend to the profitability activities of some firms. Thus, the relationships between corporate strategy and profitability and the impact of these relationships on success, as well as the impact of business incubators on profitability activity, was addressed.

Based upon a review of the literature within the three background theories of profitability, corporate strategy and business incubation

In particular, it is the better understanding of the inter-relationships between corporate strategy and profitability as it relates to companies that provide the most important of these potential contributions. There are considerable bodies of knowledge about both corporate strategy and profitability and the linkages between them for established and large organisations. More specifically, the literature argues that corporate strategy is the foundation for management (Crawford & Di Benedetto 2002). However, when considering entrepreneurial start-ups certain conflicts arise within the literature. The basis of these apparent conflicts is that on the one hand entrepreneurial theory points to the conclusion that the starting point for the establishment of an entrepreneurial new firm is commonly that of a concept which, in turn, becomes the starting point for the profitability process (Cooper 1994; Timmons & Spinelli 2004). On the other hand, profitability literature argues that profitability activity evolves out of corporate strategy suggesting a linear progression (Cooper & Kleindschmidt 1993; Cooper 1994). Thus, this would signify a closer relationship between corporate strategy and profitability processes in the context of Unilever PLC PLC, Edo state than may be suggested in some of the literature.

Having considered profitability from a process management perspective, as well as technology transfer as a form of profitability, the issue of success in terms of the factors for success and success measurement now will be considered.

To commence, the literature relating to success will first be considered. At the product level, it is widely held that the percentage of failures is high, even though the rates of failure vary from study to study, and that any company embarking on a profitability program faces a high risk of failure (Cooper 1999; Wind & Mahajan 1997). To address this high rate of failure, a vast amount of research on success has been published in fields of marketing, management, and R&D and technology management, while some of these studies relate to research management processes and firm-level environmental and corporate culture issues associated with product success, it is within the profitability literature itself that the factors that determine the outcome of profitability are addressed.

More specifically, insights into the determinants of success and failure in profitability can be gained from several studies in the area (Brown & Eisenhardt 1995; Calantone & Di Benedetto 1990; Cooper & Kleindschmidt 1990; Cooper 1999; Ernst 2002; Johne & Snelson 1988; Lilien & Yoon 1989; Baker & Sinkula 2005). (Craig and Hart 1992) categorise the literature relating to success factors as either „generalist‟ or „specialist‟.

The generalist theory (studies) seek to identify those variables that have a major impact on success or failure and include numerous independent variables in their research design (Rothwell 1976; Cooper 1982; Cooper & Kleinschmidt 1987; Calantone & Cooper 1981; Link 1987; Maidique & Zirger 1990).

On the other hand, specialist theory (studies) tends to concentrate their investigations on one specific driver of product success and investigate it in depth for example, the involvement of users and market orientation of profitability and relationship to success. (Rothwell et al 1974; Baker & Sinkula 2005). However, because previous studies addressing profitability success factors have not been all-encompassing, there is not yet a comprehensive theoretical model of the determinants of innovation success. Indeed, most studies to date have focused on identifying those internal and external factors which are in the direct control of management rather than those outside the direct control of the firm (Ernst 2002). The literature which identifies these elements can be summarised according to five dimensions: three organisational dimensions and two contextual dimensions. We will consider the organisational dimensions.

These include the profitability process dimension (addressing the impactiveness of the profitability process itself), profitability (that is, those structural and management factors internal to the organisation which may directly affect the impactiveness of the profitability process) and culture that is, those elements which foster a culture of creativity within the organisation).





 Research Design

In general research design is the specification of procedure for collection and analyzing the data necessary to solve the problem at hand such that, the difference between the cost of obtaining various level of accuracy and the expected value of the information associated with each level of accuracy is maximized.

For the purpose of this study, the survey research design method is used; it includes this studying sample chosen from the population to discover the relatives‟ incidence, distribution etc., through designed questionnaires, personal interview and observation. The survey research design for this study will focus on self-design and collection of data from the respondents.

Achieving validity and reliability is an important consideration in research design as it may improve the quality of research design. Further, the literature shows that it is now widely accepted that validity and reliability can be achieved in research (Eisenhardt 1989; Gabriel 1990; Miles & Huberman 1994; Parkhe 1993; Yin 1994).

Population of the Study

Though marketing research is important to all categories of product, the population of the study here is focused on Unilever PLC, Edo state branch. This is designed to enable the researcher know exactly what the company feels about the company’s product and profitability.



Data Presentation and Analysis

What affect the buying habit of customers?




The research is an assessment of the Impact of Marketing Research on Profitability which is divided into five chapters.

Chapter one introduced the study, it states how marketing has been an important tool for determining the success rate of a generating more revenue for the entire success of the organization. It also consists of the statement of the problems, significance of study, limitation of the study, scope of the study, limitation of the study and definition of terms. The objective of the study was to assess the contribution and the importance of marketing research on profitability, and assess circumstances under which marketing research is more likely to be used in the stage of s development and the impact of marketing research on the profitability.

The chapter two explains why the researcher has decided to go into the area of study. The literature consists of the area of product control, sales, targeting and sales forecasting, it states that although, marketing performance in the market, not much emphasized in most companies. Attempt has been made to look at some theories, research in marketing and the types of research that exist in the field of marketing such as product research, consumer marketing analysis, sales promotion, primary research, distribution research etc.

Chapter three explain the research design of study, techniques and sample size, methods of data collection, method of data analysis and research instruments used. In all, the chapters explain how the research came about, how the data was collected and how the data was analyze to help solve the problem at hand.

Chapter four dealt with the analysis of the relevant data collected for the research, the chapter also dealt with interpretation of the data.

Chapter five is just the summary of all that is contained in the first four chapters.

It contains the summary, conclusion, recommendation and bibliography.


Despite the huge amount of money spent for the promotion activities in most companies, the products are not well recognised. This means that the planning and development stage of the company are the most important areas to consider before any other thing.

Organizations succeed more with uniqueness rather than uniformity. Uniqueness entails doing things completely different from the usual way adopted by competitors and other organizations. To have uniqueness in methods, procedures, processes and systems, organizations need to have the right caliber of people to bring about these changes to stimulate them and to live with them for the purpose of gaining a competitive edge and advantage over the competitors. To achieve these, organization must spend a lot on marketing research to achieve uniqueness and product delivery.

If sufficient research is undertaken, then the chances of failure are reduced. Indeed, the danger that many companies wish to avoid is the development of products without any consideration of the market.

Marketing research would lead to higher profitability, and that the integration of marketing research would be the most important of the factors contributing to profitability in an organization. Companies which use marketing research intensively and understand consumer response in great depth are more likely to have higher success rates. The more extensive use of marketing research appears to be related to more experience in doing more products and a larger role for s in the companies. Use of marketing research also allows companies to set quantitative goals for s, and more carefully evaluate performance after launch.

Also most organizations can be regarded as pace setters or market leaders in their various markets, if only they take time in doing marketing research on Profitability.


In order to undertake a systematic product planning and development, in marketing research, the researcher is making the following recommendations.

  1. Most company should invest in promotional activities to enable the product sell in the market and to increase the profitability of the
  2. Also companies should adopt the scientific method of product planning and development within the context of marketing research.
  3. Another recommendation that can be put forward is that, more money should be invested in promotional activities to enable the product sell in the market
  4. That they should also conduct gap analysis of the existing products by interviewing a representative of consumers to find out their views about the company‟s existing products before thinking of producing another
  5. They should also take note of the types of research approach used at the stage which includes monadic approach which is concern with comparing the concept with or against existing market after of the competitors. The Holistic approach of data about the marketing mix variable such as price, promotion package and distribution. Although the companies conduct testing, it may suggestion that the company studies very well the procedure of product testing which varies from company to company and product to product. It is also expensive since it involves raw materials, machinery, and accuracy of new skill Like product testing, marketing test also involve some procedure of which I will suggest companies to adopt to ensure successful marketing test, and take note of the information required during the marketing test.


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