Market research is vital to any business looking to expand into new markets. Global market research is a major function for organizations to facilitate marketing decisions outside their respectable country. Effective global market research requires analyzing market data, such as environmental factors, government regulations, needs of the target market, customer interests, price, and available resources. The following is a case study analysis of architectural firm Sperry/MacLennan (S/M), based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, which is seeking to expand their market in other countries. The analysis includes an overview of Sperry/MacLennan’s situation, identifies their key issues as well as ways in which to address those issues, and explains how market research is valuable in business.
Sperry/MacLennan (S/M), founded in 1972, is an architectural firm specializing in recreational facilities. The company gained national recognition in 1983 when they were awarded the contract to design an aquatics facility for the Canada Games held in Saint John, which secured their reputation as a “good design firm specializing in sports facilities” (Aaker, Kumar, & Day, 2007, p. 73). Success continued for S/M the years following with multiple projects both on the books and in process. By 1987 the company’s revenue was around $1.2 million, although after expenses and payroll their profits were a mere 4.5% of the revenue. Further awards followed, including the winning of a very prestigious $10,000 Canadian Architect Grand Award, which “is given by fellow architects in recognition of design excellence” (Aaker, Kumar, & Day, 2007, p. 73).
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Sperry/MacLennan uses market research to determine what international markets are the best matches for their services. The firm carefully weighs the pros and cons of each international market to come to the decision that the New England territory within the United States and possibly the affluent European nations are the most fruitful markets. Without these careful considerations based on their market research Sperry/MacLennan could set itself up for failure by entering into a market not ideally matched for their operations.
Aaker, D. A., Kumar, V., & Day, G. S. (2007). Marketing Research (9th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
APPA (Association of Physical Plant Administrators). (2012, Spring). About Us. Retrieved from http://www.appa.org/InternationalCorner/unitedKingdom.cfm and http://www.appa.org/Research/FPI/index.cfm
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