Research for Marketing – MKTG20448

Research for Marketing – MKTG20448

Nottingham Business School

Research for Marketing – MKTG20448

Academic Year 2023/2024

Assignment brief: Individual Market Research Report

(100% weighting)

Key Details BriefProvide A Market Research Report for the Senior Management Team of your chosen Gym brand   To do this you need to provide a useful summary of the business background to the UK Gym sector noting key trends and issues facing gym brands to justify a need for further research. Additionally, the key aspects of the strengths and weakness of the specific Gym brand you are undertaking the research for will need to be made clear. This will be your secondary data.   Set out your research aims and objectives and develop an appropriate market research design.   Demonstrate your understanding of the two main types of market research.   Undertake a quantitative or qualitative research task that collects primary data that can be analysed, and the key findings discussed.   Demonstrate your understanding and compliance with ethical market research practice.    
Length4000 words max.
DeadlineThe report must be uploaded to the respective NOW Dropbox by 23:00hrs on 15th January 2024
Weighting100% of module mark
Learning outcomes assessed(a) to (g)

Assessment criteria

Important. Even if you done all other assessment tasks. Please be aware that your submission will be graded as fail if you have not demonstrated ethics compliance by providing your participants (the people you have asked to do a survey or do an interview) with participant information AND obtained their consent. This must be done to comply with strict university ethics regulations.

Participant Information and Consent templates are available in the Learning Room.

Please see the grading grid presented at the end of this document.  This identifies the assessment criteria that will be used to judge your performance. This will give you a very clear idea about how your tutor will approach the task of assessing your work.  In addition to the brief that follows this should help guide your work and approach to it.

This Case Study will be used for your three summative assignments:

BUSI22585 – Buyer Behaviour Group Presentation

MKTG20448 – Research for Marketing Research Report

MKTG20430 – Integrated Marketing Communications MarComms Plan

This case has been compiled from published sources and is intended to offer an example of the complexities of the fitness industry, without judgment on any of the parties involved. Not to be used or reproduced without permission. © A. Rashid, 2023

General Case Background

The fitness industry has seen a decline in the revenue by over 50% in 2021, (Mintel, 2022, and number of gyms fell from 3,654 in 2020 to 3,060 in 2021. Moreover, over 80% of exercise professionals experienced either job loss or a significant reduction in their primary income source (Alexandri et al., 2022). This was due to several reasons such as living through pandemic changing consumers thoughts and behaviour such as exercising at home guided by the fitness influencer (Alexandri et al., 2022; Durau et al., 2022), and how seriously they take health (theUKfitnessreport, 2022). The fitness industry has seen even further decline, impacted by the cost-of-living crises, with some customers cancelling membership or opting for lower-cost alternatives (Mintel, 2022). According to TheUKfitnessreport (2022, p.2.), “almost quarter of popular (23%) of the population do not consider themselves to be healthy from any point of view”. This number is even higher for women (26%) than men (21%). The report also highlights that men are more likely to join and attend the gym, and since covid particularl7, women have been much slower to return.

Another problem that has been recognized is the scarcity of time, with slightly more than one-third (36%) believing there is insufficient time in a day to engage in physical activity and focus on their overall well-being. (theUKfitnessreport, 2022). Balancing work, family responsibilities, and social engagements can make finding time for a workout feel nearly impossible. Nevertheless, given the well-established connection between exercise and enhancements in both physical and mental well-being, the fitness industry aims to stress that any form of physical activity, regardless of how short, holds value. This may range from a brief 10-minute HIIT session during a lunch break to the simple act of parking farther away to incorporate an additional 20-minute walk into your daily routine. Every small effort contributes positively.

Your role

You ‘play the role’ of a Junior Research Manager at a Market Research Agency that is a member of the Market Research Society. Your agency has been commissioned by the senior management team of your allocated Gym Brand for this project and provided you with the following top level and rather general research brief.

To give focus to the research report you must undertake research on one and only one of the following Gym Brands which should align with group you have been allocated in your IMC and Buyer Behaviour modules. Each Gym brand targets a different type of customer segment.

Group A. The Gym

Group B. Nuffield Health

Group C. David Lloyds

Group D. JD gyms

Your market research brief from your client – the Gym Company management team

The senior management team of your gym want to understand the important market issues, customer trends, drivers of demand and customer preferences facing the gym you have been allocated.

To that end the management team wish to commission some secondary and primary research that can provide them with market and customer insights to help them improve their business, defend against competitors and avoid any threats.

This means that the senior management want:

Secondary research:

  1. To gain a summary insight into what is going on in the health and well-being/gym market generally, noting key consumer trends, and market opportunities and threats facing the gym business.
  2. To confirm the Gym brand’s current company strengths and weakness (these are things inside the organisation that the company is good at, does well or not so well such as their customer service) In order to keep doing the things they are good at and improve the things they are less good at.

Primary research:

  • To identify and understand what the gym users (customers) think about their brand, and how they use its products and services. In other words, identify and explain customer attitudes, perceptions and behaviours of gym users and the sorts of things that might increase or inhibit customers using their gym.

The senior management team will also need an idea of likely project costs and timescales is also needed together with some potential recommendations.

Use these Sources of Secondary Information to get you started.

Assignment brief structure

This is a research project to support marketing decision making for your client the Gym brand you have been allocated. Your market research agency has been chosen by the management team to undertake market research that will help them understand the UK gym market and gym usage. Their future business plans need to be supported by relevant market research evidence and insights that includes findings from primary research before they can proceed.

Your report:

Introduction [75 words]

A short handshake to the brief that you have been given e.g. ‘This research report is for the management team of [state your client Gym’s name]. It provides a [state your research methodology] investigation into [your Gym research focus]

  1. Business Context – Secondary Research [800 words]

Provide a succinct yet informative general business narrative summary of the Gym market sector in the UK that adds to/extends the general case background that has already been provided.

  • What is going on in the fitness sector?
  • What are the key trends and issues faced by the sector?
  • What is the likely impact of these trends and issues on the way the public think and behave towards gym usage?

Identify and make use of secondary information sources. These can include academic studies in the field of fitness marketing as well as managerial sources such as Mintel, Statista. You can also use other secondary Gym industry sources such as the FIA – Fitness Industry Association and CIMSPA – The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity, which needs to be appropriately referenced. This section provides the business context for your project.

Provide a succinct viewpoint on the strengths and weaknesses of the Gym organisation you are doing the research for. Ensure all evidence is cited and referenced. As the researcher you decide what factors are deemed to be the most significant and noteworthy for the management team and its business to pay attention to.    

  1. Research Aims, Objectives and Participant Sample [100 words]

Set out what you believe is the aim of the research from your agency’s viewpoint i.e. state what you seek to achieve from the research. State the primary research/ investigative question to be addressed which can be expressed in the format:

‘The research project aims to find out…………’.

You can also add up to 3 sub research/investigative questions.

  • Indicate a sensible £budget the management should provide for this project? How much should a typical project like the one you are doing cost? (Use secondary/google sources to guestimate this figure)
  1. Indicate suggested timescale with key project tasks, start and finish dates for the project. It is recommended that you back schedule from your assignment hand in date. A Gannt chart is appropriate here.
  1. Research Design [1000 words].

Explain the research approach you have taken for this project. Undertake a research project using one and one only research methodology. Do not do two types of research in other words don’t mix methodologies.

Initially, define and compare the two key types of market research methodology (qualitative and quantitative) noting the pros and cons of each. Make use of academic underpinning/reading/references here. See core text.

Next explicitly state and justify the research methodology you have used by linking back to your research aims what type of research you have used including the sampling frame describing who your research participants were and sampling approach taken, the data collection method and any market research techniques you have used.

If you are doing Quantitative research provide your questionnaire in table format. Briefly explain your logic for using each question type. i.e., The Question – It’s type (e.g. Likert scale, dichotomous, open) – Your logic for choosing this question type. Stipulate if on-line or off-line and why. Include this as a table in your report. It does not count to word count.

If you are doing Qualitative research provide your question guide design in table format, include this as a table in your report It does not count to word count. Briefly explain your transcript coding approach that enabled you to identify themes from your participant interviews.

Outline the key ethical considerations involved in undertaking market research, state how you managed informant anonymity, participation and consent. (See MRS Code of Conduct and content in the module learning room.)

  1. Data Analysis, interpretation and research insights [1600 words]

If you are doing Quantitative research:

Display and discuss your analysis using graphs and charts of selected elements of the data which you have decided are interesting and useful for the management team to know about and provide a description of the key facts that are displayed. Summarise with your opinion of the key findings. Suggest some business recommendations for the organisation.

If you are doing Qualitative research:

Provide a narrative discussion of the themes/topics/issues that came from your interview/focus groups. Use participant quotations to illustrate interesting participant statements. Summarise with your opinion of the key findings. You might consider providing a mind-map of relevant factors/ themes you have identified. Suggest some business recommendations for the organisation.   

  1. [425 words] Provide a short personal reflection on your thoughts & experience of learning about and undertaking market research. For e.g. What did you like/dislike? What is the most significant thing you have learned about market research? You could use the Gibbs Reflective cycle to structure this section.                                                                                                   
  2. Include an examples of the relevant participant information and consent forms as an appendix

Direct and personal contact with the Gym organisations used as cases or their partners is strictly forbidden.

Additional advice

For quantitative data collection the use of JISC survey application is recommended you can use other survey applications such as Google Forms.

You only need to use Excel and Word for this project.

The use of SPSS is not essential if you are doing a quantitative research project.

Only use supporting appendices when necessary. PEST, Five Forces and SWOT analyses are not needed to be submitted. They are unmarked.

Provide your academic reference list at the end of your report.   

ModuleMKTG20448 Research for MarketingStudent Number and Name 
Assessment Element (as stated in the assessment brief)Individual Marketing Research Report  Tutor name (s) Moderator 
Assessment submission dateBy 23:00hrs January 15th 2024Date Feedback Uploaded 
Knowledge and understanding:   Understand the marketing research process, particularly the importance of aims and objectives, and their use in addressing specific research problems. Design and justify a suitable area of research within the marketing research framework.  Distinguish between research methodologies and a range of rigorous research methods / analytical tools.  Design a marketing research report that follows the ethical guidelines of appropriate legislative bodies including the MRS Codes of Conduct.Consider ethically-robust methods for conducting marketing research and the ethical practice of those involved in data collection and analysis.    Skills, qualities and attributes:    Evaluate appropriate sources of information and appreciate their contribution to marketing research decisions.  Conduct and interpret basic quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis.  Manipulate data in a widely-used software package for statistical analysis.  Demonstrate effective written communication skills desired by organisational employers.
Element Grade The overall grade for the work is based on a holistic assessment and is determined by how well the criteria have been met overall and not the sum of the individual aspects of the work.  In the matrix below, grades awarded against each criterion indicate that the relevant aspect of the work can be more readily associated with that category than any other.  Allocation of a grade does not indicate that work exactly matches the associated description.
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