What type of exploratory research would you suggest in the following situations?
a. A product manager suggests development of a nontobacco cigarette blending from wheat, cocoa, and citrus.
The implementation of the exploratory and descriptive research processes as described by Zikmund (2003) would be necessary to determine the viability and success of a nontobacco product. Throughout the research and development process, other research techniques will be integrated. Initially, the use of focus groups and Internet surveys would provide greater exposure and feedback to evaluate public interest and concerns. Additionally, one could conduct a pilot study to determine if smokers and non-smokers might accept the new product. Concept testing would also provide researchers the information necessary to determine if public interest is genuine by affording consumers a route by which to voice preference. To educate potential consumers, a comparison study should be performed in order to determine the benefits of the nontobacco over the tobacco product.
The use of existing secondary data can provide a great deal of information and eliminate the need to reproduce research. The American Medical Association has documentation on the effects of traditional tobacco cigarette smoking and information on each of the proposed ingredients for the nontobacco cigarette. For sales projections, the United States Census Bureau is a useful resource to review populations and demographics. In determining costs, the Department of Agriculture is a source to determine potential sources for growers of the ingredients for the nontobacco cigarettes. Additional descriptive research can be easily attained from existing tobacco producers and may include customer preference, customer populations, previously conducted research, and potential test products. Although nontobacco products are not a new concept to the consumer market and the proposed ingredients for this product are common, information regarding both existing and the proposed product should be collected and analyzed...