Marketing managers often commission formal marketing studies of specific problems and opportunities. This is the situation presented with Saxonville Sausage Company. Ann Banks was hired as the new marketing director at Saxonville to assess the Italian opportunity for the company. Saxonville's Italian sausage line, Vivio, was the one line that was showing growth across producers of the retail sausage market. Banks' job was to develop a national product under the Vivio name or as a new brand. The idea was to get more national exposure as Vivio was only available in 16% of the nation's large supermarkets. And the primary areas of distribution was Expression problems New England and South Carolina.
Once Banks' decided on a research approach, she had to design a sampling plan. There are a couple of questions that must be considered when preparing for this, and Banks went about it in the following way. First, Banks had to determine the population that was to be surveyed.
Her first group involved four to six men and women aged 25-50. This consumer used either branded or store-brand Italian sausage products. This group of researchers was used to form focus groups. Next, Banks had to determine how many people were to be sampled. Since larger samples give more reliable results, there were 437 women that were cold-called to participate in the study; upon screening, 103 were qualified. Finally, Banks had to decide how the respondents would be chosen. It was decided that females were the primary purchasers of Italian sausage. Female heads of household who purchased and prepared Italian sausage at least once every six weeks were chosen.
A lot of information was generated from the focus groups. Banks and her team learned the primary "targets" of each line of Saxonville's sausage (brats, breakfast sausage, and Vivio Italian...