Often in life we find ourselves so caught up in our day-to-day operations that we rarely take a moment to pause and consider our actions in a larger view. However, life does offer us opportunities to stop and assess, one time when this is particularly true is following the completion of major tasks. In this post I will take the opportunity to pause and look back at my experience in our Market Research and Strategy course and issue an assessment of my performance and takeaways from this semester.
Our class was tasked performing market research for West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC) in hopes of understanding factors that have caused freshman class enrollment at WVWC to be in a continual decline over the past few years. My particular group focused on studying those who had applied and been accepted to WVWC, but chose in enroll at a different higher educational institution. After reflecting on the conclusion of our research I find myself very happy with the overall experience of the project. My team worked very collaboratively and shared equal portions of the workload. Despite the challenges that my team faced while working on the project I feel overly satisfied with the conclusions we found and believe that they offer valuable insights to the research problem we were tasked with. Due to our class’s time constraints we were not able to a high amount of responses to our survey and I believe this does diminish the accuracy of our results. However, I maintain that certain key points we concluded on carry significance and should be considered by WVWC administration.
In the beginning stages of our research projects we were tasked with establishing personal learning objectives that we hoped to accomplish through our projects. My learning objectives were centered around how market research is applied to marketing decisions. Specifically, I wanted learn about the utilization of market research to create a informed marketing plans, how market research is applied to the overall marketing strategy of the college, and how to assess the effectiveness of the newly informed marketing. In reflection of our research project as a whole it is also necessary to reflect on the extent to which I feel I accomplished these learning objectives.
I believe that I was successful in learning how market research can be applied to marketings tactics as well as the overall marketing strategy of WVWC. While these goals were not achieved by observing the actual implementation of our suggestions by the college, I feel like through our research we were able to make educated suggestions to the college for potential marketing tactics as well as applying our research to the overall marketing strategy of the college. I learned that market research alone is not enough to cause benefit for an organization, but the benefit comes in how research is interpreted and utilized to inform marketing decisions. This will benefit my in my career as being a manager requires having a in depth understanding of all aspects of a business in order to be able to create success for the company. However, in regards to my objective to learn to measure the effectiveness of informed marketing decisions I believe I fell short in completing this. Since our time table did not allow for “follow through”, so to speak, of implementation of our market research I was not able to see the results of marketing using our research. To improve this I plan to pay attention to the marketing efforts of WVWC and look for actions that are taken that show the influence of our research and watch for their effectiveness.