IIM-A To Simulate Test Marketing Exercises

Mumbai: | Updated: Oct 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
In an effort to sensitise students on the contemporary imperatives in market research, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) is deploying a new initiative called simulated test market. This comes as a part of the annual marketing fair termed Insight 02 that is being hosted by the management institute. During this years marketing carnival, corporates like HLL, Nestle India, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola India and Madura Coats Ltd will be lending projects and assignments for IIM-A students.

Says Insight 02 IIM-A co-ordinator Anirban Sengupta: Through this initiative, we are in fact conducting a mini test-market for a couple of projects where we are simulating a grocers shop and a soft drink stall.

According to the institute, a simulated test-market is the one where the participants, mainly coming from Ahmedabad, would be given fake money and asked to shop in a replica of a retail outlet that will be created in the festival. Based on consumer behaviour spotted in the shopping venue, students will then be asked to create an action plan that will articulate the various strategies for customer connect as well as driving traffic to the store.

According to the institute, to lend an enhanced thrust to such market research initiatives, the institute has also launched a concept termed MR (market research) village.

Explains Mr Sengupta: The market research village will be divided into stalls and test-marketstypically one for each project. The stalls will be designed according to the market research problem that needs to be resolved.

Accordingly, each project stall will require visitors from specific backgrounds depending on the target segment of the product or service that is being tested. Further, Mr Sengupta informs that visitors will be subjected to a profiling process, the results of which will be used to determine the project stall that they will visit. And once the visitors are allotted a stall, they will participate in that research exercise in the form of games or simulated shopping experiences.

Adds Mr Sengupta:This will be used to solicit unbiased responses and determine dormant behavioural characteristics that normally cannot be obtained from conventional questionnaire-based surveys.