Before the Research: Setting a Workable Objective

It is not always obvious what direction your marketing efforts need to take. It is times like this that marketing research makes itself known as a necessity. The catch is that the exact form and direction your research should take may also not be immediately obvious. But not to worry, there is a useful template or “recipe” that you can use to set a good research objective that has a clear purpose and direction. Let’s explore each of its components by viewing it through the lens of possible research needs in sports marketing.


“Conduct a(n) ­­___1___ among ___2___ to learn about ___3___ as measured by ___4___.”

  1. Research Tool – What type of research will be most useful for you to undertake? If, for example, you need to gauge the general feelings of your existing fans, a survey may be a good tool to utilize. The same tool may be of little use, however, if you are looking for a more in-depth perspective for which interviews may be more appropriate.
  1. Research Audience – Who are you trying to get information from? As mentioned above, it could be existing fans. Depending on the situation, it may also be your employees, people in your area who have never attended a hockey game, or former ticket holders who have chosen not to renew for the following season.
  1. Main Idea of the Research (the Construct) – What are you trying to learn about? Examples might be the effectiveness of your season ticket holder incentives, the perceived quality of the concessions you offer, or the level of awareness of your team within the community.
  1. Types of Questions to Be Asked – How will you get a good measure of the construct you are assessing? Matching up with the constructs above, examples may include the level of importance placed on existing incentives by plan holders, the frequency with which fans purchase concession offerings, or the percentage of people in a representative sample of the community that is aware of your team presence. 

Keep in mind that you first need to have a clear goal that will be served by the marketing objective you are constructing. Once you do, using the template above will help you ensure that your objective will indeed be contributing sufficiently to your marketing goals and thereby to your organization as a whole.  

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