1.1 Background Information
Eastman Kodak is commonly referred to as Kodak and is a multinational photographic and imaging equipment, services and materials company based in America. Kodak was first founded by George Eastman in 1889. The company is widely known because of its photographic film features. It was the leading photographic film in the most of 20th century and had the greatest share in photographic film markets internationally (Pachal, 2012).
At the end of the 21st century, Kodak Company faced challenges due to reduction in transactions of photography and late transitioning into digital photography. As consumers began to move toward digital photography in the 1990s, Kodak feared its film business would be greatly reduced or diminished by embracing digital, and hence held back. Companies like Canon, Olympus and Nikon took advantage of the new trend leaving Kodak behind (Mui, 2012).
After Kodak failed with image and photographic equipment, the company tried to focus on printer-based company with a digital imaging concept. Digital imaging can be easily defined as a process that scanned documents and photographs are transferred into pixels which are "picture element". However, there are a lot of things to consider before Kodak completely transforms and focuses on printers only. The competition for the digital imaging is very strong, hence the products of different types of digital cameras face strong obstacle. Many companies have decided to incorporate the good features of the digital image to form direct competition with other firm. Kodak's main selling point is the ease-of-use of their products. As the target market of digital imaging caters for people who want convenience and producing image prints with small hassle, Kodak has formed a strategy that can capture these segments of the market (Grant, 2008).
1.2 Statement of the Problem
MDP/MMP (Marketing Management Problem)
Should Kodak transform itself into a printer-based company?
MRP (Marketing Research Problem)
What are the consumer's attitudes toward Kodak printer?
MRO's (Marketing Research Objectives)
Specifications & Rationale:
1. To determine the features that consumers want in the printers.
Rationale: Different features that the printers have may affect the consumer purchase behavior.
2. To measure the willingness of people to buy printers rather than go to printing shop to print.
Rationale: The willingness of owning a printer may affect the sales of printers.
3. To determine the price level based on cost of production and target market expectation.
Rationale: The cost of production and target market expectation probably affect the price level of printers.
4. To determine the consumer's preferences at the printer's size.
Rationale: The size of printers may influence the sale of products.
5. To determine the quality of output to be offered.
Rationale: The quality level may affect the consumer taste and references.
2.1 Research Design
The researchers will use descriptive design. The major purpose of this research is to describe the state of affairs as they exist. The results of the findings reflect the state of affairs. It will be used to collect information about peoples’ habit, altitudes and other social issues. Therefore, this is the most appropriate approach.
The researchers will cover a large number of individuals who have interests in photographs. The statement of the problem concerns a large group in the society. The youth, middle aged and the old, children, literate and illiterate require printers in their day to day life. This makes them have common interest in photographs and printers (Stead at al., 2009). This extension covers those persons who are potentially able to purchase printers, as well those who prefer to go to the studio to take a photo. A sample will be taken from this large group to represent their views.
2.3 Sampling Techniques
The researchers will select a suitable sample or a representative part of the population for the purpose of determining the characteristics of the whole population. This will ensure research conclusions and generalizations are as good as the sample they are based on. The researcher will use probability sampling. Simple random sampling will be applied where individuals will be picked randomly. Cluster random sampling will also be applied in order to reach for quality results.
2.4 Data Collection
The researchers will apply various methods to gather relevant information regarding the topic of interest. They include questionnaires, moderators guide and observations. These methods are preferred since the researchers will acquire first hand information. The respondent feels free to provide true information as there is freedom. Questionnaires will be used greatly as they offer respondents a chance to answer on their own. This ensures freedom of expression therefore, offering the right information. They are as well confidential since names of the respondents will not be required. On the other hand, face to face interviews will play a great parts especially to the persons who do not know how to read and write, visually impaired and the aged (Stead at al., 2009). The researchers will observe peoples’ behaviors and make judgments according to their observations.
2.5 Data Analysis and Presentation
The researcher will analyze and interpret the data collected in an orderly manner. This includes putting the data into some systematic form. The data will be processed before conclusions are drawn. It will be examined and afterwards make inferences. The researchers will use descriptive statistics to analyze the data. After the researchers analyze the data, they will present it in the appropriate manner. Pie charts, histograms and graphs will be used to present the analyzed data.
3.1 Ethical Considerations
It is important for the Kodak Company to focus on printer-based company with a digital imaging concept. This will bring maximum profit to the company. It is a way of modernizing since people are moving from the old technology of photographic film to the technology of digital imaging. This will not only keep the company shinning, but will also prevent it from collapsing. It is morally and ethically acceptable for Kodak to conduct this research as well as establish the printers as per their determination (University of California, 2002).
This research will lead to determination of the features that customers prefer most in printers. It will help them understand that, different features the printers have may affect the consumer purchase behavior. It will also measure the willingness of people to buy printers rather than go to printing shop to print. The willingness of owning a printer may affect the sales of printers. This will give them a clear picture of the market they desire to venture (Skinner, 2005). The research will give the researchers a chance to determine the price level based on cost of production and target market expectation. The cost of production and target market expectation probably affect the price level of printers. This will help them to set realistic goals which are achievable. They will also determine the consumer's preferences at the printer's size. This will design the collect size as per the customers’ interests. Determine the quality of output should be offered since the quality level may affect the consumer taste and references.
3.3 Potential Limitations
The researchers are exposed to different challenges in the field. Bad weather might inconvenience data collection in the field. This can be inform of heavy rains, scotching sun, extreme cold or hotness, hurricane, snow and lightening. Most of these weather limitations are hard to bear with. Therefore, weather may end up distracting proper research. However, the researchers will protect the situation by carrying appropriate clothes and umbrellas. The budget can exceed the approximated limit. This will curtail proper research as some activities will be omitted. The researchers will have extra fund in the treasury to cater for the extra cost required. The society might become hostile and refuse to cooperate. This can be as a result of cultural factors, religious beliefs or communication barriers. This can harm the whole research if the expected respondents do not take part. The researchers will have translators to educate the society using their languages as well as translating incase of miscommunication. Poor roads might cause great harm to the research. Therefore, researchers will be equipped with appropriate foot wear to curb the disadvantage.
The research is expected to take four months to achieve its main objectives. The objectives set are clear and achievable within the time bound. In order to achieve their goals on time, the researchers will employ perfect and accurate means of conducting research. Time management will be observed from the word go. Effective communication with the team leaders, management, team members and the society will be implemented. Etiquette and courtesy will dominate the research to ensure success. The researchers will dress appropriately to avoid diverting their selected sample attention. Budget allocation will be extended to cover any kind of emergency that may arise in order to achieve the required goals. Translators will be present to handle any miscommunication. In case researchers conflict amongst themselves, conflict resolution tools will be applied. They include pros and cons list, SWOT analysis, majority rule and causes and effects policy. Stationary and other supplies will be adequately supplied to avoid inconveniences (University of California, 2002).