According to the objectives of the Master Degree in International Management, Entrepreneurship and Finance (MEF), this course will develop students’ skills and competences related to market research and business intelligence, for the development of process and product innovation in organizational contexts.
This course will provide the students with useful research tools and in particular, a step-by-step guide that shows how to design an innovative consumer research program, in order to develop up-front and new product development (NDP) innovation, investigating the consumer.
During this course, students will learn how to:
- Plan a market research for innovation: setting up a research project plan, setting overall objectives, defining roles and responsibilities of key team members, understanding key questions, projecting expected deliveries from each stage, and finally presenting and communicating key learnings and diagnostic reviews.
- Organize a two-stage consumer research: 1. an up-front innovation, in order to identify product opportunities by understanding consumer wants, needs and problems; 2. an NPD to refine, screen and validate new product opportunities grounded on consumer insight.
- Develop qualitative research approaches, such as methods to briefly understand consumers’ languages, qualitative analysis and innovative qualitative techniques for consumer research
-Develop quantitative methods: students will prepare quantitative studies, prioritizing the objectives and ensuring that the important questions will be asked. Students will also learn how design a questionnaire, which is the best composition of samples and set the product and service tests. Other research methodologies are elicitation models, satisfaction model, conjoint analysis and benefit hierarchy analysis.
- Refine and screen product ideas in new product development: students will learn efficient approaches in refining and screening product ideas for product developers to prioritize and classify insights in order to strategize their activities accordingly.
- Launch product and service innovations into the markets: students will learn how to gather information and share knowledge during the earliest phases of the introduction of innovation, in order to help product developers to get buy-in from different departments along NPD and, ultimately, guarantee the survival and success of the products in the marketplace.
Innovation is the engine of business development in many organizations. The most successful innovation is a product or service that provides comprehensive solutions to consumers’ needs. For this reason this course will focus on customers as main objective of market researches.
The course will be divided in 7 sessions, according to the approaches developed by Beckley, Paredes and Lopetcharat (2012):
1.Designing the Research Model: factors influencing product innovation, setting up a successful product innovation program, current approach to new product development, iterative qualitative-quantitative research model and making insights ownable.
2.Understand the customer language: why consumers do not understand technical languages, how to select a method of inquiry, Zaltman’s metaphor elicitation technique and Kelly’s repertory grid and flash profiling.
3.Quantitative Analysis: sampling, scale development, questionnaire, regression, conjoint analysis.
4.Qualitative Analysis: interview, ethnography, case study, online discourse analysis.
5.Tools to Refine and Screen Product Ideas in New Product Development: how to transform an idea into a concept test, how to create a sample to test the new product or service and how to develop a consumer advisory boards, and a free-choice in context preference ranking
6.Tools to validate new products for launch. An alternative model to validate NDP: the extended use product research, understanding consumer segments, assessment of sensory performance, understanding how consumers make choice decisions, using behavioral measures to help assess product viability, understanding situational users and regular users
7.Concept product validation testing: type of innovation, target market, competitive set, sales forecast, metrics for innovation success.
This course is based on a group-learning methodology, which requires cooperation among students and individual commitment. The aim of this course is to improve students’ cognitive abilities, critical evaluation of the given task and ability to work with others. For two months students will simulate to work in different marketing departments.
Students are required to:
- Attend at least 75% of the classes in order to participate actively in the work group and business testimonials, in order to put into practice the knowledge acquired
- participate actively in class case discussions, general discussions in order to develop the collective learning process
- read papers in advance and contribute to the discussion at the end of students’ presentation;
- write case study reports in groups and deliver for reviews to activate the skills related to the topics;
For attendee students the grade will be composed by assignments (individual and group assignments). For each assignment students will receive a grade from 0 to 31 (30 with lode). The final grade will reflect the average grade obtained in each assignment. For attendee students the grades will be send by email two or three week after the course. Students can accept or refuse the grades. In case of refusal, students will have to pass an exam as non-attendee students.
For non-attendee the exam will be written and based on the articles. The exam will be composed by three open-ended questions (from 0 to 31 points). For non-attendee students, the grades will be sent by email within three week from the day of the exam. Students can accept or refuse the exam grade.
Course's attendance is not compulsory but highly recommended. In the case in which the course will be taught completely or partly on distance, the course syllabus will be slightly or significantly changed to make it suited for online teaching and learning.