U Drive Transport (UDT) is headquartered in Chicago and is a car sharing business located in over 20 major city centers and employees over 500 people. UDT serves densely populated urban areas where consumers tend to feel burdened by owning a vehicle. Consumers are able to subscribe to UDT on a yearly basis, anywhere from 2-80 hours per month, or consumers can rent a car for a 2 hour minimum, a day, a week, or a month. UDT has dominated the US market as the premier car sharing business and is looking to expand into the global market. Purpose Statement
Conducting secondary research, UDT marketing team has identified great growth potential in the global marketplace. They have also learned there is a way to create partnerships in other parts of the city, have electric or gas vehicles used in the northern hemisphere, place solar and electrical cars in Florida, Arizona, and California, and they can expand the number of recharging stations for their vehicles. The purpose of this marketing research plan proposal is to present the opportunities for collecting and analyzing data that will help UDT determine if they need to make an investment in the global marketplace (Lamb et al., 2014). Marketing Research Process
The marketing research will help UDT’s business strategy, determine a market segment, and improve operations. Upon approval by Jenna, Marketing Manager, and Karl, Automotive Maintenance and Information Technology, this marketing research project will get a final budget and implementation. The proposal can then be implemented into the global market within one to two years. Research Questions
The following questions will inform UDT whether or not it would be a good investment to move into the global marketplace. 1. What international location would result in growth potential for UDT? 2. Would there be enough demand for UDT should another car sharing company be in the same marketplace? 3. What are the demographics of the location and are they feasible to support such a company?
Planning the Research Design
The majority of UDT’s market research will be done with secondary data, and a suggestion of using a primary data source to help define more of UDT’s market. Secondary Data. This source of data will be collected from government departments and agencies, and also competition in the car sharing market. The secondary data will be used to assist in answering the research questions. Market research information was done on two car sharing businesses currently operating in the US and globally, they are: Zipcar and Enterprise.
Location & Demographics. UDT should look to the Western Hemisphere of Ottawa, Canada to expand its car sharing program. Ottawa has a population of 870,250 people and has approximately two-thirds of the population of the greater Ottawa-Gatineau area for a combined total of 1,282,500 people. Ottawa’s population continues to grow faster than Ontario or Canada. A competitor of UDT, Zipcar, currently has a strong market placement in Vancouver, and Toronto which would make it more difficult to get a piece of the market. Ottawa has 4 different post-secondary institutions where the car sharing program could work. Ottawa is also experiencing a significant amount of immigrants who are attracted to the area of high-paying professional jobs or post-secondary studies. Ottawa has over one hundred thousand Federal Government employees, where if UDT were able to create a partnership with them there would be a large growth potential.
They are also the cleanest city in the world which would help to convey UDT’s strength of environmentally friendly. This city could also assist UDT in getting a share of the French market later on as 15% of the population speaks French. The Canadian Magazine, MoneySense rated Ottawa as Canada’s best city, which scored strong in, population growth, low crime, number of doctors, and culture, (Livingin-canada, n.d.). Neighborhoods, like Centretown and Glebe have individuals owning fewer cars then those who live in the suburban neighborhoods. Owning fewer cars saves money and those who decide to manage without a car can expect big annual savings. To own a car and drive 18,000 km per year the average cost to an individual is $9,000 annually.
Primary Data. This source of data if used would assist in the research to assist in the expansion into not only the global market, but also the current US market. As stated by Lamb et al. (2014), “primary data, or data collected for the first time, are used for solving the particular problem under investigation,” (Lamb et al., 2014, p. 149). One method of primary data collection should be used in this study:
Focus Groups. A focus group is a type of personal interviewing. The consumers used for this group discussion should be avid users of UDT and include those by universities, and in major metropolitan areas. This group will be used to gauge response to ease of product usage, curbside appeal, economical and environmentally friendly, and availability. This focus group could be conducted on the web so as to reach as many consumers in different areas that are currently using the product. An average of 7-10 people in each region of the US can be asked to participate. Not only will this help answer the items stated, it will also determine any weaknesses the business could improve on or help identify problems not thought of yet by the company. Specifying the Sampling Procedures
A sample group can be identified from a larger population to help UDT understand the market. The universe, or “population from which a sample will be draw,” (Lamb et al., 2014, p.155) would be those individuals who live in a densely populated area and use other forms of transportation besides a car. This sample in this study would be able to help UDT understand why they use the transportation system they do, and if there are other ways of transportation they would consider. Collecting the Data
The collection of data will be from various densely populated city centers that UDT currently runs in, and universities throughout the United States. The data collection will need to be done by a field service firm who specializes in interviewing respondents on a subcontracted basis, (Lamb et al., 2014). Analyzing the Data
Once the data is collected the marketing team will interpret and draw conclusions from the mass of information collected. A cross-tabulation analyst could look at why individuals use UDT, Zipcar, and Enterprise for their vehicle choice, rather than owing their own car. Analyzing the data will assist UDT in determining whether or not it would be a good investment for their company to expand globally. Presenting the Report
After all the results have been formulated, I will generate a report and make recommendations to Jenna, the Marketing Manager. I will present both a written and oral report stating the research objectives and also an explanation of how the research was designed. “The basis for measuring the quality of a marketing research report is the research proposal,” (Lamb et al., 2014), which will be addressed from the research questions in this document. Following Up
Following the completion of the marketing research I will follow up with Jenna and Karl to see if the recommendation in the report were sufficient enough for decision-making and if there is more that needs to be done.
Canada Mortagage and Housing Corporation. Retrieved on November 23, 2014 from http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/buho/sune/sune_005.cfm#CP_JUMP_98152 Enterprise Car Share. Retrieved on November 20, 2014 from http://www.enterprisecarshare.com/ Lamb, C. W., Hair, J. F., & McDaniel, C. (2014). MKTG7. Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage. Livingin-canada. Retrieved on November 23, 2014 from http://www.livingin-canada.com/living-in-ottawa.html Ottawa Canada. Retrieved on November 23, 2014 from http://ottawa.ca/en Zipcar. Retrieved on November 20, 2014 from http://www.zipcar.com/