The objectives of a marketing research are to assess a market and to gather information that can help businesses in making meaningful investment. In the case study, the marketing research carried out by Good Shepherd Hospital was not very effective because it did not balance its expectations and the reality on the ground. Hague (2002) describes two approaches used in market research as qualitative and quantitative. Whereas Good Shepherd Hospital failed to gauge the number of its customers, segment it interviewees, make appropriate assumptions, provide better services and levy competitive fees, it should have qualified interviewee response, made correction assumptions and consider its competitors.
A quantitative market research method attempts to gauge the number of customers willing to purchase products and services. According to Jeston and Nelis (2006) striking a balance between expectation and reality is an essential practice in market research. As exemplified in the case, the market research that was done was not effective given that the projected volume from the research findings was overly optimistic. Had the research been done effectively, Good Shepherd Hospital would have had an opportunity to evaluate the market demand, its implications to other competitors in the market, and make appropriate projections.
The Good Shepherd Hospital should have segmented the population into specified traits before selecting a sample. Maqolis and Levinson (2008) note that, the potential market for a fitness center is the health conscious people in the society. Because of this, the hospital should have grouped the population into the youths, students and the working populations because they these groups have different conscious levels. With such segmentation, the hospital would have gained reliable data for planning.
In addition, the Good Shepherd Hospital made various assumptions in their research for the fitness center. Evidently, the hospital made assumptions with regard to its location. Because the hospital wanted to enhance its presence in the community, it assumed that it would achieve this by locating the facility closest possible to the hospital. Had the hospital assumed the fact that people attend the fitness center at certain times of the day, which is mostly after work; fitness center would have been located close to residential areas. This location would have made the facility to attract more customers.
Good Shepherd Hospital failed to come up with competitive fees in a market that was already saturated, as well as having potential customers who were well informed about the fees for such services. As indicated in the case, people interviewed revealed some levels of interest in a Good Shepherd Hospital- sponsored fitness facility. Moreover, the people expected a sponsored facility, which could have been less expensive than it was. With no competitive pricing of services, the Good Shepherd Hospital failed to attract enough customers.
The decision to stock the fitness club was poor done, making the hospital offer substandard services far below those of their competitors. In the case study, Good Shepherd Hospital fitness club had few characteristics, which could impress the clients. Considering the fact that other competitors offered better services, Good Shepherd Hospital was on the losing end.
When asking about interests in a fitness center, the interviewers should have qualified the positive responses by analyzing the details in the responses. These could have been ranked as being very detailed, adequately detailed, less detailed and not concerned. Only those providing very detailed and adequately detailed responses could have been recorded as positive response. Other questions that should have centered on accurately estimating the demand and interest are: the implication of the fitness center to the interviewee, the amount the interviewee were willing to pay for the fitness services, what the interviewees did not like about existing fitness centers and what was the connections between obesity and fitness was.