The paper 'Assessment of Consultative Research for Playful Times Toys" is a good example of a marketing case study. This report is an assessment of the consultative study conducted by Hatfield Market Research Consultants on behalf of Playful Times Toys. There are a number of serious problems with the consultants’ reports which are described in detail in the following sections. Secondary data used to establish a background for the primary research seems to be outdated and not entirely clearly relevant to the study. The primary research itself, while extensive, is not supported by evidence of the statistical analysis, and appears to omit several key details.
Finally, the conclusions and recommendations offered by the report are limited and do not suggest alternative courses of action. Some recommendations on how to best compensate for these shortcomings are offered as a conclusion to this assessment. The relevance of the Secondary Data and its Analysis The purpose of secondary or desk research is to identify necessary information that has been reliably provided by earlier research, allowing the researcher to focus on more specific questions in new primary research.
Secondary research, however, has three main disadvantages: it is often dated, or not as recent as might be needed; the questions answered by the prior research might not be completely relevant to the current market research; and since the researcher has no control over the timing or exact make-up of the study described in secondary data, there is a degree of uncertainty in the accuracy of the information provided. (Patzer, 1995: 14) The secondary data presented in the report gives a general snapshot of the overall toy market in terms of sales, the changes in personal income which relate to the potential of the market, and the details of toy purchases by age group.
This is all generally relevant information. But since no connection is made between income level and toy purchases, the usefulness of the income data is not clear. As is discussed below, the connection between income and toy purchases was not made in the primary research, either.
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