Page 1: Introduction
Not so long ago, many organisations were quite prepared to take production decisions without any proper analysis of their market. Sometimes decision-makers hit on good ideas, or acted on a hunch that was fundamentally sound. The chances of success, however, were always likely to be reduced simply because they were making decisions without having first gathered, collated and analysed appropriate information.
Proper marketing is the route to satisfying customers. Research shows that organisations which constantly satisfy customers are more likely to be successful i.e. more profitable than organisations that don't: hardly surprising. If organisations discover the needs and interests of their consumers, there are benefits both for the consumers and the organisation.
Few industries have changed as much in recent years as sport and leisure. Today's consumers have many choices regarding the sports and leisure activities they watch or in which they actively participate. They can look for sport and leisure pursuits at home, in leisure centres of various kinds, at sports clubs or at sporting events. This choice has made it increasingly necessary for sports organisations to make decisions that are better related to the changing lifestyle and shifting interests of modern consumers (i.e. consumer focused).
Cricket is one of the UK's traditional sports, embedded in our sporting heritage. Today, however, cricket has to compete more than ever before with other exciting, entertaining sports activities. Although these activities enrich people' lifestyles, they also represent a threat to traditional, long-standing sports. For example, in other cricket-playing parts of the world such as the West Indies, the broader diet of sport, coming mainly from the USA, has diluted popular interest in playing and watching cricket.
This case study looks at how the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) recently undertook a substantial piece of market research. The ECB's aim was to research how to:
- increase audiences at cricket matches
- stimulate interest in cricket in general
- encourage more people to play the game.