Using market research to improve consumer focus
An England & Wales Cricket Board case study

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Page 3: Market research

The ECB wanted to use market research to develop precise strategies that would help the future of cricket and make it more consumer focused. This research would enable the ECB to plan ahead with some certainty rather than rely on unsubstantiated guesswork and hunches.

According to the American Marketing Association:

"Market research is the systematic gathering, recording and analysing of data about problems relating to the marketing of goods and services."

The key words are:

  • systematic - using a clear, organised method or system
  • gathering - knowing what data you are seeking, and collecting it
  • recording - keeping clear, organised records of what you discover
  • analysing - collating and interpreting data in order to draw out relevant trends and conclusions that can be used as a basis for a strategy
  • problems relating to marketing - obstacles that are preventing the growth of the business.

The ECB's research covered three phases:

  • Analysing the existing environment: collecting and considering relevant facts and figures about cricket spectators, TV audiences, radio listeners, newspaper readers, and participants in cricket and other sports.
  • Developing a consumer focus: interviewing different groups of existing and potential spectators to find out their views, preferences and expectations.
  • Generating ideas for new products: identifying and testing audience reaction to a different type of cricket proposed in the light of consumer focused research.

England & Wales Cricket Board | Using market research to improve consumer focus