Business Applications Among Telecommunications Companies,

There are a handful of ways in which Verizon can improve its research program. The typical research process is to use surveys to find out what customers desire and then use exploratory and applied techniques to devise products and services that meet those needs. One drawback to this is that it omits those needs which the customers do not conceive. Customers typically view product improvements in terms of incremental changes to the existing product. They have limited capacity to conceive of entirely new products. In an industry characterized by intense competition and technological leaps, it is precisely those game-changing innovations that win companies market share.

Yet, Verizon seems content to let their partners, such as Research in Motion, take the lead with regards to product innovation. Thus, I would add another vein of exploratory research to Verizons research mix. They should use a more open-ended exploratory form of research to help find untapped potential in the market. They should take this research in-house, so that their product development staff have access to the primary data. This will allow them to interpret the data in ways that foster innovative product development.

Another area in which Verizon can improve its research program is to conduct more descriptive research. In the wireless communications industry, firms occasionally attempt to steal market share through targeting specific niche markets. Verizon, however, is strictly focused on broad-based trends that they, as a mass marketer, can exploit. This leaves niches open for competitors to exploit, and potentially build a customer base. This can be seen with MetroPCS, a firm that has moved from a regional niche market provider into a future nationwide competitor for Verizon. If Verizon were able to better identify niche markets and understand their key drivers, they could move to block such new entrants from the marketplace by removing their ability to develop competitive advantage.

Overall, however, Verizon has a strong research program. The main strength of the program is in its ability to synthesize the market research provided by Gallup with their in-house product development research. The company places a high value on the research function. They are, however, bound by their status as a mass-marketer. Their research ignores niche markets.

Moreover, Verizons research supports the research function to some degree, but misses the opportunity to provide truly valuable research that can change the market. If Verizon were to address these couple of areas of weakness in their research program, they could enhance their competitive position significantly.

Works Cited

Staggs, Lynn & Smith, Jim. (2008)

Verizon completes successful research trial of automated fiber-optic cross connections. Verizon. Retrieved November 14, 2008 at http://newscenter.verizon.com/press-releases/verizon/2008/verizon-completes-successful.html

Keitt, TJ & Bortner, Brad. (2008). The Verizon Information Research Network utilizes technology for strategic impact. NorthernLight.com. Retrieved November 14, 2008 at http://www.northernlight.com/downloads/Forrester%20-%20Verizon%20Information%20Research%20Network%20Utilizes%20Technology%20For%20Strategic%20Impact.pdf

Lucht, Peter. (2008). Leading market research firm ranks Verizon business as a leader among U.S.-based enterprise providers. Verizon. Retrieved November 14, 2008 at http://newscenter.verizon.com/press-releases/verizon/2008/leading-market-research-firm.html

Cauley, Leslie. (2004). Polling put to court test. USA Today. Retrieved November 14, 2008 at http://www.usatoday.com/money/2004-09-26-harris_x.htm

Staggs, Lynn & Smith, Jim. (2008)

Verizon completes successful research trial of automated fiber-optic cross connections. Verizon.

Keitt, TJ & Bortner, Brad. (2008). The Verizon Information Research Network utilizes technology for strategic impact. NorthernLight.com.

Cauley, Leslie. (2004). Polling put to court test. USA Today.

Lucht, Peter. (2008). Leading market research firm ranks Verizon business as a leader among U.S.-based enterprise providers. Verizon..

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