The opinion poll methods aim at collecting opinion of those who are supposed to possess knowledge of the market e.g. sales representative, professional marketing experts and consultants. The opinion poll method includes
Expert opinion method: – Firms having a good network of sales representative can put them to work of assessing the demand for the product in the areas that they represent. Sales representative, beings in close touch with the consumers are supposed to know the future purchase plans of their customer, their reaction to the market changes, their response to the introduction of new products and the demand for competing products. They are, therefore, in a position to provide an estimate of likely demand for their firm’s product in the area. The estimates of demand thus obtained from different regions are added up to get the overall probable demand for a product.
- Delphi Method: – Delphi method is used to consolidate the divergent expert opinions and arrived at a compromise estimate of future demand.
Under Delphi method the expert are provided information on estimates of forecast of other experts along with the underlying assumptions. The experts may revise their own estimates in the light of forecast made by other experts. The consensus of experts about the forecasts constitutes the final forecast.
Although this method is simple and inexpensive, it has its own limitations. First estimates provided by sales representations and professional experts are reliable only to extend depending upon their skill to analysis the market and their experience. Second, demand estimates way involve the subjective judgement of the which may lead to over or under estimation, finally, the assessment of market demand is usually based on inadequate information’s, such as changes in GNP, available of credit, future prospects of the industry etc, fall outside their purview.
- Market studies and Experiments:- It is a method of collecting necessary information regarding demand is to carry out market studies and experiments on consumer’s behavior under actual through controlled market conditions. This method is known in common parlance market conditions. This methods is known in common parlance as market experiment method under this method, firms first select some areas of the representative markets – three or four cities having similar features viz. Population, income levels, cultural and social background, occupational distribution, choices and preferences of consumers. Then, they carry out market experiments by changing prices, advt. Expenditure and other controllable variable in the demand function under the assumption that other thing remains same. The controlled variable may by changed over time either simultaneously in all the markets or in all the markets or in the selected markets. After such changes are introduced in the market, the consequent changes in the demand over a period of time (a week, a fortnight or month) are recorded. On the basis of data collected elasticity coefficient are computed. These coefficients are then used along with the variables of the demand function to assess the demand for product.
The market experiments methods have certain serious limitations. First, this method is very expensive and hence cannot be afforded by small forms. Second, being a costly affair, experiments are usually carried out on a scale too small to permit generalization with a high degree of reliability.
Third experimental methods are based on short – term and controlled conditions that may exist in an uncontrolled market. Hence, the results may not be applicable to the uncontrolled long-term conditions of the market.