The Quit Campaign in Australia and Singapore – Case Study for marketing research

Case Study 1.1

The Quit Campaign in Australia and Singapore

Children in Australia spend on average $60 Million years on cigarettes, with some 70,000 teenagers starting to smoke every year. Health effects associated with smoking are well known – 75 percent of all lung cancers are associated with smoking. But there are also immediate problems. Quit Victoria has found in research that children who smoke are more likely to be absent from school because of smoking-related ailments and for truancy and suspension.

In order to deal with the significant health issues associated with t this, quit Victoria has designed a series of health campaigns to try to reduce the prevalence of smoking among children. Both qualitative and quantitative research has been used to develop campaigns targeting schools, promotion in sport (which appeals to young males) and advertising campaigns that are used encourage young girls not to take up the habit. Research has not only examined how to discourage demand for cigarettes but also the supply of what is for children an illegal product to purchase.

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Research which evaluates the success of the campaign, both in attitudes to smoking and behavior, has also been very important in demonstrating to the government the effectiveness of such campaigns and how they might be improved in the future. Evaluation research of anti-smoking campaigns has also been important in New Zealand.

Part 1 Introduction to the research process

A similar campaign has been developed in Singapore, which is called the National Smoking Control Program. Its main activities:

  •  A National smoking control campaign is held annually to raise awareness of the harmful effects of smoking and encourage smokers to quit smoking.
  •  Mass media is used extensively and innovative publicity events and programs are organized to elicit maximum media coverage.
  •  Interpersonal activities are conducted throughout the year in various settings such as schools, workplaces, and healthcare and community venues.
  •  The Outline (131 848) is another feature of the program. Staffed by trained nurse-counselors, callers can seek advice and/or information on how to quit smoking or how to help someone quit.
  •  Quit services are provided by three hospitals, 16 polyclinics, and some non-government organizations. Teachers who are interested in helping their students stop smoking are trained to conduct a school-based smoking cessation program.
  •  As in Australia, such campaigns have developed on the basis of market research, using a number of approaches (exploratory, descriptive, and causal). The campaigns are also evaluated regularly by the government so that their effectiveness can be determined.                                                                                                               

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  1. What type of market research do you think is appropriate in order to develop and evaluate the Quit Campaign in Australia?

  2. What differences, if any, in market research do you think would occur between market research in Singapore and Australia in this case?


Three important factors to consider when doing marketing research in South- East Asia

As more companies are doing business in the growing Asian market, there is a need to conduct market research studies to find out how product and service offerings can be adapted to the differing cultures and subcultures that exist in each country in this dynamic region. Grace Chin, managing director of Asian Perspectives, a New York research firm, suggests there are three factors that are critical to the success of conducting market research with Asian respondents. They are language, cultural matching, and techniques of communication.

In terms of language, interviewers must not just know the correct dialect (there are several versions of Mandarin and Cantonese, for example) but also must use the right phrases and tone of voice to create a proper bond with the respondent: Ms. Chin notes that respondents will tend to refuse when scripts are read to them in a flat and unbiased tone of if they feel the information is being concealed from them.

For cultural matching, it is important to have “real Asian not western – Asian (such as Asian – American) researchers. That is, researchers must be fluent. In the respondent’s culture Asians, she notes, are reserved about their feelings, and therefore are unlikely to disclose this to an interviewer with whom they have nothing in common culturally, even though they speak the same language.

Techniques are also important. Trust is important in many Asian Societies. This means the Asian respondent may actually want to meet the interviewer in their own neighborhood. Suspicion may be created by a telephone call from a stranger from a market research company. Especially since (with the exception of Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan) market research, telemarketing and direct marketing are not common practices in Asia.


  1. Do an internet search on market research companies in South-East Asia. Do they follow any of these suggestions? Are techniques used which may not be suitable?

  2. Are the statements made by Grace Chin true for countries, and ethnic and language groups in South-East Asia? Provided evidence to support your opinion.

  3. A New Zealand company wishes to research the Japanese market for the export of meat. Do the same criteria as suggested by Grace Chin apply ? why? Again, provide some evidence for your answer?                                                         

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