What is a Marketing Research?
Marketers face several problems from the production of goods to the sale of the product. They have to face decision dilemmas at the time of product development, designing them, promoting them, and so on. Marketing research is the systematic and orderly investigation conducted to solve special market-related problems. Marketing managers often commission formal marketing studies of specific problems and opportunities. They may request a market survey, a product-preference test, a sales forecast by area, or an advertising evaluation. It is the job of the marketing researcher to produce customer insight into the problem. Marketing research is the systematic design, collection, analysis, and reporting of data and findings relevant to a specific marketing situation facing the company.
While carrying marketing researches, goods or services, price, place, promotion, customers, sale competition, etc. are deeply studied and carefully analyzed using different research methods and tools. The main purpose of marketing research is to provide reliable and sufficient information needed for taking marketing-related decisions. It is used in every phase of the organizational marketing program. It obtains unique information for special decision-making needs. Marketing research is a systematic inquiry undertaken to help resolve any specific marketing problem.
What is the Process of Marketing Research?
Marketing research undergoes the following stages which include activities related to planning, implementing. monitoring, managing, and briefing the end of the research in the form of the report.
1. Define the problem
A carefully defined problem determines the scope of research. Marketing research helps to resolve the specific problem. Therefore, the first step of market research is to define the problem. This enables us to understand the root questions that need to be informed by market research. The problem should not be too broad or too narrow but specific for market research. While defining the problem, the researcher should take into account the purpose of the study, the relevant background information, important information, and uses. Problem definition involves discussion with the decision-makers, interviews with industry experts, analysis of secondary data, literature review, case studies, etc.
2. State research objectives
After the problem has been identified and clarified, the research must formally state the research objectives. Research objectives are defined as the goals to be. achieved by conducting research. The overall research is based on the objectives established. Thus, it should be clear and precise. Objectives specify the information required for the research. So, in the second step of market research, objectives should be determined. The objective should be set up based on the problem that should be appropriate and interrelated to it.
3. Develop the research plan
Once the research problem and objective have been defined, the researcher must determine the exact information needed, develop a plan for gathering information efficiently and present the plan to management. It details the procedure necessary for obtaining the required information. In the research plan source of information, research method, research equipment, sample plan, contact method analyzing tools, etc. are pre-determined. This process is guided by discussions with management and industry experts, case studies and simulations, analysis of secondary data, qualitative research.
4. Collect needed data
In this stage, the researcher must arrange necessary things for collecting the data. ‘The research should go through the plan defined in the research plan. Research can use both primary and secondary data as per the requirement. The answers, choices, and observations are all being collected and recorded. Each chunk of information is precious and will be part of the masterful conclusions. Data collection involves an interviewer, supervisor, field force, or staff that operates either in the field or in the case of personal interviewing from an office by telephone or through the mail. The information collected should be usable and relevant to the research plan. Proper selection, training, supervision, and evaluation of the field force helps minimize data-collection errors.
5. Analyze the data
Data become information only after analysis. Data analysis guided by the research plan gives meaning to the data that have been collected. All the collected data should be well analyzed. The collected information should be sorted and evaluated and then tabulated for simplicity. The appropriate statistical and mathematical tool should be used to analyze and understand the collected information. After the completed questionnaires are received, the researcher has to process the raw data. The processing involves editing, coding, entering into the computer, and tabulating the data for analysis. The data are analyzed on the basis of their characteristics from which the researcher can draw valid and accurate conclusions.
6. Report findings
After analysis and evaluation, data and information become definite or concrete. They are very much useful for decision-making. So, in the last stage of market research, the analyzed data and information are disseminated to the concerned parties such as marketing planners, marketing decision-maker, marketing managers, marketing intelligence agencies, etc. The entire project should be documented in a written report which addresses the specific research questions identified, describes the approach, the research design, data collection, and data analysis procedures adopted. and present the results and the major findings. The findings should be presented in a comprehensible format so that they can be readily used in the decision-making process. In addition, an oral presentation should be made to management using tables, figures, and graphs to enhance clarity and impact.
What are The Seven Characteristics of Good Marketing Research?
I. Scientific method:
Effective marketing research uses the principles of the scientific method: careful observation, formulation of hypotheses, predictions, and testing.
2. Research creativity:
At its best, marketing research develops innovative ways to solve a problem: a clothing company catering to teenagers gave several young men video cameras, then used the videos for focus groups held in restaurants and other places teens frequent.
3. Multiple methods:
Marketing researchers- shy away from overreliance on any one method. They also recognize the value of using two or three methods to increase confidence in the results.
4. Interdependence of models and data:
Marketing researchers recognize that data are interpreted from underlying models that guide the type of information sought.
5. Value and cost of information:
Marketing researchers show concern for estimating the value of information against its cost. Costs are typically easy to determine, but the value of research is harder to quantify. It depends on the reliability and validity of the findings and management’s willingness to accept and act on those findings.
6. Healthy skepticism:
Marketing researchers show a healthy skepticism toward glib assumptions made by managers about how a market works. They are alert to the problems caused by “marketing myths”.
7. Marketing research benefits both the sponsoring company and its customers:
The misuse of marketing research can harm or annoy consumers, increasing resentment at what consumers regard as an invasion of their privacy or a disguised sales pitch.
What are the Areas of Marketing Research?
1. Product research
Product is one of the important decision factors, where managers always remain in confusion. Managers have to make several decisions regarding product development, modification, and innovation. The product research provides significant support to the decision-maker to produce a new product development process, Through product research, the researcher gets vital information about new product development, product testing, concept development about the product, product lifecycle, brand loyalty, packaging design, and test, product positioning and test marketing.
2. Price research
The price of the product determines the success or failure in the market. Pricing is a very important and sensitive element of the marketing mix. Price should be equivalent to the utility inherent in the product. The price of the product determines the demand and quality of the product. Under price research, the researcher wants to know about pricing trends, cost structure, competition-oriented pricing into the competitive market, alternative price, expected price by the customer, effective price and best price, etc, So, it provides input for the fixation of price into the competitive market.
3. Place research
Place research is related to the research of the distribution of goods or services into the market. The task of supplying goods and services to the consumption center from the production center is called distribution. Intermediaries, warehouses, and transport have an important role in distribution. The task of distribution should be effective. Channel research, warehousing research, transport research, distribution cost research, distribution area research, inventory level, and location research, order processing research, etc. are included in distribution research. Place research provides feedback about the contribution of the channel, strength, and weakness of the channel. channel structure appropriateness, causes, and consequences of channel dynamics and conflicts, etc.
4. Promotion research
Providing information to the target customers about the products is promotion. Promotional activities create demand for goods. This promotion includes the activities such as personal sales, advertisement, sales promotion, public relations, and publicity. Promotion plays a vital role in product positioning and targeting. Promotion research finds out ways to effectively transmission of product-related messages. Several programs are carried out to receive information related to media, advertisement effectiveness, the impact of the sales promotion campaign, attitude measurement of customers in the specific market segments.
5. Sales research
Sales are the sources of revenue. Higher the sales higher will be the revenue or profit margin. Marketers always seek a way to increase the sales volume Of the product. Sales are the outcome of various efforts made by marketers. Sales research relates to the identification and measurement of the effectiveness of all those efforts that individually or in combination affect the sales. Under sales research, sales performance, actual sales result, market segmentation, market share analysis, salesforce performance analysis. demand forecasting, market potential analysis, sales forecasting, etc. are studied.
6. Customer research
The success or failure of the product very much relates to customers. Customer is a very important element of marketing. A satisfied customer is a key to the success of every business firm. In order to achieve the organizational goal, every organization needs to know about the customer interest, wants, demand, factors affecting their product purchase decision and behavior, etc. The customer research is always related to motivation, preference, attitude, consumption pattern, need and wants, level of satisfaction, a profile of the customer.
7. Competition research
Several threats and challenges are created by competitors. Several threats like threats of new entrants, challenges of substitute goods are often created by competitors. Under this research intensity of competition, competitors’ strategies, etc. are to be analyzed and feedback will be received.