Marketing research is a systematic approach which used for problem analysis. Marketing research is done for the purpose of making important decisions in marketing of products and services. It is a process which connects the customers, consumers and the public through information which is used to recognize and define the marketing opportunities and problems. The area of study focuses on the influences on customer behavior and the analysis of market characterizes and trends. Marketing research also gathers and analyzes the information related to the product/service movement from manufacturer to consumer. The term is also referred as market research. The basic approach is scientific research methods which are used to marketing decision making. The research targets any particular market, product/service which is to be offered for sales, following research on potential customers. Research done on customers includes characteristics, spending habits, purchasing behavior, locations etc. Thus marketing research provides appropriate data which is helpful in solving marketing problems and challenges which a business can face during it operations. Marketing research helps in developing effective and productive marketing strategies such as market segmentation and market differentiation which are crucial for any business to run successfully.
In the words of Green and Tull, marketing research is,
“Marketing research is the systematic and objective search for and analysis of information relevant to the identification and solution of any problem in the field of marketing.”
Generally, the term is comprised of two different words, marketing and research. Marketing is all about buying and selling goods and services. Research is defined as a complete study of any problem in order to solve it by finding suitable options and solutions. Thus marketing research is a complete study of methods of data collection, recording, interpretation, analysis so that it can solve marketing problems. Marketing research can be done for many aspects of market including sales, buyer’s behavior, product, promotion, pricing, packing, distribution etc. The first step is data collection. Data collection is followed by data recording. The next step involves the analysis of the recorded data. The last step involves advices/suggestions to solve the marketing – issues. Thus, it helps the organizations solve their marketing problems. It collects full information about the customers so that the organization can know about the requirements and expectations of their customers.
On the basis of target market, marketing research is classified into two categories:
- Consumer marketing research
- Business – to – business marketing research
Using methodological approach, marketing research is grouped as:
- Qualitative marketing research
- Quantitative marketing research
Marketing research involves systematic approaches. This is why, the market managers need to develop planning throughout the whole process. Generally, a marketing research project of any organization follows the following steps:
- Defining the problem
- Research design determination according to the problem
- Identification of data types and sources
- Designing data collections forms
- Sample size and plan determination
- Data collection
- Data interpretation and analysis
- Research report preparation
There are basically two types of informations collected in marketing research. The primary information and secondary information is conducted for marketing research. Primary research is either exploratory or specific. Exploratory research helps in defining a problem and it open ended. This mainly includes detailed interviews with lengthy answers form a group of respondents. Specific research is comparatively precise and is applied to for the solutions of the problems identified by explanatory research.
Exploratory research is approached in the cases of the no understanding regarding the research problems because of no information. For example, many small marketers may not be familiar with social media and online marketing techniques and service. So there is a need of exploratory research in order to look into the situation to know more about it. This research is a combined approach of qualitative research techniques, secondary research and experts’ opinions. Marketers use descriptive research to know information related to his product or services. Descriptive research is approached to know about the users of products/services, how the users are using the product, what is the reach of the product, what are the associated future demands, who are the competitors, how will the product affect them etc. Primary research involves identifying new informations. It helps in finding out solutions to many questions. Primary research may be conducted by face to face interviews, telephonic interviews, online questionnaires etc. Casual research is known as “if… Then…” method. It is conducted to identify the causes and affect relationship of variables. This marketing research method utilizes field and lab experiment methods to reach the desired conclusion. Marketers use this method for predication and test hypothesis. Qualitative research method uses numerical systems such as graphs, charts or tables to represent the data collection and information. With help of secondary research, marketers put great emphasis on the existing information. Secondary research combines market research reports, sales figures, government publications, competitor marketing literature etc. Secondary research may not be able to give complete results but it is easier and quicker to conduct. Descriptive research is used to describe the products’ users and determines the proportion of the population using the product. It helps in predicting the future existence of the product in the market. Descriptive research is grouped as longitudinal studies and cross – sectional study.
Group surveys are frequently used by many big companies. Group surveys involving group interviews are very helpful tools in collecting information. Group surveys target a particular population to know more about the product, buying habits of the people, buying decisions etc. One on one interviews are used to collect in depth interviews about the product and customers. These interviews can be non directive or focused. Public sources offer lot of information and are usually free. These include government, business or public libraries departments. Phone surveys are also used by the companies’ n order to obtain more constructive information. Phone surveys are conducted among large number of consumers.
Marketing research is a very important and dynamic continuous process. It helps in better understanding of the product and customers. It helps in understanding the size of the market. It guides company’s communication with the potential customers. It helps in minimizing the risk by recognizing potential problems and identifies new opportunities. Thus, marketing research is an important tool which helps in evaluating success of any business organization in the market. An effective marketing research helps the companies to overcome the challenges paused by changes in marketing environments. Marketing research helps in establishing a better marketing management system.
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