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How to Conduct Market Research

4 Common Market Research Areas

❶In data processing, we have the operations of editing, classification and analysis, and output is the result of processing.

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What They Do
How to Develop A Market Research Plan
Stage 2: Method of Inquiry

Markets in India now show the features of matured markets. The emergence of growing rural and urban markets, and intense competition compelled Indian marketers to adopt customer-centre marketing concept and utilise marketing research and marketing information in managerial decisions on all components of marketing-mix. With the process of globalisation striding in forcefully, with the marked increase in competitiveness and a wider choice now available for the Indian consumers, it has become imperative for marketers in India to adopt customer-oriented marketing plans and strategies in order to assure customer satisfaction and repeat purchases.

Hence, marketers in India are increasingly turning to market research agents to assess consumer needs and desires and then formulate marketing plans and programmes to meet unmet demand. Marketing Research requires the application of the systems approach to the task of collecting, organising, analysing and interpreting desired marketing information.

This means that each step in the research process must be carefully planned, effectively co-ordinated with all other related steps so that all the steps are properly integrated and executed as specified at the proper time and in the desired sequence. Marketing Research is directly concerned with all three operations, input, process and output.

Input is usually data, i. The collected data is processed by researchers. In data processing, we have the operations of editing, classification and analysis, and output is the result of processing.

It is in the forms of information. Information is critical to successful marketing operations as intelligence is to warfare. Information must be timely, up-to-date, accurate, relevant, reliable, sufficient and economical for use in the marketing research. Steps and Methodology in Marketing Research. A distinction is drawn between Market Research, and Marketing Research. Market Research relates to the market profile, market conditions, demand gap-present and projected for new projects and all that.

In , Amercian advertising agency, N. Between and , George B Waldron, working at Mahin's Advertising Agency in the United States used tax registers, city directories and census data to show advertisers the proportion of educated vs illiterate consumers and the earning capacity of different occupations in a very early example of simple market segmentation. Parlin published a number of studies of various product-markets including agriculture ; consumer goods c.

In Paul Cherington improved on primitive forms of demographic market segmentation when he developed the 'ABCD' household typology; the first socio-demographic segmentation tool. In the first three decades of the 20th-century, advertising agencies and marketing departments developed the basic techniques used in quantitative and qualitative research - survey methods, questionnaires, gallup polls etc.

Duncan of the University of Chicago. Adequate knowledge of consumer preferences was a key to survival in the face of increasingly competitive markets. The advent of commercial radio in the s, and television in the s, led a number of market research companies to develop the means to measure audience size and audience composition. In , Arthur Nielsen founded market research company, A C Nielsen and over next decade pioneered the measurement of radio audiences.

He subsequently applied his methods to the measurement of television audiences. Around the same time, Daniel Starch developed measures for testing advertising copy effectiveness in print media newspapers and magazines , and these subsequently became known as Starch scores and are still used today. During, the s and s, many of the data collection methods, probability sampling methods, survey methods, questionnaire design and key metrics were developed. By the s, Ernest Dichter was pioneering the focus group method of qualitative research.

For this, he is often described as the 'father of market research. These methods eventually lead to the development of motivational research. By the s, the first courses on marketing research were taught in universities and colleges. Brown became one of the popular textbooks during this period. Marketers, such as Paul Green, were instrumental in developing techniques such as conjoint analysis and multidimensional scaling , both of which are used in positioning maps, market segmentation, choice analysis and other marketing applications.

Web analytics were born out of the need to track the behavior of site visitors and, as the popularity of e-commerce and web advertising grew, businesses demanded details on the information created by new practices in web data collection, such as click-through and exit rates.

As the Internet boomed, websites became larger and more complex and the possibility of two-way communication between businesses and their consumers became a reality. Provided with the capacity to interact with online customers, Researchers were able to collect large amounts of data that were previously unavailable, further propelling the marketing research industry. In the new millennium, as the Internet continued to develop and websites became more interactive, data collection and analysis became more commonplace for those marketing research firms whose clients had a web presence.

Retail outlets were appearing online and the previous need for bricks-and-mortar stores was diminishing at a greater pace than online competition was growing. With so many online channels for consumers to make purchases, companies needed newer and more compelling methods, in combination with messages that resonated more effectively, to capture the attention of the average consumer.

Having access to web data did not automatically provide companies with the rationale behind the behavior of users visiting their sites, which provoked the marketing research industry to develop new and better ways of tracking, collecting and interpreting information.

This led to the development of various tools like online focus groups and pop-up or website intercept surveys. These types of services allowed companies to dig deeper into the motivations of consumers, augmenting their insights and utilizing this data to drive market share. As information around the world became more accessible, increased competition led companies to demand more of market researchers.

It was no longer sufficient to follow trends in web behavior or track sales data; companies now needed access to consumer behavior throughout the entire purchase process. This meant the Marketing Research Industry, again, needed to adapt to the rapidly changing needs of the marketplace, and to the demands of companies looking for a competitive edge. Today, marketing research has adapted to innovations in technology and the corresponding ease with which information is available.

This demand is driving marketing researchers to develop new platforms for interactive, two-way communication between their firms and consumers. Mobile devices such as Smart Phones are the best example of an emerging platform that enables businesses to connect with their customers throughout the entire buying process.

As personal mobile devices become more capable and widespread, the marketing research industry will look to further capitalize on this trend. Mobile devices present the perfect channel for research firms to retrieve immediate impressions from buyers and to provide their clients with a holistic view of the consumers within their target markets, and beyond.

Now, more than ever, innovation is the key to success for Marketing Researchers. Marketing Research Clients are beginning to demand highly personalized and specifically-focused products from the marketing research firms; big data is great for identifying general market segments, but is less capable of identifying key factors of niche markets, which now defines the competitive edge companies are looking for in this mobile-digital age.

First, marketing research is systematic. Thus systematic planning is required at all the stages of the marketing research process. The procedures followed at each stage are methodologically sound, well documented, and, as much as possible, planned in advance. Marketing research uses the scientific method in that data are collected and analyzed to test prior notions or hypotheses.

Experts in marketing research have shown that studies featuring multiple and often competing hypotheses yield more meaningful results than those featuring only one dominant hypothesis.

Marketing research is objective. It attempts to provide accurate information that reflects a true state of affairs. It should be conducted impartially. While research is always influenced by the researcher's research philosophy, it should be free from the personal or political biases of the researcher or the management.

Research which is motivated by personal or political gain involves a breach of professional standards. Such research is deliberately biased so as to result in predetermined findings. The objective nature of marketing research underscores the importance of ethical considerations. Also, researchers should always be objective with regard to the selection of information to be featured in reference texts because such literature should offer a comprehensive view on marketing.

Research has shown, however, that many marketing textbooks do not feature important principles in marketing research. Organizations engage in marketing research for two reasons: This distinction serves as a basis for classifying marketing research into problem identification research and problem solving research. Problem identification research is undertaken to help identify problems which are, perhaps, not apparent on the surface and yet exist or are likely to arise in the future like company image, market characteristics, sales analysis, short-range forecasting, long range forecasting, and business trends research.

Research of this type provides information about the marketing environment and helps diagnose a problem. For example, the findings of problem solving research are used in making decisions which will solve specific marketing problems.

The Stanford Research Institute , on the other hand, conducts an annual survey of consumers that is used to classify persons into homogeneous groups for segmentation purposes. Standardized services are research studies conducted for different client firms but in a standard way.

For example, procedures for measuring advertising effectiveness have been standardized so that the results can be compared across studies and evaluative norms can be established.

The Starch Readership Survey is the most widely used service for evaluating print advertisements; another well-known service is the Gallup and Robinson Magazine Impact Studies.

These services are also sold on a syndicated basis. All of these forms of marketing research can be classified as either problem-identification research or as problem-solving research. The final stage of the sample design involves determining the appropriate sample size. This important step involves cost and accuracy decisions. Larger samples generally reduce sampling error and increase accuracy, but also increase costs.

Depending on the mode of data collection, this part of the process can require large amounts of personnel and a significant portion of your budget. Personal face-to-face and telephone interviews may require you to use a data collection agency field service. Internet surveys require fewer personnel, are lower cost, and can be completed in days rather than weeks or months.

Regardless of the mode of data collection, the data collection process introduces another essential element to your research project: Analysis techniques vary and their effectiveness depends on the types of information you are collecting, and the type of measurements you are using.

Because they are dependent on the data collection, analysis techniques should be decided before this step. This report will include all of your information, including an accurate description of your research process, the results, conclusions, and recommended courses of action.

The report should provide all the information the decision maker needs to understand the project. It should also be written in language that is easy to understand. One approach to resolving this conflict is to prepare two reports: The technical report discusses the methods and the underlying assumptions. In this document, you discuss the detailed findings of the research project. The summary report, as its name implies, summarizes the research process and presents the findings and conclusions as simply as possible.

Another way to keep your findings clear is to prepare several different representations of your findings. PowerPoint presentations, graphs, and face-to-face reports are all common methods for presenting your information. Along with the written report for reference, these alternative presentations will allow the decision maker to understand all aspects of the project. As you are developing your study, you have to account for the expenditure of your resources: Before you can start the research project, you should get yourself organized and prepare a budget and time schedule for the major activities in the study.

Microsoft Project and similar programs are good resources for breaking down your tasks and resources. You might also like Product Researchers and Innovators.

Stage 1: Formulating the Marketing Research Problem

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Research on consumer affect and motivations explores how consumers’ feelings and goals in an about a particular consumption situation impact their judgments and decision-making, including their choices, persuasion, health-regulation, self-control, and creativity.

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Scope of marketing research refers to the areas covered or the aspects studied under marketing research. In other words, it implies where or on which areas marketing research can be applied. In fact, marketing research concerns with almost each and every activity of marketing management. Marketing Research is the systematic gathering, recording and analysing of data about problems connected with the market place, i.e., problems relating to products, price, promotion and distribution of the 4 Ps of the marketing mix.

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The Market Research Grid shows the two types of data sources and the three areas of research that are important to any business. You need to gather information from and about your customers to focus your marketing efforts, maintain and improve your customer service, and to guide your efforts in developing new products and/or services. Market research provides relevant data to help solve marketing challenges that a business will most likely face--an integral part of the business planning process.