Marketing Research can be defined as the process of assessing the viability of a product or service through various methods such as focus groups, surveys etc. It enables the company to identify their target market and gain insights into what the consumers think of their product or service before they make it available to the public. (Investopedia, n.d) .It is the function that links the consumers to the marketer through information and can be summed up as the systematic gathering, recording and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data about issues relating to marketing products and services. For example, an organization going into business would conduct a market research to test their product or service. If the market research matches the company's prediction, they can proceed with the business plan. If not, they can use the results of the research to make adjustments and further improve their product. There are 4 steps to Marketing Research Process:
Defining the problem and Research Objectives
The first step in the marketing research process is to identify and define the opportunities and problems that exist for the business. Simply put, this step involves taking your product or service to the market to find out whether or not this product will fit into the current market place. As a part of this process, the product can be taken to a test market to see if the target audience responds favorably. This process can further be divided into 2 steps. The first step is setting objectives or the goals you would want the new product to achieve. For example, if Pepsi decides to launch a new product, it would set an estimated amount of revenue it wishes to generate from this product. This amount would be the 'objective' of Pepsi's new product. The second step is to set up specific measures of success or criteria used to find a solution to the problem. The main purpose of this step is to help decide whether the company should move forward with sales of the item or not. For example, when Pepsi decided to launch it's product, it may first like to test is product in only one geographical area to see how customers respond to the product before expanding sales nationwide
Step2 Developing the Research Plan
This step enables the company to make a reasonable marketing decision, using the information collected. However, while collecting research material, the company will also collect irrelevant data which might flaw the final report if not omitted. (4 Steps to Marketing Research, n.d). Research can broadly be classified into 2 types of research i.e. primary and secondary research. Primary research is the information collected first hand. This information did not exist in the past and his developed by the researcher. Primary research is of three kinds, exploratory (customer interviews), descriptive (cross sectional) and casual research (laboratory research). The second type is known as secondary research. It is second hand information gathered and is research done on already existing research There are two types of secondary research; internal (company reports) and external sources (published research).
Step 3 Implementing Research -
Collecting and Analyzing Data
After research process is complete, the data now needs to be collected and analyzed. However, the company might face difficulties while collecting data for eg from a foreign country. They may require the help of professionals or consultancies. For the analysis of data it needs to be summarized and put in a tabular form in order to get an overview of all the responses collected. Preparing the data also involves editing, coding, transcription and verification of data.( Market Research Process, n.d) This not only gives meaning to the data collected, but also ensures that the new product can survive in the market. For example, if Pepsi decided to launch a new product, they may analyze their research to see how different sections of the society (eg...
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