Marketing Research has wider meaning and scope. It is the systematic gathering, recording and analyzing of data about problems connected with the market place, i.e. problems relating to product, price, place and promotion of the 4 P’s of the marketing mix.
The American Marketing Association defines Marketing Research as follows:-
Marketing Research is the function which links the customer, consumer and public to the marketer through information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate refine and evaluate actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process.
Marketing Research is concerned with all those factors which have a direct impact upon the marketing of products and services. It is the study of any part of total marketing process. In concentrates on the study of product planning and development, pricing, policies, effectiveness of personal selling, advertisement and sales promotion, competition and the entire area of buyer behaviour and attitudes in the market place.
C.B. is defined as the behaviour that consumers display in searching for, purchasing, using, evaluating and disposing of products and services that they expect will satisfy their needs. Consumer behaviour comes under marketing branch.
The study of consumer behavior dwells from various themes the important once are discussed below: -
• Buying motive
• Buying roles
• Major factors influencing buying behavior
Working towards enhancing customer satisfaction
• The five stages in consumer buying process
The aim of marketing is to meet and satisfy target customers’ needs and wants. The field of Consumer behavior studies how individuals, groups, and organizations select, buy, use, and dispose of goods, services, ideas, or experiences to satisfy their needs and desires. Understanding consumer behavior and “knowing customers” is never simple. Customers may say one thing but do another. They may not be in touch with their deeper motivations. They may respond to influences that change their mind at the last minute. Marketing and environmental stimuli enter the buyer’s consciousness. The buyer’s characteristics and decision processes lead to certain purchase decisions. The marketer’s task is to understand what happens in the buyer’s consciousness between the arrival of outside stimuli and the purchase decisions. It has been aptly said that the field of consumer behavior holds for various categories of people such as the consumers, marketers and students of marketing.
All the firms have started considering “customer” as the “king or queen”. Today, the market place is flooded with many new players including the host of MNCs resulting in the availability of more number of brands in every segment of the market. On account of this, the customer has started becoming choosy about what to buy. Thus, all firms are becoming not only customer focused but are also trying to build relationships with them. This is done by continuously updating knowledge, information and understanding of the customer’s needs and expectations.
Awareness that is displayed by the firms have made consumers take more interest in their own consumption related decisions. They are keen top gain more knowledge about taking various decisions related to products and the promotional influences that persuade them to buy.
Marketers have woken up to the reality that they exist in a competitive environment, and therefore have to be more customer focused. On the one hand, the firms are facing liquidity problems, followed by a rising rate of inflation along with increasing competition eating into their margins and sales. On the other hand, marketers have observed that the choice empowered customer cannot be...