Marketing research is "the function that links the consumers, customers, and public to the marketer through information — information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes the results, and communicates the findings and their implications. How the market research project is conceived, planned, and executed is answered through a research process, consisting of stages or steps that guide the project from its conception through the final analysis, recommendation and ultimate action. The research process provides a systematic, planned approach to the research project and ensures that all aspects of the research project are consistent with each other. There are six steps that encompass the overall development of the Marketing process are as follows:
* Step 1: Define Objective and problem: The first step in any marketing research project is to define the problem. In defining the problem, the researcher should take into account the purpose of the study, the relevant background information, what information is needed, and how it will be used in decision making. Defining a research problem properly and clearly is a crucial part of a research study and must in no case be accomplished hurriedly. However, in practice this a frequently overlooked which causes a lot of problems later on. Hence, the research problem should be defined in a systematic manner, giving due weight age to all relating points. The technique for the purpose involves the undertaking of the following steps generally one after the other: 1) Statement of the problem in a general way; First of all the problem should be stated in a broad general way, keeping in view either some practical concern or some scientific or intellectual Interest. For this purpose, the researcher must immerse himself thoroughly in the subject matter concerning which he wishes to pose a problem. 2) Understanding the nature of the problem: The next step in defining the problem is to understand its origin and nature clearly. The best way of understanding the problem is to discuss it with those who first raised it in order to find out how the problem originally came about and with what objectives in view. He can enter into discussion with those who have a good knowledge of the problem concerned or similar other problems. The researcher should also keep in view the environment within which the problem is to be studied and understood 3) Surveying the available literature: All available literature concerning the problem at hand must necessarily be surveyed and examined before a definition of the research problem is given. This means that the researcher must be well-conversant with relevant theories in the field, reports and records as also all other relevant literature. 4) Developing the ideas through discussions: Discussion concerning a problem often produces useful information. Various new ideas can be developed through such an exercise. Hence, a researcher must discuss his problem with his colleagues and others who have enough experience in the same area or in working on similar problems.
* Step 2: Research proposal
After a problem has been chosen, the next task is to formulate it precisely. Formulation implies a clear statement or definition of the problem. The researcher must sit to rephrase the research problem into a working proposition. A proposal is known as a work plan, prospectus, outline, statement of intent, or draft plan. The proposal tells us what, why, how, where, and to whom it will be done. The proposal of research is:
* To present...