Research is itself a word which gives us lot of meanings in it. The similar way is for the word marketing, if these kinds of two words are mixed and forms a word such as "Marketing Research "then there is a lot to say about that. The word does gives the meaning of it but to know why it is used or the reason for it in marketing we need to go through this article.
Research is all about finding new things in the existing subject, the similar way is for the marketing research too. "The Systematic collection of data and making an analysis of it with different statistics tools so as to find the solution for the present marketing situation of an organization or Industry" is Marketing Research. In lay man terms working out on market situations such as competitors strategy, Pricing, customer satisfaction, potential of market, Product distribution, Promotional strategy and so on for a better business to run on profits and customer base. Some small firms may do this so as make people aware of their products and solutions if it is B2B and they don't want spend huge money in terms of promotions.
Hence research process can be 1. Defining the problem and objectives 2. Developing plan for information 3. Implementing by collecting and analyzing data 4. Interpreting and reporting. These steps will help the organization to get the results what was expected from research. Hence marketing research is a proven method for market analysis. In this the process can be into three types such as Exploratory, Descriptive and causal. Exploratory is something where the preliminary information is collected so as to define the problems and suggest a hypothesis to solve the problem. In descriptive it is all about describing trends or up and downs of market such as market potential, demographic and attitude of consumers. Causal research is to test hypothesis so as to check cause and effect of a certain situation.
Then it's come for Planning or development of plan where the research approaches, contact methods, sampling plans and tools that used during the process. The first step is to collect data where there are two ways such as Primary and Secondary. In primary the data is collected directly by visiting customers or by doing a survey. For survey kind of things a questionnaire is prepared according to the aim of the research. For Ex: If you want to check that how many people use Dell at workplace. Then the questionnaire relates the questions of IT such as which PC do you prefer? How are other brands of PC? And so on, leaving behind basic questions such as Name, contact numbers. In secondary method the data is taken from already collected one whether it is from a third party source or from Online like Google search. Sometimes the Primary data is collected through observation of people by looking at their actions and situations. This can be useful for a FMCG survey. By giving different treatments for a selected group also the results can be find out which is also called as experimental research. For all these the contact methods can be mail, telephone or through personal Interview. By doing all these things the Information is collected so as to proceed further.
To do research for everyone is very difficult hence there the method comes of Sampling. Sampling is to select a group of people as target audience and collecting the data from them and to calculate it for the bigger number of audience group. For Ex: It is for IT segment then collecting the data of 200 companies out of 1500 can be a sample. In layman terms when we buy rice we don't check the whole bag we just check a few in hand for the quality. Hence this is also the same way out. After all these done the data is presented in a professional format in the statistical tools such as SPSS so as to make analysis for it. Depending upon the questionnaire design, aim of the research, requirements, companies choices different tools are used and results are taken out from that.
After finding the results from the data top class marketing people will sit across the table to make analysis of it and take necessary actions for it. If it is weak then they have to take steps to make strength in that, if good number of opportunities are there then there comes the strategy to tap all, if it is for threat then steps to avoid those. Hence it helps the companies to analyze market information. This will help the company to take necessary steps to avoid hurdles in future. But it has some disadvantage that is if the data is not accurate collected from secondary or primary may hit hard for the results. Hence it is suggested to take well prepared data to make analysis and finding results from those. As a overall process this is the method which keeps the company to collect, check, analyze and make strategies for future so as to do well or run in profits for a long term by beating competition.
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Reference: Philip Kotler