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Marketing research process

1. The marketing research


process

Marketing research
is the function which links the consumer,
customer and public to the marketer
through information.
The information is used to :
identify and define marketing opportunities and problems;
generate, refine and evaluate marketing actions;
monitor marketing performance;
Improve understanding of marketing as a process.

The mission of marketing research


department:

To gather, analyze and interpret marketing


and other relevant information needed for
decision making at all levels of management.
These activities should be performed in a
cost- effective manner and with high
professional standards.

The 3 major functions of marketing


research are:
1.

Scanning for opportunities and threats.


A good research operation collects and analyzes information
about customers, competitors, technology, global economic
conditions and other factors. It provides input to the mk
managers that they can use to find new markets for existing
products, uncover new market segments and anticipate
competitors moves.

The 3 major functions of marketing


research are:
2. Risk assessment of future programs.
When considering alternative marketing strategies,
the marketing manager should test them against
different scenarios.

3. Monitoring of current programs


Marketing research plays a key role in monitoring

The marketing research is used to:

Forecast the sales of existing and new products


Refine new product concepts
Understand competitors
Identify marketing segmentation opportunities
Understand how customers in different market segments make
buying decisions
Determine what price to charge
Understand how customers perceive the product and the
company

The research process consists of 6


steps:
1. Problem definition.
2. Information needs.
3. Type of study or research

exploratory to obtain preliminary information that will help


better define the problem
descriptive to describe things such as the market potential
for a product, the demographics and attitudes of consumer
who buy the product.
causal to test hypotheses about cause and effect
relationships.

The research process consists of 6


steps:
4.Data collection at this stage depending on the kind of
information needed, the researcher must establish the specific
data sources, including the sample of people or organizations
studied.

5. Data analysis and conclusions some person,


either internal or external, must analyze the data and draw
conclusions that address the stated problem.

6. Reporting a report is usually written to communicate the


findings to the marketing organization and other relevant
groups.

2. Secondary data sources

Secondary
information sources
are those that already
exist and were not
developed for the
particular problem.
Marketing managers almost
always consult secondary data
before the use of primary data
collection.

Secondary
data

Less
expensive

More
available

Quickly
to obtain

Types of secondary data sources:


1.

Internal sources:

Past marketing plans (strategic and statistical information)


Sales department and salespeople (information about
competitor activities, changes in attitudes and behavior by
channels of distribution, customer attitudes toward the
product)
Accounting department (detailed information on transactions,
stock keeping units, catalogue retailers, details on sales)
Research and development department (benchmarking
provides excellent information about the competitors costs,
technology and quality

Types of secondary data sources:


2. External secondary data sources:

Information collected by external organizations for public use.


Trade associations (these industry organizations often collect
information about their member companies, on sales and profits)
General business publications (magazines , newspapers)
Trade publications ( these media provide detailed sales and market
share information along with personnel changes, new product
strategies, promotional plans.
Academic publications
Corporate reports ( annual reports)
Government publications

3. Primary data sources:


-

Are those that are


generated for the
particular problem
being studied.

Primary
data

Informal

Qualitative Quantitative
research research

Informal research:
- It is often useful to collect information from friends,
relatives, customers and informal observation.
Although these sources may not be
representative samples, such information can
help you form hypotheses about the quality of
competitors products and marketing strategy.

Qualitative research:
Usually involves small samples of customers and produces
information that does not lead directly to decisions but is
valuable as an input for further research. Qualitative research
my be done :
1. Focus- Group is a small group of people typically chosen for
their membership in various target groups of interests. The
people could be consumers, influencers of buying decisions,
former customers or noncustomers etc. these people are
usually brought together in a room and have a discussion about
a topic chosen by the marketing manager and led by a
professional moderator. He develops a report on his
conclusions.

Focus-Group:
Advantage it is an inexpensive way to do
research, is a valuable source of information for
keeping in touch with customers.
Limits the sample is small, not all behaviors
generalizable and the results can be misleading.

Qualitative research:
2. Observation
Not all observational research is informal, a common observational
technique is to set up a one-way mirror in a supermarket or
other retail outlet. The researcher can observe the behavior
patterns of shoppers in different demographic groups.

Quantitative research:

1.

Involves statistical analysis of data in


order to provide descriptive results. It is
applied to a large number of
respondents. It may be obtained trough:
Survey- performed by administering
questionnaires to people. The two
primary issues for the manger to
consider are the sample and various
survey approaches that can be used.

Survey approaches:

Personal interview
Telephone interview
Mail
Internet

Criteria for evaluating the survey


alternatives are:

Cost
Control
Response rate
Time to obtain data
Flexibility

Quantitative research:
2. Experiment is the only true way to
determine cause and effect.
Types of experiment:
Laboratory experiment is run in an artificial
environment. ( store, classroom etc)
Field experiment takes place in realistic
environments

Quantitative research:
3. Panel is a set of customers who are enlisted to give
responses or to provide data repeatedly over a
period of time.
The main benefit of a panel is the ability to observe
changes in behavior caused by changes in mk
variables.
There are several problems:
Panel dropout
Sample is not always representative