What are Marketing Research?
Marketing Research is the systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data of the marketing conditions. and that links the customers, producers, and end-users to the marketer through information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; improve understanding of marketing.
- It is the inclusive term that embraces all research activities carried on for the management of marketing work, the gathering, recording and analyzing of all facts about problems relating to the sale and transfer of goods and services from producer to consumer.
- It is an objective and careful study of various areas of marketing activities. What, where, when, and how to sell the end product and the services are four questions to which the marketing research wing provides an answer.
Marketing research methods and techniques are being increasingly adopted by all the countries of the world whether developed, developing or underdeveloped. In America, marketing research is conducted by many companies on a very huge scale.
Market research involves two types of data:
- Primary information. This is the research you compile yourself or hire someone to gather for you.
- Secondary information. This type of research is already collected and organized for you.
Examples of secondary information include studies and reports by government agencies, trade associations or other businesses within your industry. Most of the research you collect will most likely be secondary.
Objectives of Marketing Research:
Marketing research is undertaken for achieving the following objectives:
(1) To Provide Basis For Proper Planning:
Marketing and sales forecast research provides a sound basis for the formulation of all marketing plans, policies, programs, and procedures.
(2) To Reduce Marketing Costs:
Marketing research provides methods and means to reduce marketing costs like selling, advertisement, and distribution, etc.
(3) To Finger Out New Markets for The Product:
Marketing research aims at maintaining the existing ones and exploring new markets for the product.
(4) To Determine Proper Price Policy:
Marketing research is considered helpful in the formulation of a proper price policy about the products.
(5) To Study in Detail Likes and Dislikes of the Consumers:
Marketing research tries to figure out what the consumers, (the men and women who constitute the market) think and want. It keeps us in touch with the consumers, minds and to study their likes and dislikes.
(6) To Know The Market Competition:
Marketing research also wanted to know the quantum of competition prevalent in the market about the product in question. The company may need reliable information about competitor’s strategies and moves which are of immense significance for further planning.
(7) To Study The External Forces and Their Impact:
Marketing research supplies valuable information by studying the impact of external forces on the organization. External forces may include conditions developing in foreign markets, govt, policies and regulations, consumer incomes and spending habits, new products entering the market and their impact on the company’s products.
Tips for Marketing Research:
- Be specific to your goals before beginning your market research.
- Understanding market trends, use market reports and other data and identify the information you need.
- Identify your target audience and understand your customers’ needs.
- Prepare a place for open-ended comments on any survey that you use.
- Create your surveys and interviews so the focus is on measurable data and must put yourself in the place of your potential customers when writing your survey questions.
- You must understand your competitors and be aware of what they are doing to predict their next moves and exploit any weaknesses.
- Consider using a market research agency and provide the agency with a thorough and clear brief. You should include the project’s business objectives, what the research should uncover, and details on how you will use the results.
Benefits of market research:
Market research helps you identify changes in the marketplace.
Research might make it obvious that a new product you have planned may not be what your market needs or wants. You may then decide to make modifications to what you are going to offer to suit your audience.
Market research helps you establish your market positioning.
It’s necessary to know the position of your business at particular moments in time. Information from market research helps you monitor your progress, which can be useful to make decisions and take action.
It is good to know what customers like and the products they shun. When knowing with such information you will know the perfect products that can meet their current needs. Lack of knowing the customers will culminate in no sales or in the poor.
Market research helps you make the right decision for your product or service.
– because you obtain more facts regarding the market so, the business Strengthen your market position.
Market Research Case Studies
First Direct bank
- First Direct was a pioneer telephone bank that extended into an online bank as home computing grew. As other banks also developed the technology then First Direct faced more competition and needed to use market research to discover how it could compete more effectively. Primary market research showed that First Direct’s reputation for customer service had suffered so they commissioned more market research to look into their products and how to improve their customer service. Having found out customer’s perception of its current range of products, it test-marketed new products on a limited range of customers. It then undertook qualitative research into how the customers felt about the changes by using focus groups and in-depth interviews. It also undertook quantitative research so that they had facts and figures showing the perception of the bank. The market research allowed First Direct to reposition its brand and look particularly at the product (customer service is part of the product) and promotion so that they were emphasizing the things that customers valued in a ban.
- A common way to test a new food product is to carry out taste tests. In this, random consumers are given an item of food or drink and then give their immediate reaction to it. They may have more than one and be asked to make a comparison. Greggs include taste testing as part of their market research activity. They start by conducting a small scale test on 30 consumers. These consumers, although picked at random, will be selected as being of the same demographic groups as the main purchasers of the product. If it is successful, then Greggs will conduct larger-scale consumer taste tests. The consumers will also complete a questionnaire which provides Greggs with further useful information on their preferences and the likely success of the product. The taste tests must be carried out as accurately as possible so rules must be set out e.g. respondents must be on their own so that there is no group pressure, they must have access to water if more than one product is being tested and the questions must be fair and free from bias.
- Although it is a successful brand, McDonald’s have to continue researching to ensure that their marketing mix reflects changing buying patterns which evolve as a result of changing economic and social attitudes. They need to know which products are well received what prices customers will pay, which advertising media are most likely to be used by these customers and which locations are most successful. It needs to know whether the target market is increasing or shrinking and likely buying habits in the future. To McDonald’s, understanding how customers feel about the product is as important as the product itself as these psychological factors affect the buying decision. Market research has enabled McDonald’s to identify particular groups of customers and the particular reason each goes to McDonald’s. This allows them to tailor their marketing mix to these particular groups.