Marketing/Market Research

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Marketing Book Sections


 Marketing  
 CH.1-Introduction  CH.2-Marketing Strategy  CH.3-Marketing Plan  CH.4-Targeting & Segmentation  
 CH.5-Consumer Behavior[Consumer Research] CH.6-Product Development  CH.7-Market Research  CH.8-Marketing Ethics



Thinking is the hardest work there is. Which is the probable reason why so few engage in it.


-Henry Ford


Introduction[edit]

Market research is the process of systematic gathering, recording, and analyzing of data about customers, competitors, and the market. Market research can help create a business plan, launch a new product or service, optimize existing products and services, guide expansion into new markets, and more. It can be used to determine which portion of the population will be most likely to purchase a product or service, based on variables like age, gender, location, and income level. The research can inform what characteristics your target market has. With market research, companies can learn more about current and potential customers, often through satisfaction tracking programs.

The purpose of market research is to help companies make better business decisions and gain advantages against the competition. Market research represents the voice of the consumer in a company.

A list of questions that can be answered through market research:

  • What is happening in the market? What are the trends? Who are the competitors?
  • How do consumers talk about the products in the market?
  • Which consumer needs are important? Are the needs being met by current products?

A simple example of what market research can do for a business is the following. At the Chevrolet division of General Motors, they brought several disciplines together in a cross-functional team to develop a concept for a completely new Corvette. This team enabled the marketers to come up with an alternative concept, one that balanced 4 attributes: comfort and convenience, quality, styling, and performance. This was considered radical because comfort and convenience were not traditional Corvette values. However, market research demonstrated that consumers supported the alternative concept. As a result, the new Corvette was a huge success in the market.[citation needed]

Define the problem[edit]

Identify the research objectives and how the research results will be implemented. This is the most important step and often requires input from several departments (ex.: R&D, production, Finance, Operations).

We have to differentiate between what is called "Management Decision problem" (MDP) and "Marketing Research Problem" (MRP). As a researched, you have to listen to the managements' stories about the problem. You have to transfer these stories into an issue that is worth researching for that will help the management take their decisions. To a researched, MDP are the symptoms of a problem, where MRP is the core of the problem.

Analyze the situation[edit]

Determine what specific decisions need to be made. Identify what information is needed to support the decision making process, how this information will be gathered and at what cost.

Get problem specific data[edit]

First gather information from secondary data (Information published already) sources. Next, gather primary data (Information gathered through research) specific to the problem at hand. There are several methods of collecting data.

Analyze and interpret the data[edit]

Analyze the data using statistical market research tools. Assess the validity of the results (how well the data measures what it is supposed to measure).

Arrange for a debriefing session with the client (marketeer) where ideas on how to implement the findings from market research can be brain-stormed.