Market research and marketing research are often confused. ‘Market’ research is simply research into a specific market. It is a very narrow concept. ‘Marketing’ research is much
broader. It not only includes ‘market’ research, but also areas such as research into new products,
or modes of distribution such as via the Internet.
Objectives of Marketing Research
The main objective of marketing research (MR) is to provide information to the marketing manager. The marketing manager uses this information to make marketing decision and to solve marketing problems.
The Marketing research Process
Marketing research is gathered using a systematic approach. An example of one follows:
1. Define the problem. Never conduct research for things that you would ‘like’ to know. Make sure that you really ‘need’ to know something. The problem then becomes the focus of the research. For example, why are sales falling in New Zealand?
2. How will you collect the data that you will analyze to solve your problem? Do we conduct a telephone survey, or do we arrange a focus group? The methods of data collection will be discussed in more detail later.
3. Select a sampling method. Do we us a random sample, stratified sample, or cluster sample?
4. How will we analyze any data collected? What software will we use? What degree of accuracy is required?
5. Decide upon a budget and a timeframe.
6. Go back and speak to the managers or clients requesting the research. Make sure that you agree on the problem! If you gain approval, then move on to step seven.
7. Go ahead and collect the data.
8. Conduct the analysis of the data.
9. Check for errors. It is not uncommon to find errors in sampling, data collection method, or analytic mistakes.
10. Write your final report. This will contain charts, tables, and diagrams that will communicate the results of the research, and hopefully lead to a solution to your problem. Watch out for errors in interpretation.