Marketing Research: Procedure for doing Marketing Research for your Business!
Meaning of MR:
MR is relatively a new field. It is the application of scientific methods for solving marketing problems.
MR can be split into two parts: sales opportunity and sales effort research. Sales opportunity research is classified into product and market. Market research is the investigation of consumer demand. Market research covers three major spheres e.g., sales analysis, buying motive research and buying habit research.
In sales effort research, attempts and made to find out ways and efforts by which opportunities can be exploited in successful way. It has three types, sales organization, channels and advertising. Advertising is the psychological connecting link between producer and buyers. Advertising research employs opinion test, split run test, leadership test and recall studies. Thus, market research is an essential part of marketing research and marketing research is a part of social research.
Marketing research procedure:
Research, from a marketing viewpoint, is the application of scientific methods and procedures in the study of marketing” problems, to furnish management with factual information, upon which to formulate better decisions and policies can be possible, for embracing the profit maximization goal of the business.
Marketing research process consists the interwoven and frequently overlapping five steps in proper sequence: probing the problem, research design, fieldwork, information analysis and preparation of the research report.
1. Definition and analysis is of course, the first step in the conduct of research. The researcher will have to determine the immediate as well as ultimate objectives for judging the relevancy of future study, try to secure information regarding the company and its, products, the market, competitors, the industry, market risk, distribution channels, advertising media, changes in consumers interest and income, etc., by different sources as library material, company internal and external records, trade papers and personal interviews.
After defining and analyzing the problem, the investigator attempts to procure mostly warranted acquaintance of the problem by informal exploration. The researcher can get general environmental information which throw light on the most critical issues for investigation. The informal and preliminary investigation may offer the solution to a problem, otherwise on the basis of these facts a working hypothesis may be formulated which is tested by formal investigation.
2. The problem definition and exploratory study stage should lead to the development of a clear and precise research designing. A research designs a master plan for conducting formal investigation. The marketing research manager faces a choice among various alternatives to accumulate the information that will fulfill the research goal.
The researcher must decide on the data collection method, research instrument, and sampling plan. A research study may need both primary and secondary data. Primary data is collected by researcher for the first time, while secondary data is already available for processing. Primary data can be assembled through a number of methods such as survey and observation or experimental method.
The researcher has to design an authentic research instrument to collect the information. The observation methods makes the use of such instruments as tape recorders, cameras and tally sheets, while the survey method and to some extent the experimental method commonly use questionnaires and schedules. All the work carried out by market researches involves sampling explicitly or implicitly.
The quantum of work is always limited by shortage of time and resources. Sampling is based on the law of statistical regularity and the law of inertia of large number of items from the into to group called the population or universe: In marketing, a sample is a selection of particular segment of the market and it is the focus for taking marketing decisions which can be applied to the entire market containing a population of many millions.
There are different types of samples, e.g., deliberate, random, stratified, quota, area and extensive samples. The final issue is sampling media whether the target population should be reached by mail, telephone or personal face-to-face interviews.
3. Thereafter the research design has been finalized the marketing research department will embark upon the task of collecting the data by fieldwork. The field operation includes the selection, training, control and evaluation of the number of the field force.
After that the interviewer must encourage precise, exact and thoughtful collection of information in accordance with pre-planning and any bias, error or inaccuracy should be averted. In fact, this phase is most expensive and liable to errors so a lot of precautions should be used.
4. After the completion of fieldwork fourth step is of processing the completed forms is such a way as to obtain the project objectives. Collected data must be edited, coded, tabulated and analyzed. Scrutiny of secondary data is also essential for assaying the reliability, propriety and adequacy of data.
A meaningful analysis can be performed by using various statistical techniques such as averages, dispersion, correlation coefficients, ratio of variation, regression, cluster analysis and goodness-of-fit tests.
The research team makes interpretation of amassed data. Thereafter the conclusions and findings are drawn on the basis of the analysis and it leads to major recommendations for action from the research department to the top executives. In present modern age, electronic data processing equipment’s can be employed for analyzing large data quickly as well as cheaply.
5. Preparation of a report, presenting the major conclusions and recommendations supported by necessary analysis, is the end product of the research process. The type of report will vary a great deal depending upon the project nature and the audience for which it is prepared.
A general form of the report has following contents: title, table of contents, synopsis, introduction, methodology, findings, limitations, conclusions, appendices, e.g., questionnaires copy, glossary of terms used, sample design, detailed tables, etc., and bibliography (if considered necessary). The report must use good sentence structure and precise exact, clear-cut and feasible recommendations. Whenever necessary visual devices must be copiously employed, e.g., pie charts, bar diagrams, pictograms. cartograms, graphs, etc..