Marketing research is concerned with the factors that are directly involved in marketing of goods and services, and it includes the study of the effectiveness of the marketing-mix, advertising strategies, competition and consumer behavior.

It not only helps in formulating strategies suitable for market intervention but also guides in perspective planning by analyzing formation for future projections.

Marketing research is largely carried out on the basis of a consumer market survey that is conducted by administering structured schedules or questionnaires in person or mailing them to sample respondents, organizing syndicate discussions, pilot tests, etc.

A: The broad areas covered within the scope of the marketing research are – (1) Product Research (2) Market Research (3) Motivation Research (4) Price Research (5) Promotion Research (7) Policy Research (8) Consumer Research (9) Competition Research (10) Research of Uncontrollable Factors.


B: Since MR can be applied in almost every aspect of marketing, it is practically very difficult to have a list of uses of MR, as it would entail a list of all marketing activities. Broadly speaking, it can be split up to (1) Sales Opportunity Research and (2) Sales Effort Research.

C: The scope of marketing research are as follows – 1. Market Research 2. Product Research 3. Price Research 4. Sales Promotion Research 5. Distribution Research.

D: The scope of marketing research is discussed under the following heads – 1. Market and Customer Research 2. Product Research 3. Promotion Research 4. Pricing Research 5. Distribution Channel Research 6. Sales Research 7. Motivation Research 8. Advertising Research 9. Policy Research.

E: The scope of marketing research are summarised as follows – 1. Business Economics and Corporate Research 2. Sales and Market Research 3. Advertising Research 4. Product Research.


Clark and Clark define marketing research as “The careful and objective study of product design, markets and such transfer activities as physical distribution, warehousing, advertising and sales management”. Thus the scope of marketing research lies in its variety of applications.

Scope of Marketing Research: Product, Market and Price Research

Scope of Marketing Research – Product Research, Market Research, Motivation Research, Price Research and Promotion Research

Marketing Research is concerned with the different marketing activities of the firm, which constitutes the scope of the marketing research.

The broad areas covered within the scope of the marketing research are:

(1) Product Research:


Product research is concerned with every aspects of the product like which product to sell, introduction of new product, testing of existing product, product modification, product branding, packaging, evaluating, competitors’ product etc.

(2) Market Research:

Market research relates to the analysis of the market conditions like analysing the market, forecasting market demand, analysing market trends, study of sales potential, sales territories and quota, study of market competition, etc.

(3) Motivation Research:


Motivation research studies the buyer behaviour and attitude to expand the market. It studies the psychological and sociological variables affecting the behaviour of the buyers.

(4) Price Research:

Various aspects related to the price are covered under price research, it reveals the effective demand of a product at various prices, market and competitor’s reaction at price strategies, dealer’s behaviour, impact of price change on market, etc.

(5) Promotion Research:


Promotion research relates to the research pertaining to advertising, sales promotion, personal selling and publicity. It relates to the size of promotion budget, allocation of promotional budget amongst various promotional tools, assessment of sales force and selling efforts, testing of selected media, advertising copy, and effectiveness of advertising campaign.

(6) Distribution Research:

Distribution research reveals the distribution channels, cost of distribution, methods of distribution, analysis of physical distribution, problem related to warehousing, inventory control, etc.

(7) Policy Research:


Policy research helps in deciding various policies like marketing policy, premium policy inventory policy etc. It provides necessary data and information to predict future market conditions and decide suitable policy.

(8) Consumer Research:

Consumer research relates to the consumer needs, wants and preferences, purchasing intentions and reactions, consumers choice of brands and purchasing patterns. It is an important research because consumer is the pivotal point in marketing.

(9) Competition Research:


Competition research reveals the competitive position of the firm as well as competitors’ activities. It is concerned with the study of competitors product improvement, measuring the impact of competitors’ price changes and advertising campaigns etc.

(10) Research of Uncontrollable Factors:

The research of uncontrollable factors reveal the parameters within which the marketing management has to adopt various policies and procedures. Uncontrollable or macro factors such as economic climate, political trends, demographic and social factors should be studied to find out the limits within which appropriate decisions can be taken.

Scope of Marketing Research – Sales Opportunity and Sales Effort Research

Since MR can be applied in almost every aspect of marketing, it is practically very difficult to have a list of uses of MR, as it would entail a list of all marketing activities. Broadly speaking, it can be split up to (1) Sales Opportunity and (2) Sales Effort Research.

(1) Sales Opportunity Research:

The object of sales opportunity research is to find out new sales opportunities in terms of products and markets. It covers all research activities undertaken to find out opportunities and potentiality to be utilized later.


Sales opportunity research has two segments- product and market research.

i. Product Research:

The term product research (PR) refers to the efforts made to have knowledge about both new and existing product, to meet the specific requirements of customers regarding quality, design, shape, size, weight, style, colour, durability, portabilities, purity, packaging, branding, preference etc.

Products are produced for people and their choices are important than the product. Marketing in modern competitive era is highly concerned with public taste about the product. The product development and identification of new products are the very crucial decision area because it involves maximum risks for success or failure of the business.

We can say the single most important policy decision for any firm is development of a product line which can meet the needs and expectations of customers group. It is essential for the enterprise survival and growth. PR aims at finding out new product or combinations of products. In fact, present age is the age of diversification.

Thousands new products are being introduced frequently in the market. But the rate of their failure is very high even 80 to 90 %. This has led marketing personnel increasingly responsible for product planning, development and research. Especially consumer goods industries make extensive use of marketing research in their product work. Consumer preferences are dynamic, PR is needed on continuous basis.


The kinds of research, which are closely associated with the PR are package, brand and price. The repaid growth of self service and the impact of package at the point of sale has greatly increased the use of PR. The package must be of right size, shape and colour and overall the package must reflect the desired image of product.

Research on brand names is carried out to find strategies are also tested through PR. A producer may either attempt to skim the market by charging a relatively high price or he can try to capture the large market by a low price. PR helps in these decision-making by providing data on the degree of market segmentation, the size of various segments and the price of substitute products.

PR in the context of market analysis, only means non-technical product research because technical product research falls outside the sphere of marketing research. The greater part of PR is conducted by or for marketer. The wholesalers, retailers, distributing agents, producers, advertisers and others are benefited by advantageous use of PR.

1. PR leads to increased sales by customer’s satisfaction, wider market and higher profits.

2. It makes advertising, pricing and sales promotion decisions more effective and rational.

3. PR enables an advertiser to explain the features of product in a satisfactory way.


4. This type of marketing research may be a great boon to the salesmen, packaging department and advertising copy men because it brings them accurate an authentic knowledge.

5. PR helps in product planning, distribution and measuring the competitors’ innovations.

6. It guides for meaningful changes or modifications in existing product.

7. PR assists the manufacturer to know the acceptability and marketability of any product.

8. It provides complete product information which gives self-confidence to any particular brand.

9. Producers can expand the product line by adding some new models, styles or brands based on PR information.


ii. Market Research:

From the management point of view, the most important application of marketing research is market research. Market research develops market and sales potential and sales quotas by determining how much of commodity in a given market is expec­ted to be absorbed.

In addition, index of potential demand for each city or trading areas is computed so that territories of salesmen, distributors and dealers may be properly defined. Studies of potential sales permit the selection of territories in which concrete sales effort is needed.

Market research involves investigation of various elements of ‘CONSUMER DEMAND’, including total demand, relative demand replacement demand. A basic tool of market research to develop more efficient market coverage and market exploitation is the sales index. A sales index indicates that each sales territory or division contains a yardstick to identify weakness in sales performance.

Market research provides answer to the question, ‘who may buy and who is buying the product’. Every marketer is interested to increase his share in any market. Market research makes available certain type of indices to know the change taking place in the market share. Market research is used for estimating the sales potential.

Theoretically the total population may be claimed as potential market but in reality market expansion is limited by various elements. For example, market for cosmetics is restricted to female population and the market for T.V. is restricted to certain income group. Thus, market studies can help to marketer in market segmentation or sub-dividing total heterogeneous market into homogeneous sub-sets of customers.


Any marketer introducing any new product or to capture new market can make profitable decisions on the basis of market researches; finding out who and where are the potential consumers, when and how they buy, and what are the conscious and sub­conscious motives influencing buying decisions.

Market researches collect the information on following aspects:

(i) Special features and trends of the market;

(ii) Current total sales potential;

(iii) Sales forecasting and market measurement;

(iv) Geographical location of markets as home or foreign market;

(v) Nature and extent of competitive force; and

(vi) Consumers’ preference and behaviour.

Broadly speaking, market research covers three major spheres:

(a) Sales analysis;

(b) Buying motive research; and

(c) Buying habit research.

(a) Sales Analysis:

Sales analysis involves measurement of sales possibilities and necessitates the analysis of sales record resulting in sales forecasts, determination of sales potential and sales quotas. Sales analysis involves the measurement of sales and sales possibilities by different market segments, i.e. geographical areas.

It is termed sales analysis because typically it involves an analysis of sales records. Research of this type includes sales forecasting, determination of sales potentials and sales quotas and analysis of sales by customer type sales territory and product. This research is conducted on a continuous basis by various firms.

This helps them, to determine customers on which sales effort is most possible as a basis for establishing market objectives.

(b) Buying Motive Research:

Market research is also conducted in order to know what are the factors and things which motivates buyers. In simple words, we can say that here we ascertain why a buyer buy certain product and why he does not buy. Why consumers buy from competitive producer or from other market these reasons are also studied here. Thus buying motive research is related with the nature of buyers’ behaviour.

(c) Buying Habit Research:

Buying habit research is concerned with habits and nature of buying of consumers. Habits play a vital role in purchase decisions, and in the purchase of particular production. Obviously, buying habit research is quite significant for marketer because it helps him to chalk out his strategy for sales and capital investment.

Habits of buyers are of various types and for successful sales operation marketer must be aware of all of them. Buying habits may be related to bargaining, preferring of fix prices, buying in cash or credit, bulk buying or buying in small lots etc. Time of purchase, as buyers purchase in fix periods, in months, or according to their requirements are also included in buying habits.

In buying habit research, we also try to know whether consumer prefers to purchase in distinct and sophisticated market, or easy reaching and simple market. Mar­keting man, on the basis of these information may carry out his sales operation in such a way, as to maximise his profits and customer’s satisfaction.

(2) Sales Effort Research:

In sales effort research, attempts are made to find out ways and efforts by which sales opportunities can be exploited successfully. In other words, we may say, that here we analyses the efforts and means through research, to exploit opportunities which were explored by sales opportunity research. In sales effort research relevant actions and steps are found out as to convince the buyer regarding the durability and quality of product, so that they may and must buy accordingly.

Sales effort research can be classified in to three type:

(a) Sales organisation research;

(b) Channels research; and

(c) Advertising research.

(a) Sales Organization Research:

Marketing research can be used in number of ways to make sales organization more effective. The infrastructure of a sales organisation of a company, has an important bearing over efficiency and overall sales. So research is necessary, as to find out, most suitable and proper organisation for a company, conducive to the higher sales and more efficiency.

Such research is largely quantitative in nature and similar to market studies. Sales territories should be designed on the basis of sales potential which is determined by the market analysis. Relative efficiency and compensation of salesmen can be frequently determined by comparing sales results, with the potentials for given territories, rather than relying on sales alone, to show salesman’s efficiency.

It is useful for proper sales management. Analysis of the duties, which salesman should perform more efficiently is extremely important. Given such information, the sales manager can specify, what a salesman should do in order to accomplish the sales objective of the company most efficiently.

It is also conducted to form the suitable basis of remuneration for salesmen as it affects, morals and efficiency of them. Sales manager, through research can easily find out that which basis of remuneration will be satisfactory as salary, commission of total sales or salary cum commission basis for remuneration.

(b) Channels Research:

Marketing channel decisions are the most complex and challenging decisions for the firm, which can be properly made through distribution research. Each firm usually confronts a number of alternative ways to reach the market. Marketing channels differ significantly in their capabilities for creating sales in their cost of operation and in their acceptability to control.

Obviously channels research (CR) has to play a pivotal role in overall marketing structure, because chosen channels intimately affect the development of other parts of marketing programme.

Marketing research in this sphere is primarily concerned with selecting proper outlets of distri­bution as to make overall selling structure effective. It also involves, frequent review of services performed by intermediary agencies, and having constant eye over developments related to the distribution of product.

The CR covers three aspects:

1. Number of channels;

2. Number of channel members; and

3. Determination of terms for their appoint­ment.

In CR the marketer decides that he would adopt intensive, selective or sole department for market expansion. Many companies, especially those selling high value products resort to CR, as to get periodic reports, about their distribution channels on various matters, as their efficiency, stock turn-over and inventory on hand.

Such data are highly useful from a production scheduling stand point and may indicate the need for more or less aggressive sales companies. Important aspect of channels research has to do with relative importance of the various types and sizes of outlets which sell a particular commodity.

A large part of distribution cost involves about middleman and the efficiency with which they operate. Marketing researches on middlemen efficiency are particularly important to manufacturers, who have the choice of several different channel systems. Researches in this sphere illuminates various aspects of middlemen efficiency, as their initiative enthusiasm and interest to work entrusted to them.

(c) Advertising Research:

Advertising is a powerful marketing tool that has much to do with the great advances of marketing business. It is very expensive and unpredictable. Advertising decisions are the most crucial facing the business manager as they are the psychological connecting link between producer and consumer.

Advertising research provides answer to the questions: “What should be said about the product? Which is the best way to put these appeals into words and pictures? What media should be selected?” Advertising research process consists of three basic steps- advertising appeal, copy testing and layout.

Business concerns constantly ponder, whether their advertising is accomplishing its objective, that of influencing the minds, emotions and actions of prospective buyers. The answer can only come from advertising research.

The several types of marketing research constitute to the development of the advertising plan because it can suggest the kinds of appeal to use, the most suitable media, and the market to which advertising should be directed in order to ensure maximum product demand.

Advertising research attempts to measure whether advertising accomplished the task assigned to it. To do this, the advertising researchers employ opinion test, split run test, leadership test and recall studies and various specialised techniques.

Scope of Marketing Research

Marketing research is concerned with the factors that are directly involved in marketing of goods and services, and it includes the study of the effectiveness of the marketing-mix, advertising strategies, competition and consumer behavior. It not only helps in formulating strategies suitable for market intervention but also guides in perspective planning by analyzing formation for future projections.

Marketing research is largely carried out on the basis of a consumer market survey that is conducted by administering structured schedules or questionnaires in person or mailing them to sample respondents, organizing syndicate discussions, pilot tests, etc.

All medium and large scale companies engaged in consumer products marketing invariably allocate 0.5% to 2% of their net sale resources for conducting marketing research for future planning. Most capital goods oriented companies invest a larger share in conducting marketing research. There are many decisions that are based on marketing research (analyzed via quantified data collected on vital market indicators).

These are:

i. Product-Market Decisions:

1. Identifying market characteristics

2. Product-mix research

3. Determining product sustainability

4. Innovative product range

5. Preferential and profitable positioning of products

6. Distribution analysis

7. Pricing strategies impact analysis

8. Product testing – pilot studies

9. Market share analysis

10. Short and long range forecasting for price and demand of the product

11. Sales trend analysis

12. Competition pattern

13. Consumer-behavior analysis in reference to price, product-mix and comparative advantages over other products

14. Assessment of impact advertising

15. Analysis of gender preferences of products, etc.

ii. Country Decisions:

1. Entry Decision

2. Financial Risk

3. Legal Risk

4. Opportunities

5. Production and Marketing Costs.

Today, marketing research is done scientifically using effective statistical techniques. Of these, questionnaire structuring, area sampling and trend analysis are widely adopted techniques in marketing research. An effective information system would make the marketing research a more analytical, fact-finding and prolific decision-making exercise. The scope for marketing research is very wide and experimented with identifying potential markets as well as determining the marketing-mix.

There are many typologies, argued upon the marketing research scholars. However, the generally accepted framework details the scope of marketing research on both markets and the marketing-mix. However, marketing research orientation shifts according to different typologies.

Motivational research is very significant, and it studies the psychographics or qualitative perspectives of customer’s lifestyle. This is a continuum of new skills and ideas that are accredited to marketing research concepts and practices. Marketing research thus ‘makes important contributions to the management by supporting decision-making to set objectives, developing an action plan, executing the plan and controlling its performance.

Scope of Marketing ResearchMarket, Product, Price, Sales Promotion and Distribution Research

The scope of marketing research may be listed as follows:

1. Market Research:

(a) Analysis of market potential for existing products

(b) Forecasting likely demand for new products

(c) Sales forecasting for all products

(d) Study of market trends

(e) Study of characteristics of the market

(f) Analysis of the market share

2. Product Research:

(a) Customer acceptance of proposed products

(b) Comparative studies between competitive products

(c) Studies into packaging and design

(d) Forecasting uses of existing products

(e) Test marketing

(f) Research into development of a product line

3. Price Research:

(a) Analysis of elasticity of demand

(b) Analysis of costs, contribution and profit margins

(c) Effect of changes in credit policy on demand

(d) Customer perceptions of price

4. Sales Promotion Research:

(a) Effectiveness of advertising campaigns

(b) Impact of advertisement on sales

(c) Establishing sales territories and target sales

(d) Analysis of salesmen effectiveness

(e) Identification of other sales promotion methods

5. Distribution Research:

(a) Location and design of distribution centres

(b) Analysis of packaging and transportation

(c) Dealer’s supply requirements

(d) Dealer’s advertising requirements

(e) Cost of different methods of transportation and warehousing

Scope of Marketing Research – Market and Customer, Product, Promotion, Pricing and Distribution Channel Research

Marketing research includes all the relative aspects of marketing, right from the idea generation for a new product to after sales service. The information collected and analysed through marketing research can be used for operational purposes or for making important strategic decisions.

The scope of marketing research is discussed below:

1. Market and Customer Research:

The size and structure of a particular marketplace and the behaviour of buyers or operators within that market are conducted in market and customer research.

In first place the business needs to determine the size and structure of the marketplace:

(i) The parameters of the marketplace

(ii) The type of customers

(iii) Location of customer

The business must then assess the competition by asking the following questions:

(i) How successful are the competitors and what are their strategies?

(ii) Who are the direct competitors and who provides substitute products?

(iii) What are the competitive forces in the market?

Businesses needs to assess the behaviour of buyers in the marketplace:

(i) What are the principal benefits they are looking for?

(ii) How do the buyers in the marketplace behave?

(iii) Who makes the buying decisions and how do they do it?

(iv) What are the behavioural characteristics of those involved?

2. Product Research:

Before putting new product concept and ideas into the ultimate test of acceptance in the marketplace, they can be tested on a limited scale. The failure rate for new products is quite high; nine out of every ten new product launches fail as per the estimate. In order to minimise this risk, concept testing is used to form likely levels of demand. Improvements to existing products or changes to the packaging and presentation can also be tested for acceptability.

3. Promotion Research:

It is required that the marketing management is known to the effect of their marketing interventions such as advertising in order to plan their future campaigns/operations. Such feedback can be easily acquired through marketing research. All forms of marketing communications can be made more effective by careful research and analysis of the results of past marketing efforts.

4. Pricing Research:

In various ways the acceptability of pricing levels can be researched. Experiments to assess the effect of changes to the price of a product give an indication of the relationship between price levels and sales. Attitude research among customers can be the basis of an organisation’s pricing strategy.

Pricing is a complex subject to research as respondents tend to give responses which encourage lower prices. Although, prices need to be assessed in the context of overall costs to the consumer, as they include not only the money paid but also the convenience and timing of the purchase.

5. Distribution Channel Research:

Research can render important information affecting the physical distribution of goods and services or intangible channels to market such as the Internet.

Feasibility studies into alternative methods of distribution may include:

(i) Research into Information Channels – Channels to market may comprises developing new methods of getting information to customers as well as physical goods. The development of the Internet has given companies new opportunities to reach the marketplace. However, these often need careful investigation to make them effective.

(ii) Research into Store Location – What is the optimum location for this retail outlet – back street or out of town, prime High Street, secondary off-High Street,?

(iii) Analysis of the Structure of the Marketplace – What are the current distribution practices in this market? What is the best option for distributing this product- agents, wholesalers or directly through the organisation’s own operation?

6. Sales Research:

The problems relating to the sale of products of a given firm are covered in sales research. It attempts to find out sales potential to improve the existing level.

The areas of sales research are:

(i) To determine the effective ways of employee compensation.

(ii) To analyse and appraise the sales methods and sales personnel performance.

(iii) To establish and revise sales territories and sales quotas.

(iv) To Measure sales performance in terms of volume and profits.

7. Motivation Research:

The quantitative research that answers the questions like — What?, Who?, Whom?, How many?, Where?, When?. Although, motivation research is qualitative, that answers why? That is, why do people buy or do not buy a particular product? It is not only the ability to pay for but the motives or the attitudes that have far reaching impact on consumer purchase decisions.

The areas of motivation research are:

(i) Distinguishing between the hidden and apparent consumer likes and dislikes.

(ii) Finding out the ways and means of motivating the people to increase the sales.

(iii) Knowing the consumer reactions in terms of consumer expectations and aspirations.

(iv) Identifying the consumer motives, attitudes, emotions or the hidden reasons influencing buying decision.

8. Advertising Research:

Advertising research is related with communication mix, the problems involved and the solutions possible.

The areas of advertising research are:

(i) To measure advertising effectiveness.

(ii) To compare likely effectiveness of the alternative copies designed.

(iii) To evaluate and select the media mix.

(iv) To determine the advertise messages and appeals in the limelight of research findings.

9. Policy Research:

Marketing as a specialised activity is going to be a grand success if other specialised activities contribute their part. Like contributions of finance, production and personnel activities. Policy research is related with the study of the policies in all the areas of an organisation and their post-operative effects on marketing and vice-versa.

The areas of policy research are:

(i) Having comparative study of competitor’s policies blend to seek betterment.

(ii) To evaluate the effects of changes in these policies on firm’s marketing efforts and the results.

(iii) To determine a blended policy to better the results with reduced efforts and investments.

(iv) To study the existing policies and strategies in production, finance and personnel vis-a-vis marketing policies.

Scope of Marketing Research

Post liberalisation and with the integration of the Indian industry with the global economy, the customers have also become more aware, demanding and sophisticated. With the advent of e-commerce and the disappearance of trade barriers, marketing firms need to stretch themselves in order to reach out to customers.

Exposure to global competition has ensured that the Indian consumer has developed a greater awareness of international lifestyles and views resulting in a clash between Indian and foreign brands. Further, with the disappearance of trade barriers, customers no longer prefer local brands.

She has learned to appreciate the ‘quality aspect’ of the brand more than the cost. This means organisations have to vigorously invest in marketing research and build brands that are acceptable to the Indian consumer. Thus, it can be seen that marketing research will continue to play an important role in the decision making process of a marketing manager.

The utility and scope of marketing research can be examined by having a look at the reasons why organisations are required to carry out researches.

1. When organisations get evolved and start growing and expanding their markets, marketers need to keep in touch with the final customers who are far away from the manufacturer.

2. Organisations and marketing managers need to have exact Information on the target customers’ unmet needs, deliver products and services effectively and carry out activities which will add to customer satisfaction and delight.

Typically, organisations in the normal course of business, distribute their products through various channels of distribution and so have little direct contact with the final consumers. Hence, such organisations make use of marketing research to gather information and knowledge about their customer’s needs, attitudes, opinions (or feedback), preferences etc.

There are many areas in marketing, where marketing managers require different kinds of information in order to be able to satisfy customers’ wants as well as design suitable marketing programmes better than competitors.

These areas include:

i. Gathering all relevant information related to the target market, i.e., identify the most suitable target market, its size, its demographic profiles, etc.

ii. Collecting information with relevance to the products or services, i.e., how satisfied or dissatisfied are the target market with the existing products and services, the desired product features and attributes being sought by consumers and so on.

iii. Gathering information related to the price value assumed by the target consumers. What are the consumers’ opinion on the price of the existing products? Do they feel that they have received the value for the price paid for the product? and so on.

iv. To find out the most preferred channel of distribution by the target market. Are the customers satisfied with the existing channel of distribution? Will the organisation’s pricing policy be in line to what the target market expects to pay for using the particular channel and so on.

v. Collect information on working out the various vehicles of promotion to be used by the organisation. Ascertain which promotional vehicle will appeal to the target market? When and where to use each promotional tool? and so on.

3. Marketing Research during the Organisation’s Administrative Process:

Marketing research can also help managers during the various phases of the administrative process.

The main four phases of the administrative process where managers can make use of marketing research are:

Phase 1- Setting Goals and Establishing Strategies:

When managers are attempting to decide upon a new strategy to be pursued, then marketing research will help to generate the necessary information. For instance, changes in the media trends, such as more preference for interactions with customers signaled the emergence of an opportunity to many of the entertainment channels to be involved in interactive programme sessions with their target audience.

This is seen in the reality programmes being telecast on the various T.V. entertainment channels. In the same way, (change in needs, wants and/or) unhappiness (or dissatisfactions) in certain market segments, etc., can indicate that a problem exists and needs to be solved.

Phase 2- Developing a Marketing Plan:

For developing marketing plans, managers make use of marketing research to identify key market segments. Marketing research can help managers to identify important product attributes and advertising considerations to be included in their marketing plans. It will help them to work out suitable marketing plans to tap an emerging market.

For instance in e-commerce business, Amazon has established itself as the leader in online retailing in the U.S and has been interested in entering a large emerging market like India. Research indicated that with broadband reaching only two to five per cent of Indians, the potential of online retailing is very large here.

Having solid logistics network suitable in an emerging market like India is to be worked out. Since the target market is varied, will have to decide on a marketing plan on how to provide technology assisted shopping experience to their customers in India.

Phase 3- Put the Plan into Action:

When putting a marketing plan into action, the management will need to use marketing research to measure and analyse the effectiveness of the programme. For instance, before the launch of Tata Nano, Tata Motors had carried out a detailed marketing research, which identified the need of a new “Ultra Low Cost” (ULC) car segment across many global countries (markets) and accordingly planned, developed and launched the Nano Car Phase

Phase 4- Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Plan:

The information received through marketing research can be used by managers to evaluate the effectiveness of the plan. These could include measuring: brand awareness, trial rates, repeat purchase traits, customer satisfaction etc.

4. Tracing Problems and Taking Decisions:

Long ago, a marketing director had said of research- “A blind man uses a white stick to avoid walking into large obstacles in his path and to define his passage around the world. Market research is the businessman’s white stick. It prevents him from blundering sightlessly into large objects designed to do his company significant financial damage”.

The primary activity of a manager in an organisation is to bring about solutions by taking effective decisions. The usual process of decision making requires that the following types of decisions be taken.

It is seen that management decisions are evolved around the existing problem at that point of time. In case of a marketing manager, he/she will be required to take decisions related to marketing problems with the help of a market research study. Traditionally, market research has performed two important functions for managers.

Firstly, reduce the level of uncertainty experienced by the marketers by providing those intelligent statistics and information. Such information will help them to take rational decisions to monitor the sales and marketing decisions taken by them, and further decide whether any revision or rethinking needs to be done.

Of course ultimately the successful story behind the well established brands can be credited to the development of a systematic market research programme, customised for the firm and integrated into the management planning system.

Thus, the marketing manager may identify problems related to product (brand), price (artificial/real), distribution (supply chain/packaging) or promotion (media/ advertising) etc. Then he will have to priorities and select the most pressing and immediate one for solving, based on the information available try to reach the best possible solution, if required modify this solution based on additional information obtained and lastly to establish policies which may prove to be handy in case of reoccurrence of the problem.

5. Provide Information in Case of Business to Business Marketing:

Business to business marketing is very different from the marketing of consumer goods. Such “industrial” goods and services involved in business to business marketing are much more expensive and complex than consumer goods.

Such goods are very often intended to serve different needs and purposes within the organisation. For instance, in the production department, when plants and machinery are purchased, the vendor will be required to tailor the product to the specific needs of the ‘business client’ and also provide a maintenance service contract on a long- term basis.

Usually teams of people provide inputs into the ‘buying centre’ and decision making will be a long procedure because it involves the interests of all those involved in the ‘buying centre’. Further, utilisation of organisational expertise will help in avoiding needless mistakes or omissions.

Now with many industrial marketers venturing into global markets there is a greater need to gather information on a larger scale in order to analyse and identify consumer needs more precisely. They are also moving away from an almost exclusive personal contact with the customer to an indirect one by using other media such as telecommunication and computer networks.

It will be apt to note that there is a lot of demarcation between the different individuals involved in the buying process, complexity of the various issues, risks involved, etc., when making a comparison between industrial marketing and consumer marketing.

There are also various factors influencing industrial buying decisions which strongly differ from those that influence the individual consumer’s decisions. However, information needs and research are still very crucial and thus the need to carry out research systematically in both the types of marketing.

Scope of Marketing Research – As Suggested by Clark and Clark

Clark and Clark define marketing research as “The careful and objective study of product design, markets and such transfer activities as physical distribution, warehousing, advertising and sales management”. Thus the scope of marketing research lies in its variety of applications.

They may be summarised as follows:

(i) Business Economics and Corporate Research:

Short range forecasting, long range forecasting, pricing (policies and strategies) studies, studying business trends, and MIS, etc.

(ii) Sales and Market Research:

Measuring market potential, analysing market shares, determining market characteristics, sales analysis, sales quotas and territories, test marketing audits and distribution channels.

(iii) Advertising Research:

Advertising effectiveness, copy research, media research, etc. Thus, marketing research has a broad area of application which describes its scope. The main purposes of marketing research to a marketer are planning and control, but, one point that must be stressed here that a marketer (or a marketing manager) has always limitations in terms of resources (staff and money) and time.

There may be a number of problems or decisions to face and due to the some limitation only critical problems areas should be identified and given priorities for research.

(iv) Product Research:

Acceptance of existing products, acceptance of new products, packaging competitive products, etc.