Essentials of Marketing Research

Marketing research is a process of collecting data and information about a market, consumers and players in the target market. Marketing research has proven to be the key to the business marketing planning and marketing strategy.

Importance of Marketing Research

Marketing research can help business to develop a successful marketing strategy. Market research can help business to get more information about the target market and key players in the market. A good understanding of the target market and competitors can help business to develop right marketing strategies with less resources and efforts. Marketing research can help business to have a deep understanding of their competitors, including their strengths and weaknesses, their mistakes and reasons for success.

Marketing research can help business to know their customers. The existing and potential customers is the key assets of business, marketing research can help business to know more about their customers’ buying habits, their perception, age, life styles. These information can in return help business to position their product or service in the target market.

Process of Marketing Research

With limited resources and budget, it is important to make planning and preparation for your marketing research. There are basically 6 steps in the market research process.

  • Step 1: Define the research purpose and objectives. In the step, you need to ask the question such as: what is the objectives of the research? What experience do we have? what problems you may face? etc.
  • Step 2: Define the market research techniques.  In the step, you need to define what the main marketing research techniques we may use. You may use desk research, internet research or field research etc. There are basically two types of data: primary data and secondary data. Primary data is collected by your self through field research. Secondary data is collected by others.
  • Step 3: Market research planning. After you have your objectives and know how to use market research techniques, you need to have a market research planning.
  • Step 4: Collecting marketing information and data. You may ask the question such as what information is available, which part do we start with?
  • Step 5: Data analysis. After the relevant information has been collected, it is important to have a thorough analysis of data. You may use various techniques to perform an analysis on the data gathered.
  • Step 6: Recommendation and Forecasting. After the data analysis, it is important to give relevant recommendations and suggestions based on the analysis of data. You may perform predictions and forecasting based on the marketing information.

Principles of Marketing Information Collection

Marketing research is all about collecting relevant data for the market research objectives, however, we may often use secondary data from various sources such as government publications, internet, databases, industry report etc. When collecting information from various resources, it is important to follow three principles: reliability, completeness and comparability.

Reliability refers to whether the information is reliable. When we collect information from the internet, it is important to check whether the information is reliable or trustworthy. You may need to check the authority of the writers and sites. For example, relevant trade association may be too opportunistic about the future whereas the individual companies may be pessimistic about future etc.

Completeness refers to whether the time frame of the information. In general, it is better to have a long time frame of statistics about a industry, product or services , however,  it is not easy in some areas to get a long time frame, in this case, you may try to get a two year time frame.

Comparability refers to whether the information gathered from various sources is comparable. Different countries, companies or trade organizations may use different methodologies, ways to report their data. Business need to make sure that the data collected is comparable.