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The Role of Marketing Research and the Research Process

The role of marketing research and the research process Marketing research defined: Marketing research is defined as the systematic and objective process of generating information to aid in making marketing decisions. This process includes specifying what information is required, designing the method for collecting information, managing and implementing the collection of data, analyzing the results, and communicating the findings and their implications.

In particular: Systematic means some basic idea should come first such as specifying what information is required, signing the method for collecting information, managing and implementing the collection of data, analyzing results and communicating the findings and their implications Objective requires for unbiased because bias will invalidate the results of the research The first suggest is that marketing research information is not intuitive or haphazardly gathered. Second, if the information gathered or data collected is to be accurate, the marketing research must be objective. Basic research VS…

Applied research: Basic research: Basic or pure research attempts to expand the limits of knowledge; it is not aimed at loving a particular pragmatic problem. It has been said that there is nothing so practical as a good theory. Although this is true in the long run, basic marketing research findings generally cannot

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be immediately implemented by a marketing executive. Basic marketing is conducted to verify the acceptability of a given theory or to learn more about a certain concept Applied research: Applied research is conducted when a decision must be made about a specific real- life problem.

Our focus is o applied research – studies that are undertaken to answer questions about specific problems or to make decisions about particular courses of action or policies. Scientific method: Scientific method refers to the techniques and procedures used to recognize and understand marketing phenomena. In scientific method, empirical evidence (facts for observation or experimentation) is analyses and interpreted to confirm or disprove conceptions. Use of the scientific method in applied research ensures objective in gathering facts, lies in the scientific method. N basic research, testing these prior conceptions or hypotheses and then making inferences and conclusions about the phenomena lead to the establishment of general laws about the phenomena. Managerial value of marketing research: Developing and implementing a marketing strategy: Identifying and evaluating opportunities: Before developing a marketing strategy, an organization must determine where it The Role of Marketing Research and the Research Process By Translucency questions by investing potential opportunities to identify attractive areas for company action.

Marketing research may provide diagnostic information about what is occurring in the environment. A mere description of some social or economic activity, such as trend in customer purchasing behavior, may help managers recognize problems and identify opportunities for enriching marketing efforts. Analyzing and selecting target markets The second stage of marketing strategy development is to analyses market segments and select target markets.

Marketing research is a major source of information for determining which characteristics of market segments distinguish them from the overall market. Planning and implementing a marketing mix Marketing research may be needed to support specific decisions about virtually any aspect of the marketing mix. Product research: Product research takes many forms and includes studies designed to evaluate and develop new products and to learn how to adapt existing product lines. Concept testing exposes potential customers to a new product idea to Judge the acceptance and feasibility of the concept. Product testing reveals a product prototype’s strength and weakness or determines whether a finished products performs better than competing brands or according to expectations _Brand-name evaluation studies investigate whether a name is appropriate for a product _Package testing assesses size, color, shape, ease of use and other attributes of a package Pricing research: Most organizations conduct pricing research. A competitive pricing study is a typical marketing project of this type.

However, research designed to learn the ideal price for a product, or to determine if consumers will pay a price high enough to cover the cost, is not uncommon. Distribution research: Mass merchandisers are Just as popular distribution channels for Golden Books. Most distribution research does not have the dramatic impact of research on internet shopping systems, research focused on developing the effective of channels of distribution is important to many organizations. Promotion research: Research that investigates the effectiveness of premiums, coupons, sampling deals and other sale promotions is classified as promotion research.

Promotion research includes buyer motivation studies to generate ideas for copy development, media research and studies of advertising effectiveness. However, the most time, money and effort are spent on advertising research. Media research helps an advertiser decide whether television, newspapers, magazines or other media are the best suited to convey the advertiser’s message Analyzing marketing performance After marketing strategy has been implemented, marketing research may serve to inform managers whether planned activities were properly executed and are accomplishing what they were expected to achieve.

In other words, marketing search may be conducted to obtain feedback for evaluation and control of marketing programs. When is marketing research needed? The determination of the need for marketing research centers on: 1. Time constrain 2. The availability of data 3. The nature of decision to be made Systematic research takes time. Decisions sometimes are made without adequate information or a thorough understanding of market situation. Although making decisions without research a situation is not ideal, sometimes the urgency of situation precludes the use of research.

Availability of data Often managers already possess enough information to make sound decisions thou marketing research. Managers must ask themselves if the research will provide information needed to answer the basic question about a decision. Furthermore, if a potential source of data exists, managers will want to know how much it will cost to obtain the data. If the data cannot be obtained, research cannot be conducted. Nature of decision The value of marketing research will depend on the nature of the managerial decision to be made.

A routine tactical decision that does not require a substantial investment may not seem to warrant a substantial expenditure for marketing research. The research cost of determining the power wording to use in the updated manual is likely to be too high for such a minor decision. The more strategically or tactically important of the decision, the more likely it is that research will be conducted. Benefits versus Costs There are both benefits and costs to conduct marketing research. Managers should ask three questions: 1 . Will the payoff or rate of return be worth the investment? 2.

Will the information gain by marketing research improve the quality of the marketing decision enough to warrant expenditure? 3. Is the proposed research expenditure the best use of the available funds? Marketing research in the 21st century – Business trend in marketing research Global marketing research Marketing research has become increasingly global. Some companies have extensive international marketing research operations. Companies that conduct business in foreign countries must understand the nature of that particular market and Judge whether they require customized marketing strategies.

Growth of the internet The internet has changed the way millions of people think about getting and distributing information, which is the essence of marketing research. Stages in the search process The systematic enquiry of research requires careful planning of an orderly investigation The stages are: _ defining the problem planning a research design planning a sample Collecting data _ analyzing the data _ formulating the conclusion and preparing the report Discovery and defining the problem: Table 1. 3 page 17 An orderly definition of the research problem lends a sense of direction to the investigation.

Every marketing problem or decision- making situation can be classified on a continuum ranging from complete certainty to absolute ambiguity. Uncertainty influence the type of research selected. Certainty Complete certainty means that all information the decision-maker needs is available, the decision-makers know exact the nature of the marketing problem or opportunity. If the manager is completely certain about both problem or opportunity and the future outcome, then research may not be needed at all. However, perfect certainty, especially about future, is rare.

Uncertainty Uncertainty means manager grasps the general nature of desired objectives, but the information about alternatives is incomplete. Predictions about forces that shape future events are educated guesses. Under the condition of uncertainty, effective managers recognize that spending additional time to gather information to clarify the nature of a decision can be valuable. Ambiguity Ambiguity means that the nature of the problem to be solved is unclear. Objectives are vague and decision alternatives are difficult to define. This is by far the most difficult decision situation.

Selection of the basic research method The nature of the problem will determine whether the research is: _ Exploratory Descriptive or Causal Use exploratory research for ambiguous problem, descriptive for partially defined robber, and causal for sharply defined problem I Exploratory research(Ambiguous problem) I Descriptive research(partially defined problem) I Causal research(problem clearly defined) I Possible situation I Our sale are declining and we don’t know why I What kind of people are buying our product? Who buy our competitor’s products?

I Will buyers purchase more of our product in a new package? I I Would people be interested in our new product idea? I What features do buyers prefer in our product? I Which of two advertising campaigns is more effective? I Uncertainty influences the type of research Statement of research objectives After identifying and clarifying the problem, the researcher should make a formal statement of the problem and the research objectives. Best expression of a research objective is a well-formed, testable research hypothesis. A hypothesis is a statement that can be refused or supported by empirical data.

Planning the research design A research design is a master plan that specifies the methods and procedures for collecting and analyzing the needed information. The researcher must also determine the sources of information, the design technique, the sampling methodology, the schedule and cost of the research. Research design stage is the stage in which the researcher determines a framework for the research plan of action by selecting a basic research method Exploratory research Exploratory research usually is conducted during the initial stage of the research process.

This is usually qualitative research. These preliminary activities undertaken Exploratory research is not intended to provide conclusive evidence from which to determine a particular course of action. Usually exploratory research is conducted with the expectation that subsequent research will be required to provide such conclusive evidence. The purpose of the exploratory research process is to progressively narrow the scope of the research topic and transform ambiguous problems into well-defined ones that incorporate specific research objectives.

The marketing researcher can employ techniques from four basic categories to obtain insights and gain clearer idea of the problem: Secondary Data Secondary data or historical data are data previously collected and assembled for some project other than the one at hand. Secondary data often can be found inside the company, at a public, university library or on the internet. A literature review, which is a survey of public articles and books that discusses theories and past empirical study about the topic, Is an almost university first step in academic research project.

Secondary data can almost always be gathered more quickly and more inexpensive than primary data. However, secondary data may be outdated and may not exactly meet researcher’s needs because they were collected for another purpose. Pilot study The term pilot study covers a number of diverse research techniques. Pilot studies collect data from the ultimate consumers or the actual subjects of the research project to serve as a guide for a larger study. When the term pilot study is used in the context of exploratory research, it refers to a study whose data collection methods are informal and whose finding may lack precision.

In another word, pilot study is a collection term for any small-scale exploratory research technique that uses sampling but does not apply rigorous standards. Descriptive research The major purpose of descriptive research is to describe characteristics of a population. Descriptive research seeks to determine the answers to who, what, when, where and how questions. Descriptive research often helps to segment and target arrest, to reveal the nature of shopping and other consumer behavior. Unlike exploratory research, descriptive studies are based on some previous understanding of the nature of the research problem.

Although the researcher may have a general understanding of the situation, the conclusive evidence that answer questions of fact necessary to determine a course of action has yet to be collected. Surveys Surveys are the most common method of descriptive research. A survey is a research technique in which information is gathered from a sample of people using questionnaire is an essential aspect of the development of a survey research design. Causal research The main goal of causal research is to identify cause-and-effect relationships among variables.

Exploratory and descriptive research normally precedes cause-and-effect relationship study. In causal studies, researchers typically have an expectation about the relationship to be explained, such as prediction about the influence of price, packing, and advertising. Thus, researchers must be quite knowledgeable about the subject Sampling Sampling involves any procedure that uses a small number of items or a portion of the population to make a conclusion regarding the whole population. Planning the rage a sample is needed, and how sampling units will be selected.

You have to deal with target population, sampling frame, sample size and how to select sampling units. Collecting data Collecting the data- the stage in which the researcher collects the data Two phases to the process of gathering data: pre-testing and the main study A pre-testing phase using a small sub-sample may determine whether the data-gathering plan for the main study is an appropriate procedure Analysis Analyzing the data- the stage in which the researcher performs several interrelated procedures to convert the data into a format that will answer management’s question

Data processing generally begins with editing and coding the data Editing involves checking the data collection forms for omissions, legibility and consistency in classifications. The editing process corrects problems such as interviewer errors before the data are transferred to computer The rules for interpreting, categorizing, recording and transferring the data storage media are called codes Formulating conclusions and writing the final report The stage in which the researcher interprets information and draws conclusions to be communicated to decision makers The research report should effectively communicate the research findings

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