Having access to web data did not automatically provide companies with the rationale behind the behavior of users visiting their sites, which provoked the marketing research industry to develop new and better ways of tracking, collecting and interpreting information. This led to the development of various tools like online focus groups and pop-up or website intercept surveys. These types of services allowed companies to dig deeper into the motivations of consumers, augmenting their insights and utilizing this data to drive market share.
As information around the world became more accessible, increased competition led companies to demand more of market researchers. It was no longer sufficient to follow trends in web behavior or track sales data; companies now needed access to consumer behavior throughout the entire purchase process. This meant the Marketing Research Industry, again, needed to adapt to the rapidly changing needs of the marketplace, and to the demands of companies looking for a competitive edge.
Today, marketing research has adapted to innovations in technology and the corresponding ease with which information is available. This demand is driving marketing researchers to develop new platforms for interactive, two-way communication between their firms and consumers. Mobile devices such as Smart Phones are the best example of an emerging platform that enables businesses to connect with their customers throughout the entire buying process. As personal mobile devices become more capable and widespread, the marketing research industry will look to further capitalize on this trend.
Mobile devices present the perfect channel for research firms to retrieve immediate impressions from buyers and to provide their clients with a holistic view of the consumers within their target markets, and beyond.
Now, more than ever, innovation is the key to success for Marketing Researchers. Marketing Research Clients are beginning to demand highly personalized and specifically-focused products from the marketing research firms; big data is great for identifying general market segments, but is less capable of identifying key factors of niche markets, which now defines the competitive edge companies are looking for in this mobile-digital age.
First, marketing research is systematic. Thus systematic planning is required at all the stages of the marketing research process. The procedures followed at each stage are methodologically sound, well documented, and, as much as possible, planned in advance. Marketing research uses the scientific method in that data are collected and analyzed to test prior notions or hypotheses.
Experts in marketing research have shown that studies featuring multiple and often competing hypotheses yield more meaningful results than those featuring only one dominant hypothesis. Marketing research is objective. It attempts to provide accurate information that reflects a true state of affairs.
It should be conducted impartially. While research is always influenced by the researcher's research philosophy, it should be free from the personal or political biases of the researcher or the management. Research which is motivated by personal or political gain involves a breach of professional standards.
Such research is deliberately biased so as to result in predetermined findings. The objective nature of marketing research underscores the importance of ethical considerations.
Also, researchers should always be objective with regard to the selection of information to be featured in reference texts because such literature should offer a comprehensive view on marketing.
Research has shown, however, that many marketing textbooks do not feature important principles in marketing research. Organizations engage in marketing research for two reasons: This distinction serves as a basis for classifying marketing research into problem identification research and problem solving research.
Problem identification research is undertaken to help identify problems which are, perhaps, not apparent on the surface and yet exist or are likely to arise in the future like company image, market characteristics, sales analysis, short-range forecasting, long range forecasting, and business trends research. Research of this type provides information about the marketing environment and helps diagnose a problem. For example, the findings of problem solving research are used in making decisions which will solve specific marketing problems.
The Stanford Research Institute , on the other hand, conducts an annual survey of consumers that is used to classify persons into homogeneous groups for segmentation purposes.
Standardized services are research studies conducted for different client firms but in a standard way. For example, procedures for measuring advertising effectiveness have been standardized so that the results can be compared across studies and evaluative norms can be established. The Starch Readership Survey is the most widely used service for evaluating print advertisements; another well-known service is the Gallup and Robinson Magazine Impact Studies. These services are also sold on a syndicated basis.
All of these forms of marketing research can be classified as either problem-identification research or as problem-solving research. Primary research is conducted from scratch. It is original and collected to solve the problem in hand. Secondary research already exists since it has been collected for other purposes.
It is conducted on data published previously and usually by someone else. Secondary research costs far less than primary research, but seldom comes in a form that exactly meets the needs of the researcher. A similar distinction exists between exploratory research and conclusive research. Exploratory research provides insights into and comprehension of an issue or situation.
It should draw definitive conclusions only with extreme caution. Conclusive research draws conclusions: Exploratory research is conducted to explore a problem to get some basic idea about the solution at the preliminary stages of research.
It may serve as the input to conclusive research. Exploratory research information is collected by focus group interviews, reviewing literature or books, discussing with experts, etc.
This is unstructured and qualitative in nature. If a secondary source of data is unable to serve the purpose, a convenience sample of small size can be collected. Conclusive research is conducted to draw some conclusion about the problem.
It is essentially, structured and quantitative research, and the output of this research is the input to management information systems MIS. Exploratory research is also conducted to simplify the findings of the conclusive or descriptive research, if the findings are very hard to interpret for the marketing managers.
Methodologically, marketing research uses the following types of research designs: Researchers often use more than one research design. They may start with secondary research to get background information, then conduct a focus group qualitative research design to explore the issues.
Finally they might do a full nationwide survey quantitative research design in order to devise specific recommendations for the client. Business to business B2B research is inevitably more complicated than consumer research.
The researchers need to know what type of multi-faceted approach will answer the objectives, since seldom is it possible to find the answers using just one method. Finding the right respondents is crucial in B2B research since they are often busy, and may not want to participate. Last, but not least, most business research leads to strategic decisions and this means that the business researcher must have expertise in developing strategies that are strongly rooted in the research findings and acceptable to the client.
There are four key factors that make B2B market research special and different from consumer markets: Marketing research does not only occur in huge corporations with many employees and a large budget. Marketing information can be derived by observing the environment of their location and the competitions location. Small scale surveys and focus groups are low cost ways to gather information from potential and existing customers.
Most secondary data statistics, demographics, etc. International Marketing Research follows the same path as domestic research, but there are a few more problems that may arise.
Customers in international markets may have very different customs, cultures, and expectations from the same company. In this case, Marketing Research relies more on primary data rather than secondary information. Gathering the primary data can be hindered by language, literacy and access to technology.
Basic Cultural and Market intelligence information will be needed to maximize the research effectiveness. Some of the steps that would help overcoming barriers include:. Market research techniques resemble those used in political polling and social science research. Meta-analysis also called the Schmidt-Hunter technique refers to a statistical method of combining data from multiple studies or from several types of studies. Conceptualization means the process of converting vague mental images into definable concepts.
Operationalization is the process of converting concepts into specific observable behaviors that a researcher can measure. Precision refers to the exactness of any given measure. Reliability refers to the likelihood that a given operationalized construct will yield the same results if re-measured. Validity refers to the extent to which a measure provides data that captures the meaning of the operationalized construct as defined in the study.
The most common entry-level position in marketing research for people with bachelor's degrees e. These people are responsible for supervising a well-defined set of operations, including field work, data editing, and coding, and may be involved in programming and data analysis.
Another entry-level position for BBAs is assistant project manager. An assistant project manager will learn and assist in questionnaire design, review field instructions, and monitor timing and costs of studies. In the marketing research industry, however, there is a growing preference for people with master's degrees. Those with MBA or equivalent degrees are likely to be employed as project managers.
An MMR typically prepares students for a wide range of research methodologies and focuses on learning both in the classroom and the field. The junior analyst and the research analyst learn about the particular industry and receive training from a senior staff member, usually the marketing research manager.
The junior analyst position includes a training program to prepare individuals for the responsibilities of a research analyst, including coordinating with the marketing department and sales force to develop goals for product exposure. The research analyst responsibilities include checking all data for accuracy, comparing and contrasting new research with established norms, and analyzing primary and secondary data for the purpose of market forecasting.
As these job titles indicate, people with a variety of backgrounds and skills are needed in marketing research. Technical specialists such as statisticians obviously need strong backgrounds in statistics and data analysis.
Other positions, such as research director, call for managing the work of others and require more general skills. Personal interviews are semi-structured discussions with an individual.
They include open-ended questions where the interviewer can probe further to understand underlying perceptions and behaviours. Personal interviews are a more expensive alternative to focus groups and are generally used in the following situations:. Task analysis seeks to understand the thought process and actions of participants in order to improve the design of a website or tool.
The participant is given a specific task to perform, and the interviewer observes and notes where the participant runs into problems and where he or she is successful. It is different from usability testing, as it is not testing the usability of a website. Task analysis can be helpful in understanding how people currently use your website or other websites.
Using this approach, the participant is given a specific task to perform. For example, buy a particular product or find the location of a nearby store that sells your product. All of this information can be used to draw process diagrams and illustrate the processes and approaches used by participants.
You may find that several common approaches were used.
Qualitative research or qualitative market research is a kind of a research method which mainly takes into account the opinions and feelings of a customer as far as a .
Here we need to make a distinction between data collection methods and market research types based on analytical approach, which are often confused. Data collection methods differ based on whether we want to conduct quantitative or qualitative research.
Marketing research is often partitioned into two sets of categorical pairs, either by target market: Consumer marketing research, and; Business-to-business (B2B) marketing research. Or, alternatively, by methodological approach: Qualitative marketing research, and; Quantitative marketing research. Market research methods The type of information you want to gather about your customers, market or competitors will influence the research methods you choose. There are different ways to gather information (from primary or secondary sources) and different types of .
How to Conduct Market Research. Various methods of market research are used to find out information about markets, target markets and their needs, competitors, market trends, customer satisfaction with products and services, etc. Businesses can learn a great deal about customers, their needs, how to meet those needs and how the business is doing to meet those needs. Find out how to use popular research methods to do market research for your business.