A successful business organization takes competition seriously by being aggressive in their marketing campaigns. But a careful company studies the market trend first and understands the movement in the business world before investing on marketing programs which can be costly and risky.
One of the ways in studying the market is through a marketing research. This process has to be given high consideration since the outputs and results will help the company figure out the suitable marketing campaigns for the targeted customers.
Marketing Research Explained
Market research, also referred to as marketing research, is a vital aspect in the concept of marketing management. It refers to the gathering or collection of data that will serve to be useful to a company or business. The data gathered may be about customer profiles or the industry competitors. Market research is commonly confused with marketing research. The former focuses on the markets while marketing research pertains to the marketing processes. But in the long run, both terms have been widely and generally accepted with a common perception.
Marketing research is performed by the availability of both primary and secondary data. Primary research is conducted by the company itself so data is collected by the company. An example for this is a survey. On the other hand, secondary research utilizes data that is already gathered and collected like that of the book of statistics. This method of data gathering is less costly but the primary research is more advantageous as it caters directly to the needs of the company.
There are two major methods in data collection: qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative research is targeted at determining the reasons people buy a product or use the service and it is also geared at assessing product value. It elicits more of people’s ideas about a product or service. Focus groups or group discussions are primary means of conducting qualitative research. Quantitative research aims more at collecting numerical data and a very common way of doing this is through surveys.
Characteristics of Marketing Research
Every company that conducts marketing research must know the features of a good marketing research. First, it should have a systematic approach. Any research or study done randomly will not yield productive results. A methodological process must be observed when performing procedures. Apart from that, advance planning and proper documentation are important.
Next, a marketing research must be objective and ideal. The results generated must be accurate as much as possible and the process of doing the research must be impartial. A research output must be conducted on neutral grounds and free from any bias and personal considerations. This also stresses the importance of ethics in marketing.
Thirdly, marketing research, as the term alone implies, entails identification, data collection, data analysis, and distribution or awareness. Every phase is equally important as the other during the entire marketing process. When a business is able to identify a market opportunity or probably a marketing concern, information is needed to study it and conduct thorough investigation. Once findings are inferred, these should be presented to the marketing management for further action.
Importance of Marketing Research
For anything that is not known and is yet to be understood, research is an effective means of finding things out through the information gathered. In marketing, research is a very crucial component in marketing management decisions.
For example, when the company finds out that the target market segments have new or additional preference after conducting marketing research, this realization paves way for creation of new product lines. This way, the management decision on marketing plans is more effective and less risky.
Marketing research is in fact the basis of all marketing activities and functions. All important marketing decisions are grounded on good and reliable research in order to achieve and maintain a competitive position in the industry. Because relevant and accurate information are presented about the customers and other variables from a research, uncertainties and improbabilities are removed in inferring marketing decisions.
From a good and accurate marketing research, the management can move on to designing an effective marketing plan for the business. Research must be ongoing in order to update the business with changes and modifications in the market trend and customer preferences, including changes in competitor’s marketing activities.