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How Marketing Research Plays A Role In The Marketing System

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When it comes to the marketing system, marketing research has a very important role to play, especially for companies who are looking for business expansion and penetration in a new market. Marketing research provides all the necessary data for taking effective decisions and helps in the exploration of new opportunities in the new market. Carl and Gates, (2011), have defined marketing research as “the primary function that helps in linking customers, consumer, and the common public to the marketers through availability of information. It helps in finding answers of the issues pertaining to the new market through data collection, analysis and conveying the findings and implications.

According to Overton and Volkman (2008), when it comes to today’s competitive market, market research is a very critical component of carrying out any business. All the data that is gathered by means of market research helps the company to make decisions regarding customer expectations and needs and in turn guide the business to develop products to meet these requirements. Market research helps in looking out of enhancement opportunities in terms of services and products.

The main purpose of carrying out marketing research is to provide marketers and the companies with decision-making information. It is all about linking the companies with the customers. Customers have bigger expectations from companies due to competition and globalization. Marketing research helps the companies to frame the so-called right marketing strategy. In simple, companies can develop plans depending on their target market. They have to develop products and services based on the best of the marketing mix and meet the requirements of the customers in the target market (Burns, 2007).

Gupta, (2009) has highlighted the main aims of the marketing research as:

  1. Understanding the reason behind a customer’s decision to purchase the product.
  2. Determine the marketing opportunities
  3. Understand the marketing problems
  4. Selection of the right course of action
  5. Understanding the perception of the customer
  6. Understanding the distribution network in the new market
  7. Forecast of the future sales
  8. The expectation of the increasing the market share
  9. Assessment of the market competition and policies.

Basic and applied marketing research

Scott and Gerald, (2012), have highlighted that companies can carry out marketing research by adopting any of the 20 different survey methods and they are:

  1. Market description surveys
  2. Market profiling segmentations surveys
  3. Tracking surveys and stages in the purchase process
  4. Customer intention- purchase analysis surveys
  5. Customer expectations and attitudes survey
  6. Customer loyalty, trust and retention analysis survey
  7. New product concept analysis survey
  8. Conjoint survey (New product acceptance and further demand surveys)
  9. Uses and habits surveys
  10. Product fulfillment surveys
  11. Competitive market and product positioning
  12. Brand equity surveys
  13. Advertising, media, message and effectiveness surveys
  14. Advertising value analysis survey
  15. Sales effectiveness survey
  16. Sales generation survey
  17. Customer service survey
  18. CSR surveys
  19. Market tracking surveys
  20. Price setting and elasticity of demand analysis survey

According to the report of Hansen, (2009), the main aim of pure or the basic research is to expand the company’s knowledge limits. This kind of research does not target to solve any realistic problems of the organization. The findings of this research method cannot be applied by the organization immediately. The main aim of this research method is to verify the level of acceptance of any particular theory. On the other hand, applied research is conducted by a company when they are looking for a solution for a particular problem. Most of the time companies, who are looking for expansion in any new market, can make use of applied marketing research.

Why companies should conduct marketing research?

According to Conner, (2013), there are many reasons for conducting market research. A simple example is the existence of the company in the near future. Market statistics have clearly indicated that nearly 25% of the companies fail during their first year, 36% during their second and 44% in their third year. If a new product is launched in the market, nearly 40% of the companies are unable to maintain their base and existence. Conducting a market research will ensure that the business in successful in any market for any product. If a company is undergoing any problem or looking for market extension, they will first conduct market research for identifying the main reason for the problem or look out for opportunities. Marketing research helps in segmenting the customers in a market based on their behavior, attitude, and demographic attributes. Once the company is aware about the different segments, they can develop marketing strategies targeted towards each of these groups and verify the type of response they are receiving for their products.

He also highlighted that the marketing research helps the company to analyze their competitors in the market. Competition is common in any market but making sure that the company is aware about the existing companies can give them an edge in terms of their operational and marketing strategy. Conducting the research will enable the companies to take their own decisions, ensuring that they do not become biased towards their decisions. Research helps the company to find out the current technological advancements in the market and how these have been affecting the customers in the market. The marketing research helps the company to check on their promotional materials and strategies in the new markets. Market research can also help the company to look out for better products depending on the needs of the customers. A research method helps the companies to keep a track on their brands and its performance (Conner, 2013).

Process of marketing research

According to Jan and Diggines, (2010), every marketing research will comprise of two parts that is the preliminary and the final research investigations. The companies carry out the preliminary investigation to check if there is any need to carry out a formal research and the type of research that will be required. So based on the these assumptions, each of these parts have the following steps:

Preliminary investigation

  1. Companies need to define the extent of opportunity they are expecting from the new market.
  2. Developing a hypothesis depending on the nature of opportunity.
  3. Formulation of an extensive research plan pertaining to the opportunity
  4. Setting out the objectives of the research
  5. Determination of the research design and preparing the proposal for the research
  6. Secondary data collection

For all the above steps companies need to carry out an internal and external environmental analysis around the expected opportunity in the new market. If the company finds that the opportunity cannot be seized, then they move ahead with the formal marketing research. But before taking this decision, it is important for the management to check on their resources and check on the overall feasibility. In order to conduct the Formal investigation the following steps needs to be followed:

1. Selecting the right method of the primary data collection

  1. Designing the questionnaire
  2. Designing the sample
  3. Conducting the formal investigation
  4. Processing the data
  5. Analyzing the data
  6. Interpretation of the results and compiling the formal research report.

Lesley, (2010) states that marketing research helps an organization to understand what kind of products will bring them success. If the products are already there in the market, the research can tell if the company is meeting the demands of the customers. Failure to carry out a market research means that the company is moving around without any vision and direction. He has divided the marketing research into primary and secondary research. Primary research comprised of interviews, surveys, questionnaire and focus groups. Secondary research was about analyzing the already published data.

Importance of marketing research

Marketing research can be conducted either internally or externally by contacting any research firm. Carl and Gates (2011), highlighted that marketing research primarily carries out four functions including Exploratory, Descriptive, Diagnostic and Predictive. Marketing research is useful in situations when the companies have little or no knowledge about the market or a particular situation. This method helps in getting an in-depth understanding about the customer’s mindset and the factors, which affects their purchase decisions. It is always considered as a descriptive method meant for collecting data about a situation or a market. The marketing research helps in predicting the future of a situation or any market.

According to Gupta, (2009), the market is no longer about the seller, but it has now moved to buyers, thus making is important for the companies to understand the perception of the customers. The most important aspect of marketing research is making sure that the right kind of product reaches the right kind of people at the right price and at the right time. Marketing research is one of the most useful tool that helps in increasing the decision making ability of the companies. The companies can use this method for determining their best advertising decisions. It also helps in determining the effectiveness of their current marketing strategies and understanding the potential problems.

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