Procedure and Types of Marketing Research
The following points explain the procedure of marketing research:
Specify the problem
The marketing research process begins with the recognition of a problem faced by the business enterprise. For an enterprise, it is not possible to take a right decision until and unless the problem is specifically identified and properly defined. While defining a problem, a careful study of all the internal and external factors must be made, after this the problem must be analyzed.
After recognizing the problem, the next phase of marketing research is to analyze the relevant factors that affect the problem. It includes the analysis of the competitive situations, situation prevailing in the enterprise markets and the whole industry, etc. The situation analysis limits the scope of problem very limited and sometimes it offers a solution to the problem itself.
Checking of Available Sources of Information
After the situation analysis, the marketing manager tries to know the sources of information which may be used to solve the problem. These sources must be thoroughly checked so that right information can be made available for the solution of the problem.
The results are extracted from the analysis and interpretation of data in the form of a report presented to the marketer so that he comes to know the details of the problem and its solution.
Follow up Action
Though the process of marketing research is completed with the preparation of research report but it is also important that effective implementation of the decisions arrived at during the course of marketing research must be ensured and chased by the marketing manager so that the research may produce best results for the enterprise.
Types of Marketing Research
Product analysis is a detailed and thorough study of the popularity of products among consumers of an enterprise. It helps the organization to develop ideas for new or improved products and to analyze the work of other organizations. The quality assurance is a system of checks and inspections to ensure high standards throughout design and manufacture.
The market analysis is also known as a documented investigation of a market i.e. used to inform a firm’s planning activities, particularly around decisions of inventory, purchase, work force expansion/contraction, facility expansion, purchases of capital equipment, promotional activities and many other aspects of a company. It tries to explore the possibilities of selling the products of the enterprise in new markets. It also determines the markets or areas in which special efforts are necessary to make the products of the enterprise more popular.
The distribution analysis is related with the analysis of different problems related to the physical distribution of goods and services viz. storage, transportation, advertisement, sales promotion, pricing policy, etc. The main purpose of distribution analysis is to control the costs of distribution and to provide the goods and services to the consumers at right place and at right time and at reasonable price. By selecting the favorable distribution channels, an organization can grow revenue and market share more quickly than others.
The competition analysis is a crucial component of corporate strategy. It is an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of current and potential competitors in the market. It makes an analytical study of the policies of competitors in respect of prices, physical distribution, advertisement, sales promotion, after-sale-services, etc. This analysis provides both an offensive and defensive strategic context to identify opportunities and threats and helps in formulating its marketing policies and strategies.
The consumer research is the research on present and potential consumers of the enterprise. It is the research in which the preferences, motivations, and buying behavior of the targeted customers are identified through direct observation, mail surveys, telephone or face to face interviews and from published sources.
Sales analysis is an important tool to measure the effectiveness of sales organization of an enterprise. It analysis sales volume, salesman performance data, market penetration rates, sales territories, market segmentation, new product performance in test market, etc. that helps in making necessary amendments in the policies of the organization time-to-time.
In the modern marketing activities, the motivational research is an attempt to identify the reaction of consumers towards the products of an enterprise or the enterprise itself. It allows them to understand why people may or may not buy their product. Additionally, it can help in identifying a target audience for different products and services. It also helps in branding as it allows marketers to see what will catch the attention and loyalty of their ideal customers.
It is the specialized form of marketing research conducted to improve the efficiency of advertising. It is the systematic gathering and analysis of information to develop or evaluate advertising strategies, ads and commercials and media campaigns. Its task is to analyze and improve the use and impact of ads and other communications processes.
Limitations of Marketing Research (MR)
The marketing research is not a substitute for decision making process. It only offers possible suggestions to marketing problems. It acts as a tool which facilitates decision making process and guides marketing managers in taking balanced, result oriented and rational decisions. Thus, marketing research also has some limitations. Some of the limitations of marketing research are as follows:
Time consuming activity
The marketing research is a lengthy and time consuming activity. The research work takes longer time period for completion and findings. Thus, the market researcher has to complete the research work within given time. If the time is sufficient enough, he can carry out the research work satisfactorily. If time is short, he has to depend on the secondary data, which may prove to be old and outdated.
The marketing research is a costly activity in the modern marketing environment. To carry out research work for the particular task, the business organization requires the service of experts from various fields like economists, management scientists, statisticians, psychologists and computer experts. In the above fields, the advance training is also necessary on the part of research staff i.e. also a costly affair.
Shortage of qualified staff
The marketing research work requires a lot of statistical work like collection and tabulation of data, their interpretation methods and drawing out the necessary results. To carry out all these functions, the business enterprise requires an able, efficient and experienced research worker. As qualified researchers demand higher package, so it may be hard for those enterprises, whose financial income is low, to hirer these researchers. Thus, it is one of the limitations of marketing research.
Limitation due to bias
The limitations of money, time and skill causes the limitation of bias. For example, if due to the limitation of time and money, the researcher is biased to the problem, the results of that research may be faulty and the very purpose of marketing research is lost.
Consumer is a focal point in the market research. One cant’ judges accurately the behavior of the consumers. This brings some sort of uncertainty in the conclusion drawn from the research activity. The findings of the research work may not prove to be accurate.