Marketing Research

Market Research: A Snapshot

When we hear of the term marketing, the most resonating topics under it that come to our minds are sales and advertising and unfortunately for most of the people, marketing is all about advertising a product with a lot of pomp and show and then selling it at a price which not just justifies its quality and technical costs but also it’s advertising budget. Bigger the advertisement, the higher the cost. Right? No. Without a doubt advertising is a very important part of the whole marketing exercise, being mean to meet the end and sale of course, is the end. End or closure to a deal, as they say, there’s no end to selling because marketing continues even after selling and there’s one branch of it that is being deployed right from the beginning stage where ideation happens and goes on even after the sale has been made. That part is – market research.

As the term suggests, it is research of the target market with regards to the people’s likings, attitude, which products have done well, which haven’t – why, pricing, advertising related topics, what attracts people the most in that particular market, packaging and once the sale has been made, it looks for satisfaction of the people, changes they look for, competition’s reaction, action and what next, basically, covering the what, why, how, to whom and forming basis for making an informed decision.

In business it is said that bigger the risk, bigger the rewards. But this risk is not taken purely on gut feel but is rather an informed, well thought and calculated risk, especially in case of MNCs which are operating across the globe and invest millions-billions of dollars for making these decisions. Market research is that branch of marketing which collects this information required by the businesses to make the decision relating to what is the nature of issue, a new product, a new market, problem with an existing product or market. This process starts by deciding on the problem topic or as it is called defining statement problem in technical term , as well defined the problem, clearer will be the solution. Once the problem is identified, we move on to selecting the research design Research design in simple words is your detailed  “plan of action” wherein you select your research method, sample area, type, which depends on the goal of your research which leads me to point out the best phrase or suggestion that market research teaches, begin with an end in mind. Define well where you want to be to select the correct path. Researchers have developed as many as 12 types of research designs to understand the issue at hand in more detail. I shall discuss these types in another blog as it would take a complete blog space to do justice to this interesting and detailed topic. Next, we move to deciding on the research instruments. Like any other instrument of measurement, research instruments help in collecting the data in form you want, ranging from personal or group interviews to surveys to scales to role plays to observations to tests. These instruments are selected basis the reliability, efficiency, and effectiveness of each one of them which varies from case to case and in many cases a researcher might use different instruments to get a satisfactory set of data. At this stage, one is sitting with a lot of data but all this is like a bagful of raw ingredients from which you need to pick up the right ingredients for the dish you are wanting to prepare (remember, begin with the end in mind). The researcher further filters out the data to extract information out of it by using various tools at his disposal to do so, Excel, SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences), Minitab, etc. The kind of input in these tools decides the output of our data. If you put in Carrot in your juicer hoping to get Orange juice….you’ll run out of job soon. So, it’s important to have a clarity of your purpose while using your inputs as well. After these tools throw you information, your next step is to present that information in a way that is understandable to the client or to the stakeholders. It’s only when they’ll understand the results, they’ll be able to make a calculated, well thought, researched and informed decision. So next time when you’re out to purchase a product, do pick up and realize someone would have had sleepless nights to put that product on that shelf just so that you can pick-up, buy, go home and smile every time you use that product. If you aren’t smiling after the use, well, that puts in a case for another market research for consumer staisfaction…😊 

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