Market Research Tools
An organizational problem must be identified prior to beginning the market research process. In most cases, a problem is a research opportunity for product improvement or the launch of a new product. The first critical step of the marketing process involves how the research problem is defined by specifying the research objectives; identifying the consumer population of interest, and placing the problem in an environmental context. The very next step is to determine the research design that involves whether or not primary or secondary data is available or required. Marketers must collect the information and determine the type of study required before they can move on .
Primary data is research gathered to help make specific decisions about a present problem. “Primary data include demographic and psychological information about customers and prospective customers, customers’ attitudes and opinions about products and competing products, as well as their awareness or knowledge about a product and their beliefs about the people who use those products”. (Judge, 1998) The various designs in conducting primary research are exploratory, descriptive, and casual research.
Exploratory research is an in-depth investigation with few typical profile consumers used to generate topics for the future. Exploratory research takes on many forms without the burden of high cost. Marketers have this option to allow them to explore research within the primary umbrella without taking a sizable risk. On the other hand marketers may not feel confident in generalization to the consumer population. Most exploratory research is qualitative since the research is non-numeric and consumer behaviors are in the form of words than numbers.
Descriptive research investigates the marketing problem at hand. Most of the conclusions are based on large participants and are expressed in numbers as opposed to persons. Cross-sectional designs involve the systematic collection of responses to a consumer survey instrument from one or more samples of respondents at one point in time. Also use the descriptive research investigations. Casual research understands cause-and-effect relationships, which is generally used by marketers when there has been a change. Independent variables and the outcome dependent variables are the cause of such change.
Secondary data, if available saves time and money because the expense of the study has already been incurred. The internal data found in the company’s reports are previous company research studies, feedback from customers, salespeople, stores, and feedback from longtime employees. External data reports from syndicated research firms sell the research information to advertising agencies, and marketers. This type of data has already been collected for some purpose other than the problem at hand.
The unique difference between primary and secondary research is the marketer’s ability to...