Methods of Business Research
According to the American Marketing Association, marketing research is
the systematic gathering, recording, and analyzing of data about
problems relating to the marketing of goods and services. Marketing
research is not a perfect science. It deals with people and their
constantly changing feelings and behaviors, which are influenced by
countless subjective factors. To conduct marketing research you must
gather facts and opinions in an orderly, objective way to find out
what people want to buy, not just what you want to sell them. It is
impossible to sell products or services that customers do not want.
Learning what customers want, and how to present it attractively,
drives the need for marketing research. Small business has an edge
over larger concerns in this regard. Large businesses must hire
experts to study the mass market, while small-scale entrepreneurs are
close to their customers and can learn much more quickly about their
buying habits. Small business owners have a sense their customers'
needs from years of experience, but this informal information may not
be timely or relevant to the current market. Marketing research
focuses and organizes marketing information. It ensures that such
information is timely and permits entrepreneurs to reduce business
risks, Spot current and upcoming problems in the current market,
identify sales opportunities and develop plans of action.
Business research is essential because it involves statistical
information about the external and internal environment of the
company. This information is required while planning strategically,
setting objectives and determining the competitive advantage of the
company or the product. Studies based on morale, employee opinions,
absenteeism and the management of people provide valuable insights
into the prevailing conditions of employee management relations and
tend to strengthen and improve levels of productivity and growth by
fostering efficiency and effectiveness as well as competitiveness.
Research on financial matters can guide the company with respect to
financial issues and problems as well as opportunities. This research
can lead to financial prosperity. While research is used widely to
study markets and their opportunities, research is also used to study
the company’s production and marketing operations.
The importance of research can be assessed from its invaluable
contribution to the process of decision- making. Research aids the
decision-making process by providing timely and accurate information,
which helps the management to identify more efficient, less risky and
more profitable alternatives. There is one complexity however, that
the usefulness of research hinges on the ability of the researchers to
understand the full details of the decision situation. Interest in
scientific decision-making has been fostered by the increased need of
managers for more and better information and...