Definition of Market ResearchMarket research is a process of gathering, analysing and interpreting raw data about target market, product or service, competitors and about past, present and potential consumers to derive usable business information.

Market research is widely used in day-to-day business even though most of us never realize it. Ever wonder how we get product and services that are designed to make our life easier and how companies are able to improve those product and service so that they become more useful? It’s all thanks to market research, well almost.

In organizations each business decision related to a product or service starts with questions like:

  • Who are my target audience?
  • What do they need?
  • What are their wants?
  • Which geographies have sales potential?
  • What can be the distribution channel?
  • Why they will need/want my product and services?
  • Who will be our competitors?
  • How’s the market environment?
  • What can I do to make my product and service more attractive?
  • What are Government rules and regulations in my target market?
  • What is the best entry strategy for my target market?

These are just a small set of questions which are answered using market research techniques.

Now let’s get back to the definition I mentioned at the beginning and try to understand in detail what is market research?

Market research is a well structured process which involves collection & gathering of raw data related to target market, product or service, competitors and about past present and potential consumers. This data is collected using data collection techniques like interviews, focus group discussions, secondary resources etc.

The next step is to analyse this data using data analysis techniques like qualitative and quantitative using research methodology. This provides more refined data which is then used to interpret results and find out solutions to the questions which were defined at the beginning of the research process.

So market research essentially helps marketers and organizations find answers to their business related problems which they encounter every day.

Now let’s analyse some situations where market research can be used:

Case 1We (foreign manufacturer) want to know if there is a market in India for electronic products which operate on alternative energy systems. Can you tell us…

Research Solution: In this case an opportunity assessment study will be conducted to find out if there is a market in India for targeted products i.e. products which operate on alternative energy systems.

Case 2I have a product which is superior to the products currently available in the market. Can you test and tell me if consumers also think so?

Research Solution: In this case a product testing study will be conducted to find out how the targeted product fares in the market against its competitors.

Case 3I can launch this product only if it can manage ‘X’ volumes. Can you do a research and tell me it would generate ‘X’ volumes?

Research Solution: In this case a market research study will be conducted to find out if that market will be able to meet expectations in terms of demand for target product.

We will dwell into these questions further as we progress in coming days.

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Ambarish is the MD and CEO of NOVONOUS Business Consulting Pvt Ltd, a knowledge management firm. He likes sharing his experiences in the field of Market Research to those who are passionate and like exploring more about this field.

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