Definition of Marketing ResearchMarketing research links marketers and organizations with their consumers through information related to marketing opportunities and problems.

Marketing research is a process of gathering, analysing and interpreting raw data about consumers to derive usable business information which can facilitate marketers in decision making. It’s different from market research which deals with only a particular “target” market. In fact market research is a sub-set of marketing research.

Marketing research is used to by marketers and organisations to find answers to questions like:

  • Who are consumers of my products or services?
  • What’s the best way to communicate my marketing message to them?
  • What’s the performance of my advertising campaigns?
  • Do I need to run a special promotion to drive sales?
  • How my product or service is faring against competition?
  • What’s my competition doing to attract consumers?
  • How’s the market environment?
  • What’s my brands health?

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

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

Marketing research is a well structured and systematic 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 our solutions to the questions which were defined at the beginning of the research process.

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

Now let’s analyze some situations where marketing research can be used:

Case 1Sale of my company’s frozen food brand is declined by 30% in a year. Can you assist us in finding a solution?

Research Solution: In this case a brand health assessment study along with competition research and market research will be conducted to find what the reasons are for decline in sale of this particular product and what can be the optimal solution to tackle it.

The probable reasons behind this scenario can be that the completion of this product has any of following factors – better distribution channel, pricing advantage, better packaging or higher spending on advertising campaigns. Any of these can cause the competitors to gain advantage over the said product.

Case 2Our brand is losing market share. We would like to know where we are going wrong?

Research Solution: In this case a brand identity study will be conducted to find out the health of targeted brand.

Case 3I want to price this brand at X. Though it is higher than competing products, I think it is value for money.  Would consumer’s mind paying the price I have in mind?

Research Solution: In this case a pricing research will be conducted to find out the target consumer’s behaviour toward this product and proposed price X.

Case 4We have to air this ad in the next two weeks. My creative guys spent days and nights on this.  I am not quite sure if consumer’s would like this ad. Could we test it with them before that.

Research Solution: In this case a concept testing study will be conducted to find out the target consumer’s behaviour toward this proposed advertisement.

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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