Marketing research is a process of collection of gathering, analyzing and interpreting raw data about consumers to derive usable business information which can facilitate marketers in decision making.

Marketing research process can be broken in to following major five steps:

1. Defining the Problem and Research Objectives

The first step in marketing research process is always to identify what’s the need to do research and what problem will be solved by doing it. Also the research objectives which the proposed research will achieve are decided.

It’s critical to identify the need or problem and define the research objectives at this stage since the success or failure of proposed marketing research depends on it. All the decision makers who are going to use the information generated by proposed research should be involved in this activity to ensure no point is missed out.

2. Research Plan Development

Once the research problem and objectives are defined, the next step is to make a research plan. In this step a research methodology is identified which will be used for proposed research. Also the timelines, data collection process, analysis process and research budget is defined during this stage.

3. Data Collection

In this step raw data is collected based upon the research methodology. It can be primary data collection using qualitative, quantitative and observation techniques or it can be secondary data collection using desk research, syndicated data collection and case study analysis.

4. Data Analysis

Once data is collected, its extracted (from questionnaire and other tools), transformed in a structured format and loaded in analytics software for data analysis.  This is also known as ETL for Extract, Transform and Load process. This step is important since any future analysis depends on how well data has been prepared.

Data analysis produces valuable information which can be presented to decision makers.

5. Recommendations For Future Course of Action & Presentation

In this step based upon the information collected from conducting marketing research is a final presentation is made to decision makers and other end users of that information. Also the researcher provides his/her recommendations based upon this information which can be used by the decision makers in future to solve the problem. A detailed report is also prepared so that it can be used by others in future for reference.

In the end the organization conducting marketing research is able to find the answer they were looking for which can help them solve the problem identified in the first step.

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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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