In present world Marketing Research plays a very significant role in identifying the needs of customers and meeting them in best possible way. The main task of Marketing Research is systematic gathering and analysis of information. Marketing Research includes various important principles for generating information which is useful to managers.
“Marketing Research is the function that links the consumer, customer and public to the marketer through information-information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems, generate, refine and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process” According to American Marketing Association. Marketing Research is systematic problem analysis, model building and fact finding for the purpose of important decision making and control in the marketing of goods and services.
Identify potential customers:
Who will use your product or service? How old are they? Are they male or female? Are they married, single or divorced? Do they have children? Where do they live? What is their level of education? And so on.
Understanding your existing customers:
Why do customers choose our product over competitors? What do they value? Is it service, product quality or the prestige associated with consuming our product/service? Who influences their buying decision? What magazines do they read? What websites do they visit? What do they enjoy doing? Why should we use Marketing Research? The main points are below.
Set realistic targets:
From the information we collect we’ll be able to set realistic targets for areas such as growth, sales and the introduction of new products/services.
Develop effective strategies:
From the research we’ll be able to make informed marketing decisions about how to price our product/service, how to distribute our product/service, which media channels to use (eg: newspaper, radio or direct marketing) or whether to develop a new product/service.
Examine and solve business problems:
If you’ve identified a business problem, research will help you work out what is happening. For example, if your sales have fallen you might discover that brand awareness has also fallen, or that a new competitor has entered the market or a substitute product has become available.
Prepare for business expansion:
Research will help us identify areas for expansion and test the market’s readiness for a new product/service. For example we could be looking to open a new retail store and we need to find the right location or we could plan to make changes to our distribution and need to determine how that will affect your customer base.
Identify business opportunities:
Our research could identify new business opportunities. We may find an un-serviced or under-serviced market. We could identify changing market trends such as population shifts, increasing levels of education or leisure time which bring new opportunities.
Let’s see the scope of Marketing Research in a figure:
1. Product Research:
What is Product? It means the goods and services which are sold to the consumers. It is classified is two part i. Consumer products and ii. Industrial products. Product research main objective is studding the individual product. It studies the total processes which is starting from making the product and end in marketing of the product. This study includes the color, size, shape, quality, packaging, brand name and price of the product. It also deals with product modification, product innovation, product life cycle, etc. The product is modified (changed) as per the needs and wants of the consumers. As a result, the product will not fail in the market.
2. Consumer Research:
Who is Consumer? Consumer is the person who purchases the goods and services. The consumer is the king in the market. Consumer research studies consumer behavior. It studies the consumers needs, wants, likes, dislikes, attitude, age, sex, income, location; buying motives, etc. This data is used to take decisions about the product, its price, place and promotion.
3. Packaging Research:
Packaging research is a part of product research. But it has an extra demand in marketing research. Which’s main objective is to figure out product appearance. It studies the package of the product. It helps to improve the quality of the package. It makes the package more attractive. It makes the package more convenient for the consumers. It also helps to reduces the cost of packaging. It selects a suitable method for packaging. It also selects suitable packaging material.
4. Pricing Research:
Pricing is play major key role in marketing. Most of the time market could be down due to high price or inaccurate price. Pricing Research studies the pricing of the product. It selects a suitable method of pricing. It fixes the price for the product. It also compares the company’s price with the competitor’s price. It helps to fixes the discount and commission which are given to middlemen. It studies the market price trends. It also studies the future price trends. Which is help to launch a product in a competitive price.
5. Advertising Research:
At this present time advertising is strongest tool for introduce a new product in market. Not only that, it also helps to remarket existing product so that it can more familiar to the consumer. Advertising research studies the advertising of the product. It fixes the advertising objectives. It helps to fixes the advertising budget. It helps to decides about the advertising message, layout, copy, slogan, headline and so on. It selects a suitable media for advertising. It also evaluates the effectiveness of advertising and other sales promotion techniques.
6. Sales Research:
Sales research main objective is to figure out exact data of product sales and find out the position of a product in the market. Also it helps to check market demand. Sales research studies the selling activities of the company. It studies the sales outlets, sales territories, sales forecasting, sales trends, sales methods, effectiveness of the sales force, etc.
7. Distribution Research:
Distribution is the valuable part for product marketing. It helps to reach product to customer’s door. Distribution research studies the channels of distribution. It selects a suitable channel for the product. It fixes the channel objectives. It identifies the channel functions like storage, grading, etc. It evaluates the competitor’s channel.
8. Policy Research:
Policy research studies the company’s policies. It evaluates the effectiveness of the marketing policies, sales policies, distribution policies, pricing policies, inventory policies, etc. Necessary changes, if any, are made in these policies.
9. International Marketing Research:
International marketing research studies the foreign market. It collects data about consumers from foreign countries. It collects data about the economic and political situation of different countries. It also collects data about the foreign competitors. This data is very useful for the exporters.
10. Motivation Research:
Motivation research studies consumers’ buying motives. It studies those factors that motivate consumers to buy a product. It mainly finds out, Why the consumers buy the product? It also finds out the causes of consumer behavior in the market.
11. Market Research:
Market research studies the markets, market competition, market trends, etc. It also does sales forecasting. It estimates the demand for new products. It fixes the sales territories and sales quotas.
12. Media Research:
Media research studies various advertising media. The different advertising media are television (TV), radio, newspapers, magazines, the internet, etc. Media research studies the merits and demerits of each media. It selects a suitable media for advertising. It does media planning. It also studies media cost. It helps in sales promotion and to avoid wastage in advertising.
Marketing Research is essential for strategic market planning and decision making. It helps a firm in identifying what are the market opportunities and constraints, in developing and implementing market strategies, and in evaluating the effectiveness of marketing plans.
Marketing Research is a growing and widely used business activity as the sellers need to know more about their final consumers but are generally widely separated from those consumers. Marketing Research is a necessary link between marketing decision makers and the markets in which they operate.