Marketing research is a technique of collecting information from and about customers and non-costumers to support business decisions involved with monitoring marketing performance, improving marketing processes, identifying and defining marketing opportunities and problems, and evaluating marketing actions.
Marketing research is crucial for businesses from the very beginning. During the initial stages of starting a new business marketing research is considered one of the most important steps, getting informed about the market, potential clients and the competition is crucial. When planning to launch a new product or service in a business, marketing research also plays a huge role.
The Five-Step Marketing Research Process
1. Identify the research need:
There are 5 Critical Questions you must answer to identify the research need.
- What is your research question? Create the research question to identify the research need.
- What will you do with this information? For what are you going to use the information gained in this study.
- Could you access this information in-house or through a third-party? If you are able to find this information internally or externally you might not need to conduct the study.
- When do you need this information? To generate valuable information, research studies can take a little longer. If you need the information immediately or within a few days, conducting a research study might not be an option.
- Does the benefit of the research project outweigh the cost of the project? Does the information gained will be valuable for the company to justify the research cost?
2. Design the research study:
What type of study will answer the research question? Would it be a survey? A focus group? Interviews? Observations?
What type of audience do you want to participate in the study and how many of them you need to participate in? Are they your customers or the competitor’s customers?
Lastly, prepare the research study, for example, elaborate the survey or design the interview agenda.
3. Conduct the research study:
Time to have fun! Send out the survey! Hold the focus groups! Conduct the interviews!
4. Analyze the results:
Collect all the study results, clean the dirty data (data that is Inaccurate, Incomplete, Inconsistent, Duplicate) and then translate the useful data to relevant information to help in the decision-making process.
Some types of data analysis are:
Descriptive Analysis: This analysis provides summaries about the sample. It reveals general pattern responses and illustrates the typical or most common respondent.
Differences Analysis: This analysis provides insights into the differences that exist in the selected population.
Relationship Analysis: This analysis applies crosstabulation and correlations analysis to identify the relationship between the variables.
5. Share the research insights:
Share insights in a proactive way, create presentations telling a story and infographics. Applying these methods will make the presentation more dynamical and will get your audience’s attention. Infographics also help you answer the audience’s questions.
Marketing Research helps businesses to:
- Make better decisions
- Better understand their customers
- Gather knowledge about the competition
- Improve marketing process
- Obtain innovation on how to approach the market
- Identify other marketing opportunities
- Clarify problems