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4 Steps To Marketing Research



What is Marketing Research?

Every company which hopes to compete in the marketplace must do research.  This research consists of but is not limited to defining the problem and opportunities with marketing a particular product, then collecting and evaluating current information about the current market for the product and the writing out the findings and recommendations.


Market research is very difficult to do because there are so many variables to factor into your research.   For instance if you were to conduct an opinion poll on a new type of shampoo you would have to try and figure out id people really like the shampoo or if they were just giving positives answer because they felt it is what you wanted to hear.


Market research is not fool proof but it does give you a fighting chance to succeed in the marketplace.  Market research can be done on any product or service, even ones you sell on Ebay or a similar site.


4 Steps to Marketing Research

Marketing research is a four-step process consisting of defining the problem, developing a research plan, collecting information relevant to your product and writing up a final report or evaluation.


1. Defining the Problem

Defining the problem is more or less taking your product and service and finding out how that product or service will fit into the current marketplace.  Part of this process may be a test market of a new product to see if the targeted audience responds favorably or unfavorably to it.


Defining the problem consists of two steps one is setting objectives, the measurable goals you wish to achieve. An example of an objective would be increased sales. The second is setting up specific measures of success, criteria used to figure out a solution to your problem.


This way you will able to tell if you should move forward with sales of the item or not. One example of a test market would be selling a product in only one geographical area to see how well sells then expanding the product nationwide if the results are favorable.


2. Developing the Research Plan

The next step in marketing research is to develop the research plan.  The research plan will allow you to sort out the details of which information you need to make a reasonable marketing decision.


First you need to identify the data you will need to make you marketing decisions.  Over the course of doing research there is always a lot of irrelevant data collected so you want to be sure to use just the right data or else your final report will be flawed.  This means that you will to develop the right concepts and methods for collecting your data.


In marketing concepts are those ideas that are formed about a product or service.  For instance when a car company wants to see if a new car model will go over with consumers they develop and show off a concept car.  This give the consumer a basic idea of what the car is going to be like.


A concept can also be a hypothesis about something, because consumer A needs to this, consumer A will need to buy.  You can fill in the blanks with any product or service to form your hypothesis.


The next part of developing a research plan is methods.  These are simply what you are going to use to collect your data, questionnaires, test markets etc.


3. Collect Information

Once you have the right concepts laid out and the methods you will use to collect data, you can start the actual data collection.  When collection data make sure you collect only the type of data needed to make rational marketing decision.  The data you collect will come from two sources; the primary data and the secondary data. 


The primary data, which is the new fact and figures that you have collected specifically for the purpose of helping you with your current marketing decisions.  The secondary data is information that have had previously used or stored which is your internal data, or external data which is that data that can be found at other sources outside of your immediate resources.


It is up to you how you collect the primary data, surveys, questionnaires etc., but no matter how the data is collected primary or secondary make sire that it reliable and useful to your research.


4. The Final Report

Once you have all the data that you need and have analyzed it to make sure it is relevant and pertains to our product or service, then you can write up the final report.  The final report is simply a detailed document where you present your research findings and make recommendations based on those findings.


The final report will give you the information you need to either move ahead with marketing your product or service or to say enough is enough and you realize that it just won’t work.  Remember marketing research must be done whether you are an independent business person or a company making millions of dollars other wise you will be wasting a lot of time and money going nowhere.



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