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. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes the results, and communicates the findings and their implications.
Marketing research is all about generating insights. Marketing insights provide diagnostic information about how and why we observe certain effects in the marketplace and what that means to marketers. Good marketing insights often form the basis of successful marketing programs.
Who does Marketing Research?
Marketing research can be conducted in a creative and affordable way, such as:
1. Engaging students or professors to design and carry out projects.
2. Using the Internet—A company can collect considerable information at little cost by examining competitors’ Web sites, monitoring chat rooms and blogs, and accessing published data. 3. Checking out rivals—Many small businesses routinely visit competitors to learn about changes they have made.
4. Tapping into marketing partner expertise—Marketing research firms, ad agencies, distributors, and other marketing partners may be able to share relevant market knowledge they have accumulated.
5. Tapping into employee creativity and wisdom—No one may come into more contact with customers and understand a company’s products, services, and brands better than its employees. 6. Using marketing research firms—Marketing research firms fall into three categories:
a. Syndicated-service research firms—These firms gather consumer and trade information, which they sell for a fee. Examples are the Nielsen Company and IRI.
b. Custom marketing research firms—These firms are hired to carry out specific projects. They design the study and report the findings.
c. Specialty-line marketing research firms—These firms provide specialized research services. The best example is the field-service firm, which sells field interviewing services to other firms.