Marketing Research Process
Step 1: Define the Problem, the Decision Alternatives, and the Research Objectives:
- Marketing managers must be careful not to define the problem too broadly or too narrowly for the marketing researcher. Not all research can be this specific. Some is exploratory—its goal is to identify the problem and to suggest possible solutions. Some is descriptive—it seeks to quantify demand.
Step 2: Develop the Research Plan:
- In the second stage of marketing research, we develop the most efficient plan for gathering the needed information and discover what that will cost—These involve making decisions about the data sources, research approaches, research instruments, sampling plan, and contact methods.
Step 3: Collect the Information:
- The data collection phase of marketing research is generally the most expensive and error-prone. Some respondents will be away from home, offline, or otherwise inaccessible; they must be contacted again or replaced. Others will refuse to cooperate or will give biased or dishonest answers.
Step 4: Analyze the Information:
- This step incolves extract findings by tabulating the data and developing summary measures. The researchers now compute averages and measures of dispersion for the major variables and apply some advanced statistical techniques and decision models in the hope of discovering additional findings. They may test different hypotheses and theories, applying sensitivity analysis to test assumptions and the strength of the conclusions.
Step 5: Present the Findings:
- As the last step, the researcher presents the findings. Researchers are increasingly asked to play a proactive, consulting role in translating data and information into insights and recommendations for management.
Step 6: Make the Decision:
- Some organizations use marketing decision support systems to help their marketing managers make better decisions. MIT’s John Little defined a marketing decision support system (MDSS) as a coordinated collection of data, systems, tools, and techniques, with supporting software and hardware, by which an organization gathers and interprets relevant information from business and environment and turns it into a basis for marketing action.