MAIN DIVISIONS OF MARKETING RESEARCH (MR)
MR can be defined as a step-by-step process of planning for, acquiring, and interpreting information relevant to a marketing decision-making situation.
Systematic collection of market or customer information through research has no substitution. The need to undertake marketing research stems from the decision-making process in marketing management. The traditional form of marketing research related to the systematic collection of information involving statistical techniques and survey methods. As and when a problem arose, marketers decided to collect information through a marketing research project consisting of problem definitions, research objectives, sampling plans, data analysis and procedures, cost-benefit statements and a table. Typically, a research design was developed and implemented The findings, from the research were evaluated in the light of the problem, and specific decisions were taken to solve it. This process was repeated whenever problem arose.
MR can cover many aspects involved in the marketing of goods and services The main divisions of marketing research are:
Product Research: MR can provide much help in the design of the products. It is also concerned with the product development and new product testing. It helps in determining the attributes of the optimum product, and also the relative importance of each attribute. The scaling devices are used to obtain an approximate rank of the various product attributes (i.e. consumers are asked to rank each of the features or attributes in the order of priority). Thus, consumerâ€™s language is translated into producerâ€™s technical language of action with the help of product research, which would help in production of consumer oriented product. Therefore, a product research helps in forecasting of likely trends in consumerâ€™s preferences related to productâ€™s quality, style, prices etc.
Customer Research: Customers research covers investigation into buyerâ€™s behavior. This plays an important role in judging the success of the product, as the ultimate buyer of the product is the customer. This study investigates the reasons effecting the purchase decisions of a customer such as, the social, economic, cultural and psychological factors. This research analyses why, how, what, when, where and how often do the buyers consume different products, and the various reasons behind them. This study helps the company to place its product at appropriate place with optimal price.
Sales and Market Analysis Research Sales research is concerned with a thorough examination of selling activities of a company, usually by sales outlets, agencies and so on. It also involves sales forecasting which is a difficult technical function. . As the sales forecast is the basic guide for planning, the responsibility of the market researcher increases in this aspect. This is also concerned with comparative analysis of companyâ€™s product with that of the competitorâ€™s to find the differentiations in sales.
Market analysis involves the development of sales potentials for individuals, geographic markets. This helps the company in locating the potentials markets for its products. And also it helps in establishing sales territories, allocating the sales force and advertising expenditures in setting the targets.
Promotion Research: It is connected with testing and evaluating the effectiveness of various methods used in promoting the companyâ€™s product or services.
The basic objective of promotion research is to find the most efficient vehicle for carrying the message to potential buyers, which includes activities like exhibitions, public relation campaigns, consumer and trade advertising etc. Among all, advertising plays a major role in todayâ€™s strategies.
Alternative and complementary forms of product promotion can be researched during the course of trade and consumer surveys. Where company operates in more than one market, separate promotional policies will be drawn up as the result of information collected through marketing research in specialized market sectors.