How to implement marketing research
Marketing Research is a useful tool for every manager who tries to boost his business performance in the era of globalization and intensive competition. Businesses face different kinds of problems which demand immediate solution and marketing research comes to shed light to different parameters of these problems.
The most important step in the implementation of marketing research is the statement of the problem. For example, our company probably strives to gain a bigger market share so as to increase its profitability. The next step involves setting our clear objectives. Such objectives may be the following:
- What the customers’ preferences are
- What the customers intend to buy
- Which are the characteristics of our product which are very important for the customers
- What the customers believe about the image of our product and what their opinion is about its positioning
- What is the right price for our product
- What are the distribution channels that may be used
Our research should aim at collecting primary data, because secondary data - which are raised from surveys conducted in the past – may be irrelevant to our product or outdated.
Moreover, it is important to find out what our target group is. If our company produces diapers, our target group is "parents of little children until the age of 3".
Data should definitely include the following information:
- Customers’ beliefs about the products
- Consumers behavior (what are the parameters that they take into account while they choose to buy a product)
- Future behavior (if they intend to buy our product in the future or not)
The most important tool for our marketing research is the questionnaire. It can be divided into four parts like the ones mentioned before (demographic, customers’ beliefs, customers’ behavior and future behavior). This way both interviewer and interviewee can fill in the questionnaire more easily without getting lost into too many questions put together.
Different types of scales may also be used so as to keep the interviewees’ interest and make it easier for him to answer.
There are also different types of contact methods in order to access our target group. The most popular methods are telephone interviewing and personal interviewing.
Interviewing may also conducted through the website of our company but in this case we run the risk of having a very low response rate.
Telephone interviewing can be a really effective method because it is very cheap and it makes it feasible for us to reach people spread out geographically. Of course there are problems involved in this method. We may have to face the problem of the interviewee choosing not to answer, the telephone interviews are very short and the researcher cannot observe the interviewee’s body language.
Personal interviewing on the other hand can be more thorough, since the researcher has the chance to observe the interviewee’s behavior and body language
Unfortunately, it is a very expensive method to conduct and it needs a lot of time to arrange the contact with the interviewee. The answers that the interviewee gives may also be biased because everybody cares about what the other person will think of him/her.