Global Research Letters

Marketing Research – The Basics

This article will be discussing Marketing Research.  The main highlights of this article will be research about marketing. We had floated a course of the same name titled Research about marketing and analysis in which we had tried to brief you about the basics of research about marketing, the concepts of research about marketing, and theories in research about marketing. Behind the study of research about marketing and how one can understand the topic of research about marketing and then use it in his future research. So in this article you will be studying research about marketing, analyzing deeply about research about marketing, and will have a clear conclusion on research about marketing.In this course, the highlight would or the emphasis would be on mostly how to analyze your data, how to statistically calculate and analyze your data, and infer from your data but let us begin this series of lectures through this introduction to the subject right. That is research about marketing or marketing research, what does research about marketing is it encompasses, and what this comprises basically. So as you can see the term research about marketing is quite a broad right? So generally we talkresearch about marketing, so the area of expertise when we talk about research about marketingthat comes to our mind is the social sciences, management where mostly it is applied research and sometimes there is some fundamental research element involved in it too. So we have seen how people behave in certain conditions right, how they react, and what kind of products they demand, what kind of channels they follow.These all are major concerns when it comes to research about marketing. So this has certain areas of interest for people who are basically conducting research in this field of study of research about marketing or social science for that. So let us begin this lecture series with this example that enhances the theme research about marketing. The first class with an example. This is an example of the use of research about marketingtechniques at Royal Ahold which is a company that is basically a retail chain. So it is a supermarket leader basically in the Netherlands and this company operates 6 chains with 1750 outlets including its flagship Albert Heijn supermarkets. Worldwide, Ahold serves 20 million customers weekly in 3400 stores across 17 countries across the globe for example in countries like USA, Central and Western Europe, Latin America, and Asia.

Customer orientation is at the top of the fundamental principles of this company. Customers will be a top priority in research about marketing.Its credo is that the customer comes first. However big we become, however international, it is ultimately the customer who determines our success. When it is marketing customersare the main interest, so in research about marketingto customers are the priority. So this company says that in order to stay ahead in order to survive in this competitive market, we need to ultimately satisfy our customers and we would like to understand them well. This is the basics of research about marketing. So the following list summarizes the ways that this company listens to its customers to maintain its customer orientation and continued success. What is it basically? So these are some of the points that can help in the research about marketing. Produces economic analyses and forecasts, so this company is continuously doing some economic analyses and forecasting the demand and behavior. So research about marketing can do this by gathering secondary data, secondary data are those data that are available already in some may be reports or databases, and intelligence that gives it an understanding of retail developments since it is in retail developments, the competitive threats, and the market changes is crucial in research about marketing. So how is the market’s behavior changing in research about marketing has to be noted, how are people changing is also crucial in research about marketing, how consumer psychology changing is ideal in research about marketing, and how the consumer’s patterns of purchasing changing should be noted during research about marketing; all these things come into this. Then it uses and contributes to the audit data. It sees its stores as a majorresearch about marketing laboratory. This is what it says, we see ourresearch about marketing stores as research about marketing laboratories to study our customers. It knows when they come in, how often, and what they buy.Research in marketing has a lot more to be noted than you think So during research in marketing we need to keep everything in the track of the customers and details about the customer. When do they come is noted in research about marketing, what time do they come has to be noted in research in marketing, how many times is important in research about marketing, what is the frequency of their visits and when they visit what do they buy, these are all the major attractions of research about marketing. Fundamental to these observations in research about marketing is the use of scanner systems and loyalty cards which means their systems detect every movement of this people within the store. So these are the aspects that we have to first note in research about marketing.

It uses focus groups as a major source of information as you know what are focus groups. Focus groups are important in research about marketing they are basically a group of people who have knowledge about a particular product or service and they are asked to discuss freely so that when they discuss many things related to research about marketingunfold, many things comeout based on research about marketingwhich is generally not known to the company beforehand maybe, so it uses focus group as a major source of information about how customers and non-customers feel, which is an important aspect of research about marketing. Not only the customers but those who are not our customers, how do they react toresearch about marketing on our brand of stores or our products in the stores or our services for that? Uses observation approaches in research about marketingso they are basically observing maybe through the scanners and all these things are significant in research about marketing, so they are observing to watch how customers behave in store using protocol tapes. So, basically, observation of the customers is very important in research about marketing because many times it has been observed that, for example, I will give you a small example. In one of the retail stores, they observed that sales of one of the particular products which were basically used for elderly people were going down. Now the company tried to understand what is the reason, but they found almost nothing wrong with that product. So they went to the distribution chains, the stores where they were basically selling, and they found that one of the major stores thatwere selling that product, they tried to observe them. So when they observed this store and how it was happening, they found that the store was actually keeping the product on the shelf which was slightly at a higher level, so what happened as a result of it? When they observed too many elderly people, the elderly people who had problems in the legs or in their knees had pain, so they were avoiding to stretch themselves up and trying to get the product from the top shelf. So the company realized that maybe this is one of the problems that the people are facing so what they did was they requested the store to bring it down to a height that was optimal or was comfortable for these elderly people.

So by doing this, the result was a very good and positive result and suddenly they found it grew up. So a company selects some researchers to supply the raw data. So how do they conduct the research, especially in research about marketing. In research about marketing they select some researchers to supply raw data where it performs its own analysis and interpretations. So in research in marketing they can conduct the study in research about marketing, collect the data in research in marketing, and they analyze in research about marketing and interpret it during their research about marketing. So, when it is research about marketing it is a 2-way process, they use specialized strategic input from some organizations during research about marketing which is experts in that area of data collection and data analysis, so they take their help also. In addition, it has an electronic market research platform e-platform where researchers discuss their projects in research about marketing sector and any problems they have related to this company’s store, the company’s problems, and any retail chain’s problem.

Market research or research about marketing findings is issued twice a year giving details of important papers, articles, and reports on retail research from inside or outside the Ahold company. So by doing this, what the company is doing by suggesting the findings, is keeping their customers happy and updated and the customers also are aware that the company is quite up to date and doing its research and by that they have got a quite a positive opinion about the company. So now you know how the sphere of research about marketing goes. The Vice President of Market Research, who has experience in research about marketing, what he does tell about Royal Ahold, researchers are backroom consultants, he tells how, this is the way he perceives the customers. So about the researchers, the researchers are backroom consultants in research about marketing. I see the market researcher , the researcher in research about marketing as a philosopher who can take a critical view of the internal and external world. The researcher of research about marketing can act as a serious fool to the court when it comes to research about marketing. The Board takes on our ideas and our language, but the market researcher of research about marketing is not the spokesman for the company. They are listeners and interpreters. So what does this say? Basically, the researcher of research about marketing, is not somebody who would be giving his opinion, because that is not the case in research about marketing, but he is a person who is listening and trying to interpret right during his research about marketing. So observing, listening to, and interpreting; in one way during research about marketing, he is showing us the path of what is lying in the future. So as a company how should we move, what things should we take care of, how should we help make our customers happy okay? Another example let us start with this. Research is also integral at Philips. Philips we all know is a very popular company dealing with sound systems right, colour television, sound systems and all these. So a few years ago, Philips Consumer Electronics determined what the market for traditional personal audio was diminishing, what they observed that they determined and observed that the market for traditional personal audio was diminishing. Its researchers looked into what the key needs and drivers of teenagers, why teenagers, the teenagers are assumed to be one of the target segment, were and came up with concepts such as adaptability, choice flexibility, sharing experiences and spontaneity.

They selected a few of these as a basis for their designers, so the company’s product designers they were also involved, to start developing products keeping these things in mind. They also meticulously identified the value proposition they wanted to offer with new products coming out of the designer pipeline. So what additional value they can offer to the customers they kept in mind and they designed the products accordingly. Subsequently when a product was presented during the trial phase, Philips let the researcher determine through qualitative research means, qualitative research is where you just go through a kind of a focus group or you go through some kind of an observation, a Delphi technique you use where you try to discuss, talk to people right, subjective things also you discuss what the consumer saw as a primary benefits and concerns. So as per the consumer what are the benefits and what are his concerns right? Philips wanted to identify exactly why it would make a product, for whom it would make, and how it would differentiate from others. After Philips decided to go to market with these products, a series of very small portable mp3 players and cameras that fit on a key ring, it again turned to these researchers to test the advertising campaign that was developed for the product. So first, they came up with a small product right and they also saw how people would like to get promoted, in what way it should get promoted. So by doing this, Philips got remarkable success in its products because not only it understood the consumer psychology but it also understood how do consumers get attracted towards the product and in addition they also ensured what should be the proper distribution channel for the product. So now we have understood what is basically the marketing research is covering. So as marketing research is a part of marketing, therefore we should understand a few things.

Now, what is a market? So in the last course also when began research about marketing analysis. So what is the market? what is marketing? what isresearch about marketing? These 3 things are basically connected with the common word being market, market, and market all the time, but market, marketing, and research about marketing. So there is some serious relationship. In marketing, the term market refers to the group of consumers or organizations that is interested in the product. So if people are interested in the product, it has a potential right. So it refers to both physical products and services. It has the resources to purchase the product and is permitted by law and other regulations. So 2 things are important that there need to be as we say in marketing say there has to be a need, a want, and a demand right? If only need is there, it is okay fine, but then there has to be a want and demand. So if need and want are there but there is no demand, still there is no point because the people cannot, if they cannot pay, they cannot buy the product then there is no point of having a product. So it refers to the group of consumers or organizations that is interested in the product, has the resources to purchase the product so demand and is permitted by law that means you cannot think of selling a less than 18-year-old boy or girl maybe a product which is not desirable for their age right. So the market definition. This is a diagram if you can see what the market looks like. So this is the total population right, out of is a company identifies the potential market. So the large population is there, but then which is the potential market? So the company understands and tries to research and find out okay well the potential market is only this much, a smaller set out of it, out of which although they are all potential is it really available, can we really reach?In a world that is immersedin marketing and has a large population going for research, research about marketing will be a good area.

So after finding the available market, they think of the qualified. So they qualified out of this available market, well this is all available market, so this is the market which fits to our requirements, but how many can we actually get into. It is not all the available market we can tap right. So once they have the qualified available market, then the company decides okay they are all qualified, but then what is the most, which is the target segment we should be targeting because one which is giving us the highest premium or which creates differentiation for us in the market or somebody where the competition is not that may be hot. In such a condition, we will try to decide on a target market that is beneficial for us. Finally comes after having the market, how much have we entered into the market, so what is the level of penetration we have entered or we have entered into the market and how much more is left, so we can decide accordingly? So as it says the market definition begins with the total population and progressively narrows. So let us see the potential market, those in the population who have an interest in acquiring the product, so anybody who has an interest in acquiring the product is part of the potential market. What is the available market, those in the potential market have enough money, so the differentiating factor here is now money. Qualified available market, those in the available market means those who have enough money who legally are permitted to buy the product, are they legally permitted, fine so this becomes are qualified. Then the segment of the qualified available market that the firm has to try to serve, so maybe I will not try to although many people are there, I will try to only cater to those customers who are may be having a particular income level, may be a very high-income level, only for them, they are my target segments. For example,if BMW wants to sell its products, it will not try to target everybody correctly.

So it has a very niche segment, a very high premium segment who can buy and they want to target them. Similarly last is the penetrated market, those in the target market who have already purchased the product. So that means if we take the target market and we deduct the penetrated market from that, so what is remaining is the untapped market. So target market minus the penetrated market is the untapped marker. So you can still untap, there is a potential for you, right? Key points, the value cost, and the price of items traded are as per forces of supply and demand in the market. And this has to be reminded in research about marketing. So the market may be a physical entity, maybe a virtual market. For example, today nowadays you find so many virtual markets in the e-commerce space for example.E-commerce is a good topic when it comes to research about marketing. Markets at present and research about marketingare not confined to physical location only, rather they are extended virtually right as I said just. Markets and when we do research about marketing it is bifurcated as local, national, and global so they can be for a short or a long period. It can be divided into a wholesale market in research about marketing, a retail market in research about marketing, a financial market in research about marketing,and so on. So these are the different ways you understand the market. Now, what is a marketing definition? Marketing as AMA, American Marketing Association, says is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for the customers, clients, partners, and society at large. So what is the saying? So marketing is the activity, set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings. So offerings are the products or services that company makes and how do you exchange, how do you transfer them or sent them to the public right, you make it available to the public. What is marketing research, and how it has been defined? The European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research, ESOMAR, defines it as the function that links the consumer, the customer and the public to the marketer through information. So the connecting binding force is information in this case.

So the consumer, customer and public, are connected through the information. Information is used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems they generate. What is the role of information basically, it is used to assess, identify and define marketing opportunities and problems, and generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions. The action that we have taken, how do you generate them? You have to refine and ensure that they are accepted by the public, and by the customers. Monitor the marketing performance, so through information, you continuously are monitoring your performance, and improve your understanding of marketing as a process. Now very interesting there is a case I remember of Listerine mouthwash that when Listerine went into another country, I think it was a case of Brazil, so Listerine found that one of its products was not selling well in the premium segment. Surprisingly what they found was why the people were not buying in the premium segment, the reason they found was that people were finding it a very strong product, that product had a content of alcohol and because it was very strong, they did not like it. Moreover some of the people were as they were taking some medication or something, so doctors had advised anything against which had an alcohol content in them. So when the company realized, so they made different other products for them okay. Key point; to practice marketing to implement the marketing concepts, to implement marketing strategy, managers must make decisions and this is where the role of research about marketing. Soresearch about marketing specifies the information required to address these issues, design the methods for collecting information, manage and implement the data collection process, analyzes the results and communicate the finding interactions and their implications basically. So the key thingin research about marketing is helping you to collect information to address these problems and then they collect the data, analyze the data and then interpret and infer what to be done in the future.

So let us see the role of marketing research or research about marketing within the marketing system. So what is the role ofresearch about marketing? So one thing, let us see so how it looks like. So first, there is a link. So research about marketing let us say is here and it is connected with the customer groups. Now, who are the customer groups in research about marketing? The consumers, the employees, the shareholders, and the suppliers are the 4 basically groups of customers who are connected with anyresearch about marketing process. So there are some controllable marketing variables; product, price, and promotion in research about marketing. Why is it controllable? Because the company itself can decide. So what are the controlling variables? For example what product should I have, what should be the price of the product, especially in research about marketing, how should I be promoting the product, and what should be the channel through which I should be selling the product in research about marketing can also be accounted? So these are the controlling variables, but there are some which are uncontrollable. Now what is uncontrollable, no you cannot have control on the economy, you cannot control the technology of the country or the growth in technology, and you cannot control the laws and regulations coming into this field when it comes to research about marketing, the social cultural factors in research about marketing, the political factors in research about marketing we do not have a control right. So what does it do basically? All these taken together in research about marketing, it helps in assessing the information needs, it provides the information and thusresearch about marketing helps the marketers to take decisions. Marketing managers after doing all this decision-making process, it helps them to segment the market, segmenting the market means dividing the market into several particular segments you can say and then choose which segment do you like to cater to, then identifying the final target market, what marketing programs should be developed for these particular consumers and customers, and finally, after you have done some kind of a sales and some activity, then how is your performance doing, how are you performing and what control mechanism should you bring in to check in your performance and improve your performance.

So to do all these things, you need the help of marketing research or research about marketing. Soresearch about marketing is without doubt, there is no doubt that any company for that or any institution, any organization, without the help ofresearch about marketing, they cannot survive in this competitive world. It is just impossible because if you try to survive on basis of some gut feeling in research about marketing, you will surely make blunders, there is no double about it. So research about marketing has a prominent role and companies spent immensely onresearch about marketing so that they can understand their customers and they can bring out the best inthe customers.

If you want to know more about research about marketing and about the basics of research about marketing. The Global Research Letters can be your guide. They give expert advice on research about marketing. So anyone who would like to do research about marketing and need professional guidance and instructions then the perfect platform that you can trust is Global Research Letters.

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