Definition of Marketing Research
The first thing that an organization must concentrate upon when going into operations is to analyze the current situation of the environment that it is a part of. The organization must know of the current happenings in the environment and the kind of competitors that it is directly affected by and indirectly affected by as well. All these factors must be analyzed clearly and thoroughly so that the organization can decide its strategies and run them effectively.
In order to do so, the organization must use marketing research as its tool because it is known to be extremely useful and it never provides false results. Through research, the organization can know what the competitors are planning to do and what their line of action is. Marketing research can be defined as “Market research is broader in scope and examines all aspects of a business environment. It asks questions about competitors, market structure, government regulations, economic trends, technological advances, and numerous other factors that make up the business environment.” (Wikipedia, 2006)
Techniques used for Marketing Research
Any organization can use marketing research as one of its strongest tools for being competent in a market. It is known to be the research and development area that has allowed the organization to grow and become stronger in the competitive environment. The organization must concentrate on this aspect to grow in any environment. There are several techniques that can be used for marketing research and will be explained below.
The broader categorization of marketing research is out into four topics as:
1. Qualitative Research
2. Quantitative Research
3. Observational Research
4. Experimental Research (Wikipedia, 2006)
The techniques within these topics are surveys, focus groups, observations, personal interviews and field trials. Surveys can be defined as have a list of questions pertaining to the topic of the research and then having the target market, selected for the research, to fill out and answer these questions. The survey allows the organization to have an easy statistical overview of the data representing the market so that the organization can understand what features of the product must be concentrated upon to optimize.
There are various different kinds of surveys such as telephone surveys, mail surveys and even in person surveys which means that an individual is asked these questions so that the organization can understand the individual’s requirements and satisfaction from the product or service that the organization is willing to offer.
Focus groups are conducted with a group of participants chosen from the target market of the research to understand what emotions and important points can be derived from the discussion of these participants with one another. The organization can also use personal interviews where the same problems could be discussed face to face rather than having a group of people. In this way, only the idea and the perception of that individual can be understood.
The observational techniques depend upon the non verbal communication of the target market. There could be people from the organization who could be sitting at certain areas where the competitor’s products are sold and then could observe as to how the people look into the products and what their requirements are or specifications of the product. There could be the possibility that a customer may need a certain color that was demanded by many other customers and many other features.
The organization must also look into the field trials which is really the experimental portion of the research. The organization would first collect all the data from the internet and other sources and then analyze the data in order to understand how the product is to be changed in order that the customers needs from the research results can be reached.
Once the product is created, it must first be tested in an environment to see whether the product has any flaws in them or not. The organization can then make required changes in the product and then eventually launch their product in the market. This is the entire process of research that is usually followed by many organizations. However, there is a greater participation of internet in this process because of the availability of data at all times.
Internet and Its Usefulness in Marketing Research
Internet is known to be a very strong tool for research because internet holds all the information that can be available for an individual. The internet can provide laws and regulations imposed by governments on different sectors of a country or the research results of various other companies and individuals who also tried to understand the market. All this information can be sued by an individual or company as secondary data as well as a support for their primary research.
A company known as Engro Chemicals Pakistan Limited has grown to be a multinational and is continuing to grow globally. The main aim of this company was to allow the farmers to have higher yield with better products to embed in the soil. Looking at the environmental aspect of agriculture and using the laws and regulations of the government imposed upon agriculture, Engro came up with new technologies along with products to help the farmers grow.
The company went through a number of websites and internet sources to understand the requirements of farmers all over the world and got hold of secondary data to understand the gaps within the agricultural sector globally. The company sort out the products that it can produce and then customized them for its market. This provided the company with a competitive edge over all other locally based companies that are still struggling to gain the market.
1. All Business. (2006). Market Research Techniques. Retrieved on November 19, 2006
2. Asia Market Research. (2002). Research Techniques. Retrieved on November 19, 2006 from: http://www.asiamarketresearch.com/news/cat_research_techniques.htm
3. Engro Chemicals Pakistan Limited. Retrieved on November 19, 2006 from: www.engro.com
4. Infop, Inc. Qualitative and Quantitative Techniques. Retrieved on November 19, 2006
5. Wikipedia. (2006). Marketing Research. Retrieved on November 19, 2006 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing_research