Marketing research is the search, collection,systematization and analysis of information about the situation on the market with a view to making managerial decisions in the sphere of production and marketing of products. It is necessary to clearly understand that without these measures, effective work is impossible. In a commercial environment, you can not act at random, but you need to be guided by verified and accurate information.
The essence of marketing research
Marketing research is an activity,which implies an analysis of the market situation on the basis of scientific methods. Only those factors that affect the efficiency of sales of goods or the provision of services are relevant. These activities have the following main objectives:
- search engines - consist in preliminary gathering of the information, and also its filtration and sorting for the further research;
- descriptive - there is a definition of the nature of the problem, its structuring, as well as the identification of existing factors;
- casual - the presence of a link between the highlighted problem and previously determined factors is checked;
- test - preliminary testing of the found mechanisms or ways of the decision of this or that marketing problem is made;
- predictive - presume the foresight of the future situation in the market environment.
Marketing research is an activity,having a specific goal, which is to solve a particular problem. At the same time, there are no clear schemes and standards that an organization should follow when solving similar problems. These moments are determined independently, based on the needs and capabilities of the enterprise.
Types of marketing research
The following main marketing research can be distinguished:
- market research (involves determining its scale, geographical characteristics, the structure of supply and demand, as well as factors that affect the internal situation);
- marketing study (the ways and channels of product sales are determined, the indicators are changed depending on the geographic feature, as well as the main factors of influence);
- marketing researchproperties of products both separately and in comparison with similar products of competing organizations, as well as determining the response of consumers to certain characteristics);
- study of advertising policy (analysis of ownadvertising events, as well as comparing them with the main actions of competitors, identifying the latest means of positioning goods that are present on the market);
- analysis of economic indicators (studying the dynamics of sales volumes and net profit, as well as determining their interdependence and finding ways to improve indicators);
- marketing research of consumers - imply their quantitative and qualitative composition (sex, age, profession, marital status and other signs).
How to organize a marketing research
The organization of marketing research isquite a responsible moment, on which the success of the whole enterprise can depend. Many firms prefer to deal with this issue on their own. In this case, almost no additional costs are required. In addition, there is no risk of leakage of sensitive data. Nevertheless, there are also negative aspects in this approach. Not always in the state there are employees who have sufficient experience and knowledge to conduct a high-quality marketing research. In addition, the staff of the organization may not always approach this issue objectively.
Given the shortcomings of the previous version,it is legitimate to declare that it is better to involve outside experts in the organization of marketing research. They, as a rule, have a great deal of experience in this field and relevant qualifications. In addition, not being connected with this organization, they are absolutely objective in looking at the situation. Nevertheless, by recruiting specialists from outside, you should be prepared for the fact that qualitative research is quite expensive. In addition, the marketer is not always well aware of the specifics of the industry in which the manufacturer operates. The most serious risk is that it is possible to leak confidential information and resell it to competitors.
Principles of conducting marketing research
Qualitative marketing research is a guarantee of successful and profitable work of any enterprise. They are implemented on the basis of the following principles:
- regularity (market situation studyshould be made in each reporting period, as well as in the event that the adoption of an important management decision regarding the production or sales activities of the organization is due);
- systemic (before the beginning of research works it is necessary to break the whole process into components that will be performed in a clear sequence and inextricable interaction with each other);
- Complexity (qualitative marketing research should provide answers to a wide range of issues that relate to one or another problem that is the subject of analysis);
- economy (planning research activities should be done in such a way that the costs of their implementation were minimal);
- promptness (the measures for carrying out the research should be taken in a timely manner, as soon as a controversial issue arose);
- thoroughness (as thethe market is labor-intensive and time-consuming, then it is worthwhile to conduct them very carefully and carefully so that there is no need to repeat them after identifying inaccuracies and shortcomings);
- accuracy (all calculations and conclusions should be made on the basis of reliable information by applying proven methods);
- objectivity (if the organization conducts marketing research on its own, then it should try to do it impartially, honestly acknowledging all its shortcomings, oversights and shortcomings).
Stages of marketing research
Studying the situation on the market is a rather complicated and lengthy process. Stages of marketing research can be described as follows:
- formulating the problem (setting the issue that needs to be addressed in the course of these activities);
- preliminary planning (indicating the stages of the study, as well as the preliminary deadlines for submitting reports for each of the individual items);
- coordination (all heads of departments, as well as the general director should familiarize themselves with the plan, make their own adjustments, if necessary, after which the general decision approves the document);
- collection of information (research and search for data related to the internal and external environment of the enterprise);
- analysis of information (thorough examination of the data obtained, their structuring and processing in accordance with the needs of the organization and the objectives of the study);
- economic calculations (the financial indicators are evaluated both in real time and in the future);
- summing up (formulating answers to the questions posed, as well as drafting the report and transferring it to top management).
Role of the marketing research department in the enterprise
The success of the enterprise in many respectsis determined by how well and in a timely manner market research is conducted. Companies of large size often organize special departments for these purposes. The decision on the appropriateness of creating such a unit is made by management based on the needs of the enterprise.
It should be noted that theMarketing research requires a lot of information for its activities. But it would be economically inexpedient to create too much structure within the framework of one enterprise. That is why it is extremely important to establish links between different divisions to transmit complete and reliable information. In this case, the marketing department should be completely exempted from maintaining any reporting other than that directly related to research. Otherwise, too much time and effort will go to the side work to the detriment of the main purpose.
Marketing Research Departmentoften refers to the highest level of management of the firm. It is necessary to ensure direct links with the general leadership. But interaction with units of a lower level is equally important, since it is required to receive timely and reliable information about their activities.
Speaking of the person who will lead the datadepartment, it should be noted that it should have a fundamental knowledge of the relative issue such as marketing research of the organization's activities. In addition, the specialist must thoroughly know the organizational structure and features of the enterprise. In terms of its status, the head of the marketing department should be equated with the top management, because it is the efficiency of his department that largely determines the overall success.
Objects of marketing research
The system of marketing research is aimed at the following main objects:
- consumers of goods and services (their behavior, attitude to the proposals available on the market, as well as reaction to activities undertaken by producers);
- marketing research of services and goods for their compliance with the needs of buyers, as well as the identification of similarities and differences with similar products of competing companies;
- Competition (implies the study of the numerical composition, as well as the geographical dispersion of organizations with similar production lines).
It is worth noting that it is not necessary to conduct separate studies on each subject. Within the framework of one analysis, several questions can be combined at once.
The data of marketing research are divided into twobasic types - primary and secondary. Speaking of the first category, it is worth noting that it is about the information that will be directly used in the course of analytical work. In addition, it is worth noting the fact that in a number of cases, marketing research is limited to just collecting primary data that can be:
- quantitative - figures reflecting the results of activities;
- qualitative - explain the mechanisms and causes of the occurrence of certain phenomena in economic activity.
Secondary data are not directly related tosubject of marketing research. Most often this information has already been collected and processed for some other purpose, but in the course of the current study it can also be very useful. The main advantage of this kind of information is cheapness, because you do not need to make an effort and invest in getting these facts. Famous managers recommend first of all to apply to secondary information. And only after revealing the lack of certain data, you can start collecting primary information.
In order to start working with secondary information, the following conditions must be met:
- First of all it is necessary to determine the sources of data that can be located both inside the organization and outside it;
- further analysis and sorting of information for the purpose of selection of actual information;
- at the last stage a report is prepared, which indicates the conclusions made during the analysis of information.
Marketing research: example
In order to successfully work and maintaincompetition, any enterprise should conduct market analysis. It is important that not only in the process of functioning, but also before starting a business, it is necessary to conduct a marketing research. An example is the opening of a pizzeria.
Let's say you decided to start your ownbusiness. To begin with, you must determine the objectives of the study. This can be a study of the demand for a service, as well as an analysis of the competitive environment. Further, the goals should be detailed, in the course of which a number of tasks are determined (for example, data collection and analysis, choice of research methodology, etc.). It is worth noting that at the initial stage the study can be exclusively descriptive. But, if you deem it appropriate, you can conduct additional economic calculations.
Now you must put forward a hypothesis thatwill be confirmed or disproved during the analysis of primary and secondary information. For example, you think that in your locality this institution will be very popular, since the rest have already outlived themselves. The formulation can be any, proceeding from the developed situation, but in it all factors (both external, and internal) which will involve people in your pizzeria should be described.
The research plan will look like this:
- the definition of the problem situation (in this case it consists in the fact that there is some uncertainty about the feasibility of opening a pizzeria);
- Further, the researcher should clearly identify the target audience, which will consist of potential customers of the institution;
- one of the most popular methods of marketing research is a survey, and therefore it is necessary to create a sample that will clearly reflect the target audience;
- conducting additional mathematical research, which includes comparing the costs of opening a business with income determined on the basis of a preliminary survey.
The results of the marketing research shouldis a clear answer to the question of whether it is worth opening a new pizzeria in this locality. If unambiguous judgment is not achieved, it is worthwhile resorting to the use of other known methods of analyzing information.
A marketing research is aa comprehensive study of the market situation in order to determine the appropriateness of making a decision or adjust its work according to the current situation. In the course of this process, it is necessary to collect and analyze the information, and then draw certain conclusions.
Subjects of marketing research can bevery different. This is directly the product or service, and the market, and the consumer sector, and the competitive situation, and other factors. Also, within the framework of one analysis, several questions can be raised.
When you start marketing research, youIt is necessary to clearly formulate the problem, which should be solved by its results. An action plan is then drawn up, with an approximate indication of the time frame for its implementation. After the document is agreed upon, it is possible to start collecting and analyzing information. Based on the results of the conducted activities, the top management is provided with the accounting documentation.
The main point of the studyis the collection and analysis of information. Experts recommend starting work with studying the data available in secondary sources. Only in the event that any facts will be lacking, it is advisable to carry out work on their independent search. This will save considerable time and money.