The more effective your market research is the more successful your business can be. This statement clearly defines the importance of market research in business. However, market research is not limited to business only. For instance, political parties can conduct market research to examine the effectiveness of a recent political campaign.
What is market research?
Market research is the systematic study or examination of a specified market in order to understand the collective characteristics, behaviour, and opinions of the market. Market research is conducted by organizations in different life stages of business on the basis of the requirements and objectives of the organizations.
Market research is not marketing research. Marketing refers to the way of approaching the market. Different organizations approach the market differently, which determines their success. The main objective of marketing research is to understand the marketing effort and techniques of competitors.
Why market research?
You might wonder why should I conduct research on the market. Any organization, small or big, should conduct market research whenever the existing knowledge in the organization about the market is limited. Moreover, market research is the most important to entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs can generate new ideas from market research. Learn about 50 business ideas that you can start now.
Actual picture of a market
Most small business organizations start their businesses, often with a generalized assumption about the market. This is often one of the prominent reasons for failure. With market research, it is certain to gain an actual picture of a market. However, it doesn’t mean that all the results from market research are true.
New insights about the issues or problems
Marketers or organizations might have a general belief about the issues or problems in the market. These issues might not be specific or prominent. With market research, marketers are able to understand the real problems existing in the market at the time.
Novel strategies to run a marketing campaign
While running a marketing campaign, many obstruct persist on the way. Sometimes theses obstructs can be resolved and sometimes they cannot be. Moreover, running a marketing campaign is a hectic job. Lack of innovative and helpful strategies can decrease the possibility of a successful marketing campaign. However, with proper market research, new strategies to start a marketing campaign can be discovered.
How to conduct market research?
It’s clear to us that market research is critical to the organization and marketer. Let’s look at the seven steps of market research:
1. Establish the objectives of the research
The first step of the market research is to establish objectives of the research. Every research starts objectives. The objectives of the research give direction to the research. They also help to develop an overall design of the research.
The objectives of the research defer from research to research. One may conduct research to find the critical factors to boost sales. Moreover, one also might research to investigate the determinants of customer satisfaction.
2. Determine the scope of a study
The scope of study represents the overall area it covers. It can mean a number of respondents on the research or specific component of study being covered. Moreover, the scope of the study determines the cost, time and personnel required to conduct research.
3. Choose a research design
Research design is the overall framework of the research. On the basis of the objectives of the study, the research design is selected. Some of the examples of research design are scientific research design, comparative research design or exploratory research design.
Scientific research design is a type of research design in which the relationship between independent and dependent variables is examined. In addition, an exploratory research design is a research design in which an explanation of a new concept or phenomenon is aspired to be discovered.
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4. Select a research methodology
A research methodology can be explained as methods or techniques used in research to collect data from the market. Generally, there are two categories of the research methodology, which are primary and secondary.
In primary research methodology, the primary source of data is used whereas a secondary source of data is used in secondary research methodology. In research, any or both methodology can be used in order to gather data from the market.
5. Collect the data
Once the research methodology is selected, it is time to collect the data. On the basis of research methodology, data can be collected from questionnaires, interviews and observation. Moreover, information technology can also be used to collect data. Once the data is collected, the data should be organized in a specified format or way.
6. Analyze the data
Analysis of data is necessary to examine the data and to find a conclusion from the data. Various statistical tool and methods can be used to analyze the data effectively. One of the greatest and widely used tools to analyze data is SPSS. If you are interested in SPSS, check out my complete SPSS video tutorial (Work In Process).
7. Write a report
Analysis of data leads to a conclusion. The conclusion can provide a lot of insights. This new knowledge can have implications right now or in the days to come. Hence, it should be properly documented. While preparing a report, researchers should include all the information from a determination of objectives to a conclusion in a specified format.
In a nutshell, market research is an integral part of every organization. Market research enables the organization to develop new insights about the need and characteristics of the market. Anyone with a product or idea to start a business can benefit a lot from market research.