Market research as the term suggests, is getting an overview of the market that you’re operating in.
It is all about understanding the people in and around it, plus your place in it.
1. What is the First Step in the Marketing Research Process?
The marketing research process is a step-wise collection and curation of data from consumers, suppliers as well and competitors to get a clear understanding of the reach of your brand.
It is about how is your brand performing and if the target market is being tapped.
It also helps to understand how is your marketing and advertising working, what are the consumer attitudes towards your brand and what is your market share in your sector, compared to your competitors.
To get the above answers, analysis is done after gathering background information, conducting surveys, and asking research questions to the target audience.
The entire marketing research process is carried out in five steps, which are elaborated below.
2. The Important Steps Required for Marketing Research Process
2.1. Identifying the Problem
The first step in the marketing research process is to identify what is the problem and define it in a way that what is it you are trying to provide a solution for.
Putting up all questions in a specific research methodology by including inputs from industry experts, potential customers, and other organizations that are involved in the decision-making process for your brand.
Get clarity on the objective that has to be fulfilled, with a complete and detailed understanding of all marketing conditions.
2.2. Develop the Research Plan
For the problems that have been identified, in the first step you have to develop a plan to conduct marketing research, so that we can find ways to answer those questions.
Usually, there are two ways of data collection :
2.2.1. Primary Research
The way of data collection involves surveys personal interviews, and other consumer research processes that provide the most accurate results.
Although they are very time-consuming, they are the best ways for data mining that help you build a marketing research plan.
2.2.2. Secondary Research
These are methods to gather data in an indirect manner. This involves using the existing data present on government websites or research reports.
There is not much knowledge discovery from these methods instead they help you to derive diverse techniques to approach the data collected from your primary research.
2.3. Collecting Data
Now that the problem definition is done, and the research problem has been probed, it is time to follow the research design planned in the second step.
2.3.1. A/B Testing
This research methodology helps you understand which of the two versions of a layout works better and helps you reach your marketing goal.
It helps to determine the same by taking reviews of users, analyzing their engagement, and checking which variable gives better results.
For example – A post for Instagram might be blue in color or red in color, which is better can be tested by this method.
2.3.2. Focus Groups
Collect a set of people based on similarity in age or spending capacity or other demographic ways, and put them together in a conversion to get their opinions about your product, your objectives, and marketing as well.
In a focus group, there is a better understanding of the group as well as individual behavior to avoid bias in any form.
2.3.3. Social Media Polls
This is a quick and easy method of collecting user information, primarily their desire and opinion about your product or service.
It is inexpensive and effective when you have a good following on your handles and helps you provide some possible answers in a very short time, which can help you to make further informed decisions.
2.4. Data Analysis
All the data that has been collected needs to be analyzed and evaluated to understand the marketing problem and the management problem.
A thorough study will explain what are the trends in your business, what marketing decisions led to customer satisfaction, and what are the drawbacks of your product/service.
There are a few data analysis procedures –
2.4.1. Descriptive Research Analysis
Putting out data in a descriptive manner like charts or graphs.
Presenting in a form that gives clarity and provides a complete screenshot of the entire data collection.
2.4.2. Predictive Analytics
Using data from the past that has been gathered via reliable sources to make forecasts about the coming quarter or next season.
Works in a correlation manner, after finding two factors that depend on each other with pragmatic considerations.
2.4.3. Diagnostic Analysis
A basic method of finding the reason behind a problem, or reason behind a growth.
For example, if you see increased engagement on your website, you need to figure out was it your new marketing process or something else.
2.5. Interpretation of Results and Plan of Action
After all the tedious groundwork is done it is time to incorporate all of it into a detailed report that contains all the interpretations, conclusions, and primary research data for your marketing research project.
It will include all company-specific details, the important findings like opinions of the customers, reviews from the field force, exploratory research outcomes, and quantitative data along with secondary data.
All the above is then submitted to the concerned organization, and steps to execute them are discussed.
What will be the changes in your marketing strategy, how does the product need to change, and how will the set targets of sales be achieved by forming a doable plan of action for all?
It will also provide an understanding of some values or concepts of the company or the employees need any changes.
3. End Notes: Why is Marketing Research Necessary?
Marketing research is necessary to have a better connection with your audience and competitors and to get a clear understanding of your business operations and their outcomes.
It helps you to decide which will be a better way to conduct a specific process, and how can more benefits be acquired and also tells you what changes are necessary and how should they be implemented.