The chart below, which we call the Relevant Wheel, shows when it is most appropriate and relevant to conduct different types of research. Our clients at Relevant Insights often use this chart as a reference to determine when a particular type of research is needed. Once this is defined, we then discuss the most appropriate qualitative or quantitative data collection methods.
Here we need to make a distinction between data collection methods and market research types based on analytical approach, which are often confused.
Data collection methods differ based on whether we want to conduct quantitative or qualitative research.
Quantitative research , which looks to quantify a problem, collects data through surveys in different modalities online, phone, paper , audits, points of purchase purchase transactions , and click-streams. Next time you wonder what type of market research to conduct, I invite you to ask yourself where the particular problem at hand belongs: Awareness, Targeting, Acquisition or Retention. Then take a look at the Relevance Wheel to find the approach that will help you answer your specific questions.
If you choose your method carefully market research can give you a big advantage over your competition. In Paul Cherington improved on primitive forms of demographic market segmentation when he developed the 'ABCD' household typology; the first socio-demographic segmentation tool.
In the first three decades of the 20th-century, advertising agencies and marketing departments developed the basic techniques used in quantitative and qualitative research - survey methods, questionnaires, gallup polls etc. Duncan of the University of Chicago. Adequate knowledge of consumer preferences was a key to survival in the face of increasingly competitive markets. The advent of commercial radio in the s, and television in the s, led a number of market research companies to develop the means to measure audience size and audience composition.
In , Arthur Nielsen founded market research company, A C Nielsen and over next decade pioneered the measurement of radio audiences. He subsequently applied his methods to the measurement of television audiences. Around the same time, Daniel Starch developed measures for testing advertising copy effectiveness in print media newspapers and magazines , and these subsequently became known as Starch scores and are still used today.
During, the s and s, many of the data collection methods, probability sampling methods, survey methods, questionnaire design and key metrics were developed. By the s, Ernest Dichter was pioneering the focus group method of qualitative research.
For this, he is often described as the 'father of market research. These methods eventually lead to the development of motivational research. By the s, the first courses on marketing research were taught in universities and colleges. Brown became one of the popular textbooks during this period. Marketers, such as Paul Green, were instrumental in developing techniques such as conjoint analysis and multidimensional scaling , both of which are used in positioning maps, market segmentation, choice analysis and other marketing applications.
Web analytics were born out of the need to track the behavior of site visitors and, as the popularity of e-commerce and web advertising grew, businesses demanded details on the information created by new practices in web data collection, such as click-through and exit rates. As the Internet boomed, websites became larger and more complex and the possibility of two-way communication between businesses and their consumers became a reality. Provided with the capacity to interact with online customers, Researchers were able to collect large amounts of data that were previously unavailable, further propelling the marketing research industry.
In the new millennium, as the Internet continued to develop and websites became more interactive, data collection and analysis became more commonplace for those marketing research firms whose clients had a web presence. Retail outlets were appearing online and the previous need for bricks-and-mortar stores was diminishing at a greater pace than online competition was growing.
With so many online channels for consumers to make purchases, companies needed newer and more compelling methods, in combination with messages that resonated more effectively, to capture the attention of the average consumer. Having access to web data did not automatically provide companies with the rationale behind the behavior of users visiting their sites, which provoked the marketing research industry to develop new and better ways of tracking, collecting and interpreting information.
This led to the development of various tools like online focus groups and pop-up or website intercept surveys. These types of services allowed companies to dig deeper into the motivations of consumers, augmenting their insights and utilizing this data to drive market share. As information around the world became more accessible, increased competition led companies to demand more of market researchers.
It was no longer sufficient to follow trends in web behavior or track sales data; companies now needed access to consumer behavior throughout the entire purchase process. This meant the Marketing Research Industry, again, needed to adapt to the rapidly changing needs of the marketplace, and to the demands of companies looking for a competitive edge.
Today, marketing research has adapted to innovations in technology and the corresponding ease with which information is available. This demand is driving marketing researchers to develop new platforms for interactive, two-way communication between their firms and consumers. Mobile devices such as Smart Phones are the best example of an emerging platform that enables businesses to connect with their customers throughout the entire buying process.
As personal mobile devices become more capable and widespread, the marketing research industry will look to further capitalize on this trend. Mobile devices present the perfect channel for research firms to retrieve immediate impressions from buyers and to provide their clients with a holistic view of the consumers within their target markets, and beyond.
Now, more than ever, innovation is the key to success for Marketing Researchers. Marketing Research Clients are beginning to demand highly personalized and specifically-focused products from the marketing research firms; big data is great for identifying general market segments, but is less capable of identifying key factors of niche markets, which now defines the competitive edge companies are looking for in this mobile-digital age.
First, marketing research is systematic. Thus systematic planning is required at all the stages of the marketing research process. The procedures followed at each stage are methodologically sound, well documented, and, as much as possible, planned in advance. Marketing research uses the scientific method in that data are collected and analyzed to test prior notions or hypotheses. Experts in marketing research have shown that studies featuring multiple and often competing hypotheses yield more meaningful results than those featuring only one dominant hypothesis.
Marketing research is objective. It attempts to provide accurate information that reflects a true state of affairs. It should be conducted impartially. While research is always influenced by the researcher's research philosophy, it should be free from the personal or political biases of the researcher or the management. Research which is motivated by personal or political gain involves a breach of professional standards.
Such research is deliberately biased so as to result in predetermined findings. The objective nature of marketing research underscores the importance of ethical considerations.
Also, researchers should always be objective with regard to the selection of information to be featured in reference texts because such literature should offer a comprehensive view on marketing.
Research has shown, however, that many marketing textbooks do not feature important principles in marketing research. Organizations engage in marketing research for two reasons: This distinction serves as a basis for classifying marketing research into problem identification research and problem solving research.
Problem identification research is undertaken to help identify problems which are, perhaps, not apparent on the surface and yet exist or are likely to arise in the future like company image, market characteristics, sales analysis, short-range forecasting, long range forecasting, and business trends research. Research of this type provides information about the marketing environment and helps diagnose a problem.
For example, the findings of problem solving research are used in making decisions which will solve specific marketing problems. The Stanford Research Institute , on the other hand, conducts an annual survey of consumers that is used to classify persons into homogeneous groups for segmentation purposes.
Standardized services are research studies conducted for different client firms but in a standard way. For example, procedures for measuring advertising effectiveness have been standardized so that the results can be compared across studies and evaluative norms can be established. The Starch Readership Survey is the most widely used service for evaluating print advertisements; another well-known service is the Gallup and Robinson Magazine Impact Studies.
These services are also sold on a syndicated basis. All of these forms of marketing research can be classified as either problem-identification research or as problem-solving research. Primary research is conducted from scratch. It is original and collected to solve the problem in hand.
Secondary research already exists since it has been collected for other purposes. It is conducted on data published previously and usually by someone else. Secondary research costs far less than primary research, but seldom comes in a form that exactly meets the needs of the researcher. A similar distinction exists between exploratory research and conclusive research. Exploratory research provides insights into and comprehension of an issue or situation. It should draw definitive conclusions only with extreme caution.
Conclusive research draws conclusions: Exploratory research is conducted to explore a problem to get some basic idea about the solution at the preliminary stages of research. It may serve as the input to conclusive research. Exploratory research information is collected by focus group interviews, reviewing literature or books, discussing with experts, etc. This is unstructured and qualitative in nature.
If a secondary source of data is unable to serve the purpose, a convenience sample of small size can be collected. Conclusive research is conducted to draw some conclusion about the problem.
It is essentially, structured and quantitative research, and the output of this research is the input to management information systems MIS. Exploratory research is also conducted to simplify the findings of the conclusive or descriptive research, if the findings are very hard to interpret for the marketing managers.
Methodologically, marketing research uses the following types of research designs: Researchers often use more than one research design.
They may start with secondary research to get background information, then conduct a focus group qualitative research design to explore the issues. Finally they might do a full nationwide survey quantitative research design in order to devise specific recommendations for the client. Business to business B2B research is inevitably more complicated than consumer research. The researchers need to know what type of multi-faceted approach will answer the objectives, since seldom is it possible to find the answers using just one method.
Finding the right respondents is crucial in B2B research since they are often busy, and may not want to participate. Last, but not least, most business research leads to strategic decisions and this means that the business researcher must have expertise in developing strategies that are strongly rooted in the research findings and acceptable to the client.
There are four key factors that make B2B market research special and different from consumer markets: Marketing research does not only occur in huge corporations with many employees and a large budget. Marketing information can be derived by observing the environment of their location and the competitions location. Small scale surveys and focus groups are low cost ways to gather information from potential and existing customers.
Most secondary data statistics, demographics, etc. International Marketing Research follows the same path as domestic research, but there are a few more problems that may arise. Customers in international markets may have very different customs, cultures, and expectations from the same company.
In this case, Marketing Research relies more on primary data rather than secondary information. Gathering the primary data can be hindered by language, literacy and access to technology. Basic Cultural and Market intelligence information will be needed to maximize the research effectiveness.
By AllBusiness Editors | In: Advertising, Marketing & PR While there are many ways to perform market research, most businesses use one or more of five basic methods: surveys, focus groups, personal interviews, observation, and field trials.
According to the Market Research Association, 'marketing research is a process used by businesses to collect, analyze and interpret information used to make sound business decisions and successfully manage the business.' Information collected through marketing research helps to identify opportunities and problems.
Our Market Research Methodology is a page PDF planning methodology that highlights our premium tool-kit of 31 premium tools & templates (available for download to Research, Executive & Enterprise level members) to help you build an efficient market research process, a comprehensive market research report and an engaging . Marketing research is often partitioned into two sets of categorical pairs, either by target market: Consumer marketing research, and; Business-to-business (B2B) marketing research. Or, alternatively, by methodological approach: Qualitative marketing research, and; Quantitative marketing research.
These procedures include market segmentation, product testing, advertising testing, key driver analysis for satisfaction and loyalty, usability testing, awareness and usage research, and pricing research (using techniques such . This reference describes measures that are used in consumer behavior and marketing research. Each of the scales is presented in a consistent format, including the construct, description, development, samples, validity, scores, source, other evidence, other sources, references, and scale items.