The marketing research process begins with identifying the problem or opportunity. Identifying a problem may be caused by a decline in sales, new technology, increased competition, or a shift in the buyer’s tastes. Once the problem is identified, it is crucial to define the scope of the research project. Otherwise, the efforts of the marketing team may be in vain. There are several phases of this process.
First, define the problem or opportunity you are trying to solve. What are the symptoms or potential causes of this problem? This is the starting point for developing your marketing strategy and campaign. Next, define the target audience, or buyer persona. For example, if your product is aimed at teenagers, what are their demographics? What interests do they have outside of their job? These are all useful information to gather when identifying the potential causes of the problem.
Next, collect data. This data can be quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative research involves gathering data through surveys, while qualitative research involves gathering data through interviews and focus groups. Ideally, a mix of quantitative and qualitative research is required, so that both types of information can provide the most relevant results. If you can combine qualitative and quantitative research, you can get more detailed and useful insights. However, qualitative research isn’t for everyone, and it may not be appropriate for all companies.
Once the data is collected, it is processed and analyzed. Surveyors use statistical market research tools to analyze the data. Results are interpreted and reported in data driven news. The research team will arrange a debriefing session with the client. Typically, this happens when a client hires a market research firm. Sometimes, this meeting also involves brainstorming ideas and presenting highlights of the data.
After the research objectives have been identified, the research design must be developed. This is also called the “plan of attack” of the research. The research design specifies how data will be collected. Data collection methods must be standardized, so that the results can be compared. Surveys are one popular method of gathering data, but must be carefully designed and pretested to be as accurate as possible. A well-designed survey can help you gather valuable information from your target audience.
Market segmentation research involves collecting and analyzing data to understand consumer preferences. A well-written report documenting the research should be prepared and present the results in a concise and meaningful way. The written report should include specific questions that prompted the research, the data collection methods, and major findings of the study. The report should also be referenced by others who were not involved in the research. If it does, it will be an effective tool to market to the target market.