Marketing research can also be defined as the systematic collection, recording and analysis of data on marketing and marketing problems in order to improve the quality of decision-making and control procedures in a marketing environment.
Goals of marketing research:
Search goals - collecting information for a preliminary assessment of the problem and its structuring;
Descriptive objectives - a description of the selected phenomena, objects of study and factors affecting their state;
Causal goals - testing the hypothesis that there is some causal connection;
Test objectives - selection of promising options or assessment of the correctness of the decisions made;
Forecast goals - prediction of the state of the object in the future.
The principal feature of a marketing research that distinguishes it from the collection and analysis of internal and external current information is its focus on solving a specific problem or set of marketing problems.
Each company independently determines the scope and volume of marketing research on the basis of its existing capabilities and needs for marketing information; therefore, the types of marketing research conducted by different companies may be different.
Basic concepts and directions, experience in marketing research
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Earlier it was emphasized that marketing research is a scientific analysis of all factors affecting the marketing of goods and services. It follows that the area of application of this function is practically unlimited, and therefore we will consider only the types of research that are most often encountered in practice.
Essentially, the goal of marketing research is to get answers to five basic questions: who? what? when? Where? And How? Related question: why? - expands the study to contact with the field of social psychology and sometimes stands out in an independent sphere, known as motivation research (motivation research), that is, the study of buyers' motives. (Unfortunately, this term has acquired a certain undesirable connotation because of the dubious activities of some psiopaapalists.) In practice, marketing research comes down to research aimed at solving a limited number of repetitive tasks.
These studies are often conducted on a systematic basis and can be classified as follows:
1. Market Research:
determination of the size and nature of the market (characteristics of consumers by age, sex, income, profession and social status);
determination of the geographical location of potential consumers;
determination of the share of goods of major competitors in the total sales in this market. Study of the structure, composition and organization of the sales network serving the market;
analysis of general economic and other external trends affecting the market structure.
2. Sales Research (Sales Research):
determining differences in the volume of sales in individual areas;
the establishment and revision of the boundaries of supply areas. Planning for customer visits by salespeople. Changes in the performance of marketers;
evaluation of trade and sales promotion methods. Analysis of the effectiveness of the distribution network in the amount of "expenses - profit". Inventory inventory of the retail network.
3. Research of consumer properties of goods (Product Research):
analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of competing products
(i.e. goods not only of their company, but also of its competitors);
search for new ways to use products. Analysis of ideas for new products. Testing of new products with the involvement of consumers. Research in the field of packaging. Exploring the possibilities of simplifying the range.
4. Advertising Research (Advertising Research):
analysis of the effectiveness of advertisements;
analysis of the effectiveness of advertising media;
analysis of the effectiveness of advertising work.
5. Economic Analysis (Business Economics):
short-term and long-term forecasting based on trend analysis;
6. Motivational analysis (Motivation Research).
7. Foreign Marketing Marketing Research (Export Marketing Research).
The above list is in no way exhaustive, but only outlines the boundaries of possible research activities.
Ways to organize marketing research
Marketing research can be organized and conducted either with the help of a specialized research agency, or with the help of its own research department.
Organization of research using its own research department
Own research department is engaged in marketing research in accordance with the information needs of the company.
In-house research is cheaper than custom research.
Confidentiality is high because the circle of dedicated participants is narrow.
Hfood deficiencies: The experience of conducting research is limited, specialists tend to be of a wider profile. The objectivity of the research results may be questioned, since the attitude of employees may be biased in favor of their own firm; in addition, researchers are dependent on management. Technical support is insignificant; As a rule, the most versatile equipment and software is available. Research organization with the help of a specialized research agencySpecialized research agencies carry out a variety of studies, the results of which can help the company to solve existing problems. Advantages: The quality of the research is high, as research firms have rich experience, have specialists high qualifications in the field of research. Research results provide high objectivity, as researchers are independent of the customer. Specialized firms are provided with great opportunities in choosing research methods due to the availability of special equipment for research and processing of their results. Disadvantages The cost of research is quite high, the research is more expensive than the internal research team. limited to general concepts. There is a higher probability of information leakage, that How many people are involved in the study. Marketing Research Department Judging by how often we hear the assertion that business competition is becoming more intense, one would assume that most firms probably have marketing research departments. In fact, very few firms have such departments. It is difficult to cite the most recent data, but it is known that as a result of a survey conducted by the British Institute of Management, only 40% of responses were received from 265 companies (most likely because most firms did not have research departments). However, it would be a mistake to believe that this fact means the same low level of use of the research results, since a significant part of the marketing research work is performed by specialized organizations. In addition, in many companies, marketing research departments often have other names, for example, the Economic Information Department, etc. The decision to create your own marketing research department depends on evaluating the role that it can play further in the company's activities. whole This assessment is mainly qualitative in nature and is different for different firms, which prevents the establishment of exact criteria. For our purposes, it is enough to assume that the decision to create such a structural unit has been made and attention is focused on those issues that should be taken into account in this case. They can be grouped as follows: the role and functions of this department; its position in the organizational structure of the company; the role and the functions of the department manager. The role and functions of the marketing research department When reviewing the above list of types of research related to marketing, it is obvious that in order to cover all e area would require a very large department. If a firm starts to do this kind of work for the first time, it is strongly recommended to create a list of tasks, arranging them in order of importance, and limit it to an attempt to achieve first the decisions of the most important ones. This does not mean that the rest of the studies should not be carried out at all, since the establishment of too rigid demarcation lines between tasks can only lead to an inflexible approach and to the fact that auxiliary studies complementing the main ones will be abandoned. Too often, companies make the mistake of placing only created a marketing research department responsible for maintaining company-approved reporting. The transfer of this function to him inevitably creates friction and reduces the efficiency of the company, since, on the one hand, it slows down the work of departments that need reporting data for their current activities, for example, the sales department, and on the other hand, the marketing research department distracts from its The main function is research. In those cases where the creation of a specialized research department is preceded by a great job of data selection and reporting, it is better if other departments retain this function, providing as much information as they need. To avoid both duplication and dispersion of efforts, you must clearly define the responsibilities of each department and only those reports that are essential for in-house research work should be required from the marketing research department. A place for marketing research in the organizational structure of the company degree depends on its organizational structure. As a rule, it should havea vital relationship with the managing director, since this department performs an advisory function and in many cases supplies the chief administrator with basic data on which the general policy of the company is based (as opposed to operational decisions). In large organizations in which executive directors head units formed on a functional basis, the marketing director may be responsible for determining the direction of the research department and for deciding which reports should edstavlyatsya company manager. Even in this case, it is advisable to provide a direct link between the managing director and the research department, on the one hand, to ensure that reports that criticize a particular aspect of the firm’s activities will be heard by the head of the firm in order to avoid deterioration of the relationship between the marketing director and the directors responsible for the other divisions. In addition, it is the managing director who is concerned with the effectiveness of the firm’s activities in general and. therefore, it may be better than other managers to assess the significance of research results for a particular department. Some authors believe that the manager of the marketing research department should have the same status as the heads of the main operational structural units, but this is incorrect in view of the usually existing differences in size departments and level of responsibility. Provided that the manager has access to the board of directors, his status should be directly determined by the value that the department has within the organization as a whole. The role and functions of the manager of the marketing research department The character of the manager of the marketing research department depends on the size and function of the department, as well as degrees of control and leadership from above. In this case, in any case, the manager must be a person competent in his field and possess personal integrity and honesty. Competence implies not only the availability of experience and knowledge in the field of marketing and methods of its analysis, but also the ability to turn management problems into real research projects, subject to time and financial constraints. Requiring personal integrity and honesty means that the manager of the marketing research department must interpret the results of the analyzes performed objectively, in accordance with generally accepted principles of scientific research. “Statistics in the service of lies” - such a situation can exist only when unprincipled people use facts fabricated with the help of subjective selection, manipulation and deliberate presentation to prove groundless conclusions, i.e., as the researchers say, “look for data” The manager must meet not only the basic requirements mentioned above, but also have the qualities that are required in all managerial positions, namely, have the capacity for administrative work, be able to understand and the ability to effectively influence them. Planning and conducting marketing researchThe process of marketing research Marketing research can be divided into two main categories: permanent and occasional. Marketing is a continuous process taking place in constantly changing conditions. Therefore, systematic research is essential if the firm wants to remain aware of changes in the main factors determining demand, and to be able to modify its policy accordingly. Extensive information of this type is collected by specialized organizations and government departments, but this information is often too generalized and cannot meet the specific requirements of an individual firm. As a result, it has to be supplemented with research conducted by the company itself. In addition, many marketing situations are so peculiar (for example, launching a new product on the market) that they require special research. Such studies are carried out according to a specific scheme consisting of the following steps (Fig. 4.1 ): justification of the need for a study, analysis of the factors contributing to this need, that is, the formulation of the problem, the precise formulation of the purpose of the study, the design of the plan of the experiment or surveys based on the analysis provided for in paragraph 2, data collection, systematization and analysis of data, interpretation of results, formulation of conclusions, recommendations, preparation and submission of a report containing the results of the study, evaluation of the results of actions taken on the basis of the findings of researchers, i.e. establishing feedback. Obviously, ongoing research is based on the same scheme as at the beginning, but later on the first four steps are removed.4.1. Development scheme of marketing research; Stages of marketing research: Formulation of a problem situation; Preliminary planningnirovaniya research; Consultation with management; Receipt, collection of information; Processing and preparation of information; Economic evaluation; Summarizing. Primary and secondary data For obtaining data during any scientific research two main types of information sources are used - primary and secondary. Secondary sources are available data that should always be studied first. Often, however, it turns out that these data were collected for purposes very far from the main focus of the research being undertaken, and therefore they need to be supplemented by collecting new, or primary, data. This distinction between sources of information is reflected in the existence of two different terms - desk research (research) and out-of-room research (field research). Primary data collection Primary data can be collected using one of three methods — observation, experiment, and a sample survey. combinations. Observation is the simplest method, but usually gives the least satisfactory results. Its essence lies in the observation of the processes associated with the studied factor. An example illustrating this method is measuring the flow of customers in stores, which served as the basis for establishing many principles for planning retail premises. The observation technique is largely determined by the qualifications and objectivity of the observer and is limited by the need to observe secrecy so that the customer’s behavior does not affect the patterns of customer behavior. that they are under study. In addition, external behavior rarely sheds enough light on the internal motives of customer behavior and decision-making processes, and they usually try to determine them. When conducting an experiment, control can be exercised, the absence of which is characteristic of observation methods, and the cost of the experiment is usually cheaper than a sample survey . The main disadvantage of the experimental method is the difficulty in reproducing normal behavior in the laboratory. Part of this difficulty can be overcome by conducting an experiment in a natural setting, for example, by testing packaging by placing a prototype on the shelves of a store. However, in order for the results of such tests to be reliable, the values of all variables, except for the one that is currently being studied, must remain unchanged. The difficulties of recognizing both the nature and the effects of the other variables can be largely overcome by repeating the experiment so many times that it is possible to derive an average or representative result, as well as using a control experiment, which usually consists of setting up an experience identical to that performed , except for the control variable, and it is assumed that all the discrepancies that arise are due to the influence of this particular variable. Changing only one variable may be too expensive Stable and time consuming due to the large number of variables requiring testing. For example, in the case of testing a new package, you can try to determine separately the influence of the name, color, size, shape, value of information, etc., as well as the overall impression. Currently, techniques such as the method of Latin squares and the method of factor analysis, which allow for multivariate analysis, have been developed. Their detailed description can be found in many modern works on statistics.