There isn’t a consistent definition or common understanding of the term market research. However, it is used by many businesses in their marketing mix. It is normally understood as the activity where a company compiles information and then researches the markets for specific product or service acceptability. It can be done online or offline and also can include multiple types of research about people and organizations using different methods and techniques to help gain insight into the market.
As stated above, there are many different definitions of the term market research and the differences can results in a business understanding and using only one aspect of this instead of the large field and limiting its methods. Below are some of its more common definitions.
As per Wikipedia:
Marketing research is “the function that links the consumers, customers, and public to the marketer through information-information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes the results, and communicates the findings and their implications.”
As per the American Marketing Association:
“Marketing research is the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information–information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection the data collection process, analyzes the results, and communicates the findings and their implications.”
As per BusinessDirectory.com:
Market Research: “identification of a specific market and measurement of its size and other characteristics.”
As per MarketResearchWorld.net:
“Market Research is a systematic, objective collection and analysis of data about a particular target market, competition, and/or environment. It always incorporates some form of data collection whether it is secondary research (often referred to as desk research) or primary research which is collected direct from a respondent.”
The purpose of any research project is to achieve an increased understanding of the market. With businesses throughout the world becoming increasingly competitive, market research is now on the agenda of many organizations — large and small.”
Common threads in every definition:
No matter the definition that you choose to use, there can be found a few common thoughts in the different definitions:
o It is about the information that is gathered with a specific objective in mind
o It is about studying the market without influencing it
o The customer is the center of the research
o There are no assumptions made, however information is gathered to help data-driven decision making
o There is no definition of the channel of research and is free of the tools and techniques that are used to conduct it
The Steps involved
When done in a scientific and structured way, that is unbiased and is without assumptions, market research can provide many different benefits to an organization. In order for it to have meaning, research should encompass the following steps:
o Collect and analyze data on the market
o Identify and prioritize markets
o Quantify and communicate goals and results to stakeholders
o Measure and track customer relationships
Market research can be very important to several different aspects of a business. Research that is done right can help a business develop products and services that the target market needs; develop marketing plans based on the information that is gathered in order to reach all potential customers in the most effective way. Market research that is well executed can provide useful information that can help a business have an advantage over the competitors and ensure customer happiness.
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