Marketing Research Process
Apr 19, 2019
A 5 Step Marketing Research Process
Step 1. Defining Your Target
If you are considering conducting marketing research, chances are you have already identified a problem and an ensuing informational need. In marketing research process, this is always the first one. Your target or issue will likely be recognized by one or more levels of management. Sometimes, further definition of the problem or issue is needed, and for that there are several tools you can use. The target market with specific demographics should be the main focus with clearly defined objectives for research.
Step 2. Developing Your Approach
Your approach should consist of an honest assessment of your team’s market research skills, establishing a budget, understanding your environment and its influencing factors, developing an analysis model, and formulating hypotheses. Based upon a well-defined approach, a framework for the designing your marketing research program should be apparent.
This step is the most encompassing of all steps in marketing research, requiring the greatest amount of thought, time and expertise – and is the point at which the less experienced will obtain assistance from an internal/external market research experts. Since the intelligence eventually gained from the research is so closely related to the selected research design, this step most vulnerable to the typical research errors. Research design includes incorporating knowledge from secondary information analysis, qualitative research, methodology selection, question measurement & scale selection, questionnaire design, sample design & size, and determining data analysis to be used.
Step 3: Data Collection
This is the point at which the finalized questionnaire (survey instrument) is used in gathering information among the chosen sample segments. There are a variety of data collection methodologies to consider, but it should be fairly straight forward based on your marketing and information needed.
Step 4: Data Analysis
All analysis that can be performed, from complex to simple, depends on how the questionnaire was constructed. Less complex analysis on smaller data sets can be handled with any of a number of office suite tools. More complex data analysis may require a trained marketing professional or mathematician.
Step 5: Presentation
All business critical information and knowledge that comes from your market research investment are limited by how they are presented to decision makers. There are as many reporting styles as there are research reports, but usually simple graphs, charts, or PowerPoint presentations can get the point across. The key is to not bombard management with numbers, but rather explain the insight gained from the research and the recommended changes in marketing strategies.
Contact us if you’d like to explore the marketing research process for your company in more detail.