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Marketing Research

Prof M. R. Suresh

Common Views of Marketing Research

Gathering data from markets Conducting customer surveys Determining the needs of customers Evaluating customer response to advertising Testing products in the market place Estimating the potential sales of product Gathering sales and market share data of competitors

Role of Marketing Research in Managerial Decision Making

Four Stages of Market Planning Process
Situation analysis
Strategy development Marketing program development


Situation Analysis
Analysis of Market environment Market characteristics

Consumer behavior
Research Approaches Organize information obtained from prior studies (secondary) Focus groups

Strategy Development
Market Research Provides Information to Assist Management With Three Critical Decisions:
What business should we be in? How will we compete? What are the objectives for the business?

Marketing Program Development

Representative Decisions that Draw on Marketing Research:
Segmentation decisions Product decisions Distribution decisions Advertising and promotion decisions Personal selling decisions Price decisions Branding decisions Customer satisfaction decisions

Starts with decision to proceed with a new program or strategy Set specific measurable objectives for all elements of marketing program
Shift research focus to :
"Did the elements achieve their objectives?"
Should the marketing program be continued, discontinued, revised or expanded?"

P & G Luring Women with their Feminine Toothpaste

P & G has came out with Rejuvenating Effects a gender specific toothpaste targeting the female customers, who do 82% of the grocery shopping. The flavor and package of the product was decided on the basis of the results from a customer survey filled out by women. Though the product is priced slightly higher than the other brands P & G hopes to make women think about the toothpaste in the same light as skin care

lotions and shampoo.

How do you think Marketing Research has helped / would help here?

Marketing Research- A Few Definitions

The systematic and objective identification, collection, analysis, and dissemination of information for the purpose of assisting management in decision-making The systematic and objective search for and analysis of information relevant to the identification and solution of any problem in the field of marketing

The function which links the consumer to the marketer through-information used to identify and define market opportunities, problems, generate, refine, evaluate, marketing actions, monitoring marketing performances, and improve understanding of marketing as a process
Specification of information required to address the above issues. Design of method for collecting information Manage and implement data collection process Analysis of results Communication of results

A multidisciplinary field

Exhibit -Role of Marketing Research in the Organization/Business

Organizational / Business Decision Makers informs Marketing Research influences Marketing Decisions



Marketing Research process consists of six broad steps

Problem identification and definition Determination of information needs Development of research plan/ design Data collection Analysis and interpretation Report writing

Emphasis varies across organisations


Marketing Research information can help a marketing manager in three ways

By indicating the existence of a problem or opportunity By enabling him to define a marketing problem more explicitly By providing a basis for estimating the effects of alternative marketing decisions

Determining information needs

In most situations, it is possible to obtain direct measures of effects which a manager wished to consider in decision making (e.g. location of a milk booth) Real life problems involve use of indirect measures (e.g. whether to launch a new product or not) Use of indirect measures involve understanding relationships (e.g. is there a relationship between income and cheese consumption)

Views of Marketing Managers

Absence of systematic method of doing Marketing Research Marketing Research should aid strategic thinking-not just collect data Focus should be explanatory and predictive Strategic vision can develop with continuous availability of data Organisational context of research is of paramount importance.

Managements complaints about researchers are:

Research is not problem-oriented. It tends to provide a plethora of facts, not actionable results.
Researchers are too involved with techniques and they appear to be reluctant to get involved in management problems.

Research is slow, vague and of questionable validity. Researchers can not communicate, they do not understand, and they do not talk the language of management.


Researchers have their complaints about management:

Management does not include research in discussions of basic problems. Management tends to ask only for specific information about parts of problems.
Management pays no more than lip service to research and does not really understand or appreciate its value.

Management does not allow enough time for research. They draw preliminary conclusions based on early or incomplete results. Management relies more on intuition and judgment than on research. Research is used as a crutch, not a tool.


Provides a systematic, planned approach to the research project Ensures all aspects of the research project are consistent with each other Overview of MR process: Why should we do research? What research should be done? Is it worth doing the research? How should research be designed to achieve research objectives? What will we do with the research?

The Preliminary Stages of MR Process

Step 1: Research Purpose
Clarity critical, - to avoid failures Research Purpose comprises a shared understanding between manager and the researcher of

1. Problems / opportunities to be studied

problems or opportunities anticipated scope of the problems/possible reasons

2. Decision alternatives to be evaluated - Alternatives - Criteria for choice - Timing / importance of decision 3. Research Users - Decision makers - Covert / overt purposes

Step 2: Research Objective

Research objective is a statement in precise terminology of what information is needed Has three components

Research question
Specifies the information the decision maker needs Several questions for a purpose Relevant to the purpose Helps research design

Is a possible answer to a research question Speculate on possible hypotheses Not a checklist. Opportunity to make research question specific

Research Boundary

Hypothesis Development
Source Theory Management experience Exploratory research Research purpose Research Question Hypothesis

Research objective

Research Design Step 3: Estimating value of information


Principles of Marketing Research

Principle #1:
Attend to the timeliness and relevance of research

Principle #2:

Define research objectives carefully and clearly

Do not conduct research to support decisions already made

Principle #3: