When it comes to the world of marketing and advertising, the biggest weapon that you can have against obscurity and stagnating sales is information. Marketing research provides you with the information. We will be looking at this very important tool in detail, including the history of market research and how to do it effectively. If you don’t think that market research is important to your business, then you definitely need to keep reading.
What is Marketing Research?
Marketing research is defined as the processes and techniques that are used to gather information from customers and end-users to help the producer or marketer see opportunities or problems, and understand how they can adjust their strategy to be more effective.
Marketing research allows a company to see things from the perspective of different customers. They are able to monitor their marketing performance by getting information from those customers – or people just like them – and it helps to understand the entire marketing process. Of course, marketing research isn’t always done with people. Let’s take a look at all of the various aspects of market research including technique, research models and the history of the practice.
The History of Marketing Research
If you watch television, you are probably familiar with the Nielsen ratings. Arthur Nielsen was actually the pioneer behind modern marketing research. This research began by interviewing customers one-on-one or in focus groups, as well as doing pen and paper or telephone surveys. Obviously, things have changed a great deal since the Internet came along. As e-commerce and web advertising grew, advertisers began to realize that there was a great deal of information that could be collected from the people that were visiting websites. This is led to an entirely new way of conducting market research.
Why is Marketing Research Important?
Market research is extremely important. If you have a product or service to sell, you have to know the best way to communicate with your potential customers, what information they need from you and most importantly, what will convince them to buy. Marketing research provides companies with accurate, up-to-date and reliable information about customer buying habits. This is important because customer buying habits change fast. For example, most people wouldn’t dream of buying something online these days without checking out reviews from previous customers. Companies have to be able to understand customer behavior so that they can create campaigns that will give them the biggest returns.
Who needs to do Marketing Research?
What kinds of company should be doing marketing research? When business is not good, companies can find it just difficult to justify spending money on this research. This is especially true for small businesses. In fact, businesses that are struggling are the prime candidates for marketing research. Any company that plans to launch an advertising campaign or spend money manufacturing and distributing a product needs to do research beforehand to find out how they could spend the least amount of money and get the most amount of return on a particular advertising campaign.
Market Research Primary Data
There are two types of data when it comes to market research. The first of these is called primary data. Primary data is information that you collect directly from the source. You may do this within your own company, or you may hire an outside market research company to do it for you. The two types of primary data you can gather include exploratory data and specific data. Exploratory data has the advantage of allowing the respondent to say exactly what they think, which is useful if you do not have a question in your survey that would’ve elicited that response. On the other hand, exploratory data may not give you the information that you most need. Specific primary data will do that.
Market Research Secondary Data
The second type of data you could collect is called secondary data. Secondary data involves gathering up research that has already been done for you. The reason that this type of data collection is preferred by some includes the fact that most of the information is widely available free-of-charge on the Internet, and usually compiled in an easy to digest format.
Secondary data can come from multiple sources such as scientific articles, books and many other sources. Government agencies, trade associations, chambers of commerce and the media can all be excellent sources of secondary data. It is important that you try to gather as much primary data as you can, but secondary data can be useful as well. While much of this information is available free-of-charge, some of it you may have to pay for. However, the main downside for collecting secondary data is that you have to do the research yourself or hire someone else to do it, and depending upon the market information that you need, it can be difficult to find.
The bottom line is that marketing research is vital for any company that wants to improve its marketing strategies and connect better with their customers. By using a combination of primary and secondary data, you can find out exactly what your customers want and use it to shape your next ad campaign.