Marketing Research (MR) plays an important role in marketing of any product. Marketers make intensive research before introducing any product in the market. Before having a thorough understanding about “marketing research” in “marketing” a product, you need to understand what “marketing” precisely means?
The term “marketing” means the entire gamut of activities taking place from the place of manufacturing to the home of a consumer. The activities involve the 4P’s of marketing i.e. product, price, promotion and place. In order to design a product, price it suitably and then by advertising and publicity through right media, marketers place it in the marketing channels or channel partners, from where products are bought by consumers. So the entire range of activities is called as marketing. Sometimes the middlemen or channel partners may not be involved in case it is a direct marketing company.
Historical development of Marketing Research (MR) – Historically it was used in the early nineteenth century in the United States of America. First time it was used to predict the results of the elections. Then for the first time Bureau of business research was started in 1918 by Harvard Business School and again North western of Commerce established its wing of marketing research. But up to 1920, all ideas related to this were just confined to few areas like study of population, agriculture and manufacturing. In 1937 American Marketing association sponsored a publication namely “The techniques of Marketing Research”. After that development began with newer techniques in it.
• MR-as a vital function of Marketing Management-One of the important jobs of marketing department of an organization is information gathering. It is true that not each and every organization goes for a marketing research. In stead they rely too much on data from unreliable sources and result is the marketing team is left in the lurch while it tries for a niche in the market. But there are organizations, which make thorough research and get the History and latest updates of development of a particular product in the market.
How would you plan your entry in the market if there is no organized data available to you? You can not implement and control the 4ps of marketing unless you are armed with the requisite data. Besides 4ps’ (product, price, promotion and place), there is another vital factor which you can term as “Marketing environmental factors”. Those are customer needs and activities, markets’ structures and reactions, competitors’ strategies, dealers’ demands, suppliers’ policies etc.
In an organization, the entire echelon of marketing depends on the pertinent data related to market. Therefore market research is a well-recognized and very important function of marketing management.
Scope of Marketing Research- What benefits MR can lend to the marketing department of an organization?
The following are some of the distinct advantages;
a) Product and service research- This guides about proposed new products and acceptance by customers. It gives a comparative study about available products in the market. It suggests about modification of present products and new uses of present products. It test-markets the newly introduced products and gives valuable feedback about the prevailing trends about customers’ acceptance. It collects customers’ grievances and helps the marketing department to handle objections. It suggests new products to improve the present product-line of the company.
b) Market research- MR analyses market potentials for existing products and predicts market potential. It makes sales forecasting. It tells about characteristics of product markets. It analyses sales potential for a particular product. It studies market trends in the market.
c) Promotion research- MR evaluates about advertising effectiveness. It analyses advertising and selling practices. It gives valuable advice about selection of right advertising media. It gives valuable feedback about incorporating motivational stimuli to buy the product. It establishes sales territories and evaluates the present and proposed sales methods. It studies and guides about competitive pricing and analyses parameters about salesmen performance. It establishes sales quotas.
d) Distribution research-MR opines about location and distribution centers. It clearly delineates about place or channel partners and their placement across the country. It suggests about handling and packing of merchandise. It suggests about cost analysis of transportation methods and guides about dealer supply and storage requirements.
e) Pricing research- MR also suggests about demand elasticities. It tells about perceived prices and penetration price of the product. It helps in cost analysis and guides about profit-margin-analysis.
f) Miscellaneous research- MR also does various other activities like research on diversification, motivation of sales personnel, governmental action and attitudes to corporate sector, international market research for expansion of overseas markets, long range forecasting, governmental actions and attitudes to private sector in a particular nation and ecological impact studies etc.
Marketing Research and Market Research- Often you might get confused about both these terms. Both Market research and Marketing research appear almost same, which they are not. Marketing research is defined as the systematic and objective process of identifying, formulating and objective setting of a marketing problem and collecting, processing, analyzing, interpreting and presenting data in order to find a justified solution for that problem.
Market research is a process of collecting information about who, what, where, how of actual and potential customers in a particular market.