Discuss the key points about Marketing Research; include its uses, process and relevance to sound decision making. Please use relevant examples during your discussion.
Marketing research is the function that links the marketer to customers and the public through information. It is used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems, generate, refine and evaluate marketing actions, monitor performance and improve understanding of the marketing process. The steps involved in the marketing research process are:
1. Definition of the Problem and Research Objectives: This step is the most important step in the research process. It is critical that the problem is clearly defined, if not, the entire research process will suffer as a result thereof. Referenceforbusiness.com states that Managers must know enough about marketing research to help in the planning and to interpret research results, as a manager who knows little about the importance of research may obtain irrelevant information or accept inaccurate conclusions. Likewise, the researcher must be able to assist the manager to define the problem and suggest ways that research can help the manager to make better decisions. After the problem is defined, the marketing manager and the researcher must then set the research objectives. At this point exploratory research is done to gain a better understanding of the problem in order to further refine it to arrive at a clearly defined problem statement.
2. Design the research: The research design outlines the possible sources of existing data and indicates the specific research approaches, sampling plan and other tools that the researcher uses to gather data. The marketing researcher can gather secondary data (data already in existence which was collected by someone else whether in the firm or outside of the firm) and primary data (data collected specifically for the immediate problem).
3. Implement the Research: This step involves the...