Accurate and thorough information is the foundation of all successful business ventures because it provides a wealth of information about prospective and existing customers, the competition, and the industry in general. Thus the process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present and potential customers for the product or service serves as the foundation of Market Research. Market research provides relevant data to help solve marketing challenges that a business will most likely face as an integral part of the business planning process. The primary purpose of conducting market research is to understand or examine the market associated with a particular product or service, to decide how the audience will react to a product or service. The information obtained from conducting market research can be used to tailor marketing/ advertising activities or to determine what are the feature service requirements of consumers.
Market Research Consultant
Market Research Consultant is an integral member of a professional consulting team conducting primary voice-of-customer global marketing research studies. The Marketing Research Consultant conducts primary marketing research and works with clients to identify research solutions that meet their needs and business objectives. Research consultants collect and analyze multiple types of data and present research reports based on this information. Research and analytics companies, public institutions, and private businesses hire research consultants to work as part of a research team. For example, a pharmaceutical company may hire a consultant to conduct research into existing patients who will then report back on their findings, while the company’s scientists focus on product development. The job duties of a Market Research Consultant involves planning research strategies, finding and collecting data, interpreting them and subsequently writing a research report after proper verification of data. This isn’t as simple as it may sound, thus a consultant needs to be highly skilled with a proper educational background to benefit the company.
Market Research Companies
Market research is critical for determining best practices for engaging your target customers, understanding the parameters of a new market, and investing with confidence. Not every person can become a market research expert. But, there are some top market research firms: study former clients and past projects, read client reviews, and compare company information to determine the best fit for your company. Some of them are:
A name that always tops the list. Headquartered in Mumbai, it has its global existence in 100+ different countries. It is said to be a brand in the field of marketing research.
With its corporate office in New Delhi, India, RNB Research, is an ISO 9001:2000 certified marketing research as well as data collection company that exists in countries like South Africa, Thailand, India, China, Philippines and Russia. It is said to be one of the top five marketing research companies in India.
Majestic MRSS– A player in the field of Marketing Research and Survey, it has its presence in many Asian countries. It provides various businesses with various research services.
TNS India Private Limited-
This company may not be a very old one in the market, but it has been leaving its footprints in the field of marketing research. With its headquarters in London, UK, it has been serving various businesses in India for quite some time now. It focuses on delivering the insight of a business by providing it with enough marketing data and information.
Not just known in India, but globally known, The Nielsen Company has been playing a very important role in the country. It exists in 100 different countries and provides businesses with a list of services to check the insights of their tasks as well as their target customers and users. It is into researching, surveying and measuring data.
Types of Marketing Research –
Marketing research is usually the first step in the marketing process, after ideas for products are conceived. Companies conduct marketing research to obtain information from the marketplace. They use it to solve problems, obtain information on competitors and determine the needs and wants of the customers. Marketers then analyze the data and develop various marketing strategies.
Whether an organization or business wishes to know purchase behavior of consumers or the likelihood of consumers paying a certain cost for a product, market research helps in drawing meaningful conclusions.There are different types of marketing research classified on the basis of the research objective for which the study is to be carried out and the sources of data used to gather the information. The widely used classification of marketing research is based on the functional objectives of the research and are identified as:
Primary Market Research-
(A combination of both Qualitative and Quantitative Research): Primary market research is a process, where organizations or businesses get in touch with the consumers or employ a third party to carry out relevant studies to collect data. The data collected can be qualitative data (non-numerical data) or quantitative data (numerical or statistical data).
While conducting primary market research, one can gather two types of information: Exploratory and Specific. Exploratory research is an open ended research, where a problem is explored by asking open ended questions in a detailed interview format usually with a small group of people also known as samples. Specific research, on the other hand, is used to solve the problems that are identified by exploratory research.
Primary market research is a combination of qualitative market research and quantitative market research. Qualitative market research study involves semi-structured or unstructured data collected through some of the commonly used qualitative research methods like:
Focus group is one of the commonly used qualitative research methods. Focus group is a small group of people (6-10) who respond to online surveys sent to them. The main advantage of this method is that the information can be collected remotely anywhere, without personally interacting with the group members. However, this is an expensive method as it is used to collect complex information.
As the name suggests this method involves personal interaction in the form of an interview, where the researcher asks a series of questions to collect information or data from the respondents. The questions are mostly open ended questions and asked in a way to facilitate responses. This method is heavily dependent on the ability and experience of the interviewer to ask questions that evoke responses. An inexperienced interviewer might spoil the entire purpose of the research.
It is an in-depth research method which is conducted in the natural settings of the respondents. This method requires the interviewer to adapt himself/herself to the natural environment of the respondents which could be a city or a remote village. Geographical constraints can be a hindering factor in conducting this kind of research.
Qualitative research methods are used by organizations to conduct structured market research by using online surveys, questionnaires and polls to gain statistical insights to make informed decisions.
Initially it was conducted using pen and paper but now it has evolved to sending structured online surveys to the respondents to gain their insights. Researchers tend to use modern and technology-oriented survey platforms to structure and design their survey to evoke maximum response from respondents.
Secondary Market Research:
Secondary research uses information that is organized by outside sources like government agencies, media. This information is published in newspapers, magazines, books, company websites, government and nongovernment agencies and so on. Secondary source makes use of the following:
Public sources like libraries are an awesome way of gathering free resourceful information. Government libraries usually offer services free of cost and a researcher can document available information.
Commercial sources: Commercial source although reliable prove to be a bit expensive. Local newspapers, magazines, journals, television media are great commercial sources to collect information.
Educational Institutions: Although not a very popular source of collecting information, most universities and educational institutions are a rich source of information as many research projects are carried out there than any business sector.
Market Research Agencies –
Market research is an essential piece of any successful business, especially when it comes to product development, pricing, promotions and positioning. As rightfully said: “Failing to do market research can amount to a death sentence for your product.”
However, while market research is vital, it is important to note that not all market research agencies specialize in the same things. So , before choosing a market research partner, it is necessary to evaluate each one according to their competencies, areas of focus, technologies, approaches, methodologies. Market research agencies may fall into three categories:
Field Service Market Research Agencies- These agencies conduct research with the target audience. They ask participants specific questions via interviews, focus groups, observation, surveys, and so on. Also known as fieldwork firms, these companies are often hired by other market researchers that already have a designed study to be the ones that actually get answers from people.
Intercept Market Research Agencies- These firms specialize in face-to-face interaction with respondents for intercepts and experiences. If the research objective is to get in-the-moment reaction from consumers or measure actual customer experience across locations seeking out a firm with this specialty is absolutely necessary.
Full Service Market Research Agencies- These agencies provide end-to-end customized market research services, which can include: identifying the marketing problem to be solved, determining the optimal research design, preparing instruments and methods, sampling, data collection, analysis and reporting.
Based on the necessary requirements of the company and the goal it intends to achieve it is always advisable to hire agencies which best suits their demands.
Online Market Research-
In recent years, there has been a substantial increase in the number of household Internet users. As businesses have become more global and virtual, their target audience has expanded well beyond any specific geographical location. A company can conduct an online survey in which it selects respondents from all over the world in a less costly manner than it would with mail, telephone, or in-person interviews. Online Market Research is a research method in which the data collection process is carried out over the Internet.
Online Market Research can be either Qualitative or Quantitative. Qualitative Online Tools include Video Ethnography and Market Research Online Communities. Quantitative Online Methods include mobile and app surveys.
With the rising use of the Internet, online research has become a popular tool among market research firms.It provides additional information about a buyer, such as her prior purchasing history. Conducting online research can be a complex procedure and may require considerable expertise on the part of researchers in obtaining accurate data. It may be challenging to recruit participants in online research for several reasons. Recipients may be reluctant to participate in online research because they may be afraid that the privacy and confidentiality of their personal information may be violated.Online research projects can be carried out by a company itself or by a hired research firm.
Trend Market Research-
It’s essential to understand the size of the market. It’s also important to know the market trends. This knowledge is vital for marketing and strategic decision-making. Trend Market Research is the art of looking at what’s popular in the market right now. It is a stepping-stone to trend forecasting. Marketers use trend forecasting to look at the direction of recently trending new products. It gives marketers an idea of what will be selling in the next six months to a year. It gives companies a sense of the market response to their products and services. Knowing what consumers are going to want next is critical to succeeding in business. Trend spotters go beyond traditional market research methods.
Global Market Research-
Today the ease of technology has given us the opportunity to take business to the international level. What once was reserved for big-name brands is now possible for all types of companies — as long as they stay informed about current market conditions. When considering global markets, it’s important to use market research to be prepared for all potential opportunities and challenges.Taking a company globally is a big step for any company. But in order to be successful, it is essential that the company understand the needs of the consumer in all of the parts of the world they do business in.global market research is the task of finding out what consumers want and planning how to produce those products.
Customers and their preferences are different all over the world, and so are their needs and in order to meet those needs and actually provide products consumers will buy companies use global market research. The different components which aid in global market research are:
- Product- Products may need to be altered to meet the demand and the taste of the area. For example, maybe in China they eat different food than what consumers eat in India. This difference may force a food company or restaurant to adjust their products accordingly for each area.
- Location-This considers how consumers purchase products.Whether they go to the store,or do they purchase online? An area without internet connection would probably not benefit from a strictly online store.
- Marketing- This involves how to reach to the customers. For an area where television is not much used, advertising television commercials would be of no help.
- Price- Depending upon the economy of a place, the price of products differ. Keeping this in mind it is always important to consider the paying ability of the consumers before setting up a price for the product.
With the economy being competitive with each passing day it is important for businesses to know and understand preferences of their consumers. Conducting research is one of the best ways of achieving customer satisfaction, reducing customer churn and elevating business.Marketing is customer-centric and knowing the customers and their needs will help businesses design products or services that best suit them.Market research is important and should not be ignored as it provides information and opportunities about the value of existing and new products, thus, helping businesses plan and strategize accordingly.
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