Marketing Research: an introduction
The type of marketing research businesses conduct depends on the problem that they are trying to solve. Some of the most significant areas of research are:
· attitude research
· market research
· media research
· product research
Attitude research, also known as opinion research, is research designed to obtain information on how people feel about certain products, ideas, or companies.
Example: The Gallup Organization conducts opinion research polls on politics, elections, business and the economy, social issues, and public policy.
Market research involves the systematic gathering, recording, analyzing, and presentation of information related to marketing goods and services. It uses market analysis—the study of particular consumer and industrial markets—to obtain data about the size, location, and make-up of the market for a product.
Sales forecasting is an effort to estimate the future sales of a product.
Economic forecasting is an attempt to predict future economic conditions. Most businesses rely on government data to predict economic conditions and to adjust their business activities depending on the economic outlook.
Media research focuses on issues of media selection and frequency. It measures the effectiveness of the advertising message and media placement. Media research is done on:
· print media
· broadcast media
· online media
Researching Print AdvertisementsThe effectiveness of a printed advertising message can be tested on its recall, communication, and persuasive abilities.
Several different techniques are used, including:
· reader surveys
· consumer panels
· TV Ratings
Researching Online Advertising - As online advertising increases in popularity, researchers have developed marketing research techniques for online copy testing. Techniques include:
· using a mock environment similar to traditional copy testing
· live testing in an interactive environment
· tracking ad recall and copy effectiveness
· evaluating Web site elements that attract users
Product research centers on evaluating product design, package design, product usage, and consumer acceptance of new and existing products.
Existing Product ResearchSatisfaction questionnaires and interviews gather information about existing products and services.
· Industrial satisfaction surveys focus upon products and services utilized by business and manufacturing firms.
· Customer satisfaction surveys provide data for businesses regarding retail customer attitudes toward existing products and services.
Trends in Marketing ResearchThe nature and scope of marketing research are rapidly changing to keep pace with a changing marketplace. In the face of global competition, research that measures product quality and consumer satisfaction is the fastest growing form of marketing research.
Limitations of Marketing ResearchMarketing research information is used to help businesses make sound business decisions, however it is limited by the following factors:
· the company's budget
· quickly changing customer preferences