What is Marketing Research? Meaning
Marketing Research has two words, viz., marketing and research.
- Marketing means buying and selling activities.
- Research means a systematic and complete study of a problem. It is done by experts. It uses scientific methods.
Thus, we can say, Marketing Research is a systematic method of collecting, recording and analyzing of data, which is used to solve marketing problems.
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A company faces many marketing problems. It faces problems about consumers, product, market competition, sales promotion, etc. Marketing research helps to solve these problems.
Marketing research is a systematic process. It first collects data (information) about the marketing problem. Secondly, it records this data. Then it analysis (studies) this data and draws conclusions about it. After that, it gives suggestions (advice) for solving the marketing-problem.
So, marketing research helps to solve the marketing problems quickly, correctly and systematically.
Marketing research collects full information about consumers. It finds out the needs and expectations of the consumers. So the company produces the goods according to the needs and expectations of the consumers.
Marketing research helps the company to make its production and marketing policies. It helps the company to introduce new products in the market. It helps to identify new-markets.
Marketing research also collects full information about the competitors. The company uses this information to fight competition. It also helps the marketing manager to take decisions.
Marketing research is a special branch and soul of 'Marketing Management'. It is of recent origin and widely used by manufacturers, exporters, distributors and service organisations.
Marketing research is very systematic, scientific, objective and organised. It has a wide scope. It includes product research, consumer research, packaging research, pricing research, etc.
Marketing research is a continuous process. It has a few limitations. However, a company cannot survive and succeed without it.
Definition of Marketing Research
There are many definitions of marketing research. Some important ones are:
1. According to American Marketing Association (AMA),
Marketing Research is the systematic gathering, recording and analysing of data about problems relating to the marketing of goods and services.
2. According to Philip Kotler,
Marketing research is a systematic problem analysis, model building and fact finding for the purpose of improved decision-making and control in the marketing of goods and services.
3. According to Paul Green and Donald Tull,
Marketing research is the systematic and objective search for, and analysis of, information relevant to the identification and solution of any problem in the field of marketing.
4. According to David Luck, Donald Taylor and Hugh Wales,
Marketing Research is the application of scientific methods in the solution of marketing problems.
Read following articles to know more on the concept of marketing research:
- Objectives of marketing research.
- Functions of marketing research.
- Need for marketing research.
- Importance of marketing research.
- Limitations of marketing research.
- Distinguish between MIS and marketing research.
Features of Marketing Research
The salient characteristics or features of marketing research are as follows:
- Wide and comprehensive scope - Marketing research has a very wide scope. It includes product research, packaging research, pricing research, market research, sales research, etc. It is used to solve marketing problems and to take marketing decisions. It is used to make marketing policies. It is also used to introduce new products in the market and to identify new markets. Marketing research is used to select channels of distribution, in advertising strategy, for sales promotion measures, etc.
- Systematic and scientific - Marketing research is conducted in a step-by-step manner. It is conducted in an orderly fashion. Therefore, it is systematic. Marketing research uses scientific methods. Thus, it is also scientific.
- Science and art : A Science collects knowledge (data) while an Art uses this knowledge for solving problems. Marketing research first collects data. It then uses this data for solving marketing problems. Therefore, it is both, a Science and an Art.
- Collects and analyzes data - Marketing research gathers data accurately and objectively. It first collects reliable data and then analyses it systematically and critically.
- Continuous and dynamic process - The company faces marketing problems throughout the year. So, Marketing research is conducted continuously. It continuously collects up-to-date data for solving the marketing problems. Large companies have their own marketing research departments. They conduct Marketing research continuously throughout the year. Therefore, Marketing research is a continuous process. It is a dynamic process because it goes on changing. It does not remain static (the same). It uses new methods and techniques for collecting, recording and analyzing the data.
- Tool for decision-making - The marketing manager has to take many decisions. For this, he requires a lot of data. Marketing research provides correct and up-to-date data to the marketing manager. This helps him to take quick and correct decisions. Therefore, Marketing research is an important tool for decision-making.
- Benefits company and consumers - Marketing research is useful to the company in many ways. It increases the sales and profits of the company. It helps the company to fight competition and boost its goodwill in the market. It reduces the marketing risks. In short, Marketing research brings success to the company. It also brings the company closer to the consumers. It gives convenience and satisfaction to the consumers.
- Similar to military intelligence - Marketing research is a commercial intelligence-gathering activity. It works similar to military intelligence. Marketing intelligence first makes a systematic study and only then takes a business action. Marketing research collects reliable data about the consumers, the competitors, the market, etc. This data is then organised and used for planning, decision-making and problem solving. This data is also further used for introducing new products and services in the market.
- Applied research - Applied research is used for solving problems. Marketing research is used for solving marketing problems. Therefore, we can say that, Marketing research is also an applied research. It has a practical value because it is used for solving present and future problems.
- Connected with MIS - Marketing research is a component of Marketing Information System (MIS). Marketing research and MIS are interrelated. Both are used to solve marketing problems and to take marketing decisions.
- Reduces gap between producers and consumers - Marketing research informs producers about the needs and wants of the consumers. The producers produce goods according to the needs and demands of the consumers. This brings satisfaction to the consumers and in return producers make good profits. So, Marketing research reduces the gap between the producers and the consumers.
- Uses different methods - Marketing research uses three methods for collecting data, viz., Survey Method, Experiment Method and Observation Method. All three methods are scientific. The researcher has to use a suitable method for collecting a reliable data.
- Has few limitations - Marketing research has few limitations too. It is not an exact science. So, it does not give accurate results. It provides suggestions and not solutions. It is also a costly and time-consuming process.
- Accurate data collection and critical analysis - Marketing research gives much importance to accurate data collection and its critical analysis. Thus, in a Marketing research, the data must be first collected accurately. That is, collected data or gathered information must be accurate, reliable and relevant. Later, this information must be systematically and critically examined before making any decisions.