Is marketing research scientific or not?
Marketing research is not a pure science like physics and chemistry. It is a social science. It uses scientific methods for solving marketing problems. It uses an observational and experimental method for collecting data. These methods are very scientific. MR is very practical and systematic. It doesn't use trial or error method or guess work.
We can find out whether marketing research is scientific or not by answering following important questions:
- Qualification of researchers involved.
- Is the process ending or never-ending?
- Is it using the available knowledge?
- Whether it is open to self-correction or not?
- Is it based on systematic approach or not?
- Whether decisions taken are accurate or not?
- Whether the objective of the study is less or more?
Based on above points let's briefly explain whether MR is scientific or not?
- Qualification of researchers :
- Scientific method is conducted by highly qualified, trained and experienced people.
- Marketing research is also conducted by highly qualified, trained arid experienced people.
- Continuous process :
- Scientific method is a continuous and never-ending process.
- Marketing research is also a continuous process.
- Use of available knowledge :
- Scientific method uses the available knowledge to discover new knowledge.
- Marketing research also uses the available knowledge to solve problems.
- Self-correction :
- Scientific method encourages doubts, criticism, and it is open to correction.
- Marketing research also encourages doubts, criticism, and it is open to correction.
- Based on systematic approach :
- Scientific method has a well-defined procedure. It is conducted step-by-step.
- Marketing research also has a well-defined procedure. It is conducted step-by-step.
- Quality of decisions :
- The decisions based on the scientific method are very accurate.
- The decisions based on Marketing research are less accurate compared to decisions based on the scientific method.
- Objective study :
- Scientific method is very objective.
- Marketing research is also objective. However, it is less-objective compared to a scientific method.
Some difficulties in applying scientific methods to marketing research:
- Science draws accurate conclusions. Marketing research cannot draw accurate-conclusions. This is because MR studies human behavior. The behavior of humans is unpredictable. It goes on changing.
- Science makes accurate measurements. Marketing research cannot make such accurate-measurements. This is because MR studies human behavior. It is very difficult to measure behavior of human. There is no devise to measure behavior of human accurately.
- Science conducts experiments in the laboratory under controlled conditions. This is impossible in case of marketing research because human behavior cannot be studied inside a laboratory.
- Science studies each factor independently. However, this is impossible in case of marketing research because human behavior cannot be studied separately. The behavior of human is influenced by many factors such as his interest, values, attitudes, etc. All of these factors have to be studied together and not alone.
- Science gives accurate results. It gives identical results at different times and places. For e.g., the law of gravity is the same at various times and places. However, this is impossible in case of marketing research. This is because human beings give distinct responses at varied times. A person may give different answers for the same question at different-times.
- In science, the researchers are not biased. However, in marketing research, the researchers may be biased. That is, they may manipulate (change) the data in order to get a favorite result.
Based on the above discussion, we can conclude that:
- Marketing research is very systematic.
- It uses a scientific method.
- It is not a pure science like physics and chemistry.
- It is a social science.