Marketing research is the systematic process of recording, and interpreting information relating to the marketing of goods and services. The essence of marketing research is to present accurate information that can aid marketing decisions in companies / organisations.
Activities in marketing research include:
• Understanding product consumption pattern among consumers
• Understanding consumers purchasing behaviour
• Understanding product distribution channels
• Understanding of market trends
Process in Marketing Research
The following steps are taken sequentially in marketing research:
• Problem definition
• Research plan/research design
• Sampling design
• Data analysis
• Report presentation
This is the general overview of the research purpose including statement of the research problem and objectives of the study stated in clear and finite terms.
Problem Analysis or Statement of Problem or Situational Analysis
Depending on the problem at hand, any of these could be used to establish the problem. It has to do with defining the problem that is about to be solved or analysis of the situation on ground that needs to be tackled. Example: ABC Vegetable Oil since its inception in 2013 has not shown remarkable presence in Lagos and other major Nigerian cities. Its awareness level / visibility and consumer patronage has been low. In view
of this, it has become necessary to find a lasting solution to this problem.
Research Plan/Research Design:
This entails setting a plan on how the study will be carried out as well as come up with the research design to be used in collecting data. We can formulate hypotheses or come up with some research questions. They help to give proper direction aim at solving the identified problem. Here we have to identify the type of study that can proffer solution to the problem identified. It could be through a survey, in-depth study or focus group etc.
The Data Gathering Method:
Information can be obtained by two methods – primary and secondary data. Secondary data are data which are already in existence that is available for use by the researcher. They are obtained from books, journals, company records, government statistics, CBN, etc. Primary data are obtained by the researcher himself or herself, rather than the work of others. It could be through questionnaire or in-depth study.
The Research Instrument:
These are methods used in gathering research information namely- survey, observation etc. The choice of method is determined by the type of study at hand. Survey method involves interviewing people for the purpose of obtaining information from them through the use of a questionnaire. It has the advantage of getting to the original source of information. Questionnaires are used in a survey where we have structured questions. Interview in
survey may be done by the researchers in person, by telephone, or by mail (postage) or these days, through the internet. There is also the participant observation that allows the researcher to understand the attitude or behaviour of people in a natural setting by being a participant. The participant observer may have the problem of recording observations and responses and some acts may be difficult to observe.
The Sampling Design:
Conducting marketing research requires the sampling unit, (who are to be surveyed), the sampling method, (how are they to be selected), the sampling procedure (how the sampling units are to be reached effectively), and the sampling number (how many to be surveyed).
There are two types of sampling methods – probability and non-probability methods. The probability sampling methods enable the researcher to make accurate and scientific estimates of the population characteristics. Its methods include simple random sampling where every element of the population has equal chance of selection.
Stratified sampling is another; where the population is divided into mutually exclusive groups (e.g. sex, age, income etc.) and random samples are drawn from each group. Others are: cluster (area) sampling where the population is divided into mutually exclusive groups and a sample of the
group to be surveyed will be drawn.
Non probability sampling is based on the selection of the researcher and thus the findings cannot be generalized to the population. It includes convenience sampling; that is sampling that is approachable, judgmental sampling – based on the judgment of the researcher, quota sampling where the researcher finds and interviews a prescribed number of people in each of the several categories.
When data have been collected, the next step is to analyse them so that they can become useful in marketing decisions. A description of information gathered could be through story telling without the use of statistical technique. However, for better analysis, simple tabulation, cross tabulation
and statistical analysis could be used.
Data can be presented in the following ways:
• Descriptive analysis which allows description of the findings in a free flowing manner-frequency, percentages, rating, scores.
• Tabular analysis which is the use of tables to analyse data showing relationship between data in rows and columns.
• Graphical analysis using graphs/charts to give presentation of the findings. Types of graphs mostly used are bar charts, line graphs, pie charts etc.
• Use of symbols or objects: research findings can be presented using symbols/objects to tell stories about the findings.
Simple tabulation allows for each of the questions to be tabulated according to responses. Cross tabulation provides more meaningful information than simple tabulation. It may tabulate several responses, several questions and other characteristics of respondents like sex age, position etc.
The various statistical methods start with simple percentage up to more complex methods like regression analysis, correlation analysis, Chi-square, t-test, z-test, analysis of variance etc. They are used to test hypotheses formulated.
Marketing Report Presentation:
In presenting marketing research report, it is important to:
• start with background details-problem statement, objectives, design/methodology,
• start the summary with most important findings that management is interested in and keep it simple,
• each finding should be treated as a key sub point. Do not say too much to make for quick reading/comprehension,
• always remember to provide conclusions and recommendations (at least five in number),
• make recommendations for further investigation or more detailed study if there is need for such.
Marketing research is the systematic process of recording, and interpreting information relating to the marketing of goods and services. The essence of marketing research is to present accurate information that can aid marketing decision. The essence of marketing research is to process accurate information to aid marketing decision. In presenting marketing report, it is important to begin with a detailed background to a summary of the most important findings with some of the findings treated as a key sub point and finally with conclusion and recommendation.
Mention and briefly discuss five factors that can affect proper execution of marketing research in Nigeria. First prize- ten thousand naira worth of recharge cards. The second and third best answers will get 3,000 naira value of recharge cards each.
Send written answers to firstname.lastname@example.org