Various stages involved in Marketing Research
A marketing research has 7 important stages like Problem identification, Collection of data, Decision on Sample, Scrutinizing the Data, Classification and Tabulation, Analysis and Preparation of Research Report. The 7 stages of marketing research are briefly explained below.
1. Problem Identification
The first step in the process of a research study in marketing is to identify correctly the particular problem for which a solution is necessary. A downward trend in sales, for example, may be considered as the focal point of the study. But what is important here is that decline in sales, as such, is not the problem. It is only a symptom.
The actual problem may be any of the following:
- Inherent product defect
- High price
- Better substitutes
- Weakness in distribution
- Faulty packing and so on.
2. Collection of Data
It is now important to collect the necessary information pertaining to the problem under consideration. The data required for a study may fall under two categories, namely, Primary data and Secondary data.
Primary data is collected by the researcher himself by means of a questionnaire or schedule. It is original in nature. Secondary data, on the other hand, is obtained from books, magazines, business journals, etc.
For the problem mentioned earlier, i.e., decline in sales, it is only primary data that is required.
3. Decision on Sample
The primary data will be obtained from the buyers by the researcher by means of a questionnaire. But it is not possible to contact all the buyers in the market. In other words, a census study is not possible. What is possible is only a sample study. The nature of the sample, i.e., random or non-random, and the size of the sample, i.e., 100, 500 or 1000, as the case may be need to be decided at this stage.
4. Scrutinizing the data
Once the respondents have filled up the questionnaire and handed over the same back to the researcher, the next step is to scrutinize the data. The researcher must ensure that all the questions have been answered. It is also important that the respondent is consistent in his answers, i.e., he must not have contradicted his own answers in different places. The researcher will then award scores for the responses.
5. Classification and Tabulation
The next step is to classify the respondents based on age, sex, income level, employment and so on. The respondents also need to be classified according to their scores. Statistical tables can then be prepared to facilitate quantitative analysis of the problem.
Analysis of the problem can be done using a suitable statistical or mathematical tool. Chi-square analysis, for example, can be useful.
7. Preparation of the Research Report
Once analysis of the problem has been done, the next step is to prepare the research report. The researcher can give his conclusions at the end of the report together with his suggestions and recommendations.