Marketing Strategies Essay, Research Paper
PRIMARY AND SECONDARY MARKETING RESEARCH
How Can My Organization Benefit
When conducting market research some questions are not adequately answered by secondary data, the market researcher must collect primary data. The success of a survey hinges most significantly on the willingness of respondents to provide the desired information. In this paper, we shall cover primary and secondary marketing research and how it would benefit my corporation.
PRIMARY MARKET RESEARCH
Why bother with market research? Anyone who’s ever worked through a business plan knows the answer to this one. Trying to start a business without researching your potential market is as sensible as setting out for the North pole with a surfboard. Market research isn’t just something you do when you’re working on your business plan and then shelve. It needs to be an integral, ongoing part of your business’ development.
It’s crucial to analyze your market and target your clientele before you waste your money on advertising that won’t get you the results you want. Market research is also critical before you spend time and money developing a new product or service. There are a number of business people who just seem to do whatever they feel like doing. For many business managers, market research is a concept as abstract as that of peace, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. For some, market research is a fanciful activity that often requires a rich budget. For others, its application or usefulness is unclear.
Since market research can mean different things to different people, it is worthwhile to discuss the basics first. Then, its power and applications can be better understood. The following sections will define market research, give an overview of the different types of research, and conclude with a scenario that puts research to work – using research to identify a business opportunity
Market research enables business to address the three areas that always warrant attention: their customers, their competitors and the business’ industry or market. No matter what the industry, here are three questions that are always relevant:
What are the habits and practices of customers?
What new products and services competitors might be offering?
What are the emerging trends in the marketplace?
Without calling it as such, many business managers carry out market research regularly. For instance, whenever you conduct an analysis of your company’s sales data to spot trends or to track the purchases of key accounts, you are pursuing a research activity. Customer data mining, which is gaining acceptance these days, is one type of research.
Primary and Secondary Research
Depending on the source of information, market research is classified as either primary or secondary. Primary research uses information from original sources; that is, a market researcher collects data that have not been previously collected or published.
Secondary research refers to collecting data from published sources such as information released by government agencies, and reports and publications available in a public library. Looking for information on the World Wide Web is, of course, a form of secondary research.
HOW DO YOU CONDUCT SECONDARY MARKET RESEARCH?
· Conduct secondary market research by first classifying your product. Many trade statistics are compiled based on product classifications. Learn more about classification systems and where your product or service in classifying the product
· With your classification codes in hand, reference statistical trade databases, books, and specialists. These resources will help you identify appropriate countries and markets for your product. Learn how to identify such countries and markets in classifying the markets.
· Next, evaluate these target countries and markets in further detail in evaluating the market targets.
· Finally, wrap up initial research with a narrowed down list of appropriate markets that are realistic and feasible, and visit your trade agent for advice on the next steps. Also, reference the remaining units of TradeExpert for additional information.
It is often primary research that business managers are unfamiliar with and do not know what to make of it.
Types of Primary Research
Given their analytical bent, market researchers classify everything. Primary research has its own classification: qualitative and quantitative. Examples of qualitative research are focus groups and in-depth personal interviews. The most common form of quantitative research is a survey that uses a questionnaire to collect data.
The name qualitative research implies that its findings are not quantifiable. The research process is quite often a discussion in which the researcher poses open-ended questions to participants. Findings are participants’ opinions, comments and impressions that cannot be tabulated to obtain averages or percentages.
Qualitative research defines issues, substantiates perception and identifies behaviour. For instance, results of focus groups involving the users of a consumer product can clarify issues surrounding brand loyalty, and reveal users’ likes and dislikes. Findings of personal interviews with corporate purchasing agents can aid the understanding of the criteria business firms use to select suppliers.
Results of qualitative research tell business mangers how customers think, choose and act. It offers insights into consumer behaviour.
While qualitative research provides valuable information, it does not lend itself to rigorous data analysis that can reveal relationships among marketing variables. Quantitative research does.
Questions on a survey questionnaire elicit answers that are often responses to multiple-choice items or ratings on a scale. Raw data are then fed into a computer for analysis and to generate averages, ranges and percentages.
New Opportunity Research
To illustrate, a grocery chain wants to find out if a new service opportunity exists among its customers, especially among the affluent ones. It conducted a survey to obtain information.
Findings of this survey of grocery shopping habits might suggest that consumers, on average, spend $35 a week on groceries. While the highest weekly spending is $125, the lowest is $15. Data might also suggest that the majority (55%) of consumers shop for grocery items twice a week. One-fifth (20%) shop three times a week, 15% four times weekly, and the rest (10%) five times.
On the face of it, while results like these might be of interest to business managers, they represent very descriptive information insufficient to pinpoint an opportunity. Yet, further data analysis might prove otherwise.
Had the survey included questions on demographics and lifestyle, information on consumers’ household incomes and leisure activities would be available. This additional information would help in further analysis. It would be crucial to find out the household income levels of those who shop frequently. If those who shop four to five times a week are from households of high incomes, this finding represents the first sign of a possible opportunity.
Let’s further assume that the lifestyle questions also reveal that the majority of high-income households have Internet access, and that these well-off consumers spend at least 30 minutes daily on-line. This finding is a second sign of an opportunity. If cross-tabulation of data subsequently shows that a large proportion of consumers in those high-income households with Internet connection tend to shop very frequently, then the final sign of a new opportunity is present. Here is a segment with the behavior, income level, and even the technical connection, ready to be introduced to on-line grocery shopping. (Frantic telephone calls should be made to venture capitalists!)
This example shows the inherent value of quantitative research. It generates data for discovering underlying patterns and emerging trends.
Market research offers information that enhances the quality of business managers’ decision making. Research findings reduce uncertainty and resolve issues. With incisive research, you can enjoy managerial peace of mind, and you are at liberty to pursue corporate happiness business growth.
HOW MY CORPORATION WOULD BENEFIT FROM PRIMARY AND SECONDARY MARKET RESEARCH