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The market research process is all about understanding and exploring the subjective views of consumers about a specific product or service. The market research also highlights the objective facts that signify the category. By conducting detailed market research, brands can assess their value, market share, and competitor activities. This process involves several steps that help businesses make informed decisions like launching new products, creating advertising or pricing strategies.

Marketing Research Process – The Steps

Marketing students struggle to know the right steps to create a marketing research plan. This is why they look to get help with their marketing dissertation. However, with the right guidance, you can easily write one. Follow these six steps to conduct an effective marketing research process 

1. Identifying the Business Objective

To understand your business area, you must first understand the business objective. Depending on the project, the business objective can be wide and narrow. Irrespective of the project you are undertaking, ask yourself what you want to know after the completion of the project. Once you are clear about this, you can easily identify your objectives.

Identifying an objective is also important to know about –

  • Consumer opinions
  • Collect consumer information
  • Understanding how respondents react to changes

Many businesses fail to understand the objectives and eventually get dissolved. So, a sound strategic study is critical for deciding the operational strategies of a business. Identifying the objectives correctly helps brands to create a sound framework. They can use this framework when creating an advertisement on social or print media.

2. Developing Research Strategies

Once you know your research objectives, it is time to decide how you can get these answers. Research design is an integral part of every market research process. This determines how reliable your data collection methods are and how accurate data you can collect. Choosing the right research methods also plays a major role in determining the success of your paper.

There are widely, two means of research methods –

A. Primary

You can create a primary research design yourself or with the help of experts. The aim of the primary research process is to create a customized plan that aligns with your business objectives.

Primary research can be subdivided into qualitative and quantitative research methods. Qualitative research methods can be quite exploratory. Here, you need to select a small sample of people and deduce opinions from the same. On the other hand, quantitative research methodologies include questionnaire-based surveys. So, here you need to gather the opinions of a large population.

B. Secondary

On the other hand, secondary research means using old data for business purposes. Usually, these data are sold by specific agencies and are not targeted to specific problems.

3. Gather Information and Data

Once you have your objectives and research plan, the next step is conducting a detailed study through data collection. Most of the research now prefers qualitative research since it can easily be conducted online. Companies mostly try to get quantitative data through their list of contacts, social media pages, or website traffic.

In qualitative research, data collection is conducted through focus groups. Researchers also use ethnographic research, in-depth interviews, and video surveys.

4. Analyze data and information

Once you have gathered enough data, you need to analyze it. Although analyzing huge amounts of data could have posed a challenge earlier, it can be done within minutes nowadays. There are several machine-learning software and AI-based analytical tools.

With these tools, you can decide your research design phase and understand which data is most relevant for your study. Here are some of the most popular qualitative analysis techniques that you can explore –

  • Market Segmentation

This method helps you to separate and define various groups of consumers in the market.

  • Conjoint Analysis

This method helps to compare the appeal of different products and services. It also helps to understand how various elements of these concepts can affect the overall appeal.

  • A/B Tests

This is used to compare the reactions of the customers to new products. It is also used to communicate and advertise products among the same group of participants.

  • TURF Analysis

This is used to understand the optimal portfolio of products and penetrate a wide customer base.

  • Price Sensitivity

This model explores how price changes can impact the intended product or service.

  • Qualitative Research

This method uses transcripts to analyze trends. It can either use AI or manually use these methods to analyze sentiments, words, and respondent emotions.

5. Present Findings

Now it is the time to present these data to your internal audience. The key here is to make the research understandable to others through your findings. This analysis can be complex. However, your final presentation should not be the case. They should point to the specific actions that need to be taken because of the research.

Visual representations are an excellent way to narrate a story by illustrating your findings. You can use charts, graphs, photos, or videos to show your findings. Here are a few key elements that every good presentation should have –

  • A context about the business problem.
  • Any disconnect present in the data set may push you to investigate further.
  • Resolution with logical explanations using the researched data in meaningful ways.

Always keep the data presentation simple and clear all the time. This should act as a dashboard to find all the data a company needs to make perfect business decisions.

6.      Act on the Findings

You have conducted your research for a specific reason – improving the business. So, now you must act on the data you have unearthed. It can be setting up a social media framework or redesigning the advertisement modes. It can be changing the suppliers and vendors or reshuffling the seller network.

Acting on the findings can also be implementing long-term strategies, taking actions to promote customer loyalty, or monitoring overall consumer satisfaction. Using the researched data, companies can develop a range of products that meets the needs of all their customers. Acting on the findings also means that you should be prepared to revisit these data during the new product launch phase or any other time.

To end with,

Marketing research processes can often become iterative. That means as the market evolves, new information will always become available. So, marketing research should be a continuous process. As a business owner, you may have to revisit the data multiple times and conduct fresh research whenever needed. Only through regular marketing research processes the marketing strategies can remain effective all the time. 

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