We talked a lot about marketing research. This is a rather extensive topic that cannot be covered by a couple of articles.
The purpose of such a study is to reduce the degree of uncertainty in making marketing decisions and to ensure continuous monitoring of their implementation. In the course of research, the following groups of problems are solved:
- Assessment of the state and trends of market development;
- Research of consumer behavior, analysis of the activities of competitors, suppliers and intermediaries of a firm;
- Examination of marketing activities of a firm, including product range management, pricing and elaboration of a price change strategy, organization of sales channels and use of incentives for implementation.
The necessary studies can be standard, designed for different firms, and special, conducted for individual orders.
Depending on the form of financing, multi-client and multi-sponsored (omnibus) surveys are singled out. The first are funded by a group of different companies interested in solving the same analytical task. The cost of the results of such studies for one client is reduced, as the corresponding costs are distributed among several customers. The latter are held for clients who are interested in different problems, but their solution can be combined into one comprehensive study. As a result, customers finance separate stages of a comprehensive (omnibus) study.
By the degree of periodicity, there are constant and one-time studies.
If it is necessary to explain the observed phenomena, qualitative studies are carried out. Obtaining and analyzing reliable factual data, as well as checking the accuracy of hypotheses put forward in the process of qualitative analysis, is the goal of a quantitative study. Depending on the nature of information used, market research can be desk-based, based on published data, and field that uses specially collected primary data.
A special place in the system of research is occupied by panel study conducted on the basis of periodic surveys of a specially selected group of individuals and (or) organizations.
When organizing a study, there are the following rules:
- Examination should correspond to the set goal and be carried out for its realization;
- Information used must reflect the entire body of processes, trends and phenomena, and not only contain published data, but also information collected through surveys, observations and experiments;
- Analysis not only evaluates the market being developed, but also one of direct competitors and end customers;
- The constant need to improve products and other analogous actions of competitors are always taken into account;
- The market needs to be researched constantly for timely adaptation to its requirements;
- In the course of analysis, it is important to take into account the level of reliability, the possibility of deliberate disinformation.
This is not a final list, but we show the most important ones here:
- Formulation of the problem and objectives;
- Determining the need for data and organizing its collection;
- Preparation of the analytical report.
Formulation of the problem requires clarification of the organization's main priorities. To do this, it is necessary to answer a number of questions that help identify the main objectives of production and economic activity: what changes have occurred in the market situation? In which direction should a firm develop? How to make a transition to a new state?
A precise statement of objectives of the study is required for the task of preparing analysis. It includes:
- General characteristics of a firm and its activities on the market (when conducting research by an external marketing firm);
- Information on the degree of market research;
- Description of the specifics of the problem posed and its relationship to objectives of a firm;
- Specific aspects of activities that need to be studied;
- Requirements for the accuracy and reliability of source data;
- Terms and costs of the study.
For elaboration of the task, it is of fundamental importance to take into account limitations that will allow to avoid incorrect comparisons and increase the specific orientation of analytical work:
- For the comparability of objects of analysis, the competitors' products being researched must belong to the same classification group;
- To specify the analysis tasks, geographic boundary of the analyzed market should be determined taking into account the specifics of the use of goods, the reasonable alternative of supply, the cost of transportation to the place of use, the frequency of purchases. Geographical boundaries of the market expand with increasing degree of uniqueness of goods and their complexity. At the same time, they narrow down with weak and expensive communication, a short period of operation and a high degree of unification of goods;
- To take into account the possible seasonality of sales, the time interval for analysis should include the full cycle of product sales (measured, for example, by the financial year).
The methodological basis for analysis is the bank of methods and models, which makes it possible to most fully reveal the relationships of the phenomena studied and based on:
- General scientific methods of system analysis and integrated approach;
- Analytical-prognostic methods of linear programming, queuing and communication theory, probability theory, network planning, economic-mathematical and expert methods;
- Methodical techniques, borrowed from sociology, psychology, anthropology, ecology, aesthetics, design;
- Models of statistical data processing and related applications;
- Marketing methods of research.
The most frequently used methods of the latter group include measurement of capacity, assessment of market shares of organizations, measurement of the intensity of competition, segmentation of the market.
The results and conclusions of a study are formalized in the form of an analytical report that includes the following information:
- The name of a group (agency, firm) conducting the study, and a client for whom the study was performed;
- The essence of the problem and objectives, formed in the task of conducting analysis;
- The main results of the study presented in the form of reasoned conclusions and recommendations for solving the problem;
- Groups of analyzed physical and (or) legal entities, the criteria for their separation, methods of sampling and its type, reliability of information received;
- Technology of conducting observations, experiments and surveys;
- The period of time during which the study was conducted;
- Geographical boundaries of the analyzed market;
- Calculations and applications.
A report can also include data needed to illustrate the findings. For example, in analysis of multi-commodity markets, conclusions can be systematized by product segments. Indicators of the dynamics of supply and demand are considered for new fast-growing markets. In the conditions of the formation of new business, it is advisable to include in a report results of analysis of marketing methods used in similar commodity markets abroad, etc. In addition, a report should contain all necessary information for developing a marketing mix aimed at solving the problem posed.
Modern marketing is a management philosophy, a methodology of market activity, on the basis of which production is built and sales of products are carried out.
This modern concept is based on human needs that are specific to different cultures and people. They can be met through various products, services and ideas. To do this better than competitors, rely on requirements and capabilities of consumers, knowledge of the market obtained through integrated research – this is the main idea of marketing.