Custom Search

Popular Posts

Sunday, December 8, 2013



Marketing research is undertaken in order to improve the understanding about a marketing situation or problem and consequently improve the quality of decision-making related to it. The usefulness of the marketing research output will depend upon the way the research has been designed and implemented at each stage of the process. There are five steps in every marketing research process:  



A problem is any situation which requires further investigations. However, not all marketing problems need formal investigation or research. Many problems are of a routine and trivial nature which can be solved immediately after ascertaining all the facts of the case. Your distributor wants 90 days credit against the usual 60 days because he is facing certain financial problems. You can immediately check the distributor's past record in honouring his outstanding and ascertain the genuineness of his problem and make a, decision.  

Some problems faced by marketing managers are such that they can be handled on the basis of past experience and intuition. Such decisions can only be made if the manager has been in the line for at least a couple of years. Decisions made on judgement may not always turn out to be correct, but the problem may not be important enough to justify substantial time, money and effort to be spent on solving it. But when the problem is critical, spending resources to initiate formal marketing research is warranted. Also when the problem is such that the manager has no past experience to guide him (as in case of a new product launch) or the decision will have a critical impact on the future of the company (diversification into new markets, new products) it is worthwhile to undertake research and make decisions on the basis of concrete results rather than mere hunch or judgement.  

It is very important that you define the problem for research properly. It is correctly said that ‘a problem well defined is half-solved’. Clear, precise, to the point statement of the problem itself provides clues for the solution. On the other hand, a vague, general, or inaccurate statement of the problem only confuses the researcher and can lead to wrong problems being researched and useless results generated.

Contrast the two following statements of the same marketing problem.

a)  Wrong Problem Definition :
Product    :  Laptop
Market     : West Zone
Problem   : Sales not picking up at the rate they should. 

b) Right Problem Definition
Product    :  Laptop
Market    : West Zone with special emphasis on Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, Ahmedabad, Boroda
Current market Share  :  17 percent
Market Segment : Non office customers like professionals, lawyers, doctors, accountants, consultants, journalists, Engineers and others.
Current market share in segment : 5.5 percent in non-office segments.
Problem   : In the year 2005-06 our brand of laptop achieved only a 2 percent growth rate as against 8 percent projected.
Marketing research problem :  To find out the reasons in the shortfall in growth rate in the non-office market segment and suggest a specific strategy to achieve a 15 percent market share in this segment by December 2008. Sales not picking up at the rate they should. 

Since problem definition is the first stage, useful information generated is likely to be unstructured, qualitative, tentative and exploratory. Depending on the results generated at this stage you would decide whether to extend the scope of research or stop it here.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin