Marketing research is touted as the key to better decision-making, the mark of sophisticated professional marketers. The popular belief is that the more money spent for marketing research, the less chance for a bad decision (Hartley, 2004)." Discuss.
Business managers and management professionals worldwide today understand and appreciate the significance of strategic marketing decision-making towards ensuring profitability and success…
There is a growing consensus among management professionals on the role and significance of research in marketing decision-making. While there is a popular belief that more money spent on marketing research may reduce the chance of a bad decision, business owners and marketers are often esoteric, [Chiba, 2005] and even critical of marketing research, considered costly in terms of money and time and lacking accountability and precision, being only a recommended action. [Chee and Harris, 1998; p. 193] The paper attempts to understand and establish the significance of marketing research in decision-making and for business success. As a prelude to the topic, it may be imperative to define and understand the scope of marketing research.
"the systematic collection and objective recording, classification, analysis and presentation of data concerning the behaviour, needs, attitudes, opinions, motivations etc., of individuals and organizations (commercial enterprises, public bodies etc.) within the context of their economic, social, political and everyday activities" [Cited Cannon, 1996; p.100]
According to Bennett's Dictionary of Marketing Terms, marketing research provides information for identifying and defining marketing opportunities and problems; generating, refining and evaluating marketing actions, monitor marketing performance and improve understanding of marketing as a process. It also designs the method for collecting information; manages and implements the data collection process, analyses the results; and communicates the findings and their implications. [Bennett, 1998; p. 117-18]
It is significant to note that the definitions, while placing an emphasis on the measurement and analysis of markets, goes beyond the confines of market research to solve a particular company's marketing problem, encompassing the broad field of marketing. [Cannon, 1996; p.100] Accordingly marketing research essentially encompasses the '4 Ps' of marketing; Lancaster and Massingham present the major types of research, as including:
1. Marketing and sales research, which encompasses
Determination of market size of both developed and new markets
Identification of market characteristics and segments
Identification of market trends
Obtaining information on customers and potential customers
Obtaining information on competitors
2. Product research, which covers
Generation of new product ideas
Product concept testing
Test marketing of products
Packaging research focusing on different types of packaging
3. Pricing research focusing on
Identifying the relationship between a product or service's price and demand
4. Marketing Communications research covering
Effectiveness of advertisement campaigns and marketing communications
Media selection research
Sales territory planning
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