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Marketing Research

Marketing research, sometimes narrowed to consumer research, is a form of business research and very intensively incorporates ICT, survey methodology and statistics. It is a form of applied sociology which concentrates on understanding the behaviors, whims and preferences, of consumers in a market-based economy. The field of marketing research as a statistical science was pioneered by Arthur Nielsen with the founding of the AC Nielsen Company in 1923. The information acquired through marketing research provides direction for:

  • identifying and defining marketing opportunities and problems;
  • generating, refining, and evaluating marketing actions;
  • monitoring marketing performance and
  • improving the understanding of marketing as a process.

Researchers often use more than one research design. They may start with secondary research to get background information, then conduct a focus group (qualitative research design) to explore the issues. Finally they might do a full nation-wide survey (quantitative research design) in order to devise specific recommendations for the client. Once the need for marketing research has been established, most marketing research projects involve these steps:

  1. Define the problem;
  2. Determine research design;
  3. Identify data types and sources;
  4. Design data collection forms;
  5. Determine sample plan and size;
  6. Collect the data;
  7. Analyze and interpret the data;
  8. Prepare the research report.