The Marketing Research Process:
It consists of
The first step is to define the problem. In defining the problem, the researcher should takeinto account the purpose of the study, the relevant background information, theinformation needed, and how it will be used in decision making. Problem definitioninvolves discussion with the decision makers, interviews with industry experts, analysisof secondary data, and, perhaps, some qualitative research, such as focus groups. Oncethe problem has been precisely defined, the research can be designed and conducted properly.2.
Development of an Approach to the Problem
Development of an approach to the problem includes formulating an objective or theoretical framework, analytical models, research questions, and hypotheses andidentifying the information needed. This process is guided by discussions withmanagement and industry experts, analysis of secondary data, qualitative research, and pragmatic considerations.3.
Research Design Formulation
A research design is a framework or blueprint for conducting the marketing research project. It details the procedure necessary for obtaining the required information, and its purpose is to design a study that will test the hypotheses of interest, determine possibleanswers to the research questions, and provide the information needed for decisionmaking. Considering exploratory research, precisely defining the variables, and designingappropriate scales to measure them are also part of the research design. The issue of howthe data should be obtained from the respondents (for example, by conducting a survey or an experiment) must be addressed. It is also necessary to design a questionnaire and asampling plan to select respondents for the study. More formally, formulating theresearch design involves the following steps:
Definition of the information needed
Secondary data analysis
Methods of collecting quantitative data (survey, observation and experimentation)
Measurement and scaling procedures
Sampling process and sample size
Plan of data analysis4.
Fieldwork or Data Collection
Data collection involves a field force or staff that operates either in the field, as in thecase of personal interviewing (in-home, mall intercept, or computer assisted personalinterviewing), from an office by telephone (telephone or computer-assisted telephoneinterviewing), through mail (traditional mail and mail panel surveys with pre-recruitedhouseholds), or electronically (e-mail or internet). Proper selection, training, supervisionand evaluation of the field force help minimize data-collection errors.2