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The basis on which market research is commissioned

Market research gathers and analyses consumer, market, and competitor data to identify business opportunities and inform marketing strategies. It is a crucial aspect of business planning and decision-making. It helps organisations understand their target audience, assess the market demand for their products or services, and understand the competitive landscape. Market research is typically commissioned by businesses, organisations, or governments who want to gather information and insights to inform their decision-making processes. Various methods and techniques are used in market research, including surveys, focus groups, interviews, and online research. Understanding the basis on which market research is commissioned is essential for businesses and organisations looking to make informed decisions about their products, services, and marketing strategies.

How to identify the need for market research

There are several ways to identify the need for market research and gather evidence to support it:

  1. Assessing the business or organisation’s goals and objectives: Market research can help organisations to understand their target audience and identify growth opportunities. By considering the business or organisation’s goals and objectives, it is possible to determine whether market research is needed to gather the necessary data and insights.
  2. Identifying gaps in knowledge: If an organisation lacks certain information about its target market or the competitive landscape, market research may be needed to fill these gaps.
  3. Responding to changes in the market: Market conditions are constantly evolving, and businesses need to stay up-to-date on trends and changes to remain competitive. Suppose there are significant changes in the market, such as a new competitor entering the market or a shift in consumer preferences. In that case, market research may be needed to assess the impact on the business.
  4. Seeking customer feedback: Customers are a valuable source of information and can provide valuable insights into their needs and preferences. Conducting customer surveys or focus groups can help organisations identify areas for improvement and gather evidence to support market research.
  5. Analysing industry data and reports: Many sources of industry data and reports can provide valuable insights into market trends and consumer behaviour. These sources include trade associations, government agencies, and market research firms.

By considering these factors, businesses and organisations can identify the need for market research and gather evidence to support it. This information can then be used to inform marketing strategies and business decisions.

The basis for scoping the research

Scoping the research refers to defining a market research project’s scope or boundaries. This involves identifying the research questions that need to be answered, the target audience, and the data that needs to be collected. Identifying linkages, interdependencies, and the potential impact of one element on others is a crucial part of scoping the research.

Several factors should be considered when scoping the research:

  1. Research objectives: It is important to clearly define the research objectives and determine what information is needed to achieve them.
  2. Target audience: Identifying the target audience for the research will help to determine the type of data that needs to be collected and the methods that should be used to gather it.
  3. Data sources: Identifying the data sources that will be used in the research is important for ensuring the validity and reliability of the results.
  4. Linkages and interdependencies: It is important to consider the relationships between different elements of the research and how they may affect one another. For example, consumer attitudes towards a product may influence their perception of the company’s brand.
  5. Possible impact: It is essential to consider the potential impact of the research on the business or organisation, as well as any ethical or legal considerations.

By considering these factors, businesses and organisations can effectively scope the research and identify linkages, interdependencies, and the potential impact of one element on others. This helps to ensure that the research is focused and relevant and that the results will be useful and actionable.

Marketing mix

The marketing mix is a concept that refers to the four key elements of marketing: product, price, place, and promotion. Research can be conducted on any element of the marketing mix to gather data and insights that inform marketing strategies and business decisions.

For example, research can be conducted on the impact of product development on pricing opportunities. This might involve gathering data on consumer demand for new products, the cost of developing and producing these products, and the potential pricing strategies that could be used. This type of research can help businesses and organisations to understand the market demand for new products, assess the feasibility of different pricing strategies, and make informed decisions about product development and pricing.

Other examples of research on the marketing mix might include studying the impact of different pricing strategies on consumer demand, analysing the effectiveness of different promotion techniques, or assessing the impact of distribution channels on product sales. By researching different marketing mix elements, businesses and organisations can gather valuable data and insights that inform their marketing and business decisions.

How to set research parameters, aims and evaluation criteria

Setting research parameters, aims, and evaluation criteria is an important step in market research. It helps to ensure that the research is focused, relevant, and actionable and that the results can be effectively evaluated.

To set research parameters:

  1. Define the scope of the research: This includes identifying the research questions, target audience, and data sources.
  2. Determine the research methods: Choose the methods that will be used to gather data, such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, or online research.
  3. Set a timeline: Determine the timeframe for conducting the research and collecting the data.

To set research aims:

  1. Identify the research objectives: Clearly define the goals of the research and what information is needed to achieve these objectives.
  2. Determine the research questions: Identify the specific questions the research will aim to answer.

To set evaluation criteria:

  1. Identify the key metrics: Determine the key metrics used to evaluate the research, such as response rate, completion rate, or conversion rate.
  2. Establish thresholds: Set thresholds or benchmarks for the key metrics, such as a minimum response rate or conversion rate.

By setting research parameters, aims, and evaluation criteria, businesses and organisations can ensure that the research is focused and relevant and that the results can be effectively evaluated and used to inform marketing and business decisions.

The importance of involving stakeholders in the definition of research to be carried out

Involving stakeholders in the definition of research to be carried out is important for several reasons:

  1. It helps to ensure that the research is relevant and valuable: By involving stakeholders in the research process, businesses and organisations can gather input and feedback on the research questions and objectives, which can help to ensure that the research is relevant and valuable to the stakeholders.
  2. It helps to build buy-in and support: Involving stakeholders in the research process can help to build buy-in and support for the research and its results. This is especially important if the research will be used to inform decisions that will affect the stakeholders.
  3. It helps to identify potential biases and blind spots: Stakeholders can provide valuable insights and perspectives that the research team may not have considered. This can help to identify potential biases or blind spots in the research design and ensure that the research is more comprehensive and accurate.
  4. It helps to ensure the ethical conduct of the research: Involving stakeholders in the research process can help to ensure that the research is conducted ethically and in a way that respects the rights and interests of all parties involved.

Involving stakeholders in the definition of research to be carried out is an important step in the market research process that can help to ensure that the research is relevant, valuable, and ethical.

Internal stakeholders

Many internal stakeholders can be involved in the definition of research to be carried out. Some examples of internal stakeholders who may be involved in the research process include:

  1. Sales department: The sales department may have valuable insights into customer needs, preferences, and buying behaviours, which can be useful for informing the research questions and objectives.
  2. Customer service: The customer service team may have firsthand experience interacting with customers and may be able to provide valuable insights into customer needs and preferences.
  3. Research and development (R&D): R&D teams may have expertise in product development and may be able to provide valuable insights into market demand for new products or services.
  4. Finance: The finance team may have expertise in pricing and profitability and may be able to provide valuable insights into the financial implications of different research questions or objectives.

By involving these and other internal stakeholders in the research process, businesses and organisations can gather diverse insights and perspectives that can inform the research questions and objectives and ensure that the research is relevant and valuable.

How to evaluate different options for conducting the research

Several factors should be considered when evaluating different options for conducting market research:

  1. Research objectives: The research objectives should be the primary consideration when evaluating different research options. The chosen research method should be able to gather the data and insights needed to achieve the research objectives.
  2. Target audience: The target audience for the research should be considered when evaluating different research options. For example, if the target audience is difficult to reach or has specific characteristics (such as being located in a remote area), certain research methods may be more appropriate.
  3. Data sources: The availability and quality of data sources should be considered when evaluating different research options. Some research methods may rely on data sources that are not available or may not provide the level of detail or accuracy needed.
  4. Cost: The research cost should be considered when evaluating different options. This may include the research’s cost and any necessary resources or personnel.
  5. Timeframe: The research timeframe should be considered when evaluating different options. Some research methods may be faster or slower than others, and the chosen method should be able to fit within the available timeframe.

By considering these factors, businesses and organisations can evaluate different research options and choose the most appropriate method for their needs and resources.

The best mix of methods

The best mix of research methods will depend on the specific constraints and objectives of the research project. Some factors to consider when determining the best mix of research methods include the following:

  1. Validity and reliability: It is important to consider the validity and reliability of the research methods when choosing the best mix. Some methods, such as surveys or focus groups, maybe more reliable and valid than others, such as online polls or social media comments.
  2. Time and human resources: The amount of time and human resources available for conducting the research should be considered when determining the best mix of research methods. Some methods, such as online surveys or focus groups, may be quicker and require fewer resources than others, such as in-person interviews or case studies.
  3. Financial resources: The financial resources available for conducting the research should also be considered when determining the best mix of research methods. Some methods, such as online surveys or focus groups, may be more cost-effective than others, such as in-person interviews or case studies.

Ultimately, the best mix of research methods will depend on the specific constraints and objectives of the research project, as well as the target audience and data sources. By considering these factors, businesses and organisations can choose the research methods that are most appropriate for their needs and resources.

Choice of sample

It is important to consider whether the sample is appropriate for the research project, including whether it is representative and of an appropriate size.

  • Representativeness: The sample should be representative of the target population to ensure the validity and reliability of the research results. This means that the characteristics of the sample should be similar to those of the target population. For example, if the target population is all consumers in a particular market, the sample should include a representative mix of consumers from that market.
  • Size: The sample size should be appropriate for the research objectives and the target population. A larger sample size may be needed for more accurate results, especially if the target population is large or diverse. However, larger sample sizes may also be more expensive and time-consuming to gather.

By considering whether the sample is appropriate in representativeness and size, businesses and organisations can ensure that the research results will be valid and reliable and can be accurately applied to the target population.

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