When we talk about “market research”, we basically refer to the gathering and analysis of information about the movement of products and services from the producer to the consumer. Before beginning with the research, we must have a clear-cut plan (regarding the approach and the process of market research) sketched out before us. The steps of planning a market research are as follows:-
1) Identifying the Objective
The purpose of the research should be clearly identified. The surer the researchers are about the objective, the better will the research contribute value to the company. The decision problem should be clearly underlined so that the research is directed to find the solutions to the problem.
2) Identifying the group of people to be surveyed
The target market should be identified. The group of people who can actually aid the collection of the required type of information for the research forms this target group/market.
3) Deciding the key questions to be asked
In order to solve a problem, there are always some parameters that must be known. The questions for the survey should be framed in such a manner so that their answers will provide the required parameters.
4) Choosing a particular technique of research, so that the research cost stays minimum
The technique of the research should be chosen in such a way so that the cost of the research stays both minimum and feasible in the given circumstances.
5) Preparing a plan of the way to gather information
The information or data required for the research has to be collected in such a way so that it saves time, resource and energy. Hence, a suitable plan about the technique of survey should be chalked out.
6) Presenting the plan to the Marketing Management and getting it approved
The plan must be submitted to the marketing management for approval, so that all the investment behind the project doesn’t go to waste just because it was not done in the “proper” ways.
7) Carrying out the survey
After the plan is approved, the survey should be carried out just according to the plan. This process usually takes a lot of time.
8) Arranging the collected data to facilitate understanding
There are several softwares (eg. MS-Excel) available at hand that help in grouping and arranging the data in such a way that it may reveal some trend. Organizing the data well is the first step to making a correct interpretation.
9) Analyzing the data
The grouped data is then analyzed using several statistical tools like graphs, central tendency measurements, hypothesis testing, box-plots etc. The various trends of the data are observed and recorded.
10) Drawing the inferences
The conclusions are drawn after studying the analysis in great detail. These inferences form the answer to our problem and provide further directions to the company.
11) Developing the product
Based on the results of the research, the product or service is developed addressing all the demands of the consumers.
12) Testing the product
Finally, the product or service is tested on a sample group of consumers to verify if the conclusions drawn were true.