The 8 Steps Of Market Research
Market research on a global stage can be a large undertaking, one that can be down inside with a company’s own employees, or out of house, by a reputable company. Whether the business’s choice is in or out or house, there are eight basic steps in market research.
Information requirement is the first step of basic market research. First, a company needs to know if a country or market is worth going into. Basic information will need to be obtained and a need should be found. There needs to be potential in a market for it to even be worth-while for a company to be in an initial investment to even do the marketing research, let alone to sell their product or service.
Once the need and potential is found, a company will then go to the second step of marketing research, problem definition. This should be looked at as a trouble-shooting mission. What can go wrong in this new country or market? A company should look into religious, political, moral and even demographic variables to decide what and if to sell, as well as how to market it. A company may not want to go into a fashion market in Japan for children’s clothes, when they have an ever aging population and pure market saturation. This is a problem, find them, be critical.
Choose unit of analysis is the third step in market research. Where do you want to sell or potentially go with your company. This step can be as big as North America, or as small as Dallas. The main point of this step is to create parameters to make a plan off of.
The fourth step in market research is to examine what date is available for the chosen parameters of the research. There is many pre-made databases of information that can be utilized by a company looking for information, that can save time, energy and of course, money. While secondary research will inevitably be needed, the company can get a snap shot of the desired area with free or low cost information banks.
Assess the value of research. This is the fifth step and another time to step back and evaluate the parameters again. Is it worth it? And if so, how much is the research worth. After the available information is seen and evaluated, new information may change the benefits of the target area, thus a cost-benefit analysis should be done at this time. A company should not spend more money on the market research, than the potential of the area will bring in.
The sixth step of market research is research design. If the company does decide to go further with the research, as there was not enough substantial secondary data for the company’s purposes. The company then must decide how they will go about the collection of information. There is many ways, consumer panels, the use of surveys, sheer data collection or even personal interviews where more detailed information can be gleaned from consumers. The design of the research will of course by influenced largely by what exact information they need and what their product or service is.
The seventh step of market research is data analysis. This is step in which the information will be made into a useable form, so that decisions can be made with the best and latest information. The information will need to be compiled and translated to useable information. This can be charts, pie graphs, numerical jargon and all those lovely spreadsheets.
The eighth and final step of market research is interpretation and presentation. This is where the researchers take all the charts and data and make it intelligible for the decision makers that need it. This step is where the dumbed down power point presentation comes in for all the big wigs. Kind of like this paper, 30 pages of big words, condensed to eight hundred words.
Now even though problem definition is step two, there can be problems arising with different cultures that were not foreseen. Take step 6 and the problem that could arise. Say you were a company who sold household product in a Middle Eastern country. The company would obviously not use an approach like personal interview, because women in that nation cannot even leave their house without a male companion.
Keegan, W.J., and Green, M.C. (2013). Global Marketing (7th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.