Marketing is the process by which a firm sells its products and services to customers. It is a vital part of any business activity and is often referred to as ‘core marketing’. Marketing research seeks to understand the purchasing behavior of customers, the preferences of customers and the preferences of other people who directly or indirectly affect customers’ buying decisions. Marketing research is conducted to make informed choices about marketing and promotional activities.
Why do marketing research?
The primary objective of conducting marketing research is to know or understand the entire market related to a particular product/service, so as to determine how the target audience members will respond to a specific product or service. The information gathered from conducting marketing research can be used effectively to customize marketing and advertising strategies or to identify what are the most important, core service, requirements and feature priority of customers (based on data obtained). There are many sources for obtaining information on the target audience members of a market. These may include research studies, consumer interviews and surveys and published research. Marketing research reports provide findings of various types to management teams and executives of organizations conducting marketing programs.
Which of the following is the first step in the marketing research process?
Marketing research is divided into two categories, market research and customer research. Market research is conducted to gain insights into the buying behavior of actual target customers, while customer research is conducted to learn more about the actual behavior of target customers, and in some cases, the behavior of potential target customers. Many companies conduct both kinds of research. Some even combine both kinds of research in one study, to get an overall picture of the buying behavior of the target audience members, and to identify features that will serve as strengths and weaknesses of their products and/or services.
Targeting is the first step towards advertising a product/service. In order to reach your target audience, you need to know who you are trying to reach. To reach the target customers, the best way is to make your marketing materials/programs targeted to the target audience. You can make this targeting process by careful planning and designing of your marketing material. Here are some of the things that should be kept in mind while designing marketing materials for small businesses:
Marketing research helps organizations learn how customers use the internet, what sites they visit most frequently, which search engines bring them most traffic, etc. It also helps organizations understand why they fail in advertising certain products and services. This in turn, will help them make more informed marketing decisions in the future. Conducting research on the internet has helped a lot of organizations improve their marketing performance, as you can see from the numerous success stories that you can read about online.
The role of elicitation in marketing research
One of the techniques that you can use for conducting market research online is through elicitation. In elicitation, you have to ask open-ended questions to all your target customers, or customers with whom you have a good rapport. For instance, if you want to learn more about the purchasing preferences of your target audience, you can conduct an online survey. This survey can even include a survey about the products and services that you offer. After collecting the responses, you can analyze the data and draw important lessons from it, which will be helpful for you in formulating a marketing strategy for your business.