Managers often commission formal marketing studies of specific problems and opportunities. Research is a highly systematic design, collection, and reporting and findings of situations facing the company. What are the six steps in the marketing research process?
The marketing research process involves six steps; firstly, it is problem definition where you define the problem while taking into account the purpose of the study, the relevant background information, what information is needed, and how it will be used in decision making.
Step two includes formulating an objective or theoretical framework, analytical models, research questions, hypotheses, and identifying characteristics or factors that can influence the research design. This process is guided by discussions with management and industry experts, case studies and simulations, analysis of secondary data, qualitative research, and pragmatic considerations.
In the third step, you formulate a research design that details the procedures necessary for obtaining the required information, and its purpose is to design a study that will test the hypotheses of interest, determine possible answers to the research questions, and provide the information needed for decision making.
The fourth step is data collection or fieldwork which involves a field force or staff that operates either in the field, as in the case of personal interviewing such as focus group, in-home, mall intercept, or computer-assisted personal interviewing, from an office by telephone, or through the mail. Proper selection, training, supervision, and evaluation of the field force helps minimize data-collection errors. In marketing research, an example of data collection is when a consumer goods company hires a market research company to conduct in-home ethnographies and in-store shop-along in an effort to collect primary research data.
The fifth step is data preparation and Analysis where data undergoes inspecting, cleaning, transforming, and modeling data with the goal of highlighting useful information, suggesting conclusions, and supporting decision making.
The last step is report preparation and presentation where the entire project should be documented in a written report that addresses the specific research questions identified; describes the approach, the research design, data collection, and data analysis procedures adopted; and present the results and the major findings. This permanent document is also helpful because it can be easily referenced by others who may not have been part of the research.