Marketing research refers to the objective and systematic search for and analysis of information relevant to the identification and solution of any marketing problem (Green et al., 5).
Marketing research does not guarantee success.
A market research is an essential tool for any business. However, it does not guarantee success as there many other factors at play during decision making. Furthermore, marketing research does not make decisions (Crawford 2). Marketing research helps in alleviating uncertainties and hence risks associated with decision making, but do not eradicate them (FAO 1). Marketing researchers offer advice to marketing managers. They prepare research reports that identify problems, propose alternative solutions to various problems and where possible, the probability of success for such alternatives. However, at the end of it all, it is up to the marketing managers to make the tough marketing decisions.
Secondly, the marketing environment does not follow deterministic models like in the engineering and scientific fields. It follows then that researchers have to use probabilistic models since marketing entails many intervening variables and their interactions. Furthermore, this model is complicated by the fact that these interactions between variables are not well understood. Therefore, marketing researchers cannot guarantee that the information they provide will aid in attaining success. The best they can do is to provide accurate information that can be used to help in reducing uncertainties during decision making (Crawford 2). Intelligent use of information provided by marketing research serves to give a business a competitive edge (Ortinau et al. 14).
Ways in which marketing research affect the 4Ps.
Marketing research can be classified into two categories: Problem-solving research and Problem identification research (Ortinau et al. 15). In this respect, problem-solving research entails distribution and logistics research, pricing research, product research, promotion research and market segmentation research. This illustrates that the marketing mix (place, price, product and promotion) goes hand in hand with marketing research.
Market research serves to establish precisely customers’ wants and needs (product). The consumer needs change with time (Business Case Studies 1). Therefore, marketing research works to monitor continuously consumers’ preferences. Market research is the format that enables a company to obtain detailed and key information about its customers. It allows a business to identify how much consumers are willing to pay for their products, which newspapers, TV programmes or media customers are viewing or reading so as to post advertisements and the well-received products.
Management should consider marketing research when making decisions
In any organization, the decision-making process is the responsibility of the management. Decision making entails many uncertainties and risks (FAO 1).Any management should consider marketing research for it helps in alleviating some of these doubts. However, one must note that marketing research does not eliminate uncertainties; it just aids in ensuring that whatever decisions are made, they align with and meet the organization’s objectives. Furthermore, research reports provide alternative solutions and where possible, the probability of success of these alternatives.
Marketing research aids in improving management decision making by providing precise, prompt and germane information (Ortinau et al. 14). Each decision to be made requires unique information. Marketing research gathers information that can be used to develop relevant strategies. Management can use the information generated by market research creatively to achieve and sustain a competitive advantage over other businesses. Therefore, marketing research does not only aid in the evaluation of decisions made but also serves as inputs in the decision-making process.
Marketing research does not guarantee success or make decisions. It is vital to the creation of the right marketing mix. It establishes the needs and wants of the customer (product), communication (promotion), cost (price) and convenience (place). Management should consider marketing research when making decisions for it provides accurate, relevant and timely information that aids in reducing uncertainties. Therefore, marketing research has to objective, systematic and analytical.
Business Case Studies.The marketing mix and market research- The marketing process- A McDonald's Restaurants case study.Internet source. 22 January 2016. http://businesscasestudies.co.uk/mcdonalds-restaurants/the-marketing-process/the-marketing-mix-and-market-research.html#axzz3xx6VAgxO
Crawford, I M. Marketing Research and Information Systems. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 1997. Print.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).Chapter 1: The Role Of Marketing Research in Marketing research and information systems. Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department.Internet source. 21 January 2016. http://www.fao.org/docrep/w3241e/w3241e02.htm
Green, Paul E., Tull, Donald S. and Albaum, Gerald S. Research For Marketing Decisions. 5th edition, Prentice-Hall, 1988, Print.
Ortinau, David J., Hair, Joseph F., Bush, Robert and Wolfinbarger, Mary.Essentials of Marketing Research. Bookboon, July 2, 2007, Print.