Market Research

Written by Yvette Dubel
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Grasping just what market research is begins with defining it. Market research is best thought of as a structured approach to gathering, reviewing, and sharing unbiased marketing information. The goal is to assist in making decisions and assisting in management of a business. In the end, it helps to identity, satisfy, and service a targeted market or customer base.

Pre-research planning can help you identify your marketing research objectives. This means understanding your exact reasons and goals for pursuing the task. These goals and objectives then need to be prioritized and data sources recognized.

The essential actions of conducting market research can be summed up simply. Begin by underscoring the objective. Then create a research plan. Once you have a plan, be certain you design a report that answers the questions most important to the intended audience. Finally, the complete research market plan must present sound recommendations supported by the data examined.

A Closer Look at the Specifics

Keeping in mind the purpose of your research, set quantifiable objectives. It is important that you identify your sampling procedures, quotas, and methodology. Define how tabulations will be run and data processed. What statistical analysis methods will you use? How will data be reported? Then move on to clearly state the time and cost parameters.

Your questionnaire needs to be based on your aim. Avoid leading questions that encourage or express biases. This includes attention to the order in which the questions are asked. Pay close attention to pre-test conclusions to ensure that questions are easily understood by research participants--only then can you be sure that the right kind of information is being gathered.

After the data is collected, conduct a thorough analysis. This is then used to write the executive summary. Build an action plan and recommendations founded on the research findings. This will ensure that you're adequately prepared to make the best presentation to your management team.

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