Start Up Market Research
for Ms. McDonagh
Marketing is the 'anticipation and satisfying of customers' wants in a way that delights consumers and also meets the needs of the organisation' (Oxford Dictionary of English)
Define Market Research?
Market research is the action or activity of gathering information about consumers' needs and preferences. The benefits of qualitative market research is that it is open-ended, dynamic and flexible. it also has a deeper and broader database, as well as the fact that it has speedier results and less costly projects. However, there are also drawbacks of qualitative MR, some of which are that responses are not measured, neither are they statistically representative, and that results cannot be repeated as much as they would be in quantitative research. Quantitative market research, on the other hand, deals with the 'numbers' side of the business. It deals with research that can be easily measured by the business, such as tick-boxes and ranks that the interviewees have produced. Obvious advantages of quantitative MR is that it is very convenient, easy to analyse and very easy to produce into a graph. Surveys can also be anonymous, such as for more sensitive topics. However, this proves can be very costly, and potential bias in studies can be created if the certain question may not apply to the whole audience.
Define Primary Research?
Primary research (also known as field research) is the collection of original primary data. It is carried out by the business itself in forms such as questionnaires and surveys. Observation is a segment of primary research and is literally when a business observes potential customers to find out about their tastes and shopping habits. There are also focus groups, where potential customers get together to discuss a product and their opinions on it before it is launches. Surveys are questions that a business asks consumers in an attempt to gather information. Another section is test marketing, where a 'dummy' product is introduced in a shop in order to see how many customers purchase it. Finally, experimentation Is when a product is introduced to customers in the market place and then measuring the effect that is has on each customer. the benefits on primary research are that it is fresh and original information that is up-to-date, it comes from a reliable source (i.e. the business) and the business can style their questions in a way as to gather relevant, accurate information. However, primary market research is very expensive, much more so than secondary - a lot of time and money is spent on the observation. Potential customers may not always be very willing to answer the business' questions, such as if it they were contacted via the telephone, or even by the post to which they would think nothing more of it than just junk mail - the majority of them would throw it out.
Define Secondary Research?
Secondary research is a method of market research which uses published statistics, data and other information all of which have been collected previously. It is also known as 'desk research'. Popular methods of secondary market research include government publications, newspapers, magazines, company records, competitors, the internet, loyalty cards and market research organisations. Benefits of secondary research are that the information is easy to obtain, it is available immediately and the majority of it will have been well researched and accurate. The data available also covers a wide range of sources. However, there are also drawbacks of secondary research, some being that the information retrieved may be out of date (especially if it is from the internet), it is available to every other firm in the market, and the data is also unlikely to have been collected for exactly the same purpose as the business requires so it may not exactly be able to meet the firm's exact needs.
Sampling is a part of primary research where instead of asking opinions from a large number of people, this method questions a selection, or sample, of people. The people questioned would be chosen as being representative of the population as a whole.
There are three types of sampling - random, quota and stratified sampling. Random sampling is where people are randomly selected and asked for their opinions, such as the every tenth person who walks down the street. The good thing about random sampling is that everyone has a chance of being chosen, but on the other hand random surveys are the most expensive type of survey. Quota sampling is where interviews are held with a set number of people who fall into pre-determined categories, such as 50% males and 50% females. Advantages of quota sampling are that personal opinions are given by those surveyed, results are more accurate than in random sampling and it is more likely to reach the appropriate people. However, the method is unsuitable for some products. Finally, stratified sampling is a method of sampling from a population. This is then divided into subpopulations (strata) and random samples are taken out of each stratum. Age, gender, religion, educational attainment, socioeconomic status, and nationality are among the most popular strata used. An advantage of this is that it will achieve much more precise results than a simple random sample and it guarantees better coverage of the population. A disadvantage, though, is that it is more complex to organize and analyse the results compared to simple random sampling.