Steps in the Market Research Process

Why Market Research is Important for Your Business

Steps in the Market Research Process

Steps in the Market Research Process


Market research aims to provide decision-makers with fast and excellent details about consumers’ needs, preferences, and behaviors. Improved offerings & competitive advantage of targeting marketers more effectively and providing them with the opportunity to implement a better marketing plan.

MIS, Marketing Research & Market Research: How Do They Differ?


In any discipline, it is not uncommon for practitioners to have complete agreement about their practices.

The discipline of marketing is no exception and shows the same trend in contrast to those in the field. There is general disagreement over how marketers and advertisers classify the work they do. The disagreement centers on the definitions of marketing research and market research. This is disagreement over classification.

It helps to see some definitions first. A profession or field of conduct attempts to adhere to a code of conduct, order, behaviors, or learning place. Organizing and classifying important units or processes within a department.

Marketing refers to all activities involved in creating, promoting, and delivering ten types of companies to customers and organizations. Once marketing was primarily referred to goods and services, the list of marketable entities now includes events, experiences, places, organizations, assets, people, information, and ideas.

As you can see, marketing is a pretty big umbrella.



By categorizing marketing activities, practitioners in the field will be able to talk about marketing. A taxonomy has been created that classifies different ideas and provides a common framework for language. For example, broad taxonomy can be classified as marketing, research and analysis, advertising, and media buying or publishing activities.

Taking the classification to a more clear level, you can categorize marketing research, market research, data mining/analysis with research and analysis.


Market Research


Market research is a systematic collection and interpretation of data research through methods that promote insights that support analytical methods and decision making.  Market Research includes Market plans, information about markets, competitors, Strategies, and consumer behavior studies.

Steps in Market Research Process

Market Research


Marketing Research


Marketing research involves acquiring and interpreting objectives using analytical techniques and procedures that promote insight and intelligence about consumers’ buying habits.

Marketing research gathers information on consumers ’buying strategies — in other words, why consumers buy and who they buy from. Marketing research or advertising campaign is designed to fine-tune and identify the strategies for a particular marketing situation a business organization faces.

Steps in Market Research Process

Marketing Research

Marketing Information System (MIS)


Effective marketing and publicity demand a continuous flow of organized information, reaching the right people at the right time.

The structure intended to facilitate this goal is referred to as the Marketing Information System (MIS). Most importantly, the marketing information system contains the various components and resources needed to achieve the endless competitive edge that excellent market research can achieve. The components of MIS are people, equipment, and policies.

Steps in Market Research Process

Market Information System

Still, many business organizations lack sophisticated information. This is often because their research department limits research responsibilities to sales analysis, routine assessment, and occasional surveys. This is true whether businesses have research skills in the market research department or some people who rely on them periodically.

Problems with an Effective Marketing Information System (MIS):

  • Lack of awareness about where critical information is placed in the organization
  • Obtaining little or no useful information for the business unit
  • Getting too late to receive important, useful information
  • This is to doubt or make the accuracy of the information available.

Several sources supply the Marketing Information System (MIS):

Internal business enterprise records, marketing intelligence, market research, and operations that support marketing decisions. MIS’s activities are basically to collect, manage, analyze, evaluate, and disseminate bits of information. Information, or market research data, is timely, accurate, and needed by key decision-makers. Marketing research and market research are both aspects of the marketing information system.

6 Steps in the Market Research Process


There are six discrete stages or stages in the market research process. These are as follows:

Step 1 – Meet the research problem and objectives.

Step 2 – Develop an overall research plan.

Step 3 – Collect data or information.

Step 4 – Analyze data or information.

Step 5 – Promote presentations or research.

Step 6 – Make decisions.

Develop an Overall Research Plan


The second stage of market research is to find the most efficient way to gather the information that awaits to answer the research questions. Designing a research plan is a very complex decision because it involves many decisions.

Data researchers use data sources, research methods, limit data distortions, use research tools, configure sample planning, protect participants’ confidentiality, and methods to contact research participants. How much it costs to implement a research plan is a critical concern.

Primary and Secondary Data Sources


Before a market researcher can decide what kind of research tools to pursue, the decision-maker must decide on the information sources.

The market researcher may choose to collect primary data, secondary data, or both. Primary research is the first time a particular research project or a specific purpose has been collected. Secondary data exist before the start of a new research project that is being collected for another research.


Difference between Primary Data and Secondary Data


The most common form of primary research information is researchers interested in syndicated research with an independent market research firm to share research participants’ results.

A common and prudent method for analyzing possible secondary data sources is to determine whether research questions can be partially or completely answered without the cost of primary data collection. Secondary data advantages are generally low cost or free of charge and readily available without a completed research study.

Steps in Market Research Process

Types of Data

The primary disadvantage of secondary data is that it is not usually configured to complete the research agenda. Also, secondary information is incomplete, inaccurate, dated, or unreliable. In such cases, the market researcher must adhere to some basic data collection process.


Pilot Testing


Generally, some of the primary data collection starts with a pilot test, interviewing people in groups, or even understanding how people understand a particular topic or question.

Steps in Market Research Process

Pilot Testing

A formal research tool was then developed, pilot-tested again for problems, and then used in the field to conduct the desired research according to the research plan.


Four Major Types of Research Tools are Available to Market Researchers:

(1) Questionnaires or surveys

(2) Psychological tools

(3) Mechanical devices

(4) Qualitative measurements


Questionnaires or Surveys


Surveys are the most commonly used tools for gathering basic research information. Although the survey tool is flexible and relatively inexpensive, it requires careful attention during development.

All surveys must be pilot tested and released, at least to some extent, before being assigned to the target sample. Forms of taking questions should be carefully considered to ensure that they are expected and fit well into the entire survey document.

Survey questions are both a survey and a science. Fortunately, there are many guides available to do the construction, administration, and scoring survey.

Examples: Survey MonkeyPollFish

Psychological Tools in Market Research


The three most commonly used psychological tools for collecting primary data are:

  • Assertive questionnaires
  • In-depth interviews
  • Rorschach tests

The Assertive questions are deeply investigating the views and opinions of the respondents. The technique is iterative so that each subsequent question arises according to each response to the previous question.

Assertive questionnaires is a technique that has been widely used in creative problem-solving techniques and workshops. In-depth interviewing involves deep research into the customer experience.

Steps in Market Research Process

The technique of in-depth interviewing was developed by Ernest Dichter, which he had suggested that the distinction between qualitative research and quantitative research and the notion of nonsense as forethought. Dicher is a proponent of qualitative research.

Gerald Zultman of Olson Zaltman Associates developed an interview method similar to that done in the Rorschach test for market research.

The device is called the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique (ZMET) and uses simulated imagery to access communities where users have certain product types. In general, participants in a ZMET-based study collect images from a wide range of images that contain verbal content to express their feelings and ideas related to a product type.

Mechanical Devices


Mechanical equipment sometimes measures the physical response of research materials to product characteristics or advertising. Usually, interest or emotions are measured in response to what can be seen, heard, felt, or smelled.

The primary equipment used in the data collection was galvanometers, eye cameras, gaze recorders, audiometers, and tachistoscopes to show an image or advertisement for a small flash.


Qualitative Measurements


Quality measures are becoming more common in primary research as technology support moves forward in various ways, such as enabling online surveys by Survey Monkey. Users are thrown in with advanced technology that can record their impressions of the product or aspects of their customer experience.

Some market research firms even go to the homes of consumers to portray their interactions. These videos are reduced to a highlight reel that can be used to analyze consumer behavior.

One of the main reasons for choosing qualitative measures for surveys or interviews is that consumers’ expressed beliefs and intentions often fail to support their actual behavior within the context of a brand engagement or buying decisions.

Marketing is shifting from focusing on outbound sales to marketers looking for ways to connect with customers and increase brand equity.

What is Brand Equity?


Brand equity is the value that attributes a product or service in the consumer’s eyes because it is a well-known brand. Different marketing approaches influence consumers’ buying decisions.

How is Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing Different?


Hub Spot simplifies the difference between outbound marketing and inbound marketing in this simple way: Inbound Marketing Consists of Paid search marketing, content marketing & opt-in email marketing. At the same time, outbound marketing comprises mostly offline activities like phone calls, trade shows, media marketing, and seminars.

Think of outbound marketing as a hammer; Think of inbound marketing as a magnet.

What is Outbound Marketing?


Outbound marketing occurs when a company focuses on the product, leading to sales by paying for the media. With outbound marketing, the emphasis is on filling the top of a company’s sales funnel.


Outbound Marketing Mainly Consists of the Following Activities:


  • Cold calling
  • Trade shows
  • Notifications
  • Outsourced telemarketing
  • Seminar Series
  • Online surveys and polls
  • Email blasts to purchase lists

Each of these methods sends the message far and wide, hoping that it will resonate with the customer’s target market.

What is Inbound Marketing?


Inbound marketing occurs when a customer pulls her along too far in a buying journey. When a potential customer gets along well with the brand before the sales are introduced, they are involved in preliminary marketing.

Inbound marketing can be used for scale for ephemeral effects. Customer-based marketing is often invited through the blog’s portal.

For example, starting with a blog, search engine optimization can increase hits on content. Incorporating social media networking into an inbound marketing alliance can lead to more links to blog content.

Consumers Probate Inbound Marketing


The traditional marketing strategy is heavily invested in outbound marketing. But new technologies enable customers to avoid a lot of outbound marketing. Consumer tolerance in outbound marketing strategies is very low.

Consumers play an active role in filtering out the ad they allow. They use two different elements at different points in their buying journey as part of their unique approach to consumer research about products and services.

Creating lasting connections with customers through outbound strategies is a growing proposition. Consider, on average, that people are getting overwhelmed with more than 2000 outbound marketing disruptions. These marketing disruptions are annoying to consumers by eagerly using ways to prevent them from getting into personal and professional gossip.

Each of these methods sends the message far and wide, hoping that it will resonate with the customer’s target market.

Caller ID is one of the first methods of marketing disruption chain disruption. It was quickly followed by a stream of innovative technologies such as email, Sirius satellite radio, subscription pay-per-view cable channels, and spam filters like TiVo. Also, customers travel to high-interest seminars in hotels or trade shows in major cities. It is easy to collect consumer research and information about customers, products, and services online.

How are things in the conversion funnel?


A primary advantage of entering marketing is that customers are already moving to a place where they know about specific products and services, and many are already shopping. So, with inbound marketing, the hard work of trying to find ways to spread the barriers created by people trying to block every form of marketing is not relevant.

Internal marketing goals are to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to find a company’s product or service offerings and then offer compelling content that will turn them from interested buyers to buyers who want to buy it.

Although the inbound marketing movement is steadily growing, most marketers’ profile still exceeds 90% of marketing efforts, and 10% is dedicated to inbound marketing. Experts advise companies to focus their resources on spending and spend on incoming marketing.

Expanding the symbolic marketing transformation into a magnet, magnetic fragments that attract the company’s product or service center come from the blogosphere, search engines, and social media.

Inventive marketing strategies involve a set of methods that are tailored to the consumer. Unlike outbound marketing, which is the power to disrupt consumers, inbound marketing is more entertaining, less intrusive, timelier, and generates more ROI than traditional outbound marketing. Marketing Strategy Best Practices for Inbound Marketing Capitalism reinforces consumer brand engagement in this burgeoning marketing arena.

Quantitative and Qualitative intersection Research


Many people are involved in the design and implementation of segmentation research. High levels of involvement in research interests can enhance or differentiate the segmentation project.

Many dynamics contribute to the success of a fragmented research effort, and they have garnered a large amount of attention in the fields of management, leadership, and human resources. (Peters & Waterman, 1982). In other words, there are many resources available for the market research team to learn how to work effectively with stakeholders of research projects.

The quality of the research design depends on the quality of the information available for decision making. While this may seem obvious, the steps to ensure that quality information is available are often sidelined in a rush to get moving on a research project. Internal stakeholders may have greater pressure on market researchers to launch the project.

External and internal stakeholders may believe that research is about doing research and how they should do it. They often emphasize quantitative research or qualitative research approaches to the problem of market analysis.

When the dust settles on the initial excitement of starting a segmentation research project, how well the successful implementation works together, the level of autonomy established by the research team, the level of credibility and efficiency attributed to the research team, and the ability to gather quality information promptly.

Before implementing a research plan, however, market researchers must establish a thoughtfully developed segmentation strategy.

Steps to Develop a Partitioning Strategy:


  • Make a partition challenge or a clear description of the problem.
  • Identify alternative approaches to investigate the partition challenge.
  • Choose the best research approach for the segmentation problem.

Defining the segmentation problem is one of the most difficult steps in developing a successful segmentation strategy, but it is also likely to be overlooked. As with any research strategy, this starting point is where the hypothesis develops.

At this early stage, the market research team’s challenge is to find evidence for segmentation and narrative variables. There is no single best basis for segmentation. Different bases can be used for different research objectives and product development decision problems (Wind & Thomas, 1994).

Here are some examples of segmentation and its associated variables


  • Buyer Utilities: New Product Development – Launching Product Alternatives
  • Buyer Benefits: Location and relocation
  • Buyer Price Sensitivity: – Margin, terms of sale, past price changes
  • Buyer Usage:  Heavy, modern, light, non-customers
  • Market-specific proposals are key to the segmentation strategy

A given segmentation strategy involves more than one segmentation method at play. In addition to using segmentation results (e.g., price, positioning, new product development, etc.), the market research team must consider other market-specific issues.

Several Market-Specific Issues

The main reason is the dynamic nature of all markets. This variable is high on the Market Works list because project economics is a decision-making drive based on age data. This has always been the dilemma faced by market researchers: current decisions about segmentation are based on past data and future implementation.

This is one of the main reasons why computer modeling is so valuable in market research. Introduction to the possibility of segmentation decision-making increases the data sets’ quality and timing to develop the segmentation strategy.

Segmentation research involves high levels of uncertainty and associated risk. The nature of dissection research is decisive rather than exploratory. The results of segmentation research can be repeated at different stages, repeated, or at some cost.

Competitive environment, changing consumer preferences, and market factors combined with other factors can significantly change the market (as described above), resulting in increased risk for marketers, advertisers, and others involved in the flow of products and services.

Partitioning strategies are associated with a company’s business strategy and marketing plans. Segmentation research cannot be conducted by the segmentation method but must be combined with other business and marketing decisions already made. A departmental strategy must be capable of meshing with changes in overall marketing and business strategies.

As a result, market researchers can emphasize that segmentation strategy is included in future business planning and model simulations, especially when resource allocation is a factor. This idea is evident in this paper’s opening paragraphs, which address the importance of data quality and timeliness, and that both attributes are related to resource allocation.


  • Peters, T; J. and Waterman, RH, Jr. (1982). In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies. New York, NY: Harper & Row.
  • Wind, Y. and Thomas, RJ (1994). Dividing industrial markets. Advances in Business Marketing and Purchasing, 6, 59-82. ISBN 1-5538-735-1

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