The sale of goods and services, like most other aspects of human endeavor, is regulated by recognizable patterns of consistency. The aim of market research is to identify such patterns, analyze them, and form workable conclusions as it relates to the marketing of goods and services. Although market research was first introduced as a statistical science in 1923, its relevance in today’s evolving market is poignant enough to evoke questions such as: What are consumer needs and how are they changing? How can your organization respond effectively to such demands? What are the strategies been employed by your competitors in responding to these demands? What can you do to outdo your competitors?
The bearing of our discourse on subsequent Mondays will be tailored towards research in its entirety. This week, we will be evaluating the exigencies of market research.
Market research can prove immensely useful in the following:
- Product Management: This is a process that focuses on the introduction of new products or the development of existing products to meet consumer needs as well as achieve market success. In product management, market research can be helpful in: a. Concept testing: To examine the acceptance of a concept or an idea by consumers through the aid of surveys. b. Test Marketing: An experimental small scale product launch that helps identify whether or not a product would perform on a larger scale or in a larger market.
- Sales Analysis: Market research can be utilized to study records of sales and then determine what direction such trend will take. This is useful in procuring strategies that will either help remedy declining sales or further boost regular sales. In sales analysis, market research can prove helpful in:
- Evaluating the possible demand for a product.
- Seasonal study variation for a certain product.
- Assess market possibilities.
- To segment the market into subcategories in order to arrive at reliable data.
Advertising Research: This is a detailed study conducted in order to assess the effectiveness of advertising. It is done to determine how well the market has responded to a certain advertising campaign.
The World Bank has revealed that funding is the second most cited obstacle facing SMEs especially in developing countries. As a result of the above, many a business establishments find it difficult to allocate finances to research. Fortunately, it is research which conceives concrete plans required for the right production, marketing, and sales of commodities. Where informed decisions which stem from research are made, resources are conserved in the long run. Therefore, research and specifically, market research is a sine-qua-non for any business establishment which aims to thrive.