Understanding Marketing Research
Marketing research can be defined as,
“A systematic manner of objective collection and analysis of data about a particular target market, competition, and/or environment”.
Marketing or business research always incorporates some form of data collection whether it is secondary research (often referred to as desk research) or primary research which is collected directly from a respondent.
The purpose of marketing research is to gain a proper understanding on the subject matter to derive effective business insights. As the markets are becoming competitive on a global level, market research is on the agenda of all organizations to collect targeted and specific data.
What is a Marketing or Business Research Proposal?
A marketing research proposal can be defined as,
“A plan that offers ideas for conducting research”.
“A marketing research proposal details the who, the what, the where, the when and the how of research and the information and costs associated with it”.
Before carrying out marketing research on college/university level, the researcher is supposed to write a marketing research proposal. The main aim of this proposal is to provide the research committee an overview of your idea and obtain their approval.
Objective/Purpose of a Marketing Research Strategy Plan
- Why is the purpose of this research?
- What benefits does the marketing department expects to gain through the research data?
- What methods will be used for conducting the research?
- How long will the research work take?
- How much will the research study cost in monetary as well as resource?
- Who will be involved?
Outline of a Basic Marketing Research Proposal
- Executive Summary
- Preamble/Background Study and Analysis
- Research Approach/Methods/Data Analysis
- Reporting Expectations
- Estimated Cost Analysis
- Time Allocation for Staff and Resources
- Summary and recommendations
Format and Structure
An abstract is the first part of the marketing research proposal. It explains why the research is taking place, the goals of this research and brief information on the methodology and theories used.
The introduction part is aimed at giving the readers an overall idea of the marketing research. The introduction must include the information needed to carry out the research in a smooth and effective manner.
For instance, if the purpose of research is to study the impact of television viewing habits on young generation, then the first information required is the kind of television programs and channels, which are influencing the youngsters in a positive or negative way.
A research problem is the situation that causes the researcher to feel apprehensive, confused and ill at ease. It is the demarcation of a problem area within a certain context involving the WHO or WHAT, the WHERE, the WHEN and the WHY of the problem situation. Research problem leads to a hypothesis for the project.
This is the most critical part of the marketing research proposal. The researcher must provide detailed information on the kind of research methods or techniques he will be incorporating into his research. This section also includes the key research objectives and goals.
The researcher must give a complete description of the research design he will be following in his work. The research design can be exploratory, casual, descriptive or adopted.
Estimated costs for marketing research make an important part of the proposal. The decision making authorities must be given a succinct idea of the cost which will be incurred on the research. This part must include a complete breakdown of cost in relation to the research tools.
If more research analysis tools are being employed by the researcher, then a comparison of tools and their cost must be presented to the research committee. This section also emphasizes on validity and reliability.
Timetable and Reporting
The proposal must include the duration of the marketing research project. The research administration is interested in knowing the stages where the primary, intermediary and final report will be submitted. It is recommended that the research includes CRM or PERT in this section.