Marketing research is the application of scientific method to the solution of marketing problems. It is a systematic attempt to get useful information in solving marketing problems or making marketing decisions.
Objectives or benefits of Marketing Research
Marketing research enables the marketer to keep pace with the changing environment. Increasing competition, rapid developments in technological, ever changing attitudes of consumers, changing tastes and preferences are some of the important factors which call for changes in the approach to the markets by an international marketer.
Marketing research helps a company to identify the problems and opportunities in the environment. By designing suitable strategy, a marketer can successfully overcome the problems and utilize the opportunities for furthering his business. The objectives or benefits of marketing research may be outlined as follows:
1. To identify the opportunities in the market: The basic utility of marketing research lies in its ability to identify the opportunities in the market. It helps to determine the markets that should be short-listed as the target. It studies the market size, growth, accessibility and competitive factors.
2. To identify the deficiencies in the product: A successful marketer sells what is needed in the market. The changing needs and requirement of end users in the market should be analyzed. Suitable changes should also be brought about in the product in order to match customer needs. Deficiencies that exist in pricing, distribution and promotion are revealed by an effective marketing research.
Marketing research helps the company to identify deficiencies in the product related factors and to set them right.
3. To position the product in the market: Positioning is the act of designing the company’s offer and images so that it occupies a distinct and valued place in the target customer’s mind. Product positioning is the final step in market targeting.
Marketing research is concerned with selecting a positioning strategy that is appropriate to each target segment. Marketing research studies the mental perception of the offering. Even if two brands of a product are identical, each could be perceived differently. Consequently, two brands may be dissimilar in terms of their physical characteristics and may be positioned so in the mind of the prospect.
4. To arrive at pricing decisions: Considerable amount of analysis and data collection are required to arrive at pricing decisions. Pricing is the deciding factor for success in international marketing. A wrong policy in pricing can affect the prospects of overseas markets.
5. To assess its own potential: If the company is already manufacturing the product before entering the foreign market for the first time, it should know beforehand whether its product is suitable tor the export market. This necessitates some questions:
- What are the normal distribution methods?
- What are their alternatives?
- What are their relative advantages and disadvantages
- What are the channel costs, promotional methods adopted by the competitors.
Their promotional budgets, payment terms and the prices quoted are given serious consideration in marketing research.