Marketing research consists from one of the most significant and attractive sides of marketing. The purpose of this paper is to show how importance the marketing research for marketing and how the marketing research help the decision makers to take a decision based on research results and sloe describe the scope and nature of marketing research, and the importance of marketing research role to help marketing research decisions. Also after defining marketing research and divided it into two parts, problem identification and problem solving research. Subsequently, explain the marketing research process in six-stages and extended to give more details about interrelated activities in the marketing research process. However, many marketing research used to support marketing decisions but it not replace it.
Each step of marketing research process is important but the most important one is defining the problem step because the research project can be only manner correctly when the problem identified obviously, correctly and accurately and if the problem not clearly identifies it could be ambiguous, deceptive and dangerous. By identifying the marketing research problem its puts the way to whole project.
2- Marketing research
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The importance in marketing is identify and satisfy the consumer needs, and to identify consumer needs and accomplish marketing plans and strategy designed to satisfying those needs, the marketing manager need information about competitors, consumers and other forces in the market place.
In these days, many issues have effected increased of the demand for better and more information. Many firms go for national and international scope, and the demand on large market information increased. As consumer needs change continually and become more sophisticated so for this reasons the marketing managers need good information to know how they are going to response to products and other marketing offers, and as the number of competitors grow up and become more intense and the environment change so fast, hence the managers need information on marketing tools effectiveness and timely, accurate information.(  )
"Is the systematic and objective identification, collection, analysis, and dissemination of information for improving decision-making related to the identification and solution of problems and opportunities in marketing" (  ).
Identifying and solving marketing problems
Identification of information needed
Collection of Data
Analysis of Data
Dissemination of Information
Use of Information Figure 2.1. Defining Marketing Research
Another definition of marketing research made by the industrial marketing research association (IMRA) "the systematic objective, and exhaustive search for and study of facts relevant to any problem in the field of industrial marketing" (  ).
Each point in the definition of marketing research is significant and essential, identification that's mean identify and define the problem and opportunity and then collect information and then evaluate the range of data by using many methods varying in superiority and complexity after determined what information is needed to investigate in so the collected data after using the appropriate method should be analyzed, interpreted and inferences are drawn and after this process the result or information used to be used for marketing decision-making and taken actions directly.
2.1. Classification of Marketing research
Any organizations or firms using marketing research for two reasons 1-to identify and 2-Solving marketing problems.
Problem Identification Research
It's a Research about helping to identify problems which are likely to appear now or in the future, Indeed this research helps identify problems and provides information about environment.
Problem Identification Research
Market potential research
Market share research
Sales analysis research
Business trends research
Figure 2.2. Classification of marketing research (  )
Problem Solving Research
Always on Time
Marked to Standard
After identifying the problem in the last stage the Problem Solving Research undertaken to develop a solution and to help solving a specific marketing problem.
3. The Marketing Research Process
Marketing research process "a set of six steps which defines the tasks to be accomplished in conducting a marketing research study. These include problem definition, developing an approach to the problem, research design formulation, fieldwork, data preparation and analysis, and report generation and presentation" (  ).
Step 1: problem definition. In this stage the decision maker should know what problems are being tackled. The marketing problem it's not simple and it's not easy to identify, in figure 3.2 the first three steps it's about evaluation the marketing problem nature and the research problem, and what information decision makers need and evaluate the available information.
And to define the problem discussion with decision makers should be involved and interview with marketing expert. The information required for the researcher to identify problem, what information needed, the purpose of the study, background information, and how is useful to be used in decision making.
Step 2: Research approach development. In this stage contain identifying the factors or characteristics that could influence the design and it may include a research questions, preparing analytical models, and assumptions. And after identifying a nature of the problem the researchers should know the nature and the scope of what should be measured.
Identify and separate out measurable symptoms
Understand the complete problem situation
Determine the decision maker's purpose for the research
Marketing Business Decision problem
Determine the relevant variables
Determine the unit of analysis
Figure 3.1 Integration Decision Problem Definition Process (  )
Stage 3: Research design development. A research design is a plan or a structure for accomplish marketing research project. In details the methods important to get the required information. the goals of establishing marketing design is experiment the suppositions of interest and set research questions for and at the end provide the information needed for decision making.
And also the marketing design contains of doing explanatory research and defining and measures the variables after putting them in scales, and also it's important to design a questionnaire which would be required to outlining the details of measurements.
Step 4: Fieldwork or data collection. In this stage it's talking about collecting the required data, in figure 3.3, the relationship between stages of data collection is shown. These stages start with collecting and analyzing data of secondary data a source.
"The sources of data structures and information needed to solve information research problems can be classified as either secondary or primary, determination of which is based three fundamental dimensions: (1) whether the data already exist in some type of recognized format, (2) the degree to which the data have been interpreted by someone, and (3) the extent to which the researcher or decision maker understands the reason(s) why the data were collected and assembled" (  ).
In figure 3.3, the stage of identify and select individual for primary research contents sampling for qualitative and quantitative studies. The qualitative research includes the selection of individuals in this stage. The representativeness issues in a qualitative research are not so necessary as the targeted individuals quality for investigation and elicited response quality. The qualitative process helps in individuals' classification and identification.
A qualitative research stage alone could be sufficient to help and support the decision-maker, as in fact could a quantitative research stage. When focusing in a specific groups it extract a chain of expectations and statements as demonstrate in the next using and choosing contraceptives example.
A survey made by Wessex health Region in UK to decide methods to develop the delivery of family planning services. The survey focus on 19 groups of the users and possible use of contraceptive. Each group included a group of teenage for both gender of a single-six, some persons in their twenties and some over 30 years. And at the end of this survey the result s will be used to establish questionnaires series which will then sent to random samples of family doctors, and specifies family planning doctors and nurses, a characteristic of the questionnaires were to improve and establish a series of approach questions based on focus group members' announcement(  ).
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Step 5: Data preparation and analysis. Editing, transcription, coding and verification of data are parts of data preparation and this process could be the same for qualitative and quantitative data analysis. The consideration should be happen before data collect and considerations it's so important for research design development and qualitative and quantitative methods implementations. Observation and questionnaire are examples of this process. The questionnaires data could be key-punched onto magnetic tape or described or putted it directly into computer. And then verification role is to make sure that the data from the questioners have been transcribed accurately. When there are two or more measurements on each element it's better to use multivariate techniques to analyze data.
Step 6: Report preparation and presentation. The whole process should be documented in written report talking about the identified research question, the approach details, research design, collection and analyzing data procedures adopted and present the main findings and results. The findings presented should be in an understandable form to make it easy to be used in the decision-making process. Furthermore, in the spoken presentation to management it should be made using figures, graphs, and tables to improve lucidity and impact. In this stage the information should add value to the decision maker to know where the gaps.
Environmental context and of the problem
Marketer supported for set problem(s) but also a contribution made towards organizational learning in terms of building up marketing knowledge
Marketing research problem
Management decision problem
Research approach development
Approach to the problem development
Stages of marketing research process
Research Design Development
Marketer's information gaps filled
Research design development
Fieldwork or data collection
Collection & analysis
Interpret and present research finding
Data preparation and analysis
Identify & select individuals for
Report preparation and presentation
Figure 3.3.Marketing research process detailing iterations between stages
4- Defining the marketing research problem and developing a research approach
In the following example, there is a kids study made by ABC, demonstrate that from a wide set of research questions an obvious set of research questions could be achieved. It really difficult to design a research manner which will permit to compare the results of asking children in six countries in three continents. Without accurate analysis or judgment of research problems and management, like a complex research manner will be destined to breakdown.
the Global study kids study made by ABC accomplish in the spring of 1996, on 2400 children whose mother from France, United States, China, Britten, Germany and Japan and their age between 7 to 12 years. And the sponsor was by multinational corporations like MacDonald and Mars. and the key topics for this study like Child wealth and spending patterns, Toys and games, Daily activities etc....
The purpose of the study is identify the opportunities size for business and provide categories of product and gives a fact to advice and idea how to make an interesting or exiting child collection and marketing agenda.
Whereas the regularity of survey, manner and tools were maintained to country comparison, the adoptions sought locally to obtain exclusive cultural characteristics and retailer. and the used of pictorial response scale happen when they interview the children on preferences and mentions. And the usage frequency for product was asked for mothers and children.
The survey discovered that the spending power for children is between 7-12, also the children contribution is very important for making decision of family purchase for number product categories. It was obvious and clear for whole the world, principally children has common aspiration and dream(  ).
4.1. Importance of defining the problem
"Marketing and marketing research executives have always known that research must start with a definition of the marketing problem and that the success of every project depends on that definition" (  ).
Each step of marketing research process is important but the most important one is defining the problem step. "Problem definition involves stating the general problem and identifying the specific components of the marketing research problem. Only when the marketing research problem has clearly defined can research be designed and conducted properly"(  ).
"Of all the tasks in a marketing research project, none is more vital to the fulfillment of client's needs than an accurate and adequate definition of the research problem. All the effort, time, and money spent from this point on will be wasted if the problem is misunderstood and ill-defined"(  ).
The importance of this step cannot be vulgar, defining and identifying research problem is so important step. From the communication between marketing research and marketing decision-makers is the reason for establishment of defining a research problem. Some marketing decision maker's they communicate between what the problem they face and what research support they need.
4.2. The marketing research brief
Marketing research brief it's about document provide from a piece of buyers of marketing or research finding users. And it could be as the first step to explain the research problem research and consent a suitable research problem.
It has been considered that the first relationship between marketing researchers and marketing decision making is the most form of potential error in marketing research (  ). The research brief has two good advantages. First, it's not request a good knowledge about research techniques from a decision makers. Second, it's a chance for researchers to express their creativity and innovation. And in the following are the marketing research brief components:
1- Background information. The background helps to put researcher objectives into context, and realize why they are going to achieve these objectives. The marketer should see in details what are the main events contribute or was a reason the problem which they study. And it gives outline to look into other potential events, causes or factors contributed
Who is to use findings
Target to research
Objectives (a) marketing
Figure 4.1.Components of the marketing research brief
2. Objective. When the marketing research has been undertaken it would gives details about what marketing decisions completed. Objectives accomplished by decision. The management decision problem formulation should be based on an obvious understanding of two kinds of objectives: the organization objectives and the decision maker personal objectives, and the objectives should be served to make project success.
3. Target to research. Most of the marketing research should observe or measure a individuals target group. These separate groups of channel members or consumers. and in this step concentrate more about characteristics of the group to make identification and decisions more easy, and for observation and measurement.
4. Who is to use the findings. it will gives some details about decision makers who will use the research findings and the research findings presentation it make the appearance of the tactical advantages the best way to communicates managers. This will effect on the analysis conducted extent on the collected data and style and the way of research findings presented.
5. Constraints. The main restriction for the marketing researcher is that what they may perceive when they are in the right way on research problem, money and time that the marketer can afford. The researcher could develop a research design by having a good knowledge on cost and time constrains, and the researcher can demand more time and money but it should be has a benefits for that. furthermore, there are other constrains more than time and money like organizational culture and structure, firm client personnel, styles of decision making should identified to know the scope of research process. Finally the constrained should not affect the value and quality of the decision making.
6. Administration. It's about some administrative details which it lay out to complete project research.
4.3. The marketing research proposal
After doing the marketing research brief the researchers should establish a research plan and develop research proposal. The research proposal includes the core of the project plan and it's end format, it's like a agreement between the management and researcher. the marketing research process stages covered by the research proposal, and it permits the researcher to present their explanation of the problems faced by management and t to develop a research solution in innovation way to support decision makers effectively.
4.4. The process of defining the problem and developing a research approach
After accomplish a market research proposal and research brief and developing and exchanging them formally, the researcher and decision maker use their unique skill. They have to make sure that the marketing research has been properly defined and developed a suitable approach. There are two formal documents which help each party to know about the scope and nature of marketing research task which are research brief and research proposal.
there are many tasks include in defining a problem consist and interviews with industry experts, deliberations with decision makers, and interviews with who has any knowledge about research problem, and analyzing the available secondary data. By doing these tasks and analyzing the environmental context the results would help the researcher have knowledge about the problem background. Some main environmental factors affect on the problem have to be evaluated. After that the marketing research problem should be translated by management decision problem. And establishing an approach and developing a suitable research design should accomplish based on the marketing problem definition. The approach should include some component like analytical model, objectives, hypotheses, and research questions.
marketing research help the decision makers to explain the scope and nature of the target groups and gives an understanding the forces which form the consumer groups needs and need for marketer skill to satisfy and gratify those groups, monitor and observe the market history of past success and failure decisions. Generally, the reason of marketing research is to evaluate the information needs and to offer the related information in an aim and methodical approach to develop marketing decision making. There is six steps within the marketing research process which is must be followed scientifically. Each step of marketing research process is important but the most important one is defining the problem step. Defining the problem is a hard step because management usually don't verify and identify the definite or real problem or has unclear idea about it. The marketer's characteristic is to support and assist the management to determine and segregate the problem.
Finally, marketing research is very important for marketing an, decision makers and management. It help to identify problem faced by the organization and the reason going in details about identifying the problem in a marketing research process, because it's very hard a complex step hence if this step made in the right way the marketing design and development and decisions should be right.