Market research can also be defined as the systematic collection, accounting, and analysis of data on marketing and marketing problems to improve the quality of decision-making and control procedures in the marketing environment.
Focus-group research is the most common qualitative method of information gathering. The term “focus group” is an abbreviation for the concept of “focused interview”, proposed by R. Merton, M. Fiske and P. Kendall in 1946. Later representatives of various sociological schools interpreted the peculiarities of this method in different ways. However, some approaches and principles that follow those who use it are stable. According to T. Greenbaum – the author of the popular in the West textbook on focus groups – studies of this type include four common elements:
Involvement of several respondents gathered in one place.
Interaction of participants. If in many other types of research it is considered that any discussion between participants distorts the purity of answers, then at focus group meetings, subjects are encouraged to interact with each other.
The entire course of discussion is carried out by a professional moderator. He directs the course of the group discussion by the goals set at the preliminary stage.
When conducting focus groups, a script uses. If in a quantitative study in the collection of information a completed, formalized, a structured toolkit uses, the guidebook usually takes the form of a relatively incomplete manual. Its primary purpose is focusing the problem, setting up a particular topic. At the same time, it should allow spontaneous statements of participants, ensure group dynamics.
Another feature is that, according to its purpose, this type of research is different from other group methods, for example, from the Delphic process, “brainstorming”. The latter is formed from experts and are focused on the development of recommendations and agreed solutions. Focus groups designs for another: the identification of a range of opinions on the problem under study, the search for an explanation of the behavior of people in individual spheres.
This line of marketing research will allow you to determine the entire set of incentives that the consumer currently uses when choosing one or another type of product. This includes income, education, social status, and sex and age structure. Such a marketing research of consumers of products will allow to identify and segment customers, simulate their behavior in the current market of goods, determine the forecast of expected demand, and also the choice of target sections of the market.
The consumer survey is an analysis of the purchases and services they make, which they most often use. This determines by their qualities, age, nature of work, position in society and needs. As the subject of marketing research consumers of products is the very structure of consumption, the supply of goods to the population, the trend of demand for purchases, analysis of processes that can meet all the needs of the end user.
The objects of research are consumers-organizations, individual consumers, households, and families.
Market research methods
Secondary data – the information collected ever for any purpose not related to the current task.
In other words, secondary information is the data that has already been collected (by you or someone else) to solve other problems, but which can partially use to address the problem that is facing you at the moment.
The main advantages of secondary information – it is cheap, and access to it can obtain relatively easily and quickly.
The main drawbacks are that secondary information was collected to solve another problem. Accordingly, it is most likely to be a) outdated, b) incomplete, c) not directly related to the problem has solved, d) unreliable.
Primary data – information collected by the researcher specifically to solve a particular challenge.
Most often, the conduct of marketing research understands as the collection of primary information. Methods for collecting primary data, in turn, are divided into methods for collecting qualitative data, methods for collecting quantitative data, and so-called mix-methods.
Qualitative research answers the questions “how” and “why”.
This type of research allows you to get very detailed information. About the behavior, opinion, views, relationships of a tiny group of people. The data obtained cannot be quantified (with rare exceptions), but they give a good idea of the image of the consumers’ thoughts. Qualitative research is indispensable in the development of new products, advertising campaigns, the study of the representation of firms, trademarks, and other similar tasks.
The primary methods of qualitative research: focus groups, in-depth interviews, protocol analysis.
Options for conducting market research. The choice of this or that variant of marketing research depends on the goals and objectives of a particular company:
- Market research as a whole.
- Study of consumer behavior.
- Study of the goods.
- Research of competitive environment.
- Investigation of suppliers and partners.
- Price research.
- Research channels and methods of sales promotion.
- The Research of sales and audit of retail trade.
- Research of advertising.
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