5-Part Series: Marketing Research 101 – Part 1: Identify a Research

Do you know what successful companies have in common? Market Research.

Market research is a supportive tool for companies to detect better marketing strategies and gauge business decisions using their business data. Think about your past buys; when you are about to make a significant purchase, you tend to step back and research and analyze data to determine if you want to make a purchase. On a corporate level, marketing research is essential to make sure you are making the best business decision for the company.


Marketing Research is broken down into five steps:


Each of these marketing research steps provides insight into how you can create your next research. Market Research is a Succession Must-Have, these will be a series of articles, to be able to provide a deep-dive about each step.


Let’s explore Step 1: Identify a Research


As you are getting ready to make a business decision, you want to start with the first step, and that is identifying the research.


To begin any inquiry, you want to ask the following five questions:

  • What is your research question?

  • What will you do with this information

  • Could you access this information in-house or through a third-party?

  • When do you need this information?

  • Does the benefit of the research project outweigh the cost of the project?


Question 1: What is your research question?

Here you want to formulate your research question to determine what research is going to be needed. By asking these questions, you will be able to make a better-informed decision of what you will be doing for your analyses. As a researcher, you need to ask yourself:

  • Who is the decision-maker or user of the research, and what are their key concerns?

  • What are the decision alternatives under consideration?

  • What are the criteria that will be used to evaluate alternatives?

  • The three questions will provide a better guide for building top-notch researches that your company will read and understand the purpose.


Question 2: What will you do with this information?

Think of this question as your action standard. You want to ask your company what are they going to do with the research information. Will it help achieve money-making decisions.


Question 3: Could you access this information in-house or through a third-party?

Before starting your research and creating your data, check your internal sources to see if the information already exists — no point in creating new investigations if you already have the data. You want to check with your internal database managers, sales and marketing team, IT people, finance, and any department that may have the information you need.


You may also want to check external sources like industry websites, trade publications, and reports. You also want to check Google, in case someone else has already done research. The critical thing here is to save time finding data if someone has already done it for you.


Question 4: When do you need this information?

You want to ensure you have ample time to build your researches. You always want to ask for a deadline. It is a good idea to put into practice and let your organization know that to have an accurate and information filled research; you need to have at least a month or two notice. That will give you enough time to get everything together. You cannot create excellent marketing research if you only have two weeks to build it.


Question 5: Does the benefit of the research project outweigh the cost of the project?

Here is where you want to step back and see if the cost of this research will bring in more money, or will it cost more to do it than the return on investment. If you are looking to research something minor, it may not be best to spend the funds. You want to do these types of studies when there is a new product launch or if it something substantial strategic.


In the coming weeks, you will learn how the remaining steps will help you design, conduct, analyze, and share your research insights.

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