Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blog Entry #4 Approaches to Marketing Research Methods

By: Matthew Larson
                Marketing research is the basis to all marketing concepts.  It is a tool that helps business flow and allows companies to understand consumers.  Through constant study it is the idea that trends can be made and through extensive research new methods of marketing can be developed.  With understanding comes a battle of numbers and figuring out whether something is qualitative or quantitative.   While consumers maintain a consistent buying habit, research continues to grow and expand.  It is hard to determine if information being gathered is tangible or not.  Validation plays a key role in gaining trust from the consumer. 
Marketing research also plays a critical role in the financial end of businesses and their relationship to the consumer.  By spending money on research companies can make money back by effectively.  Financial gains can also be made with the information gather.  Knowing where consumers are going to be putting their money can greatly affect the marketing concept a business will come out with.  So by knowing where people have been, the marketing messages can be driven to tell a consumer where to go.  This completes the cycle of consumers putting their money in and getting it back through information gain in purchases made by customers.  Such companies that handle all this research and manage all this information make up a 5.5 billion dollar revenue sharing.  That means that research and understanding consumer behavior is a major part of marketing functions.
                Advertising research defines objectives of products and gives clarity and understanding of target markets, product placement and advertising media.  Target markets are a wide variety of consumers that buy a certain product, or even maybe an entire brand.  Business objectives are more directed towards how to gain competitive advantages over another brand or business in the particular industry.  Research also gains insight to what other brands or products are doing to maintain their image or even become better.  The objectives are all similar from business to business.  All businesses need to stay competitive with one another to maintain a healthy consumer environment. 
                Evaluation of research is done by numbers and how much consumers will buy on any given day or week.  Paying attention to trends, being aware of what competitors in an industry are doing, and finding comparative data between market leaders are all very time consuming processes.  Therefore, companies hire specific businesses to handle the large volume of information.  A company such as Hoover’s (http://www.hoovers.com) handles 40,000 companies marketing plans and research.  That’s just one major marketing research firm.  There are many more that handle specific companies and brands.  With all that data being handled by just one firm.  There is a better understanding for where economic trends are going and if a business is successful with a campaign.
                Marketing research is the function that links the consumer to the business and the business to the research information based on consumer history.  The cycle is ongoing, constant information is being utilized to persuade and pursue new clients(http://www.marketingresearch.org/).  Consumers continually change their buying habits.  This is caused by the rapidly changing technology and new innovative delivery mechanisms. 
               Time is the real factor for marketing research, time changes everything.  As consumers shift in age, buying habits, and taste change.  Marketing research will continue to be as adverse as marketing itself, and while it is certain that the information obtained overtime might help predict future trends, the ever changing consumer world will be driven by marketing efforts themselves.

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