Marketing research or market research refers to the activity whereby a certain group is targeted top gather information regarding its behavior towards a certain product or service. In other word, marketing research is the activity through which primary or secondary data is collected and this data pertains to the views, opinion and consumption attitude of users towards a specific product or service. For example if an automobile industry is planning to launch a new product i.e. A new vehicle that specifically meets the needs of large families then the first important thing would be to conduct a market research for the demand of the product.
Even of the company is vaguely aware of the need for such a vehicle in the market, it would still need to conduct a research through primary or secondary means in order to accurately estimate the future demand for the product. This helps the firm in taking calculated risks and minimizing the possible chances of failure of the product. Secondly marketing research also helps the firm develop is production strategy. The quantity of the product that would be launched in the first phase largely depends on this research because no other means of demand measurement is available.
The two most important types of research are Quantitative research and qualitative research. These two categories can be further subdivided into primary qualitative research, secondary qualitative research, secondary quantitative research and primary quantitative research. It is impropriate to understand what is meant by the two categories of research in order to fully grasp the concept of research methodology.
Quantitative research is the most result oriented type pf research that focuses more on logic, statistics and facts instead of plain anecdotal data. Both primary and secondary data can be used for this research but in all cases, the entire focus of the research would be on objectivity and hard solid facts. Quantitative research like qualitative research has both its strengths and weaknesses.
Weinreich's assessment of quantitative research methodology reveals: "The strengths of the quantitative paradigm are that its methods produce quantifiable, reliable data that are usually generalizable to some larger population. Quantitative measures are often most appropriate for conducting needs assessments or for evaluations comparing outcomes with baseline data. This paradigm breaks down when the phenomenon under study is difficult to measure or quantify. The greatest weakness of the quantitative approach is that it decontextualizes human behavior in a way that removes the event from its real world setting and ignores the effects of variables that have not been included in the model." (Weinreich, 1996)
Qualitative research on the other hand is more focused but more time-consuming research methodolgy. It primarily depends upon perception, attitude, and emotional factors of consumer behavior. The data is usually collected through personal interaction with the target section of consumers. Those who are most likely to use a specific product are interviewed and focus groups are created to extract maximum information about the behavior of consumers towards that product. However since solid facts are missing, not everyone prefers qualitative research.
This methodology mostly depends on primary data and is usually adopted when a firm needs targeted information regarding its own product and not about similar products in the market. Surveys are usually the most common primary data collection method used for qualitative research. Surveys can be conducted through online polls, telephonic interviews, emails and mails and even face-to-face. Weinreich (1996) adds: "The advantage of using qualitative methods is that they generate rich, detailed data that leave the participants' perspectives intact and provide a context for health behavior. The focus upon processes and "reasons why" differs from that of quantitative research, which addresses correlations between variables. A disadvantage is that data collection and analysis may be labor intensive and time-consuming."
We use primary and secondary data during market research. Primary research refers to a more focused research that specifically deals a company's own problems and its specific needs. Primary research can bring forth more useful information, as it is customized research that incorporates some special issues that only an individual company is facing.
For collection of primary research leads to primary data which is often more reliable than secondary data since it specifically focuses on the given research problem and is usually carried…