B.S: MARKETING Grow Your Business FAST

Marketing Let’s start with the basic.
What is marketing and why is it so important? Marketing is all about communicating. This communication is usually between the consumers or customers of a product, service or brand and the producer.  

The manufacturer or distributors market their product for the purpose of promoting
or selling that product, service, or brand.
Marketing has a long history. It has been an important aspect of a business since quite some time.

If you are an avid TV watcher, you are perhaps familiar with the mega hit television series‘Mad Men’. Set between the 1960’s and 70’s, it shows how marketing evolved during the era and is what it is today.

What it showed was fiction but if one is to chart the rise of the field of marketing, one could realize the similarities in marketing orientations and how they evolved. Previously during the fifties and sixties era, the marketing orientation was basically about selling the product.

Firms aimed to apply promotion techniques through which they could register the highest sales possible.
Not much thought was given to consumer tastes and trends.
Then later on, during the 70’s a new approach was introduced that is quite common in contemporary is marketing in these times as well.

The‘customer orientation’involves a firm essentially focusing its marketing plans around the marketing concept, and thus targeting their products to cater to new consumer tastes.

For example, a firm would employ market research to determine consumer desires and enlist the aid of their R&D (research and development) department to develop a product according to the criteria of the revealed information.
They would then utilize promotion and marketing techniques to ensure that people know about their product.

There is a process called Customization
Maximization which that is applied by many firm in there R&D division that helps determining market and consumer trends.

It basically is the measurable approach to more efficiently managing and sustaining specific customer needs, in effort to maximize the customization of the product or service offered to the consumer.
It is done by observing and analyzing data relating to responses, feedback, and elasticity of demand.

The twenty-first century marketing is all about Holistic marketing, this basically means, marketing of everything.
The four marketing approaches that are involved in this marketing concept are; relationship marketing, internal marketing, integrated marketing, and socially responsive marketing. It is important to take into account how each of these
levels of marketing can impact a business.

If a business owner neglects to incorporate one of these models into their current or future marketing strategy they may find themselves at a loss for new business.

Relationship marketing is focused on the consumer, while business marketing or industrial marketing on an organization or institution and social marketing is about benefits to society.

With rapid technology advancements the newer forms of marketing are aided
through the internet and are sometimes referred to as internet marketing or more generally e-marketing, online marketing, digital marketing, or desktop advertising.
This is also a part of a marketing strategy called‘the segmentation strategy’used in traditional marketing and it attempts to make it more efficient.

Then there is another approach to marketing that helps target its audience more preprecisely, and is sometimes called personalized marketing or one-to-one or marketing.
There is also 'Direct marketing' which is used by organizations that have a small regular clientele.
Such as resorts or clubs that have defined customers or membership base they wish to develop strong, customer-seller relationships with.
This is usually done through personalized communications;

traditionally through direct or postal mail communications and more recently,
via e-mail or nowadays through social networks like Facebook or Twitter.
Such organizations may also employ direct marketing to attract new customers through either print or television campaigns, or via social media.

Social media advertising is all the rage these days.
This is when businesses use networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to market themselves Online marketing is considered to be broad in scope, because it refers to marketing on the internet which takes it globally.
Not only that, it enhances personal communication as it can be done via e-mail and wireless media.

It has only modernized marketing and diverted people from traditional marketing methods towards easy to access, user-friendly and detail-oriented methods. Marketing is all about catering to the customer’s need and understanding
what the consumer wants.
If the manufacturer is able to do that, then they can definitely ensure their success and growth.
Consequently, ascertaining consumer demand is very vital for a firm's future sustainability, viability and even as an existential concern.

Many of the companies today have a customer market orientation.
This implies that the company is focusing its services and products on
consumer demands.
Generally, there are three methods that define the customer-oriented approach; the customer-driven approach, the market change identification approach and the product innovation approach. In the consumer-driven approach, consumer wants are the catalysts behind all the strategic marketing decisions.

No strategy is developed or pursued until it passes the test of consumer research. Every aspect of what the firm offers on the market, including the nature of the product itself, is driven by the needs of potential consumers. The starting focal point is always the consumer.

The rationale for this approach is that there is no reason to spend R&D
(research and development) funds developing products that people will not buy. History has shown that there have been many products that were commercial failures in spite of being technological breakthroughs, just because the consumer could not connect to them.

Marketing experts describe this customer-focused marketing as SIVA, which stands for solution, information, value and access.

This system is basically the four Ps (product, price, placement, promotion) that has been renamed to provide a customer focus.
The SIVA Model provides a demand and customer-centric element to the well-known four Ps supply side model of marketing management.
The SIVA model: Product = Solution Promotion=Information Price=Value Place (Distribution)=Access There are downsides to this as well. In a wholly customer centric approach, producers and distributers can many a times be misguided as well.

According to the marketing mantra,
The customer is always right’, the seller tries their best to match up to the customer’s demand. However this may not work every time. Sometimes even consumer trends can be misleading. The extent to which what customers say they want does not always match their purchasing decisions.

For example, some surveys of customers might claim that over fifty to sixty percent of a restaurant's customers want healthier choices on the menu, but only ten to fifteen percent of them might actually buy the new items once they are offered.
This might be acceptable depending on the extent to which those items are money-losing propositions for the business.

A lesson that can be derived from this type of situation is to be smarter and cautious about the validity of instruments like surveys.
An argument that could be put forth is that, truly understanding customers’needs
and wants sometimes is about understanding them better than they understand themselves.
It becomes more about expanding on the principle of customer focus.
To figure out what customers are currently ignorant about what they should
want is tricky.

There are varied choices, opinion, affordability personal preferences to keep in mind. To market the product efficiently one must take all these into consideration and this is dicey because whether it can be acted upon depends on how soon the customers will learn, or be convinced, otherwise.

Computer hardware, software capabilities and automobile features are examples. Customers’who in the past decade were reluctant about the smartphone revolution like internet browsing capability on their phone, or modifications in their vehicle are saying something different today.

This is because the value proposition of those opportunities has undergone a dramatic change.
This should not deter a producer from following a customer centric model. Just make them more careful about how to prevent and protect themselves from any pitfalls.
One should not just wholly solely focus everything towards the consumers; in fact consumers should be treated as only a subset of one's corporate and marketing strategy rather than the sole driving factor.

This means that producers must also look beyond current-state customer focus
and take other factors into account to make predictions regarding future trends.

If they do that, they may be able to narrow the negative impact of these strategies
and predict what customers will be demanding some years in the future.
Businesses should be on the lookout for new opportunities at all times.
Even venture into new markets when they are still small commercially or are subsidiaries.

There are other market orientations that help form marketing strategies.
In an organizational orientation, a firm's marketing department is seen as an integral part of an organization’s functional level. Information from a business’s marketing department can be used to determine the actions of other departments within the firm.

As an example, a marketing department could ascertain through marketing
research, the new type of product, or a new usage for an existing product that consumer’s desire.
With this in mind, the marketing department along with the R&D (research and development) department would work together to create a model or prototype of a product or service based on the consumers' new demands.

Testing could be carried out on a small focused group of consumers
and if the product works with that, the production department then starts to manufacture the product.
While the marketing department focuses on the promotion, distribution, pricing and packaging of the product.

Additionally, a firm's finance departments would be consulted in order to secure the required funding for the development, production and marketing of the products. Usually, firms intending to ensure effective marketing of their products allocate big budgets to their marketing departments.

This sometimes leads to inter-departmental conflicts.
Departments may feel undermined by the utmost importance being given
to marketing. Production or finance departments could feel that the money being spent on marketing could have been utilized in manufacturing a new product or perhaps maintaining a steady cash flow.

One important aspect of marketing is Herd Behavior.
This is a term in marketing which is used to explain the correlation between the customers' mutual behavior.
There was a recent report in‘The Economist’about a conference in Rome on the subject of adaptive human behavior.

There were mechanisms shared which informed people about ways to increase impulse buying and draw people out‘to buy more by playing on the herd instinct.’
The basic idea is that people will buy more of products that they see other people buying. Hence the term‘Herd’. Popularity is the key factor here.

Products that seem to be popular will see a rise in consumer demand.
There are several feedback mechanisms to monitor product popularity information. Consumers can give feedback which is informatory to others regarding the quality or pricing of a particular product.
Technology has made this very simple.

There are websites, internet surveys, blogs and social networks where people can disseminate information which then attracts others towards a product or service. Amazon.com has a feedback option where people can leave their feedback about a product that can help other buyers decided whether they are interested in buying that product or not.

Then there are entire blogs dedicated to product reviews,
for example, when something new related to technology is revealed like a phone
or a tablet, tech reviewers write blogs or make v-logs(video blogging done via Youtube) detailing the specifications, pricing and packaging of those products.

There is another area of study that concerns internal marketing, which is the way how employees are trained and managed to deliver the brand in a way that has a positive impact on the acquisition and retention of customers.

Marketing is just based on innovations and research that explores how and why people adopt new products, services, and ideas.
With consumers' short attention span and willingness to give time to advertising messages, marketing management is also turning to forms of permitted marketing such as branded content and custom media.

Marketing Research And Business
Growth Marketing research is the process that provides the link between consumers, customers, marketers, and ultimately producers.

This link is provided through information, information that is used to identify, define and observe marketing opportunities and problems.
This information is also helpful in generating, refining and evaluating market actions and trends, and hence also beneficial in monitoring marketing performance.

This type of research helps improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research analyzes the information required to address issues related to marketing and aids in the design of methods for collecting information as well.

This research can in turn help manage and implement the data collection process, observe and analyze the results, and communicate the findings and their implications for the business owners.

How It Is Done Marketing research is defined as the systematic collecting, recording, and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data about issues relating to marketing products and services.

The aim of marketing research is to point out and assess how varying elements
of the marketing system affects the customer behavior.
The term is quite commonly inter-changed with market research; however, experts may distinguish between the two.

Market research is concerned specifically with markets, while marketing research is involved in the formulating of marketing processes.

Marketing research has two categories:
Target Marketing and Methodical Marketing
Target Marketing Target marketing begins with the breaking of an overall market into distinct segments.  

These divisions help a business to then focus their marketing efforts on distinct portions of the market as a whole.
The ability to identify and target individual sections of a market gives businesses the opportunity to focus and amend their marketing strategies as needed due to an awareness of the wants and needs of a particular area.  

Target marketing is generally accomplished by dividing a population into individual portions based upon measurable data.  Some of the methods used to dividing
a population are:
• By location:  Considering the buying habits of people in a given area and their propensity to potentially need certain good or services.
Example:  A person living in a hot climate would generally not require a snow blower, therefore making businesses less likely to market snow blowers.

• By a certain demographic:
Measurable statistics such as age, gender, income level, or education.  
Example:  A business which sells luxury cars may be less inclined to market higher end automobiles in an area whose demographics illustrate generally lower than average income levels.
• By psychographic:  Lifestyle and personality characteristics of a demographic.  Example:  A neighborhood which has a high density of vegan restaurants may be less inclined to favor a specialty butcher shop among them.

Target Marketing Research consists of two approaches:

1. Consumer marketing research Consumer marketing research is research that is focused on the end consumer.  
This style of marketing centers on the concepts associated with how individuals make decisions regarding their purchasing habits.

The main focus of consumer marketing is to identify, understand, and analyze customers and their needs.
The better you know your customer the better you can serve their needs.
Consumer marketing research is a part of marketing that is actually an application of sociology.

It concentrates on understanding and comprehending the preferences, attitudes, and behaviors of consumers in a market-based economy.
It also analyzes and seeks to understand the effects and comparative success of marketing campaigns to consumers in a target audience.

The field of consumer marketing research as a statistical science was discovered and pioneered by Arthur Nielsen with the founding of the ACNielsen Company in 1923.  

2. Business-to-business (B2B) marketing research The Business to Business marketing research approach is different than the consumer marketing research approach.
Business to business (B2B) research is definitely more complicated and detail oriented than consumer research.
Its main focus is to identify what the appropriate price a good or service should be listed at and what the profit potential of this item could be.
The researchers need to know about the multi-faceted approach that will observe the objectives of marketing, since rarely is it possible to find solutions by using just one method. Finding the right kind of responses from the appropriate audiences is crucial in B2B research.

But this is not always easy.
Since in this fast paced life, everybody is busy and people may not have time to participate. Secondly, researchers are also required to establish a comfortable rapport with the audience.
Encouraging them to“open up”is also a problem and yet another skill required of the B2B researcher.
Lastly, most business research is about making strategic decisions and this means that the business researcher must possess expertise in formulating strategies that are strongly rooted in the research findings and acceptable to the client as well.

Now you may wonder in what ways is consumer marketing research different from business to business marketing research?
There are four factors that make B2B market research different from consumer market research:
-The decision making unit is so much more complex in B2B markets than in consumer markets.
-B2B products and their applications are more complex and complicated than consumer products.
-B2B marketers address a much smaller number of customers whose consumption of products is very high, than in cases within consumer markets.
-Personal relationships are of a critical importance in B2B markets.

Methodical Marketing:
Methodical marketing research has a very distinct process it follows.
If done correctly, the end result of methodical marketing research is a conclusion that clearly identifies the potential opportunities for marketing success with a set of data to support this conclusion.

The goal of the methodical marketing research method is to gather enough market data from a variety of sources to help make appropriate business and managerial related decisions.

The process starts with some very basic steps.
• Set an Objective:
What is the focus or goal of the research?
Why are you putting time and energy into completing this task and what do you hope to learn in the end?
•  Data Sources: What sources will you use for your data?
Will you use primary (data you gather yourself) or secondary
(information publicly available that was generated by an outside authority)
sources to compile your data?
Are both of benefit to you and your objective?
Note:A thorough explanation of primary and secondary sources will follow in
a subsequent section.
• Data Collection Instrument: If you are using primary data, how will you go about collecting it?
• Sample Size/ Design:
How many participants are needed for an accurate conclusion to be reached?
What aspects are needed to make a participating response deemed to be qualified?
•  Recording/Summarizing:
How do you calculate your findings?
What areas of your results highlight your stated objective at the onset of this process? Methodical Marketing Research also has two sub divisions:
1. Qualitative marketing research Qualitative marketing research is concerned
with answering questions related to the why or the how of a marketing problem.

This method of research is more exploratory than quantitative marketing research.
A common use for the research method is to attempt to uncover trends within a market place concerning consumer thoughts and opinions.

Qualitative marketing research uses a variety of methods to reach its conclusions.  Some methods for utilizing this research technique are through focus groups, interviews, observations.

The sample size of the study is primarily small and participants are selected.  Qualitative marketing research is good to use in a number of situations.
If your brand is attempting to locate a source of new product ideas or ways
to alter an existing product, you should consider using this method.
This method can help you to identify what strengths and weaknesses may be associated with what your current brand provides.

This method of research is also good for understanding the effectiveness of current advertisements for a brand or service.
This is the same type of research method you would employ when considering the functionality of your digital presence.

Pros of Qualitative Marketing Research:
• If any calculations are needed in this research method, they are generally simple, easily understood, and can be clearly explained using simple language
• Provides an opportunity to explore the attitudes and behaviors of participants
• Is a chance for participants to further develop initial thoughts and feelings concerning a brand in order to consider new areas of thought not previously explored • Can help to provide a simulation into a participant’s experience with a brandCons of Qualitative Marketing Research

• The sample size is much smaller
• It takes longer to collect and analyze the data
• Results are less likely to be able to be generalized for a population due to sample size
• Can be difficult to identify comparisons when responses vary widely
• A lot depends on the skill of the researcher conducting the study

2. Quantitative marketing research
Quantitative marketing research is when a business owner seeks to identify the fact based reasons behind a marketing question.

If a business does poorly at a particular time of the year, an owner may look at numerical data outside of their business’ scope as a means to identify factors unbeknownst to them.

Quantitative marketing research is solely based in empirical data that can be quantified and duplicated.
Quantitative marketing research is generated through a separate means than qualitative research, though some are very similar.
Common methods used for collecting this data are questionnaires, interviews, observations, activity reports, and record reviews.

Sample sizes for quantitative marketing research much larger.
It is true that the larger the sample size you use in quantitative marketing research, the more accurate your findings will be.
Quantitative marketing research is good to use when trying to understand a who, what, where, or when type of question.
This method of research is primarily concerned with answering fact based questions. Quantitative marketing research is also useful when your objective is to apply your findings to a larger population.

Pros of Quantitative Marketing Research:
• Encourages a larger sample size for an increased number of viewpoints
• Findings are easier to generalize to a population
• Has a greater tendency for accuracy and reliability
• Information can be presented clearly using summaries, tables, or charts
• Incorporates several variables in the study
• Can be duplicated again due to the use of standardized means of testing
• A researcher’s personal biases in regards to individual participants may be less visible due to the large sample size Cons of Quantitative Marketing Research:
• Findings can seem limited due to their target of addressing a single hypothesis
•  Results are generally reported in numerical data and do not provide for detailed descriptions
• Data may not provide accurate representations of human perception
• Due to the nature of control needed, research may be carried out in unnatural circumstances and may not reflect real world results
• Some findings may not be accurately accounted for and may only be grouped with findings that are of the closest match
• This method can be compromised to include the biases of the researchers themselves due to the structure of the research questions  Some of the main differences between qualitative and quantitative marketing research are in how the information they generate is presented.

You should recognize that while qualitative marketing research is concerned with finding themes among its participants, quantitative marketing research is only concerned with reporting numerical data.
It is important to note that qualitative data is usually text based and thoroughly explained.
The opposite is true of quantitative research findings.
These are primarily numerical and have a clear lack of interest in text based descriptions.
This fact is central to the understanding that qualitative is more in depth due to the fact that fewer people are used in each surveyed due to the time needed to process information.

Quantitative research presents information in data sets making it easier to grasp a large portion of participants quickly due to the simplicity of the presentation of data. When used together, these research methodologies can help to further explain
why a particular response was given.
They can also help to develop answers to hypothetical scenarios.
This method is called mixed methods studies.

Some of the benefits of mixed methods studies are:
• Words and pictures can be added to numerical data
• Numerical data can be added to narratives and visual descriptions
• Researchers can develop and test hypothetical situations
• Researchers are not confined to using only one research methodology and can therefore answer a broader range of questions
• The strength of one research method may compensate for the weaknesses of another
• A researcher may be able to apply the principle of triangulation whereby a stronger conclusion can be reached
• Increased chance for added insight from an increased point of view basis
• Proven to produce more complete knowledge to inform and answer hypothetical questions The mixed method approach also has some drawbacks in its application.

Some of the hindrances to this method of research are:
• The amount of work required to fully address all the needs associated with this research design may be too much for one person to undertake and complete in a limited time frame
• Both methodologies are difficult to run concurrently
• A researcher must have a thorough knowledge of the topical applications of each research method in order to fully incorporate them together
• It is very expensive
• Even with a team approach, it can take researchers a considerable amount of time in order to come to any adequate conclusion
• Conflicting results can be difficult to interpret
• Adequately analyzing the data can be challenging due to multiple perspectives on how it should be completed Types Just like there are two main types of marketing research, there are two main sources of data as well.

Those two are:
-Primary Research, which monitors the effectiveness of current sales and exiting business practices. It also assesses the quality of services and the tools used for communication. Additionally, it also observes the current market competition by evaluating the business plans of competitors.

Primary research is generally conducted by a researcher himself, in the case of a small business owner it would be conducted by the business owner himself.

Primary research is concerned with first hand information gathered from people who have direct knowledge and experience relating to a product or service.
Some examples of primary research are customer interviews, contracts,
and census records.

Many times primary research is conducted on a small scale as it is very time consuming and has the potential to cost a great deal of capital to complete.

Strengths of using Primary Research:
• Reasoning for gathering the information is clear
• Data may include elements related to social ideals and economic status
of participants
• Responses are personalized in connection with the appeal of a brand or service
• There is a possibility that participants can be contacted later on for a follow up survey
• Primary research answers the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How in relation to the effectiveness of a product or service Weaknesses of using Primary Research:
• Design may contain biases
• Results may not be fully objective
• The author or participant may be vague or unclear in their responses
• Personal preferences may skew the findings

-Secondary Research is the collection of already published data or case studies to create a company database that will provide situation analysis.
It devises different strategies for benchmarking, and helps in determining the market segments that a company should target.
Secondary research is generally collected by another individual or organization
and is used by small business owners to help conduct their own market research.

Some organizations who compile these types of research are universities, government agencies, and other organizations which deem it necessary
to study consumer and population trends.

Strengths of using Secondary Research:
•Takes less time for small business owners to gather
• Often can be found free of charge or at little cost
• Amount of data available is extensive
• Data that is available may be able to cover a wide spectrum of issues
•Users have an option to filter data in order to only analyze portions of interest to them and their business
• Useful in helping to develop a market based hypothesis
•Can be used to help calculate potential costs associated with conducting similar research on a smaller scale
• Users may be able to identify areas that have not been addressed as a means for focusing their own primary research Weaknesses of using Secondary Research:
• Ambiguous vocabulary may be used which distorts findings
• Assumptions made by researchers may vary from one to the next
•There is an element of trust needed that the information being presented is valid
• Historical data may not take into account the shifts in current market trends
• Methods used for data collection may be biased
• The amount of data available may be too vast to locate relevant information

These research types in turn include a number of techniques
used in research such as:
1. Ad-tracking,
this has been described as a periodic or continuous in-market research to keep an eye on a brand’s performance through data containing information on brand awareness, brand preference, and product usage.

This is also used to estimate the return on investment of advertising and to refine advertising plans.
Ad tracking looks at the attitude of a brand versus its competitors.

2. Advertising Research.
This is described as a technique used to predict and forecast copy testing or track the efficacy of advertisements for any medium. It is measured by the advertisement’s ability to garner attention, communicate its message, build the brand’s image, and motivate the consumer to purchase the product or service.

Advertising research has a goal of improving advertising efficiency.
It asks the question: What has the advertisement done for the brand ?
3. Brand equity research which questions the consumers on how how favorably
do they view the brand.
4. Brand association research that also questions the consumers on what ideas
do they associate with the brand.
5. Brand attribute research is about the key traits that describe the brand promised.
6. Brand name testing is obvious.
It asks how the consumers feel about the names of the products.
7. Commercial eye tracking research examines advertisements, package designs, websites, etc. by presenting an analysis of the visual behavior of the consumer.

Commercial eye tracking research looks at how distinct or attractive a product
may be.It looks to determine what may cause a user to have a tendency to purchase a product.
8. Concept testing is basically a test conducted to observe the acceptance of
a concept by target consumers.

This strategy examines what is truly worthwhile to the consumer
market in relation to the product or brand being advertised.
9. Coolhunting is a technique that helps make observations and predictions in changes of new or existing pop culture trends in such as fashion, music, films, television, youth culture and lifestyle.

This method is also referred to as trend spotting and is very useful to identify target audiences and segments of a market that will most benefit from being exposed to
a brand.

10. Buyer decision-making process research determines what motivates people to buy a particular product and what decision making process they employ.
Over the last decade, a division called Neuro-marketing emerged from the amalgamation of neuroscience and marketing, aiming to understand the consumer decision making process.
11. Copy testing is described as a technique applied for predicting the in-market performance of an advertisement before it airs by analyzing audience levels of attention and brand linkage.
It also assesses motivation, entertainment, and communication,
as well as breaks down the advertisement’s flow of attention and emotion.

12. Customer satisfaction research can be either a quantitative or qualitative study that provides an understanding of a customer's satisfaction with a transaction.

13. Demand estimation is, simply put, a technique to determine or gauge the approximate demand for any product or service.
14. Distribution channel audits are used to assess distributors’and retailers’attitudes toward a product, brand, or company.
15. Internet strategic intelligence searches for customer opinions on the Internet.

This employs chats, forums, networks, web pages and blogs.
Anywhere people express freely about their experiences with products.
16. Marketing effectiveness and analytics is used for building models and measuring the results to observe the effectiveness of individual marketing activities.
17. Mystery consumer or mystery shopping.

This one is interesting.
An employee or representative of the market research firm anonymously contacts a salesperson under a disguise and indicates that he or she is a customer shopping for a product.
The shopper then records the entire experience.
This method is sometimes used for quality control or for researching competitors' products.
18. Positioning research is all about how the target market views the brand relative to competitors and questions what the brands stand for.
19. Price elasticity testing is for determining the sensitivity of the customers to price changes.
20. Sales forecasting matched the expected level of sales given with the level of demand, this is respective of other factors like advertising expenditure, sales promotion etc.
21. Segmentation research is for determining the demographic, psychological,
cultural, and behavioral characteristics of potential buyers.
22. Online panel is a panel that is made of a group of individuals who agree to respond to marketing research online.
23. Store audit is to measure the sales of a product or line of products at a strategically and statistically selected store in order to determine the market share,
or to get feedback on whether a retail store is providing adequate service.
24. Test marketing is like a small-scale product launch among a focus group.

It is used to observe the reaction of the audience towards the product when it is introduced into a wider market.
25. Viral Marketing Research refers to a marketing research technique that is designed to estimate the probability of the specific communications that will be transmitted throughout an individual's social network.

Estimates of Social Networking Potential (SNP) are then combined with the estimates of selling effectiveness to gauge the approximate ROI (return on investment) on the specific combinations of messages and media.

All of these techniques of marketing research can be classified as either problem-identification research or as problem-solving research.
Problem-identification research is used to identify potential problems which may not be apparent just yet.

These problems may be a current unrecognized issue or may be an event which has yet to come, but thanks to findings from this research method can be anticipated for.  This type of research is also used to provide information about current and possible future market trends.

Problem-solving research on the other hand is a branch of research designed to
study an existing problem.
This research method seeks to locate cause related to the problem, provide possible solutions, and ways to implement a plan of action which anticipates long range success potential.

The benefits of being able to distinguish which to use is critical when determining
how to react to a business related crisis.
If you, as a business owner, are able to use problem-identification research correctly, you can more accurately plan for what the market you interact with will behave like in both the short and long term.

Likewise, if you as an owner whose business if facing a significant crisis, can distinguish the best ways to use problem-solving research, you may be able to recognize what your business’s crisis entails.

Using this research methodology, you correctly identify what the problem is, what is causing it, the possible courses of action you may take, and what the potential outcome will be for your business following this crisis.

Survey research is an important type of research in marketing, it is descriptive and detailed. Marketing researchers often survey customers to gain a perspective on their attitudes, preferences and intentions.

These surveys include opinion polls, political surveys, attitude surveys, customer satisfaction surveys and so on.
One crucial aspect of these surveys is to understand the sample that is to be surveyed and of course the issues that might be related to the margin of error.
In addition, marketing researchers have concerns about questionnaire design and statistical analysis as well.

Role The role of marketing research is to provide the management with current, relevant, accurate, reliable and valid information.
The competitive marketing environment, business competition and the ever increasing costs are some factors that can lead to poor decision making.

Hence it is imperative that the marketing department does it work well.
It must provide sound information. Solid decisions cannot be based on opinion, impulse or even pure judgment.
Marketing managers are required to make numerous strategic and tactical decisions in the process of observing and satisfying customer needs.
They make decisions about potential trends, opportunities, consumer inclinations,
and the target market selection.
It is also their job to figure out the market segmentation, planning and implementing of marketing programs, assessing marketing performance and control.

These decisions can be made complicated by interactions between the volatile yet controllable marketing variables of product, pricing, promotion, and distribution. Further problems can arise by uncontrollable varying factors such as global or domestic economic conditions, technology, public policies and laws, political environment, competition, and social and cultural changes. Another point to consider is the complexity of consumers.

Marketing research can help the marketing manager establish a link employing the marketing variables between the environment and the consumers.
It helps eliminate some of the uncertainty by providing solid and relevant information about the marketing variables, environment, and consumers.
If there is an absence of reliable information, consumers' response to marketing activities cannot render reliable or …> accurate observations.
There may be ongoing marketing research programs already that could provide information on controllable and non-controllable factors and consumers;
this information can then be used to enhance the effectiveness of decisions taken by marketing managers.

Traditionally, marketing researchers were just restricted to providing the relevant information whilst the marketing decisions were made by the managers. However, nowadays the positions are inter-changing with the marketing researchers becoming more involved in decision making process, whereas the marketing managers in turn are involving themselves with research.

This is beneficial to brand growth because not only is information being shared, but business roles are being broadened.
This shared responsibility allows those with direct knowledge to help implement and forecast potential changes in the decision making process.
This role of marketing research in managerial decision making can be explained further using the framework of the‘DECIDE’model:
• D: define the problem
• E: establish the criteria
• C: consider all alternatives
• I: identify the best alternative
• D: develop/implement plan of action
• E: evaluate the outcome

This DECIDE model is a concept that describes managerial decision making
as a series of six steps.

The decision process is initiated by precisely identifying and defining the problem or opportunity presented, along with its objectives and constraints.
The next step is to chart the possible decision factors that have to be taken into account if one opts for an alternative course of action.
Controllable factors and uncertainties of uncontrollable factors are listed.
Then, reliable and relevant information on the alternatives and possible outcomes
of a decision is collected and analyzed.
The next step is to identify and opt for the best alternative based on the particular criteria or measure of success.
Then a detailed plan should be devised to develop and implement the alternative selected.

Lastly, the results or outcome of the decision and the process itself are evaluated. Business related market research consists more of research in a business environment. It examines all aspects such as competitors of a particular business,
the market structure that is involved, government regulations, economic trends, technological advances, and many other factors that make up the business environment.

Sometimes the term narrows down more particularly to the financial analysis of companies, industries, or private sectors. In such a case, financial analysts usually carry out the research and record their results and observations for the investment advisors and potential investors.

There is a product research which is also related to the business.
This assesses production, like what products can be produced with available technology and what new product innovations can be derived from future technology. Then there is advertising research which is a specialized form of marketing research that is conducted to improve the efficiency of advertising.

It revolves around the tech >> product innovations can be derived from future technology.
Then there is advertising research which is a specialized form of marketing research that is conducted to improve the efficiency of advertising.
It revolves around the technique of copy-testing.

This is basically to gauge the audience’s reaction to an advertisement and the effect it has on that particular audience in terms of emotions and likeability.

How It Can Help Businesses
Grow The economy is becoming more and more competitive and unpredictable with each passing day. Having the appropriate knowledge about the concerns and preferences of customers has become integral for any business to grow or succeed. When a business owner is able to use the information they have gathered throughout their marketing research process, they can begin to better define their business marketing plan.

If an owner can recognize the most profitable area to offer a product or service,
they may have found their niche market.

Businesses that operate within niche systems are only concerned with one good or service, making competing with them both difficult and easy.
Niche marketing will be discussed in more detail in a later chapter.
Many large companies can provide goods or services at cheaper rates when they operate based upon a business model that expects they will sell vast amounts of multiple products.
A niche market system will put all emphasis on a single good or service.

This hyper focus makes these owners experts in their niche.
If, as a consumer, you require a particular good and are unsure about which brand is best who should you trust?
You may be more interested to work within an expert within this niche market because this particular good is what this business focuses on solely and makes their passion.  There are many advantages to operating within a niche market.

A small business owner who is seeking to establish themselves as a leader within a marketplace may find that specializing in a particular skill or on a product will make them such.

This confidence and reputation as a master in this marketplace may encourage greater customer interest and increased sale potential.

Here is an example to help illustrate this concept better:
A backyard barbecuer has spent years perfecting his process and recipe for
smoking ribs.  
He has spent considerable time and energy researching how flavors work together.  This person has taken detailed notes regarding his cooking process and how external factors impact his cooking techniques.
After all this time, it is no wonder that many people consider this person to be a master in the craft of cooking ribs.

This person eventually comes to believe that they can make money as a caterer focusing solely on selling ribs and items related to the cooking of ribs.
They begin by marketing their ribs to the local community.
This business owner offers deals and incentives to people he finds within his niche marketplace.
His specialization in only one product solidifies his the reputation of being a master in the rib cooking industry and influences people to purchase ribs from him based upon the perceived guarantee and value in his brand.
This is an example of successful niche marketing.

But what happens when this man begins to reach the maximum potential of his local community ?
He has maintained a very strong client base, but has hit a perceived ceiling due
to the limitations of operating within a niche market.
There is a real potential that a business will eventually reach the full potential of
a market and be unable to

the process of taking a brand from a small niche market to the vast global marketplace.
Market research is the best way to increase one’s customer satisfaction and understand the factors that impact the business. It also helps elevate business performance by providing a clear link between the people buying or using a product or service and how they respond to it.

If your research shows that a customer is totally unsatisfied with the product or service that you provide they will be less likely to return for repeated business.
If you can identify areas that are causing customers to respond this way, you are better able to correct these issues and improve your current and future business performance.

Here are three reasons why market research is important for business to grow:
1. Market research can almost guarantee the success of marketing campaigns,
and in turn help increase sales.
Market research is not only helpful in identifying new business opportunities, but also of critical importance in designing marketing campaigns. It will be useful in directly targeting the interest of potential consumers and help in increasing sales.

Marketing research can also provide valuable information about the potential of a particular market segment, during a specific time, and within a particular age group.
2. Market research can help a business owner keep a tab on his or hers competitors Marketing research is a very good evaluation tool that can be of good use in comparative studies.

One can track not only their company's progress but the growth of their competitors as well. It helps in keeping an eye on the competitors.
If you are a business owner you can easily devise business strategies through market research that would keep you ahead of your business rivals.
3. Market research can also help businesses minimize losses With market research, business owners can reduce the chances of loss to a certain extent.

Before launching a product, one can spot the potential problems and even determine possible solutions.
The research that is carried out after the launch of a new product can help determine loopholes and prepare the business owners in countering certain loss and also increase the profits.


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