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Marketing research can be defined as the collection and analysis of information to support marketing decision making and the communication of this analysis to management The corollary of this definition might be that marketing research is only done if there is at least a potential for a decision to be made because of it We can distinguish four types of market research objective Exploratory done to set the framework for later research and give the researcher some preliminary information about the subject Nowadays this is frequently a highly web-based process Baseline which is somewhat confusingly called descriptive in our textbook this is done to describe current facts without necessarily explaining what has caused them typically it is done in order to better understand the existing market for a product Diagnostic done in order to explain ie find a cause for a known effect especially a known problem with a current product in general it consists of identifying a specific problem-causing variable and tracking its effects Predictive done in order to suggest what the effects of changes in a significant variable will be it is often oriented to finding new opportunities in a changing environment An important observation that could be made about the preceding four research objectives is that all but the first are normally investigations of customers whether actual or potential and normally in relatively large numbers Exploratory research by contrast normally focuses not on customers but on other firms or organizations within the same market or on larger environmental factors such as legislation or economic trends If exploratory research does deal with customers it normally does so only in small numbers We can also distinguish various research methodologies or techniques for example focus groups surveys etc These in turn can be categorized in various ways One common way of categorizing these methodologies is Quantitative designed to yield data which can be analysed numerically using generally accepted statistical methods Surveys
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