"Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing."

by Sunanda K. Chavan on Thursday 24 February 2011, 5:11 PM | Category: Marketing| View: 1491 views

"Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing."



Market research and marketing research are often confused. 'Market' research is simply research into a specific market. It is a very narrow concept. 'Marketing' research is much broader.  "Marketing research is the function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information - information used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems; generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the methods for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes, and communicates the findings and their implications."

American Marketing Association (AMA) - Official Definition of Marketing Research

An example:

Define the problem.

Never conduct research for things that you would 'like' to know. Make sure that you really 'need' to know something. The problem then becomes the focus of the research. For example, why are sales falling in New Zealand?

Data Collection

How will you collect the data that you will analyze to solve your problem Select a sampling method. Do we us a random sample, stratified sample, or cluster sample?


How will we analyze any data collected? What software will we use? What degree of accuracy is required?

Decide upon a budget and a timeframe.

Go back and speak to the managers or clients requesting the research. Make sure that you agree on the problem! If you gain approval, then move on to step seven.

Go ahead and collect the data.

Conduct the analysis of the data.

Check for errors. It is not uncommon to find errors in sampling, data collection method, or analytic mistakes.


Write your final report. This will contain charts, tables, and diagrams that will communicate the results of the research, and hopefully lead to a solution to your problem. Watch out for errors in interpretation.

Our marketing research activities should be planned and practical exercises leading to specific decisions that drive our marketing strategies.

There is a plethora of data available

Market research versus marketing research

Market research is about understanding the broader marketplace in which we intend to compete.

While research is key to marketing decision making, it does not always need to be elaborate to be effective.  Sometimes small efforts, such as doing a quick search on the Internet, will provide the needed information. 


The effectiveness of planning the marketing mix depends as much on the ability to select the right target markets as on devising a product which will generate high levels of satisfaction. There should be continuous monitoring of product via exit surveys


Extremely challenging for a destination marketing organization as they do not control any inventory

We cannot tell a supplier to sell his product at any specific price even if its priced above where it should be.

They supply relevant market intelligence regarding the pace of bookings and what is being offered in the market i.e value for money

Conduct scans of the market as well as economic conditions to determine what national efforts need to be undertaken and what would constitute a compelling offer.

Destination marketing and planning for the Barbados Tourism Authority involves interaction with various publics from the both from the supply side and the demand side and protecting their interest.

It is imperative that the relevant information to make sound decisions is available and that actions are taken in the most cost effective way to the benefit of Barbados as a whole.

Apart from profit maximizing steps such as item optimization, customer profitability analysis, and price elasticity, marketing research allows you to find out methods that can help you maximize profits. 

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