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Market research is any organized effort to gather information about target markets or customers. It is a very important component of business strategy. The term is commonly interchanged with marketing research; however, expert practitioners may wish to draw a distinction, in that marketing research is concerned specifically about marketing processes, while market research is concerned specifically with markets. Market research is one of the key factors used in maintaining competitiveness over competitors. Market research provides important information to identify and analyze the market need, market size and competition. Market-research techniques encompass both qualitative techniques such as focus groups, in-depth interviews, and ethnography, as well as quantitative techniques such as customer surveys, and analysis of secondary data. Market research, which includes social and opinion research, is the systematic gathering and interpretation of information about individuals or organizations using statistical and analytical methods and techniques of the applied social sciences to gain insight or support decision making.

 

Market research for business/planning

Market research is a way of getting an overview of consumers' wants, needs and beliefs. It can also involve discovering how they act. The research can be used to determine how a product could be marketed. Peter Drucker believed market research to be the quintessence of marketing.  There are two major types of market research. Primary Research sub-divided into Quantitative and Qualitative research and Secondary research.  Factors that can be investigated through market research include  

 

Market information :

Through Market information one can know the prices of different commodities in the market, as well as the supply and demand situation. Market researchers have a wider role than previously recognized by helping their clients to understand social, technical, and even legal aspects of markets. 

 

Market segmentation :

 

Market segmentation is the division of the market or population into subgroups with similar motivations. It is widely used for segmenting on geographic differences, personality differences, demographic differences, technographic differences, use of product differences, psychographic differences and gender differences. For B2B segmentation firmographics is commonly used.  

 

Market trends :

Market trends are the upward or downward movement of a market, during a period of time. Determining the market size may be more difficult if one is starting with a new innovation. In this case, you will have to derive the figures from the number of potential customers, or customer segments.  

 

SWOT analysis: 

SWOT is a written analysis of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to a business entity. Not only should a SWOT be used in the creation stage of the company but could also be used throughout the life of the company. A SWOT may also be written up for the competition to understand how to develop the marketing and product mixes.  Another factor that can be measured is marketing effectiveness. This includes  

  • Customer analysis
  • Choice modelling
  • Competitor analysis
  • Risk analysis
  • Product research
  • Advertising the research
  • Marketing mix modeling
  • Simulated Test Marketing