Marketing Research in the 21st Century

01/09/2022 0 By indiafreenotes

Marketing research is the systematic gathering, recording, and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data about issues relating to marketing products and services. The goal is to identify and assess how changing elements of the marketing mix impacts customer behavior.

This involves specifying the data required to address these issues, then designing the method for collecting information, managing and implementing the data collection process. After analyzing the data collected, these results and findings, including their implications, are forwarded to those empowered to act on them.

Market research, marketing research, and marketing are a sequence of business activities; sometimes these are handled informally.

The field of marketing research is much older than that of market research. Although both involve consumers, Marketing research is concerned specifically about marketing processes, such as advertising effectiveness and salesforce effectiveness, while market research is concerned specifically with markets and distribution. Two explanations given for confusing Market research with Marketing research are the similarity of the terms and also that Market Research is a subset of Marketing Research. Further confusion exists because of major companies with expertise and practices in both areas.


First, marketing research is systematic. Thus systematic planning is required at all the stages of the marketing research process. The procedures followed at each stage are methodologically sound, well documented, and, as much as possible, planned in advance. Marketing research uses the scientific method in that data are collected and analyzed to test prior notions or hypotheses. Experts in marketing research have shown that studies featuring multiple and often competing hypotheses yield more meaningful results than those featuring only one dominant hypothesis.

Marketing research is objective. It attempts to provide accurate information that reflects a true state of affairs. It should be conducted impartially. While research is always influenced by the researcher’s research philosophy, it should be free from the personal or political biases of the researcher or the management. Research which is motivated by personal or political gain involves a breach of professional standards. Such research is deliberately biased so as to result in predetermined findings. The objective nature of marketing research underscores the importance of ethical considerations. Also, researchers should always be objective with regard to the selection of information to be featured in reference texts because such literature should offer a comprehensive view on marketing. Research has shown, however, that many marketing textbooks do not feature important principles in marketing research.

Marketing is art of developing, advertising and distributing goods and services to consumer as well as business. However, marketing is not just limited to goods and services it is extended to everything from places to ideas and in between. This brings forth many challenges within which marketing people have to take strategy decisions. And answer to these challenges depends on the market the company is catering to, for consumer market decision are with respect to product, packaging and distribution channel.

For business market, knowledge and awareness of product is very essential for marketing people as businesses are on the lookout to maintain or establish a credential in their respective market.

For global market, marketing people have to consider not only culture diversity but also be careful with respect to international trade laws, trade agreement, and regulatory requirements of individual market. For non for profit organization with limited budgets, importance is related to pricing of products, so companies have to design and sell products accordingly.

Marketing philosophy employed by any given company has to be mix of organization interest, consumer interest and societal interest. In production philosophy, companies focus is on numbers, high production count, which reduces cost per unit and along with mass distribution. This kind of concept is usually making sense in a developing market where there is the need of product in large numbers.

The product philosophy talks about consumers who are willing to pay an extra premium for high quality and reliable performance, so companies focus on producing well made products.

The selling concept believes in pushing consumers into buying of products, which under normal circumstance, they would be resistant. The marketing concept believes consumer satisfaction, thereby developing and selling products keeping focus solely on customer needs and wants.

The customer philosophy believes in the creation of customized products, where in products is design looking at historical transaction of consumers.

The last philosophy is the societal concept which believes in developing products, which not only generate consumer satisfaction but also take into account well being of society or environment.

Digital revolution and 21st century have made companies fine tune the way they conduct their business. One major trend observed is the need of stream lining processes and systems with the focus on cost reduction through outsourcing.

Another trend observed in companies is, encouragement to entrepreneur style of work environment with glocal (global-local) approach. At the same time, marketers of companies are looking forward to building long term relationship with consumers. This relationship establishes platform understanding consumer needs and preference.

Marketers are looking at distribution channels as partners in business and not as the customer. Companies and marketers are making decisions using various computers simulated models.

Rise of Digital Marketing

Marketing in the 21st century combines both traditional and digital channels to promote products and services. Before the 21st century, organizations had no advertising options other than conventional channels such as newspapers, television, flyers and radio to reach their target customers. They focused on mass marketing campaigns to create awareness in the target market and influence potential customers to make purchasing decisions.

The arrival of the internet transformed the concept of promotion into inbound marketing from outbound marketing. Inbound marketing facilitates two-way interactive communication between organizations and customers through search engines and social media platforms, emails and content strategies.

Social Media Marketing

Organizations use social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram extensively to engage target audiences in interaction and influence their behavior. Social media has become a platform for people to share opinions and purchase experiences. With appropriate marketing efforts to channel these opinions and purchase experiences, organizations spread positive word-of-mouth through social media platforms and increase conversion rates. The benefits of social media marketing for organizations are low cost and high response rate.

Personalized Email Marketing

Marketing in the 21st century focuses on adding value to customers by educating and entertaining them through digital platforms. Email marketing is a widely used tool for sending personalized messages to customers and persuading them to make purchases. Organizations in the 21st century have created opt-in email lists to execute an email marketing campaign. An opt-in email list comprises email addresses of individuals who have shown an interest in services or products offered by an organization.

As reported by the Data and Marketing Association in 2019, organizations earn an average of $42 on every $1 they spend on email marketing. The Content Marketing Institute in 2019 reported that nearly 87 percent of organizations use emails to disseminate a personalized promotional message to clients.

Content Marketing Strategy

Content is king when it comes to marketing in the 21st century. Small and medium-scale organizations extensively use search engine marketing techniques to reach target customers online. High-quality, unique and value-added content is essential for websites to achieve high ranks on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. The Google search engine, in particular, emphasizes quality content when ranking websites. The content marketing strategy in the 21st century is to help organizations achieve objectives such as engaging customers, persuading them to make purchase decisions, and developing brand identity.

Traditional Marketing in the 21st Century

Though organizations have shifted to digital marketing in the 21st century, traditional marketing is not dead. Large-scale organizations are still highly dependent on television and print advertising to attract customers. The marketers of large-scale organizations integrate traditional and digital marketing strategies to create a suitable brand image for their products. Meanwhile, small-scale organizations with a lower marketing budget leverage digital marketing tools to bring more clients on board.

Marketing in the 21st century is a mix of both traditional and digital marketing. Depending on the type of products, marketing budget, size of the target market, and spending habits of potential customers, organizations alter their marketing strategies accordingly.