Product research, Sales Research, Consumer/Customer Research, Production Research

07/01/2021 1 By indiafreenotes

Market Research

It is important for businesses to know and understand preferences of their consumers. Conducting research is one of the best ways of achieving customer satisfaction, reduce customer churn and elevate business.

Benefits of an Efficient Market Research

  • Make well-informed decisions: The growth of an organization is dependent on the way decisions are made by the management. Using market research techniques, the management can make business decisions on the basis of obtained results that back their knowledge and experience. Market research helps to know market trends, hence to carry it out frequently to get to know the customers thoroughly.
  • Gain accurate information: Market research provides real and accurate information that will prepare the organization for any mishaps that may happen in the future. By properly investigating the market, a business will undoubtedly be taking a step forward, and therefore it will be taking advantage of its existing competitors.
  • Determine the market size: A researcher can evaluate the size of the market that must be covered in case of selling a product or service in order to make profits.
  • Choose an appropriate sales system: Select a precise sales system according to what the market is asking for, and according to this, the product/service can be positioned in the market.
  • Learn about customer preferences: It helps to know how the preferences (and tastes) of the clients change so that the company can satisfy preferences, purchasing habits, and income level. Researchers can determine the type of product that must be manufactured or sold based on the specific needs of consumers.
  • Gather details about customer perception about the brand: In addition to generating information, market research helps a researcher in understanding how the customers perceive the organization or brand.
  • Analyze customer communication methods: Market research serves as a guide for communication with current and potential clients.
  • Productive business investment: It is a great investment for any business, because thanks to it they get invaluable information, it shows researchers the way to follow to take the right path and achieve the sales that are required.

Product research

A product is any object which has an identifiable physical existence. According to Philip Kotler “A product is a bundle of physical service and provides satisfaction to the buyer.” Product planning is the starting point of all marketing decisions. Products which are marketed include physical goods, services, and ideas.

Physical goods are consumer, consumer-durable and industrial goods and services are of varied types, i.e., courier, Air lines, transport, communication and hospitality and tourism etc. Idea can be thought, patent and information etc.

Product research is essentially concerned with satisfying the need of the consumer in the best possible way by giving him the most optimum product. Product research would set out to position the product on its attributes in a manner that the desired benefits are perceived by the customer.

Product Research Product research includes the study of the following dimensions:

  1. Raw Materials used in various proportions in the final mix.
  2. Attributes of the product.
  3. Saleable points of the product.
  4. Product Planning.
  5. Product Appraisal.
  6. Product Classification.
  7. Product Design.
  8. Product Development.
  9. Product Branding or Trademarks.

Product research should cover the decision-making on the following:

  1. Which product should the company produce?
  2. Should company expand or simplify the product line?
  3. What brand, package and label should be used for each product?
  4. How should the product be designed?
  5. How should the product be priced?
  6. In what quantities should each item be produced?

Sales Research

Marketing management depends heavily on Sales Control Research (Sales Research) for formulating marketing policies, planning and controlling marketing operation. Sales Control Research is the identification and measurement of all those variables which individually and in combination have an effect on sales.

Sales Control Research comprises substantial proportion of research work conducted by various companies’ marketing research departments. This encompasses the marketing studies pertaining to sales forecasting, market potentials, market share analysis, and determination of market characteristics and sales analysis.

Marketing intelligence is responsible for examining published information maintaining full records of sales and customer activity by the maintenance of company records and by means of field research and information supplied by salesmen and advertising agencies provides a balanced information flow to formulate suitable and effective marketing strategies.

Market analysis is undertaken to reveal a set of geographical sales potential the maximum possible sales opportunities, for all sellers of product or service in a specific area. Market potentials refer to total sales possibilities and sales forecast refers to possible units of sale of a product by a seller.

It may be noted that market potential is not the same thing as sales potential and sales forecast. Generally, the industry sales forecast will be less than its sales potential. Likewise, a company’s sales force cost will be less than its sales potential. The former is a point estimate of the future sales, while the latter represents a boundary condition which the sales might reach in an ideal solution.

In the latter sense, sales potential is to firm what market potential is to an industry or product class: both represent maximum demand response and are boundary conditions. Depending upon the sales potential existing in each sales territory, we can design the trade channels keeping in view the sales potential figures.

Consumer/Customer Research

Customer research focuses on understanding your customers by focusing on exploring their attitudes, needs, motivations and behavior as the relate to your business. This ultimately helps you better identify, understand, analyze and retain your customers.

  1. Primary Customer Research

Primary research is any type of research that you conduct directly with your target customers. Its greatest advantages are that you can target it to groups or segments of your customers and specifically tailor the content to your research needs. Primary customer research includes:

Online surveys. Increasingly popular and relatively low cost, online surveys are widely used by retailers to capture insights from existing and potential customers. They can be conducted using your own customer database, or you can use third-party consumer survey panels that include your customers. If you use a consumer research panel you will have to include a question to identify your shoppers.

Mail surveys. Once the gold standard, mail surveys have fallen out of favor for quicker, less expensive options. Printed surveys are mailed and sent back in a pre-paid envelope. Response rates (the proportion of people sending back a completed survey) are often very low and the turn-around time for mail surveys to be returned is long.

Telephone interviews. Although they provide faster feedback than mail surveys, the effectiveness will be limited by the available phone numbers, particularly since you can’t solicit to cell phone numbers without permission. In addition, potential customers are often wary of being called and may be reluctant to give anything other than short answers.

Face-to-face surveys (often store exit interviews). Personal interviews conducted face-to-face (often as the customer exists the store) can be on the more expensive side, but they can also provide detailed insights from your customers. They require coordination with Store Operations, which might require more up-front time for planning.

Focus groups. Focus groups bring together a small group of consumers to discuss their opinions about products, brands, shopping and other relevant subjects. You might think of them as customer panel research. They’re a good way to get a sense of customer preferences and attitudes. However, because a focus group involves only a small number of customers, it can be challenging to apply the results to your entire customer base.

Online bulletin boards. With this consumer research example, customers opt into a three-day “group conversation” led by a professional moderator who poses questions to participants and probes answers for more details. This is an effective tool to drill down into specific issues, but is based on a small sample.

Ethnographic. This type of customer research involves observing customers in their actual environment, which might be their home, a store or online. Watching how consumers behave provides many insights, but can leave questions unanswered.

Sales data. You can analyze your transactional data to glean insights on customers. It’s a form of customer behavior research, and it can be conducted in conjunction with other types of customer market research to give you a comprehensive analysis of your customers. Learn more about customer analytics and analysis.

Customer quizzes. Another increasingly-popular survey tactic is to place a short pop-up survey on your website. This can help confirm a hypothesis you have about your target market or help define a product issue. Remember to keep it short pop-up surveys are most successful when you stick to one question.

  1. Secondary Customer Research

Secondary research is data that has been compiled and organized by a third party, typically data aggregators or large customer market research companies who focus on specific industries and types of data. This includes “syndicated research,” which is research that is independently conducted, published and sold by a market research firm.

Secondary research typically measures consumer attitudes, product and brand preferences, media consumption habits, and demographic and lifestyle characteristics. It’s usually based on large research projects conducted on a national level. The results aren’t limited to your customers, although you can select demographics and other data to help you mirror your customers as much as possible.

Some secondary customer research examples include industry trends by retail-specific market research companies, such as NPD; media consumption reports by data aggregators, such as Simmons; and shopping behavior tracking by retail specialists, such as Kantar.

Since the same research results can be purchased by several companies, the cost of performing secondary research can be less expensive. These reports are useful for tracking consumer trends and providing comparisons. However, they don’t provide the same level of actionable insights on your customers as primary research, which is designed to find the “why” of a purchase and to project what could occur in the future.

  1. Quantitative Customer Research

When conducting primary customer research, you can gather two basic types of information: qualitative or quantitative.

Quantitative research provides statistical information on your customers for example, the age of your customers, where they shop and whether they are aware of your brand. The most common tool used for quantitative research today is online surveys. The goal is to reach enough customers to make the results statistically reliable so you can project them across your entire customer base and have confidence in the results.

  1. Qualitative Customer Research

Qualitative research examines people’s feelings and attitudes towards your product or service, and what motivates them. Focus groups are the most common tool used for qualitative research.

These are more-in-depth interviews that are open-ended and have a smaller number of participants than quantitative research. While the interviews provide in-depth information, the results should be used directionally since they aren’t broad enough to project across your entire customer base.

It’s wise to consider using a professional moderator for qualitative research. This person can help keep the conversation on track and help ensure that all participants have been heard, preventing the conversation from being dominated by a few.

Production Research

The purpose of production research is to gather information on the content of production related issues. The methods of production research could be primary research; this means researching via books and setting up focus groups to gather people’s opinions. Through this type research information is gathered to support producers to make informed decisions.

Production research is essential when planning to develop a new game idea. Production research helps to provide content, research commercial viability and plan the post production process. To perform production research the developer or producer will employ trained researchers to gather the suitable information for the area they are looking for e.g., financial or locations. Production research also includes advertising and where it might be placed to gain the best possible reaction from the audience. It will help to gain information on income and outgoing costs.

Income: The Company can gain income by hosting publicity stunts, sponsorship and merchandise. Celebrities can help to advertise products globally as they are well known in many parts of the world to get the advertising wider spread.

Outcome: The costs include the price to advertise and the distribution amongst appropriate media.