Data Collection Methods Used in Market Research
Market research is the process of collecting, recording and analyzing the data available, in order to help the company understand and analyze its market and prospective customers.
Market research includes the monitoring of marketing objectives, targets and goals and also analyzes the strategies of the competitors. With the help of market research, a company can understand the needs of its customers and can satisfy their needs and demand and try to deliver them the best possible product and services that matches their style and taste.
Data collection-data collection includes the collection of all the relevant information about the consumers, their taste, needs and preferences. This is the initial step before moving further with the market research. The market relies on the data gathered.
The collected data is first divided into primary and secondary categories. The primary data is collected in the field itself. The secondary data is collected from the already available material on the subject and by rule is always referred to first while doing desk research.
Desk research-desk research includes the collection of secondary data (already collected data), be it published or unpublished. Secondary data can be collected from the companys production, sales marketing and finance records. Besides this you can even get secondary data from government publications on the Internet such as governments expenditure and food survey, which shows how much amount the households spend along with the changing social trends of the country. Mintel, a commercial research organization and other similar organizations provide market research reports, which are accessible on the Internet.
Sampling/sample surveys-Market research companies commonly use this method to collect filed data. Convenience sampling involves gathering information from a focus group, which is easy to access. For example you can interview people walking on the road or traveling in buses. Apart from convenience sampling, judgment sampling and quota sampling are also commonly used sampling methods.
Questionnaires-This is one of the commonly used methods for collecting information while carrying out the market research. Surveys carried out by this method, can be conducted over the telephone or through personal interviews or even via Internet. Answering the questionnaires is not a difficult task. It can provide you with detailed and requisite information.
Telephone interviews-this method is best suited when the company urgently requires the information. It has been noted that in the present day context, consumers prefer to answer questionnaires; framed by the market research companies, online rather than giving a personal interview.
Personal interviews-in this method the person being interviewed, has to answer all the questions in personal to the interviewer. In the case of semi-structured interviews, all the order and wording of the question is mentioned in the questionnaire and the response is open ended and the person being interview is free to answer the questions in his words. Unstructured interviews include questions that have to be covered in a relaxed fashion.
These are the most frequently and commonly used methods in market research.
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