One big difference between big companies and small ones is the amount of resources large companies dedicate to research. The role of market research is to provide management with accurate, reliable, and relevant information. In the current challenging environment and the high cost of making poor decisions this type of accurate (and early) information is essential.
Without feedback from the market you will never be able to adapt quick enough to changes and new challenges from competitors whether these are other firms, organisations or even charities chasing donors. Managers make numerous strategic/tactical decisions so as to identify and satisfy customer and client needs. These decisions are complicated by interactions between product, pricing, promotion and distribution.
Further complications are added by technology, legislation, politics, competition, social and cultural changes etc. The role of market research is well explained by using the DECIDE model. Problem ID research include market potential/share, brand /company image, market characteristics, sales analysis, short/ long range forecasts and trends.
A declining market indicates that the firm is likely to have a problem achieving its targets. Similarly, a problem exists if the firm or organisation is losing market share. The recognition of economic, social, or cultural trends, (eg changes in consumer behaviour and budgets), may point to underlying problems or opportunities. Some complex marketing research projects require an understanding of sophisticated procedures and analytical techniques. Marketing research techniques now available include:
The Value of Market Research in Tough Times
The American Marketing Association (AMA) surveyed it membership on marketing in the current economy. 60% of AMA respondents report that their (corporate, association and non-profit marketers) biggest mistake was to avoid marketing when there is an economic downturn.
To Survey or not to survey?
Questionnaires, telephone and other surveys need to be well structured, carefully targeted and not too time consuming otherwise busy interviewees will become irritated and switch off.