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Market Research
 
  Research is the scholarly or scientific practice of gathering existing or new information in order to enhance one's knowledge of a specific area. Research has many categories, from medicine to literature.

Market research is a form of applied sociology that concentrates on understanding the behaviors, whims and preferences, of consumers in a market-based economy, and aims to understand the effects and comparative success of marketing campaigns.

Market research is a generally divided into two categories: consumer market research and business-to-business (B2B) market research, which was previously known as industrial marketing research. Consumer marketing research studies the buying habits of individual people while business-to-business marketing research investigates the markets for products sold by one business to another.

Marketing research techniques come in many forms, including:

Ad Tracking Ė periodic or continuous in-market research to monitor a brandís performance using measures such as brand awareness, brand preference, and product usage.

Advertising Research Ė used to predict copy testing or track the efficacy of advertisements for any medium, measured by the adís ability to get attention, communicate the message, build the brandís image, and motivate the consumer to purchase the product or service.

Brand equity research - how favorably do consumers view the brand?

Brand name testing - what do consumers feel about the names of the products?

Commercial eye tracking research - examine advertisements, package designs, websites, etc by analyzing visual behavior of the consumer

Concept testing - to test the acceptance of a concept by target consumers

Coolhunting - to make observations and predictions in changes of new or existing cultural trends in areas such as fashion, music, films, television, youth culture and lifestyle

Buyer decision processes research - to determine what motivates people to buy and what decision-making process they use

Copy testing Ė predicts in-market performance of an ad before it airs by analyzing audience levels of attention, brand linkage, motivation, entertainment, and communication, as well as breaking down the adís flow of attention and flow of emotion.

Customer satisfaction studies - exit interviews or surveys that determine a customer's level of satisfaction with the quality of the transaction

Demand estimation - to determine the approximate level of demand for the product

Distribution channel audits - to assess distributorsí and retailersí attitudes toward a product, brand, or company

Internet strategic intelligence - searching for customer opinions in the Internet: chats, forums, web pages, blogs... where people express freely about their experiences with products, becoming strong "opinion formers"

Marketing effectiveness and analytics - Building models and measuring results to determine the effectiveness of individual marketing activities

Mystery shopping - An employee or representative of the market research firm anonymously contacts a salesperson and indicates he or she is shopping for a product. The shopper then records the entire experience. This method is often used for quality control or for researching competitors' products.

Positioning research - how does the target market see the brand relative to competitors? - What does the brand stand for?

Price elasticity testing - to determine how sensitive customers are to price changes

Sales forecasting - to determine the expected level of sales given the level of demand. With respect to other factors like Advertising expenditure, sales promotion etc.

Segmentation research - to determine the demographic, psychographic, and behavioral characteristics of potential buyers

Online panel - a group of individual who accepted to respond to marketing research online

Store audit - to measure the sales of a product or product line at a statistically selected store sample in order to determine market share, or to determine whether a retail store provides adequate service

Test marketing - a small-scale product launch used to determine the likely acceptance of the product when it is introduced into a wider market

Viral Marketing Research - refers to marketing research designed to estimate the probability that specific communications will be transmitted throughout an individualís Social Network. Estimates of Social Networking Potential (SNP) are combined with estimates of selling effectiveness to estimate ROI on specific combinations of messages and media.

All of these forms of marketing research can be classified as either problem-identification research or as problem-solving research.

A company collects primary research by gathering original data. Secondary research is conducted on data published previously and usually by someone else. Secondary research costs far less than primary research, but seldom comes in a form that exactly meets the needs of the researcher.
 
     
     
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