By Nicholas Klacsanzky
In any sphere of life, it is important to be able to make well-informed decisions. The popular approach, “seize each moment,” is good mostly for movies; in real life, all the decisions we make have consequences for which we are fully responsible. So, before making a decision, it is advisable to conduct reconnaissance: gather information, study risks, gains, and other possible outcomes. This is especially crucial in business, where entrepreneurs and companies operate with budgets, invest in various projects, and are interested in gaining revenues. Managers responsible for the decision-making process understand the importance of such a scrupulous approach; respectively, for them, marketing research is one of the ways they can gather all the data necessary to make the best possible decision in every situation.
Since the majority of people know what a market is, let us instead define marketing first. In general, the term “marketing” is used to name the process of exchanging offerings (exchanging implies providing goods or services for money). A more detailed definition comprises activities and institutions that are involved in the process of creating, communicating, and delivering these offerings to customers, partners, and society. For an exchange to occur, two conditions must be held: both parties participating in the exchange must have something of mutual value, and there must be certain relationships established between these parties. The former implies that a company or entrepreneur can satisfy customers’ needs, providing them with goods or services that can help customers solve their problems (the “right” principle: providing the right services for the right people). The latter means that before a customer purchases something from a company, he or she must become interested, or at least informed about this company and its goods and services. If you need a vacuum cleaner, most likely you will not go to a store and buy the first one you run into; instead, you will try to choose a brand you can trust, a brand known for producing vacuum cleaners of high quality. This image of a brand, formed in your mind—or, in other words, the relationship with the brand—is the result of marketing: for example, advertising and informational campaigns are run by companies regularly. The efforts of marketers are aimed at forming a positive image of a brand or company in your mind so that you would want to purchase their services. However, to be able to both build such a relationship and provide the “right services to the right people,” managers need timely information that can help them make proper decisions—and the main channel of such information is marketing research (Scribd).
It is difficult to underestimate the role of marketing research when you know what functions it performs and what use it brings to marketers. In particular, marketing research helps managers understand how people get to know about the goods and services provided by a company, and what defines the choices they make, recognizes the groups of consumers (potential customers) existing in a society, and shows distinctions between them—this helps companies avoid treating different groups in the same manner, instead of allowing them to develop a unique approach to each group. Marketing research is for examining the needs of each of these groups of customers and enabling companies to become able to satisfy them better. Due to marketing research, managers can decide on the optimal price for the products provided so that customers can purchase solutions for their needs; developing new concepts, sales, advertising strategies, and products, and ensuring that they will be demanded—this is also what marketing research allows managers to do. In addition, the information obtained during marketing research can help managers make their brand and/or company distinctive, stand out, and be attractive to customers; it can also point out new and ongoing marketing trends and thus contribute to a company’s adjustability, as well as determine the direction in which a company can further develop (KoganPage).
If we compare the relationship between customers and brands to warfare, brand or company managers can be seen as generals, commanding armies and developing strategies. To perform their duties successfully, generals need reconnaissance: detailed information about enemy positions, intentions, and motives. In their turn, company managers need to know who needs what, why a person would want to purchase this or that good or service, and how clients’ behaviors can be predicted.
Marketing is the process of developing, communicating, and delivering certain offerings to customers. The two main conditions for this process is that both parties participating in it possess something valuable for each other (usually it is a service or product in exchange for money) and that there is a relationship between them (commonly, it is a brand’s interest in customers and clients’ trust towards the brand). To meet these two conditions and be able to satisfy customers’ needs as fully as possible, managers running companies need detailed information about their customer’s habits, lifestyles, decision-making patterns, and so on. This information can be obtained by conducting marketing research, which makes this tool a valuable channel of information in the decision-making process.
Page, Kogan. “Decision Making and Market Research.” Kogan Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 July 2017.
“The Role of Marketing Research in Management Decision Making.” Scribd. Scribd, n.d. Web. 27 July 2017.