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Marketing research is the systematic gathering, recording, and

analysis of data about issues relating to marketing products and
services. The goal of marketing research is to identify and assess how
changing elements of the marketing mix impacts customer behavior.
The term is commonly interchanged with market research; however,
expert practitioners may wish to draw a distinction, in that market
research is concerned specifically with markets, while marketing
research is concerned specifically about marketing processes.

Marketing research is often partitioned into two sets of categorical

pairs, either by target market:
Consumer marketing research, and
Business-to-business (B2B) marketing research

Or, alternatively, by methodological approach:

Qualitative marketing research, and
Quantitative marketing research

Consumer marketing research is a form of applied sociology that

concentrates on understanding the preferences, attitudes, and
behaviors of consumers in a market-based economy, and it aims to
understand the effects and comparative success of marketing
campaigns. The field of consumer marketing research as a statistical
science was pioneered by Arthur Nielsen with the founding of the
ACNielsen Company in 1923.

Thus, marketing research may also be described as the systematic and

objective identification, collection, analysis, and dissemination of
information for the purpose of assisting management in decision
making related to the identification and solution of problems and
opportunities in marketing.
Marketing research uses include: Advertising testing research,
branding research, customer satisfaction research, pricing research,
product positioning research, new product assessments, marketing
due diligence, and segmentation research. We conduct these
marketing research studies for firms of most sizes — from venture
funded start ups to middle-market and large enterprises.

Market research focuses on assessing the preferences and choices of

consumers and potential consumers. The Market Research Application
(MRA) of SAS/STAT software is an intuitive point-and-click interface
that provides statistical and graphical techniques for market research
data analysis. The Market Research Application provides easy access
to five important types of data analysis commonly used in market
research. These are

• Conjoint Analysis

• Correspondence Analysis

• Discrete Choice Modeling

• Multidimensional Scaling

• Multidimensional Preference Analysis

Marketing Research vs. Market Research

These terms often are used interchangeably, but technically there is a


Market research deals specifically with the gathering of information

about a market's size and trends. Marketing research covers a wider
range of activities. While it may involve market research, marketing
research is a more general systematic process that can be applied to a
variety of marketing problems.
The Value of Information
Information can be useful, but what determines its real value to the
organization? In general, the value of information is determined by:
The ability and willingness to act on the information.
The accuracy of the information.
The level of indecisiveness that would exist without the information.
The amount of variation in the possible results.
The level of risk aversion.
The reaction of competitors to any decision improved by the
The cost of the information in terms of time and money.

The Marketing Research Process

Once the need for marketing research has been established, most
marketing research projects involve these steps:
• Define the problem

• Determine research design

• Identify data types and sources

• Design data collection forms and questionnaires

• Determine sample plan and size

• Collect the data

• Analyze and interpret the data

• Prepare the research report

Applications of Market Research

Pricing Research

We provide pricing strategy consulting backed by strong pricing

research capabilities. Our perspective is broad when dealing with
pricing research and pricing strategy decisions, and focus on finding
for your business optimum price-product-feature configurations in the
context of market positioning opportunities. We employ both
qualitative and quantitative pricing research tools.
Product Research

Product market research serves several goals: new product design and
market validation research, or assessing existing product strength and
line extension potential. We follow the product development cycle
integrating research with creative positioning and technical product
design efforts.

Concept Testing

Concept testing research evaluates advertising concepts, ad theme

concepts and appeals, new product concepts, pricing, brand concepts,
brand names, and positioning strategy concepts. We select
techniques -- qualitative and quantitative -- to both develop concepts,
refine, and screen to assess market potential.

Positioning Research

We offer experienced market positioning and creative branding

research capabilities to define and go-to-market with a high-impact
positioning strategy. First, it requires understanding the market
positioning concept, your current and potential markets, and the
process needed to generate brand name impact.

Marketing Due Diligence

We support venture investment firms with primary and secondary

marketing research in a stand alone or component marketing due
diligence study.

Customer Satisfaction Research

The buzz and interest around customer satisfaction research

sometimes deflates if the research design does not lead to actionable
results. Also, customer expectations generally rise overtime as
advances in technology in many categories boost the consumer
consciousness of what to expect. We build into our customer
satisfaction study design "action indicators" to point to immediate use
of customer satisfaction results.
Branding Research

Branding decisions drive branding marketing research strategy.

Corporate, product and advertising brand development is a mix of
creativity and marketing information to uncover brand positioning
opportunities in cluttered market spaces.

Brand Equity Research

Brand equity research measures the breadth and depth of brand power
in your target markets. We use both standard and custom tailored
brand equity survey measurements. A key to research design is the
goal of a brand equity measurement study.

Advertising Research

Advertising research design is determined by specific advertising goals

and the stage of ad development, or campaign. We use a broad range
of advertising research techniques including ad recall surveys,
message and theme salience and impact measures, buying motivation
and association with the ad message or positioning theme. We employ
both qualitative and quantitative pricing research tools.

Market Segmentation

Market segmentation research maintains focus and delivers needed

marketing information in today's moving economy where new markets
and new product categories emerge and traditional market segments
fade away. Market segmentation research is a way to keep 'your eye
on the ball.' Often we start the market segmentation process with
qualitative research to the range and breadth of customers. Then we
follow with quantitative research using appropriate multivariate
analysis (cluster, k-means factor, etc) to define meaningful segments.

Sales Analysis

Data mining -- finding gems of insight from sophisticated or basic

analysis of your internal customer and sales and margin trend data -- is
a key first step in product and brand analysis. Simply put, a marketing
analysis data mining effort searches for meaning and insight among
the stacks of sales data and marketing data already within a sales and
marketing organization. Through these tools we can better target your
best customers, find which advertising and promotion methods are
most efficient and effective.

Role of marketing research (MR)

The task of marketing research is to provide management with
relevant, accurate, reliable, valid, and current information. Competitive
marketing environment and the ever-increasing costs attributed to
poor decision making require that marketing research provide sound
information. Sound decisions are not based on gut feeling, intuition, or
even pure judgment.

Marketing managers make numerous strategic and tactical decisions in

the process of identifying and satisfying customer needs. They make
decisions about potential opportunities, target market selection,
market segmentation, planning and implementing marketing
programs, marketing performance, and control. These decisions are
complicated by interactions between the controllable marketing
variables of product, pricing, promotion, and distribution. Further
complications are added by uncontrollable environmental factors such
as general economic conditions, technology, public policies and laws,
political environment, competition, and social and cultural changes.
Another factor in this mix is the complexity of consumers. Marketing
research helps the marketing manager link the marketing variables
with the environment and the consumers. It helps remove some of the
uncertainty by providing relevant information about the marketing
variables, environment, and consumers. In the absence of relevant
information, consumers' response to marketing programs cannot be
predicted reliably or accurately. Ongoing marketing research programs
provide information on controllable and non-controllable factors and
consumers; this information enhances the effectiveness of decisions
made by marketing managers.

Traditionally, marketing researchers were responsible for providing the

relevant information and marketing decisions were made by the
managers. However, the roles are changing and marketing researchers
are becoming more involved in decision making, whereas marketing
managers are becoming more involved with research. The role of
marketing research in managerial decision making is explained further
using the framework of the "DECIDE" model:
D Define the marketing problem
E Enumerate the controllable and uncontrollable decision factors
C Collect relevant information
I Identify the best alternative
D Develop and implement a marketing plan
E Evaluate the decision and the decision process

The DECIDE model conceptualizes managerial decision making as a

series of six steps. The decision process begins by precisely defining
the problem or opportunity, along with the objectives and constraints.
Next, the possible decision factors that make up the alternative
courses of action (controllable factors) and uncertainties
(uncontrollable factors) are enumerated. Then, relevant information on
the alternatives and possible outcomes is collected. The next step is to
select the best alternative based on chosen criteria or measures of
success. Then a detailed plan to implement the alternative selected is
developed and put into effect. Last, the outcome of the decision and
the decision process itself are evaluated.

A Major Vendor of Equipment and Services for Genomic Analysis

A supplier of instrumentation for drug discovery asked CHI Insight

Pharma Reports to conduct market research on big pharma’s plans
regarding outsourcing of R&D to Asia, particularly India and China. The
aim of the project was to gather insight into the extent to which
companies were planning to expand this type of collaboration, what
factors favored increased activity and what concerns might limit plans
to expand such activities. We suggested two possible approaches for
assessing these trends; a larger scale on-line survey and a more
intensive series of interviews with a smaller number of pharmaceutical
executives, including the possibility of doing both. The client selected
the second approach, and worked with the Insight Pharma Reports
Team to refine the key questions to be raised.

Based on a series of CHI conferences and collaborative projects being

conducted by CHI’s sister company Cambridge Healthtech Associates
(CHA), we were able to identify a number of senior executives from
large pharma with specific responsibility related to outsourcing of R&D.
We did not want to only interview companies that had executives
specifically responsible for such collaborations with Asia, in order to
avoid only speaking with those companies that had made a
commitment to expanding such collaborations. We interviewed a total
of ten executives, each from a different company.
The client was provided with summaries of each interview, as well as a
document covering the trends, reasoning and expectations we had
found. Information from the interviews were supplemented with
background information on these trends and the key issues based on
information that emerged from recent CHI conferences on the subject
of collaborations for pharmaceutical R&D in China and India.

This market research project helped support a decision by the client to

increase their presence within Asia, and in particular to begin
collaborations with R&D service companies within the region for
validation of results from studies carried out using the client’s
instrumentation. This step was designed to provide pharmaceutical
customers with increased confidence in the capabilities of the CROs
within the region, and to accelerate the uptake of instrumentation
sales and CRO service contracts.