A Basic Guide to Defining Your Market Research Goals

market research process, featured on www.blog.marketresearch.comWith all the big data that can be presented and purchased, marketing teams can easily become overwhelmed with the task of analyzing that data.So, how do we determine what is actually viable information that can be useful for our companies? The best way to ensure you are getting the most out of your marketing data is to define your research objectives and goals. A great way to start your next marketing research project is to use the following steps of the Marketing Research Process.

1. Define the problem or opportunity and state your objectives

When creating a new goal, it is important to recognize any current problems in a company. You should also work to see whether a problem can be molded into an opportunity. Basic marketing research courses explain that a management problem is any type of issue that needs managerial action in order to resolve the issue. However, a marketing research problem is defined as a statement specifying the type of information needed by the decision maker to help solve the management problem and how that information can be obtained efficiently and effectively. To solve the market research problem, a research team can develop a marketing research objective, which is a goal defining the specific information needed to solve the marketing research problem.

Before you begin a project, make sure you clearly define your objectives and the outcomes you expect from the research that will be conducted. Having a clear and definitive goal is helpful because setting too many goals can dilute a project and increase the chance of having the research fail. By having reasonable goals, you can refer back to them during the project to distinguish whether the research is still keeping the original goals in mind.

2. Develop the research design to meet your objectives

The purpose of a well-developed research design is to confirm theories, measure brand loyalty, describe the population, build a customer profile, or to gain specific information. Based on what you are interested in, deciding whether a descriptive or causal study is needed to meet research objectives is key when starting your project.

Consider all potential issues that could arise during research so you and your research team can be prepared and aware if they occur. For example, if information being gathered is irrelevant to the company’s newly developed objectives, both time and money will be wasted on continuing with that specific research. If this ever occurs, reorganize and consider working with research specialists to help in making sure that the data you are observing is targeted at your specific needs.

3. Collect information relevant to your objectives

Once information and data is needed, sometimes the easiest step is to start looking at secondary data first. Utilizing data sets and examining organized marketing research reports have the potential to clarify your issues or even provide a solution to your research objectives. Secondary data can even alert researchers to other problems and is usually less expensive and faster to gather than primary data.

Once you review or purchase all your secondary data, your researchers can determine whether any further research through surveys or focus groups is necessary. Conducting that research and developing solutions from the information gathered will be required in drawing new conclusions.

4. Create a final report

Create a final report by analyzing all data and organizing it into a useful format for your company’s marketing team. Sorting through conclusions to relate potential solutions to your goals and objectives is central in ensuring your company can make use of the new information both effectively and beneficially.

5. Follow up

Once all findings are organized, you need to choose whether the information gathered is going to be put into use. You should use this stage to identify the areas where marketing techniques can be improved for future research projects. But once all is finished, evaluating whether the information gathered was able to help create solutions and meet your goals is vital. Upper management will need to determine whether the information gathered was a.) worth the cost, and b.) beneficial in meeting the outlined goals.

By knowing what your overall goals and objectives are before you begin a new project, you will help your company and yourself in making sure the research stays on task.

Interested in learning more about using business intelligence to achieve your research goals? Download our free white paper on How to Use Market Research to Launch Your Business.

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Thanks for reading!

Caitlin Stewart
Marketing Intern,

Topics: Market Research Strategy