Understanding the research process

The different stages in the market research process will now be explained in detail.

1. Define the research objective:

The first step to the research process is to define the research objective. At this stage, the researcher defines the problem that he or she is attempting to solve.

Here, the word problem does not have a negative meaning. It can mean a new opportunity.

Exploratory research is one of the most common types of research used at the early stage of the investigative process.

It is used to obtain a clear understanding of the situation or environment. Secondary data, previous research, discussion with decision makers, experience survey, interviews with industry experts, similar case studies, a review of existing background information are some techniques that will help the researcher at this stage of the research process.

2. Selection of basic research method: After defining the problem and formulating the objectives, the researcher shall design the research.

This determines the way that the company collects the data.

Survey questionnaires, interview, and observations even secondary data studies are methods that can be used to gather the data.

However the most common method is a survey questionnaire.

3. Sampling: “A sample is a subset from larger population”.

Finding information about the characteristic of a population is an important objective for most types of market research.

Information about the population could be achieved by taking a sample.

Proper and good sampling has the same characteristic of the population as whole.

4. Data gathering:

During this stage, the researcher collects data.

It may be obtained by human observation or a survey questionnaire.

It can be over the phone or by face-to-face interviews.

5. Data processing and analysing:

After gathering the data, the information must be converted into language which is understandable for a wider audience.

At this stage, the first step is editing and coding.

The researcher checks the data for any minor mistakes and then “codes” the data. Coding means recording, categorising, and interpreting the data.

The second step in this process is to analyse the data.

6. Drawing conclusions and reporting:
The final stage in the research process is reporting and drawing a conclusion.

A market research report consists of a description and an interpretation of the research results, a conclusion and also an appropriate recommendation.

The costs and risks associated with delivering any new product are high. Some new products fail to achieve the objectives set.

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