The marketing research process includes four steps: Step 1: Define and develop your marketing and communications plan. This begins with the development of a marketing and communications plan to help you understand how you will deliver on your overall vision and mission, and to meet both your long-term and short-term financial plans. Step 2: Gain insight into your organization’s products, services, markets, structure and processes to develop an effective marketing strategy based on sound business principles. Step 3: Identify specific objectives you want to achieve with your marketing program. Step 4: Create the call to action that will prompt customers or clients to respond in

 The marketing research process has four steps: analyze the problem, collect information, generate and evaluate ideas and make recommendations.

Market research process refers to learn everything about a targeted market area for promoting a specific service or product. There are variety of resources and tools are available to help marketer in research and analyze the marketplace. Market leaders and other growing companies like Apple, Dell, and Toyota has their own Market Research development department (R&D). Many specialized marketing research companies also offer effective services for large companies and business to conduct market research. So, many businesses conduct the marketing research using the wide-ranging and cost-effective resources and tools that are widely available.

A well integrated strategic planning process always needs market research and information in order to design an achievable marketing strategy.

  • Define the Problem & Research Objective.
  • Developing Marketing Research Plan.
  • Collect Needed Information.
  • Implementing Marketing Research Plan.

Define Problem & Research Objective

The first step of marketing research process is to define the problem and objective of research. Top level management and marketing manager should work together to define underlying problem and also must be agree on research objective. C-suite executives better understand the decision for which information is needed, marketer and researcher best understand marketing research and required tools for obtaining information. Defining the problem and selecting the research objectives is vital and critical step of research process. The definition of the problem and the selected research objective serves as a guide to entire research process.

Develop Marketing Research Plan

After defining the problem and set the research objectives the next step in marketing research process is to develop marketing research plan. In this step marketers and researchers determine the exact needed information, develop a plan for gathering it efficiently and then present the plan to the C-suite executives. To develop research plan outlines the source of existing data tells about adopting specific research approaches like contact method, Focus group interview, Sampling research plan, Marketing research questionnaires and other instruments researchers will use to gather new data.

Different companies use different instruments and tools for data collection according to their specific needs and requirements. Marketing Research plan should be in the form of written proposal. A written marketing research proposal is very important when research project is complex or when research is being done by any specialized agency. Marketing research proposal must cover the management problem, selective research objective and the information needed for data collection.

To develop this practice, you can consider:

What primary sources will you tap into?

  • Will you interview key individuals?
  • How about a focus group from your target audience?
  • Could you build a survey for people to answer: Consider the questions you ask. Do they help solve the problem? Are they closed or open-ended questions?
marketing research process

What secondary sources of information can you use?

  • Are there any government websites with insights into your target audience?
  • Could you search university article databases for research that could be helpful?
  • How about articles written by other companies which could help?

Your research practice will likely depend on your marketing budget and the timeframe you have to complete your research. Consider different methods that might work best for your resources and time.

For example, online surveys don’t cost a lot of money; however, a focus group might cost more in time and money but could give you some great data. Grabbing data from government websites can net you a lot of useful information with little cost, but it might not be specific enough to your needs to be useful.

Once you have decided how you will conduct the research, you’ll need to come up with a timeline. Delegate responsibilities so you know who on your team is doing what task and when can help tie the marketing research project together.

Implementing Marketing Research Plan

After collection data, marketing research department processing and analyzing information and make the decision based on findings and then implement the decision. After implementation of the decision if management not achieve desired results then there is a need to revise the steps in marketing research process.

Collect Needed Information

This is the practical and most expensive stage of marketing research process. There are also chances of errors. For example if information is being collected by survey method, there may be problems like some respondent will not be at the home, some other may refuse to corporate and so on. So data must be collected carefully because the decision will actually base on this collected data.

How to collect data for market research

Transcriptions from interviews need to be written out. Be sure to highlight important facts and quotes that confirm your research.

Produce reports from your surveys. Many online survey tools have reporting functionality. Create a report yourself or export the results from your tool. Ensure the report can be understood and help provide the solutions you’re looking for.

If there are any feedback forms from group sessions, review them for any insightful feedback or quotes that back up your research.

The more data you have, the better — as long as it is good data. You need to be able to analyze and present your data, so having mountains of inaccurate, biased, or unusable data is not helpful.

What is the research process?

The research process involves identifying, locating, assessing, and analyzing the information you need to support your research question, and then developing and expressing your ideas. These are the same skills you need any time you write a report, proposal, or put together a presentation.

What is the first step of marketing research process?

The first step in the marketing research process is to:

  • Gather primary data.
  • Conduct an informal investigation.
  • Gather secondary data.
  • Define the problem or question.
  • Perform a situation analysis.

Marketing research uses four essential key factors known as the ‘marketing mix’, or the Four Ps of Marketing:

  • Product (goods or service)
  • Price (how much the customer pays)
  • Place (where the product is marketed)
  • Promotion (such as advertising and PR)

These four factors need to work in harmony for a product or service to be successful in its marketplace.

Exploratory marketing research

This is a starting point for research. It’s used to reveal facts and opinions about a particular topic, and gain insight into the main points of an issue. Exploratory research is too much of a blunt instrument to base conclusive business decisions on, but it gives the foundation for more targeted study. You can use secondary research materials such as trade publications, books, journals and magazines and primary research using qualitative metrics, that can include open text surveys, interviews and focus groups.

Descriptive marketing research

This helps define the business problem or issue so that companies can make decisions, take action and monitor progress. Descriptive research is naturally quantitative – it needs to be measured and analyzed statistically, using more targeted surveys and questionnaires. You can use it to capture demographic information, evaluate a product or service for market, and monitor a target audience’s opinion and behaviors. Insights from descriptive research can inform conclusions about the market landscape and the product’s place in it.

Causal marketing research

This is useful to explore the cause and effect relationship between two or more variables. Like descriptive research, it uses quantitative methods, but it doesn’t merely report findings; it uses experiments to predict and test theories about a product or market. For example, researchers may change product packaging design or material, and measure what happens to sales as a result.


You don’t need to study marketing in an expensive school or even take a course at all when you can learn it all with this e-book. The Four Steps in the Marketing Research Process breaks down the entire process in an easy to understand way so you can begin your very own research today.

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