Term Paper: Marketing Research

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[. . .] One of the best tools used for primary research is direct interviews, surveys and questionnaires. But many firms avoid primary research because it is often more costly and time-consuming than secondary research. Giacin writes: "The drawback is that this [primary research] can be a very costly and time consuming process, and may not be a feasible option for a company to peruse."

Secondary research is commonly used by organizations when they feel they do not have enough resources or time to opt for primary data collection. Secondary research though proves more economical and less time consuming, it is certainly also less reliable. This is because secondary data is collected by someone else for some other purpose and is now being utilized in different setting and therefore the results of the research might not apply to the current situation. Giacin adds: "Secondary data is available through resources such as research reports, internal company data bases, Reference USA (available at the library), or various sites on the Internet. The problems that a company can run into when utilizing secondary data are that it can be unreliable, it was not collect for their specific purpose, and that the information that they need may not be available."

Primary research makes use of sampling methodology whereby a small percentage of the entire target market is selected and results are gathered from the responses of this small group. However primary research can be expensive since it involves highly targeted research and when professionals are asked to carry out the research, they can charge more than $4,000 for this. For this reason many people are now considering doing the primary research themselves with the help of the Internet. Internet has opened new doors for research for small businesses with limited research budget. Online polls. Surveys and focus groups are inexpensive research tools, which can be used to gather primary data. However the interpretation of responses to extract sound information requires the services of professional researchers because not all responses can be seriously considered and reliability and validity of research are important factors to take into consideration.

This brings us to the question of reliability of responses or research. Validity is not the same thing as reliability and thus the two terms should not be confused. Validity tests the ability of the research questions to extract the desired information. In other words, we use validity tests to ensure that research is probably designed and that it will bring forth the information that it was designed for.

Reliability on the other hand tests the dependability factor of the results. For this reason, results should be based on completely objective analysis and some firms use third party research firms to check the reliability of the data they have. Raw information and facts are sent to the third party and reliability factor is tested. This helps the firm in its strategy development and decision making process. Wrong information or unreliable information can negatively affect the product or service to be launched or enhanced.

Sampling is the process that we mostly use in primary research. Since the entire target market cannot be interviewed or surveyed, a small percentage of this section is selected randomly keeping in view some important research variables and characteristics of the target market. The responses given by this group are then applied to the entire target market and conclusions are drawn. However while most firms would want the selection to be purely randomized, it is practically impossible to achieve this. For this reason, research firms use stratified sampling. This type of sampling refers to selection of a group based on a certain given criteria such as demographic or social features of the target market. For example, if a new magazine for college women were to be launched, the firm would conduct research by targeting a small section of its target market. However this section will be expected to meet the given criteria such as level of college education, their tastes, their interest in women magazines, their age, marital status etc.

References

Nedra Kline Weinreich, Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Methods in Social Marketing Quarterly. 1996

Jennifer Giacin, BS, CSA, Cost Benefit Analysis and Business Research, April 30, 2003, http://www.osceolainfo.com/leads/business_center.html [END OF PREVIEW]

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Marketing Research.  (2003, December 25).  Retrieved April 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/marketing-research-market/9000951

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"Marketing Research."  Essaytown.com.  December 25, 2003.  Accessed April 23, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/marketing-research-market/9000951.