Understanding the stages of marketing research.

market research

Research is one of the most important things we do at bloomfield knoble. In many cases, it’s the first thing we do when working with a new client or project. In fact, it’s the R in our RUDE system, which is why it’s so important that we get it right.

Let’s start with the basics – marketing research is the collecting of data to help us gather information to help us make decisions. If we know the information and we could make decisions without that information, we wouldn’t have to do research. Marketing research isn’t about gathering information for information’s sake (I’m looking at you big data), it’s about gathering information to help us make decisions. There are two categories for methods of research – primary and secondary. Primary research is original research you perform yourself or hire someone to do for you. Secondary research involves gathering information from either industry and government reports, or internal company historical data. At bloomfield knoble, we engage in both types, but since we have the internal skills and resources, we utilize primary research whenever possible. In fact, bloomfield knoble has been hired to conduct marketing research and analysis for other agencies. Secondary research can also be quite invaluable, and cost-effective. If you have the skills to convert data to information, then this may be the way to go.

Since research is the basis of what we do at bloomfield knoble, it’s vital that we follow a detailed process to clearly define our goals and objectives:

Step 1. Specify Research Objective. 

Quite simply, what are we trying to find out.

Step 2. Research Design.

What kind of data do we need to collect? Is there secondary data available?

Step 3. Research Methods.

Think about how our research method will determine our objective and vice versa.

Step 4. Collect Data.

Utilize the defined research method to carry out research.

Step 5. Interpret Data.

To me, the most dangerous step, because data can be subjective. Nevertheless, how do we plan to use the data to develop information?

Step 6. Prepare Reports.

The deliverable.

These steps seem linear, but they are actually intertwined. For example, even though it’s the last step, we really need to think about the deliverable first. What will the final deliverable be? Who is getting them? How do they want to receive them? At bloomfield knoble, many of our deliverables are actually intended for the creative department. They may be looking for a point-of-difference versus the competition, or topics that are considered vital by the target audience. The creative team then takes this information and converts it into creative messaging. Research is often the foundation for an integrated marketing plan – how we deliver the information, and when, are among the many benefits of marketing research and analysis.

We often forum ate our research objective with a consideration of stages two through five as well. It’s important to understand what kind of data will be most effective and what is the best research method we can use to get that data. Given the research method we use, what is the best research design? The answers to these questions lead bloomfield knoble to a more developed and refined research objective. Our goal in performing market research is to provide information that will help the decision-makers make better decisions. The more rigorous our methods are, the more useful our research results will be.

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