“If you are not a brand, you are a commodity.” – Robert Kiyosaki
Research in advertising is done to determine the copy testing of advertisements. It is also used to know the efficiency of ads placed in any medium, the customer attention it gets, the message it delivers and how it motivates the customers to buy the product. Commercial eye tracking is done to understand the visual behavior of the customer to adverts. Ads, websites, brochures are analyzed for this. Before an advertisement is released in the market, its performance can be forecasted with the help of copy testing which takes consumer’s level of attention, motivation, brand liking, and entertainment into consideration.
When a customer buys something online, he analyzes it before in making a decision. This is one of the criteria on which consumer decision research is done. Interviews and surveys can be done to understand consumer’s level of satisfaction, which is known as customer satisfaction study. The demographic and psychology of the people in a particular geographical region can be studied with the help of segmentation research.
When analysis is to be carried out on brand recognition, brand performance, brand preference and awareness, ad tracking is employed. A favorite brand can be recognized with the help of brand equity research. Tests are conducted so as to determine what customer thinks about a brand or a product and this is specifically known as brand name testing. The demand of a product can be understood by demand estimation. After the demand of the product is taken care of, the quality should be checked from time to time. Appointing mystery shoppers who is usually an employee of the market research firm does this. He buys goods through a salesperson and notes down the whole experience. This procedure can be used to do research rival companies’ products.
Before practical application of any concept, concept testing is done. This will reveal whether the targeted audience will like the idea or not is conducted. Test marketing is carried out by introducing a product in small numbers in the market and observing the sales, after which the product is launched on a large scale. After the initial phase, when the company thinks of increasing the price of the product, price elasticity testing is carried out to test customer’s reaction to price fluctuations. Distribution channel audits are conducted to understand the attitudes of retailers and distributors towards specific products and brands.
The more tech savvy form of marketing research that can be applied to build a strong brand is Internet strategic intelligence. The likes and dislikes of the customers can be directly known with the help of chats, blogs and forums. Online panels are a group of experts who accept the market research done online.
All the researches that are carried out can be classified as primary market research, which gathers original research. Secondary research is based on an initially conducted primary research and information published by other resources. Secondary research costs less as research is done on already researched data, but the result is inefficient.
The research designs used by market researchers are either based on questioning or on observations. Quantitative market research and qualitative market research are based on questioning. Quantitative market research is done to arrive at certain conclusions. They are carried out with the use of questionnaire forms and surveys. The number of respondents involved is high. Qualitative market research is done to understand something and is employed in the form of in-depth interviews and projective techniques.
Market research based on observations is called experimental technique and ethnographic studies. Test markets and purchase laboratories are examples of experimental techniques. The quantity measured is determined by understanding the factors that are responsible for the success of a product and then one or some of the factors are changed and the result is observed. In ethnographic studies, observations are done longitudinally or at several instances of time or cross-sectional, or at only a particular time.
Market research is similar to exit polling in politics. The market is studied from different angles, at different time, and under different circumstances.