Steps in the marketing research process

The steps involved in the marketing research process are:

  1. Problem definition: define the marketing research problem to be addressed in terms of: discussion with the decision maker(s), interviews with industry experts, analysis of secondary data, and perhaps some qualitative research.
  2. Developing an approach to the problem: development of a broad specification of how the problem would be addressed, which involves the formulation of an objective or theoretical approach, analytical models, research questions, hypotheses, and an identification of characteristics or factors which influence the research design.
  3. Research design formulation: this is a framework for conducting the marketing research project that specifies the details of the procedures necessary for obtaining the required information.
  4. Fieldwork or data collection: data collection involves the use of some kind of field force where the field force could operate either in the field, as in the case of personal interviewing, or from an office, as in the case of phone or mail surveys.
  5. Data preparation and analysis: data preparation involves the editing, coding, transcription, and verification of data, and the purpose of data analysis is to derive meaning from the data which has been collected.
  6. Report preparation and presentation: the report should address the specific research questions identified in the problem definition, describe the approach, the research design, data collection, and the data analysis procedures adopted, and present the results and the major findings.