April 26, 2012

Marketing of Financial Services:Marketing Research

Banking Diploma Courses in Bangladesh under The Institute of Bankers, Bangladesh(IBB)
Marketing of Financial Services-JAIBB

Marketing Research

A. Definition of marketing research : 

According to American marketing association, marketing research is the function that links, the consumer, customer and public to the marketer through information - information
used to identify and define marketing opportunities and problems, generate, refine and evaluate marketing actions, monitors marketing program and improve understanding of marketing as a process. 
Marketing research is the systematic and objective identification, collection, analysis, dissemination and use of information for the purpose of improving decision making related to the identification and solution of problems and opportunities in marketing. 

B. Important things are in marketing research : 

Some specific things are very important in the marketing research definition. These things are discuss below : 

1. Identification of problem : 

The most important things in the marketing research are problem identification. Because, if the researcher is unable to identify the actual problem, then all works or activities of the researcher that are related with time, energy, effort and cost will be wasted. 

2. Collection of data : 

A researcher can collect data and information from various sources and he can use different type of methods. But all sources and data collection methods are not appropriate for all type of research works. So, it is very important for the researcher to select the right sources and right methods to collect data and information. 

3. Analysis of data and information : 

A researcher use different types of tools and techniques to analysis and interpret data and information. Such as coding, decoding, editing, transcription and verification of data and information. Different types of statistical tools and techniques are also used to analysis data and information. All types of statistical tools and techniques are not appropriate for all types of research works. So, it is very important for the researcher to select right statistical tools and techniques to analyze his collected data and information. 

4. Dissemination of information : 

The findings, implications and recommendations are provided in a format that makes this information actionable and directly useful as an input for decision - making. 

C. Classification of marketing research : 

Different types of organization conducted marketing research for two reasons. These are as follows : 

1. Problem identification research : 

The goal is to identify existing and / or potential problems that are likely to arise in the future, not apparent on the surface. Examples of problems identification research include market potential, market share, brand or company image, market characteristics, short range forecasting, scale analysis, long range forecasting and business trends research. 

2. Problem solution research : 

Once a problem or opportunity has been identified than problem solving research is undertaken to arrive at a solution. The findings of problem solving research are used in making decisions that will solve specific marketing problems. Marketing problem solving research included segmentation, product, pricing, promotion and distribution research. 

D. Steps involved in the marketing research process : 

To conduct a marketing research work properly, it is necessary to follow the right steps. The success of the marketing research mostly depends on the work performance of each step. These steps are discuss below : 

1. Problem definition : 

The first step in any marketing research project is to define the problem. Some time the researcher wrongly thinks that the symptoms are the real problems. But the real causes can be underline with the symptoms. In defining the problem, the researcher should take into account the purpose of the study, the relevant background information, the information needed and how it will be used in the decision - making. To identify the marketing problem the researcher can discuss about the problems with the decision makers, interviews with the industry experts and analysis of secondary data. Some time the researcher can conduct the qualitative research to find out the problems. Such as focus group, reference group or depth interview etc. 

2. Development of an approach to the problem : 

Developing an approach to the problem includes in the research work to formulating an objective or theoretical framework, analytical models, research questions, hypotheses and identifying the information needed. This process is guided by the discussions with management and industrial experts, analysis of secondary data and qualitative research considerations. 

3. Research design formulation : 

A research design is a framework or blueprint for conducting the marketing research project. It details the procedures necessary for obtaining the required data and information and its purpose is to design a study that will test the hypotheses of interest, determine possible answers to the research questions and provide the information needed for decision making. Conducting exploratory research, precisely defining the variables and designing appropriate scales to measure them are also a part of the research design. The issues of how the data should be obtained from the respondents must be address. It is also necessary to design a questionnaire and a sampling plan to select the respondents for the study. More formally, formulating the research design involve the following steps : 

(a) Definition of the information needed : 

First the researcher prepares a list for information that is required for the research work. The list of the required information prepared on the basis of the objectives of the research project. 

(b) Secondary data analysis : 

In the information collection stages the researcher first search secondary data. Because the secondary data help to reduce time, effort, energy and cost. 

(c) Qualitative research : 

Some time the researcher conduct a qualitative research to understand the problem in a better way. This research technique is unstructured, exploratory in nature, based on small samples and may utilize popular quantitative techniques, such as focus groups, depth interview and projective techniques. 

(d) Method of collecting quantitative data : 

When the researcher realize that secondary data are not appropriate, not available or not valid for his research work then he search the primary data. Three methods are used to collect primary data, these are survey, observation and experimentation methods. Which method will be used that also depend on the nature of the research project ? 

(e) Measurement and scaling procedures : 

Measurement indicates the assigning numbers or other symbols to characteristics of objects according to certain perspecified rules. Scaling is the process or technique of placing the respondents on a continuum with respect to their attitude towards something. 

(f) Questionnaire design : 

Questionnaire is designed on the required data and information. Questionnaire has play a vital role to collect data and information through survey method. In the questionnaire preparation the researcher has to consider selecting right words, use non - technical terms, avoid leading question, avoid to use dual meaningful word and so on. 

(g) Sampling process and sample size : 

A researcher cannot able to consider the population to collect data and information. It is sometime impossible and hug costly to collect data and information from the population. So, researcher uses the samples that represent the population. Sample can be selected through probabilistic sampling or non - probabilistic sampling. If the researcher uses large number of sample for his research work then the he can able to get more accurate result. 

(h) Plan of data analysis : 

The researcher prepares a plan to use different type of tools and techniques that are appropriate for his research work. 

4. Field work or data collection : 

To collect primary data and information, the researcher involves field forces or staffs that operate in the field. The field forces, staffs or interviewers could be use different types of methods to collect primary data and information. These are : 

(a) Telephone survey : 

Researcher prepares a well - designed questionnaire and then he asks questions to the respondent over telephone. When the respondents are very busy and important person in society then telephone survey is more appropriate. This method also helpful for the researcher to collect data and information from a place to cover a vast areas. But the major disadvantages of this method are, it is very expensive and at the same time all respondents cannot be a telephone set holder. 

(b) Personal interview : 

This method is very popular and wieldy used in the research work. Through this method researcher collect data and information with face to face interaction. In this method the researcher can give explanation, interpretation and show pictures to the respondents so that they can able to give appropriate answers. 

(c) Mail survey : 

Here the researcher sent questionnaires to the respondents with a return envelope. This method is very helpful when researcher want to collect data and information on personal related, social and sensitive issues. But the response rate of this method is very low. 

(d) Electronic survey : 

First the researcher collects the e - mail addresses of the respondent then he sent questionnaire through Internet. Another way to use electronic surveys that is web site. Here the researcher can sent a questionnaire in the web site. But the main disadvantages of this method are that all the respondents are not the owner of a e - mail address or they can not be the user of the web site and the response rate is very low here. 

5. Data processing and analysis : 

Data preparation includes coding, decoding, editing, transcription and verification of data and information. Different types of statistical tools and techniques are used to analyze data and information. Such as correlation, regression, time series analysis, t - test, ANOVA test etc. Each questionnaire or observation form is inspected or edited and if it is necessary then these will be corrected. 

6. Report preparation and presentation : 

The entire project should be documented in a written report that address the specific research questions identified, describes the approach, the research design, data collection and data analysis procedures adopted and present the results and the major findings. The findings should be presented in a comprehensible format so that management can readily use them in the decision making process. In addition, an oral presentation should be made to management using tables, figures and graphs to enhance the clarity and impact of the research work.

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