The Marketing Research Process is comprised of the following steps:
- Step 1: Problem Definition
- Step 2: Development of an Approach to the Problem
- Step 3: Research Design Formulation
- Step 4: Field Work or Data Collection
- Step 5: Data Preparation & Analysis
- Step 6: Report Preparation & Presentation
Step 4: Field Work or Data Collection
Field work, or data collection, involves a field force or staff that operates either in the field, as in the case of personal interviewing (focus group, in-home, mall intercept, or computer-assisted personal interviewing), from an office by telephone (telephone or computer-assisted telephone interviewing/CATI), or through mail (traditional mail and mail panel surveys with pre-recruited households). Proper selection, training, supervision, and evaluation of the field force helps minimize data-collection errors. In marketing research, an example of data collection is when a consumer goods company hires a market research company to conduct in-home ethnographies and in-store shop-alongs in an effort to collect primary research data.
Soldiers and family members participated in USAG- RC-sponsored focus groups
Marketing Research is Systematic and Objective
- Systematic planning is required at all stages of the marketing research process, especially in the data collection step. The procedures followed at each stage are methodologically sound, well documented, and, as much as possible, planned in advance. Marketing research uses the scientific method in that data are collected and analyzed to test prior notions or hypotheses.
- Marketing research aims to provide accurate information that reflects a true state of affairs and thus, should be conducted impartially. While research is always influenced by the researcher's philosophy, it should be free from the personal or political biases of the researcher or the management. This is especially important in the data collection phase. The data collected will be analysed and used to make marketing decisions. Hence, it is vital that the data collection process be free of as much bias as possible.
There are many sources of information a marketer can use when collecting data. The Nielson Ratings is an audience measurement system that provides data on audience size and the composition of television markets in the United States. The Gallup Polls conduct public opinion polls with its results published daily in the form of data driven news. The U.S Census Bureau, directed by the U.S. Government is the principal agency that is responsible for producing data about American people and the economy. Population, housing abd demographic characteristics are gathered to help plan and define transportation systems, police and fire precinct, election districts and schools.