Analyzing & Applying Marketing Research Reports

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  • 0:02 Marketing Research Reports
  • 0:33 Start with Your Goals
  • 1:26 Primary vs. Secondary Research
  • 3:03 A Report that Analyzes Demand
  • 4:16 A Report that Forecasts Sales
  • 5:19 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: John Hamilton

John has tutored algebra and SAT Prep and has a B.A. degree with a major in psychology and a minor in mathematics from Christopher Newport University.

In this lesson, we learn the basics of applying marketing research reports, including analyzing demand, forecasting sales, and determining levels of overall customer satisfaction. Then, try out the quiz questions.

Marketing Research Reports

Who has not heard the stories in the news of major companies such as Facebook and Google collecting all sorts of personal data about us? All that data pretty much adds up to nothing, however, if it is not interpreted properly. That is where applying a market research report comes into play. A market research report can be used to analyze trends in business, predict future sales, and determine customer satisfaction. Ultimately, this can lead to more sales and more money.

Start with Your Goals

It may sound like common sense, but it is important when analyzing and interpreting data that you keep your eye on the prize. In other words, why did you decide to embark on a plan of market research to begin with, and what research goals did you have in mind? One market research study might try to identify your company's strengths, weaknesses, ways to maintain strengths, or ways to improve weaknesses. Perhaps you wanted to initiate a performance improvement study or even find out how the internal workings of your company run on a day-to-day basis.

There are seven steps to a well-thought-out marketing research report:

  • Define the problem, objective, and potential solutions
  • Create a comprehensive plan
  • Gather data and information
  • Analyze the data and information
  • Present the data and information
  • Apply the data and information
  • Make a decision

Primary vs. Secondary Research

When gathering data and information, a company can conduct primary or secondary research. Primary research is defined as that which is tailored specifically to your company, while secondary research is not, but is defined as that research which is gleaned from other sources.

There are two basic forms of primary research, which are specific and exploratory. For example, specific research, using interviews, may indicate that customers dislike the layout and color scheme of a dress shop. The owner can then use this knowledge to rearrange the store and paint. On the other hand, an exploratory focus group may brainstorm and tell the owners that their website was hard to navigate and their prices were too high, which the owners did not even realize. The owners can then make adjustments based upon this information.

You can hire a firm to do your primary research, or you can actually perform it yourself. You can conduct interviews, take surveys, run focus groups, or merely use your powers of empirical observation. The results also tend to be very specific to your company.

Some small business owners may not be able to afford primary research, so they may resort to secondary research. This is the concept of using previous studies that cost little or nothing at all. Of course, here the information is not tailored to the specific company. For example, a survey may show that most people do not like pleated pants in general, but it does not show whether people like a company's new style of pleated pants. The goal is to turn the applicable data into information and then eventually turn that information into insight to help your business.

A Report That Analyzes Demand

While market research determines market size and evaluates competitors, one of its most crucial functions is to analyze demand, which is finding the level to which consumers desire a specific product. This also includes analyzing buyer behavior, identifying your target market (potential customers that may buy your product or use your service), measuring demands of customers, and ultimately determining potential sales, the latter of which generates actual revenue.

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