Marketing, as Kotler simplifies for his students, is the process of Creating, Communicating and Delivering Value to a Target group Profitably. For ease of remembering the definition, it is called as CCDVTP.
The American Marketing Association defines marketing research as;
“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; monitor marketing performance; and improve understanding of marketing as a process. Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the methods for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes, and communicates the findings and their implications.”
By looking at the two definitions above, one can easily understand the importance of marketing research. Marketing research has a major contribution to all letters of CCDVTP. Marketing research helps to create value by studying the needs and wants of customers before a product is developed and commercialized. Marketing research contributes a lot in creating value through a customer-oriented marketing mix strategy.
Today, marketing as mutated from being a mere bunch of activities of creating more sales to building relationships with the customers through sustained customer satisfaction that leads to loyalty and life-long retention. Marketing research is the core of this relationship. A relationship breaks in the absence of communication. Marketing research is the best form of communication between a business and its customers. The love and romance that exist between the seller and buyer can only be maintained through communication. Knowing who are your customers, where they live, how they live, how much they spend, what they buy and consume are all very useful information for a business in building a relationship with customers.
Value cannot be delivered to customers without knowing what values in your customers’ lives. This knowledge of what is most needed and how it is needed will be obtained from research.
The ability of a business to earn profit from delivering value rests on its marketing mix strategy. A balance marketing mix strategy in which customer is the focal point enables to achieve marketing objectives. Marketing research identifies what products are most needed, what attributes most valuable and what designs and colors are most are appealing for customers. Research can also discover the best methods of promotion that can appeal. It also tells how the product should be delivered, when and where it must be made available. Marketing research can also inform you of the best pricing for the products or services.
In short, marketing research is a discovery of your customers and their needs, competitors and their strategy, distribution channels and pricing.