To evaluate the impact of marketing research on Small business performance in UK
Review of The ‘Research Opportunities in the Field of Marketing’.
According to Saunders et al (2012), marketing research is defined as a systematic collection, classification, and analysis of data related to “marketing activities, opinions, and processes” in order to generate meaningful information to facilitate marketing decisions. This systematic research includes multi-step design to collect valid and reliable data through appropriate tools like surveys, experiments, and interviews. Managers are the users of final information produced after the analysis of this collected data that helps designing marketing strategies and policies. Slater and Olson (2001) claim that marketing research can be internally conducted by the company or outsourced to any marketing research firm or achieve the desired results through syndicated research databases. The major uses of the marketing research are observed in the areas of market segmentation and targeting, media analysis, consumer behavior and satisfaction analysis, development of new products, and designing of advertising campaigns or pricing decisions.
The primary aim of this article is to analyse the various research opportunities available in the field of marketing that facilitate the decisions related to customer relationship marketing in small businesses in the UK. The secondary objectives of this short study include
- To review the literature related to the research opportunities available to perform various marketing functions.
- To analyse the best available research approaches to evaluate the effectiveness of customer based marketing techniques used by small business in UK.
- To conduct a primary research to understand the performance of the small business that use marketing research.
- What are the ways in which marketing research can affect development and execution of relationship marketing strategy?
2. Is the performance of organization using marketing research regularly better that the firms which are not using it.
3. How marketing research effectiveness impacts the marketing decisions of small business for issues related to consumer behaviour and relationships?
According to Sunders et al (2012), there are two approaches used in marketing research, basic and applied research. Applied research is used to solve a real business marketing issue, to understand a marketing phenomenon, or to identify the impact of past decisions. In contrast, the basic research is more academic and provides the necessary theoretical underpinnings that suit a particular situation or problem. The findings of basic research cannot be applied directly by managers without the support of applied research in real businesses. Therefore, the effective research approaches in marketing should use a proper combination of these two types of researches.
Weinstein (2002) asserted that marketing research in segmentation and targeting supplys indispensable information to facilitate the process of devising marketing strategies. In this area, consumers’ lifestyles and benefits of products or services are analysed to provide the basis for future segmentation. Also, usage patterns, preferences, attitudes, and usage behaviour of consumers is important to analyse to generate future segments, and it further help to design suitable strategies of marketing for these segments (Kotler 2012).
Another important area of marketing research is evaluation of product development through Product testing like taste tests, product usage patterns, liking preferences, and feedback about newly launched or established products. Palmer et al (2005) asserted that a proper product fit and collection of consumer responses periodically establish a long term relationship between consumers and the company. Test markets and other techniques help to modify or develop new products.
The other important roles of marketing research are in measurement of advertising effectiveness and marketing communications to determine the most successful promotional campaigns for the company or brands. Also, regular market analyses not only help the small businesses to determine its competitive position but also the future potential markets to enter. Berthon et al (2003) indicated that the companies which are not keeping the track of their consumers trends, soon lose the markets competitive positions. Furthermore, recent advances in telecommunication, internet coverage, and turbulent social media traffic have allowed small businesses to use less costly and effective marketing research strategies.
Berthon, Pierre, Leyland F. Pitt, Michael T Ewing and Gunnar Bakkeland (2003). Norms and power in marketing relationships: Alternative theories and empirical evidence, Journal of Business Research, 56, 699-709
Kotler, P. (2012), Marketing Management, 14th edn. New Jersey: Pearson Education
Leventhal, B.L. (1997). An Approach to Fusing Market Research with Database Marketing. Journal of the Market Research Society, 39, 4, 545-558.
Palmer, Roger, Adam Lindgreen and Joelle Vanhamme (2005). Relationship marketing: schools of thought and future research directions. Marketing Intelligence and Planning, 23 (3), 313-330.
Saunders, M, Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A (2012). Research Methods for Business Students (6th Ed), Pearson.
Slater, S. F., & Olson, E. M. (2001). Marketing’s contribution to the implementation of business strategy: an empirical analysis. Strategic Management Journal, 22(11), 1055–1067. doi:10.1002/smj.198
Weinstein, A. (2002). Customer retention: a usage segmentation and customer value approach. Journal of Targeting. Measurement and Analysis for Marketing, 10(3), 259–268. doi:10.1057/palgrave. jt.5740051