Marketing Research and Its Advantages
Marketing is a broad term that can encompass a variety of activities aimed at increasing sales, expanding customer base, improving brand awareness, increasing company visibility, and creating market share. The essence of marketing is the systematic process by which organizations take advantage of their market position to promote their products and services to get the most benefit at minimal investment. Marketing therefore refers to the process by which an organization undertakes to address its target market, develop strong customer relations to generate substantial value for investment, and make the most of the marketing opportunities available. Marketing therefore includes advertising and promotional activities, such as the distribution of catalogues to give customers a glimpse of the products and services available, use of message boards in trade shows to attract potential customers, development of marketing plans to take advantage of new opportunities, use of media to get the best possible exposure and so on.
The concept of marketing evolved from the need for adequate representation of the products and services available to customers to maximize sales. Thus marketing evolved as an attempt to respond to the changing needs of customers and the changing demands of the marketplace. Marketing therefore combines various elements like research, assessment, planning, technology, practice, and customer needs to provide services that meet customers needs, provide a competitive advantage, and create a positive, long term impact on sales. A highly coordinated marketing program requires consistent application of strategic management techniques, including thorough market analysis, identification of appropriate marketing tactics and approaches, and consistent monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of the marketing mix.
The concept of marketing has changed a lot over the years. Early marketing was oriented towards gathering enough statistical data to forecast sales and profits. Today, marketing research is more focused on solving marketing problems, providing solutions to issues, and developing the necessary strategic relationships with the customers to improve the selling concept. Marketing research is therefore very important and must be conducted comprehensively. It helps in identifying problems, developing solutions, and formulating marketing activities, and involves a number of other activities such as market research, consumer surveys, testing and evaluating of marketing strategies, and developing and monitoring marketing campaigns, etc. It therefore forms an integral part of every successful organization.