Steps of Market Research Process

With constant change being the norm in market, end consumer, marketing and business, one thing remains the same is the need for market research.
Market research is a helpful tool for you to better identify market opportunities, marketing strategies, evaluate business decisions and better understand your customers needs and expectations using data. Just as you would not go on vacation without making any plans, you should not make business decisions or design your marketing strategies without backing them with research. In short, the market research process is the backbone of informed business and marketing decisions. 
Though it is not necessary that all research processes would invariably follow a given sequence, yet market research often follows a generalized pattern which can be broken down and studied as sequential stages. The various stages or steps in the marketing research process are discussed below:

  • Step 1

    Identification and Defining the Problem or Opportunity

    After defining the problem or opportunity and deciding the objectives, the research design must be developed. A research design is a master plan specifying the methodology, methods, approaches and techniques for collecting and processing data, geographical territory in which the study to be conducted and sampling. Sampling involves procedures that use a small number of items or parts of the Universe (total items) to make conclusion regarding the Universe. Important questions in this regard are: who is to be sampled as a rightly representative lot? Which is the target Sample? Which criteria to use to be in a position to identify the relevant Sample? What should be the Sample size—how large or how small? How to select the various units to make up the Sample? What would be structure and geographical spread of the Sample? At this stage, the researcher should also determine the timing and costs of the research. The objectives of the study are to be well-considered in the research design to ensure relevancy of the design to the objectives.
  • Step 2

    Statement of Research Objective

    After defining the problem or opportunity and deciding the objectives, the research design must be developed. A research design is a master plan specifying the methodology, methods, approaches and techniques for collecting and processing data, geographical territory in which the study to be conducted and sampling. Sampling involves procedures that use a small number of items or parts of the Universe (total items) to make conclusion regarding the Universe. Important questions in this regard are: who is to be sampled as a rightly representative lot? Which is the target Sample? Which criteria to use to be in a position to identify the relevant Sample? What should be the Sample size—how large or how small? How to select the various units to make up the Sample? What would be structure and geographical spread of the Sample? At this stage, the researcher should also determine the timing and costs of the research. The objectives of the study are to be well-considered in the research design to ensure relevancy of the design to the objectives.
  • Step 3

    Determining the Research Design

    After defining the problem or opportunity and deciding the objectives, the research design must be developed. A research design is a master plan specifying the methodology, methods, approaches and techniques for collecting and processing data, geographical territory in which the study to be conducted and sampling. Sampling involves procedures that use a small number of items or parts of the Universe (total items) to make conclusion regarding the Universe. Important questions in this regard are: who is to be sampled as a rightly representative lot? Which is the target Sample? Which criteria to use to be in a position to identify the relevant Sample? What should be the Sample size—how large or how small? How to select the various units to make up the Sample? What would be structure and geographical spread of the Sample? At this stage, the researcher should also determine the timing and costs of the research. The objectives of the study are to be well-considered in the research design to ensure relevancy of the design to the objectives.
  • Step 4

    Preparing Research Instruments

    After defining the problem or opportunity and deciding the objectives, the research design must be developed. A research design is a master plan specifying the methodology, methods, approaches and techniques for collecting and processing data, geographical territory in which the study to be conducted and sampling. Sampling involves procedures that use a small number of items or parts of the Universe (total items) to make conclusion regarding the Universe. Important questions in this regard are: who is to be sampled as a rightly representative lot? Which is the target Sample? Which criteria to use to be in a position to identify the relevant Sample? What should be the Sample size—how large or how small? How to select the various units to make up the Sample? What would be structure and geographical spread of the Sample? At this stage, the researcher should also determine the timing and costs of the research. The objectives of the study are to be well-considered in the research design to ensure relevancy of the design to the objectives.
  • Step 5

    Collecting Data

    After defining the problem or opportunity and deciding the objectives, the research design must be developed. A research design is a master plan specifying the methodology, methods, approaches and techniques for collecting and processing data, geographical territory in which the study to be conducted and sampling. Sampling involves procedures that use a small number of items or parts of the Universe (total items) to make conclusion regarding the Universe. Important questions in this regard are: who is to be sampled as a rightly representative lot? Which is the target Sample? Which criteria to use to be in a position to identify the relevant Sample? What should be the Sample size—how large or how small? How to select the various units to make up the Sample? What would be structure and geographical spread of the Sample? At this stage, the researcher should also determine the timing and costs of the research. The objectives of the study are to be well-considered in the research design to ensure relevancy of the design to the objectives.
  • Step 6

    Processing and Analyzing Data

    After defining the problem or opportunity and deciding the objectives, the research design must be developed. A research design is a master plan specifying the methodology, methods, approaches and techniques for collecting and processing data, geographical territory in which the study to be conducted and sampling. Sampling involves procedures that use a small number of items or parts of the Universe (total items) to make conclusion regarding the Universe. Important questions in this regard are: who is to be sampled as a rightly representative lot? Which is the target Sample? Which criteria to use to be in a position to identify the relevant Sample? What should be the Sample size—how large or how small? How to select the various units to make up the Sample? What would be structure and geographical spread of the Sample? At this stage, the researcher should also determine the timing and costs of the research. The objectives of the study are to be well-considered in the research design to ensure relevancy of the design to the objectives.
  • Step 7

    Visualizing the Results

    After defining the problem or opportunity and deciding the objectives, the research design must be developed. A research design is a master plan specifying the methodology, methods, approaches and techniques for collecting and processing data, geographical territory in which the study to be conducted and sampling. Sampling involves procedures that use a small number of items or parts of the Universe (total items) to make conclusion regarding the Universe. Important questions in this regard are: who is to be sampled as a rightly representative lot? Which is the target Sample? Which criteria to use to be in a position to identify the relevant Sample? What should be the Sample size—how large or how small? How to select the various units to make up the Sample? What would be structure and geographical spread of the Sample? At this stage, the researcher should also determine the timing and costs of the research. The objectives of the study are to be well-considered in the research design to ensure relevancy of the design to the objectives.
  • Step 8

    Put Research Into Action

    After defining the problem or opportunity and deciding the objectives, the research design must be developed. A research design is a master plan specifying the methodology, methods, approaches and techniques for collecting and processing data, geographical territory in which the study to be conducted and sampling. Sampling involves procedures that use a small number of items or parts of the Universe (total items) to make conclusion regarding the Universe. Important questions in this regard are: who is to be sampled as a rightly representative lot? Which is the target Sample? Which criteria to use to be in a position to identify the relevant Sample? What should be the Sample size—how large or how small? How to select the various units to make up the Sample? What would be structure and geographical spread of the Sample? At this stage, the researcher should also determine the timing and costs of the research. The objectives of the study are to be well-considered in the research design to ensure relevancy of the design to the objectives.