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Hello. My name is Michael Baker and I'm Emeritus Professor of
Marketing at Strathclyde Business School in Glasgow in Scotland.
Most people talk about market research.
I prefer to call my talk research for marketing,
as this covers all research associated with
marketing and not just the studies of markets themselves.
In this presentation, we will seek to establish why
marketing research is so important together with providing evidence,
and the reason why it is believed to make
such an important contribution to overall competitive success.
We'll also examine some of the criticisms of formal market research
and distinguish the differences between quantitative and qualitative approaches.
I'm going to establish the nature and scope of marketing research,
we examined the distinction between secondary and primary data,
and review briefly the main methods of primary data collection.
To conclude, we take a brief look at data reduction and analysis.
It has often been said that the one thing certain about the future is its uncertainty.
This is clearly true of competition in the market as firms jockey for position and seek
to increase their market share by means
of product development and more effective marketing,
and in parallel with the efforts of the established players,
innovators and entrepreneurs will be working hard to see if they can come
up with something that will serve the customers need better,
and so make the current offerings obsolete.
In such a dynamic environment,
it obviously makes sense to keep track of
both the competition and changing customer tastes.
The view that is captured by two well-known aphorisms.
First, fools rush in where angels fear to tread.
Originally referred to the inexperienced persons lacking
the knowledge about possible outcomes of taking different courses of action,
but committing themselves prematurely and
possibly without the ability to go back on their decision.
Today, fools has a more derogatory meaning,
but given the amount of information available,
that criticism is probably merited.
The second proverb, "look before you leap," captures
the same sentiment and emphasizes
the importance of assessing potential risks before taking them,
which is also the case with the well-known military maxim
that time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted.
This advice goes back as far as the sixth century BC and the writings of
Sun Tzu whose views on
military strategy are still taught in military academies around the world,
as well as having been borrowed upon by authors writing
about corporate strategy and strategic marketing planning.
In other words, the better the information you have,
the more likely it is that you will make the correct decision.
It follows that when we encounter a business or marketing problem,
we should first undertake research into
that to get a clearer picture of what is involved.