Commercial research or market research is the basic tool used in marketing to find out how the market is structured and how it works. With this, we will be able to know, for example, what factors influence consumer behavior or what are the best decisions that we can make when structuring the marketing mix. Therefore, carrying out good commercial research is essential for the company, and in this article, we will explain it in detail.
Steps to follow:
The first step to carrying out an adequate commercial investigation is to design the content and the basic structure of the investigation, that is, from what problem or need for knowledge we start, and to where and how we want to go. The steps are:
- Select what we want to investigate: for example, the influence of television at night on a certain type of consumer or what new modifications consumers need for a product.
- Determine the objectives: what exactly do we want to achieve with the study?
- Hypothesis prior to the study: that is, our current theories of how the variable affects a certain situation that we want to study.
- Determine the variables that affect the study: keep in mind that, if we study the consumer, what variables affect their behavior or if we study a product, what changes produce effects on it?
The second step is to obtain the information we need to carry out our study, and on which we will rely, so it is vitally important that it be as realistic and objective as possible. It consists of the following phases:
- Choice of sources: determine where we will obtain the information from.
- Ways of obtaining the information: what steps or what requirements will we need to obtain this information, since it is likely that not all of it is public or that we need to prepare it ourselves, for example through consumer surveys?
- Selection of a representative sample object of study.
- Obtaining the results and data.
Once we have all the data, it is time to treat it analytically. For this, we will generally need computer resources. We will do it in the following way:
Edit and code the data: in such a way that it is easily understandable and manageable by all those who use it.
Tabulation and statistical analysis: first we will have to tabulate and organize the data according to the variables that we have taken into account, and later we will submit them to statistical tests to better understand what we need: frequency of repetition of a variable, average deviation, etc.
Finally, the time has come to interpret the results and present the conclusions of our study, with the aim, also, of being able to disseminate it to those who need it if we wish. Therefore:
- Interpretation of results: we will analyze the results obtained, and the previous hypothesis that we had made, to find out if we were right or if there is a large predictive error. It is advisable to analyze the ‘why’ of success or failure.
- Conclusions: it is convenient to draw conclusions from the study, as a summary of the results obtained.
- Recommendations and actions to be carried out: depending on the results and what we want to achieve.