Marketing research is a process that provides a link between various stakeholders in the contemporary global market. The connection is provided through information. It helps in developing product ideas and designs. The findings are also used to create a link between the market, the business, and the clients. It makes sure that products meet the needs of consumers (Saunders, Thornhill & Lewis, 2009).
Professionals in this field manage the data collection process and analyse the results. As a process, marketing research is partitioned into two categories. The two include consumer and business-to-business marketing research (Bryman & Bell, 2011). Research methods are based on the quality of data. It also takes into consideration the timeframe and direct costs associated with the process.
In this paper, the author will analyse trends in the methods used in marketing research. To this end, emerging trends in qualitative marketing analyses are reviewed.
Marketing Research Methods
Most marketing research procedures are based on questioning. They include qualitative and quantitative research methods. The latter are used for exploratory purposes. To this end, they focus on group interviews and projective techniques. On its part, quantitative research is used to draw conclusions.
It involves a large number of respondents (Bradley, 2006). Other research methods are based on observations. Such approaches include ethnographic surveys. The researcher observes social phenomena in their natural setting. Observations can be made over a long period of time. The approach can be used in product use analysis.
Trends in Marketing Research Methods
The strategies used to conduct marketing investigations have evolved over the years. For example, in the past, this form of research was conducted by focusing on groups of people with pen and paper surveys.
However, increased competition has prompted companies to come up with new investigative methods. The reason is that modern organisations need to adapt rapidly to changing needs in the marketplace (Saunders et al., 2009). In addition, the rise of new technologies has changed the way through which this form of research is executed.
New developments in market surveys
Marketing has changed a lot in recent years. Similarly, the technologies used in research in this field are evolving. For example, traditional qualitative research methods, such as study groups and observational surveys, are going digital. Successful businesses require innovative research solutions (Bradley, 2006).
Internet marketing research has become common on social media and such other platforms. It is noted that internet and mobile technologies are increasing access to markets and individuals. To this end, video conferencing and instantaneous communication with participants can be achieved mobile devices.
Specialised software has made it possible to conduct online surveys at a fast rate (Saunders et al., 2009). For example, participants can be enrolled online and requested to complete virtual surveys. The following are some of the methods used to conduct this form of research in the market:
Marketing research through social media
It is a new method of technology based qualitative survey. Information is gathered quickly and efficiently at low cost (Bryman & Bell, 2011). Social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, are used to achieve this objective. The researchers gather data through comments made through Twitter, Facebook, e-mails, and other forms of web chats.
According to Bradley (2006), this form of survey is conducted through video chat, mobile tools, and research software. It reduces the time needed to carry out research and avail results to clients. For example, such motor vehicle companies as Toyota and Hyundai have used this strategy to conduct studies on the market.
Online research allows for fast collection of information. There are no additional expenses for paper and postage (Saunders et al., 2009). Companies use such platforms as Amazon web services. The approach is used by product managers and business partners to generate information on the market. Cloud computing shortens the time needed to conduct marketing. In addition, it reduces costs. For example, Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud helps businesses and analysts to process large volumes of data.
Digital marketing can be conducted using a number of applications. For example, the development of Razorfish has improved technology a lot. It has achieved this through web development, media advertising, and social influence in marketing research (Bradley, 2006).
Computer research methods
Computers programmed to generate product and service information can be used in marketing research. Clients can use these applications to provide feedback to commercial suppliers. Electronic manufacturing companies, such as Sony and Samsung, play a significant role in this marketing approach (Bryman & Bell, 2011). Apache Hadoop open source software has also played a major role in this form of research. It has improved data storage and management.
Research using product samples
According to Bradley (2006), this form of research is conducted in the field through trade shows. Researchers discuss the products with users. They are able to elicit responses from consumers. Additional purchases are suggested. The research can also be done through commercial advertisement in the media (Bradley, 2006).
Marketing research methods are affected by various factors. New trends, such as the use of technology, provide information fast and at low costs. Researchers are enjoying the benefits of research advancement. The innovations are made apparent through modern technologies and other forms of creativity.
Bradley, N. (2007). Marketing research: Tools and techniques. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bryman, A., & Bell, E. (2011). Business research methods (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Saunders, M., Thornhill, A., & Lewis, P. (2009). Research methods for business students (5th ed.). Long Beach: Pearson Education.