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Market Research: What is it?

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Market Research is a systematic, objective collection and analysis of data about a particular target market, competition, and/or environment. It always incorporates some form of data collection whether it is secondary research or primary research which is collected direct from a respondent. To conduct market research, organizations may decide to undertake the project themselves (some through a marketing research department) or they might choose to commission it via a market research agency or consultancy. Whichever, before undertaking any research project, it is crucial to define the research objectives i.e. what are you trying to achieve from the research and what do you need to know?
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Market Research: What is it?
Market Research is a systematic, objective collection and analysis of data about a particular target
market, competition, and/or environment. It always incorporates some form of data collection whether
it is secondary research or primary research which is collected direct from a respondent.

The Market Research Process
To conduct market research, organizations may decide to undertake the project themselves (some
through a marketing research department) or they might choose to commission it via a market research
agency or consultancy. Whichever, before undertaking any research project, it is crucial to define the
research objectives i.e. what are you trying to achieve from the research and what do you need to
know?

After considering the objectives, Market Researchers can utilize many types of research techniques and
methodologies to capture the data that they require. All of the available methodologies either collect
quantitative or qualitative information. The use of each very much depends on the research objectives
but many believe that results are most useful when the two methods are combined. Adapted from:
http://www.marketresearchworld.net.

Marketing Research vs. Market Research
These terms often are used interchangeably, but technically there is a difference.
Market research deals specifically with the gathering of information about a market's size and trends.
Marketing research covers a wider range of activities. While it may involve market research, marketing
research is a more general systematic process that can be applied to a variety of marketing problems.
Source: QuickMBA http://www.quickmba.com/marketing/research.
Market Research Available through Gordon Library
Connect to www.wpi.edu/+library > All Databases & E-Resources >Industry

wpi.edu/+Library/Collections/Databases/Gartner/gartner
Provides information technology research and advisory , technology-related insight for CIOs and senior
IT leaders, business leaders in high-tech and telecom enterprises and professional services firms, and
technology investors. We don’t have access to everything either, but many MR reports.
Sample Reports:
? Findings: Emerging Micro Trend; Photo Geotagging Will Accelerate in 2009 18 September 2008
| Pages: 2

? 2018: Digital Natives Grow Up and Rule the World 28 July 2008 | Pages: 20
? Hype Cycle Emerging Technologies, 2008

via EBSCOhost Business Source.
Provides global business information, delivering independent data, analysis and opinion across the
Automotive, Consumer Markets, Energy & Utilities, Financial Services, Logistics & Express,
Pharmaceutical & Healthcare, Retail, Technology and Telecoms industries. WPI has some reports within
EBSCO Business Source. Search on your topic and choose either: Company Profiles, Industry Profiles
OR Market Research Reports, sometimes brief items from Datamonitor’s MarketWatch.

Sample Reports:
? Health Care Equipment & Supplies Industry Profile: Asia-Pacific.Preview Health Care Equipment
& Supplies Industry Profile: Asia-Pacific, Jul2008, p1, 22p, 8 charts, 5 graphs
? DATAMONITOR: Siemens Healthcare.Preview Siemens Medical Solutions SWOT Analysis,
Feb2009, p1-8, 8p;
? Personal Care: Industry Update. Mar2009, Vol. 8 Issue 3, p120-122, 3p
Strategies for Finding Market Research

Database trial this month ONLY, April 2009: Market Research Academic
http://academic.marketresearch.com/

Consult www.marketresearch.com and other MR portals to learn which research companies that sell
reports on your area of interest.
? Create free account & check detailed Table of Contents, this can sometimes lead you to key
companies to follow up on
? Note firm name and analysts name
? Search web, LexisNexis Academic, EBSCO Business Source and Gale PowerSearch for names and
industry keywords: stents and frost and sullivan
Track down:
? Trade associations: they often sponsor research via web search or consult Encyclopedia of
Associations, Trade Publications: like Chemical & Engineering News, use the Encyclopedia of
Business Information –
look up industry to find key trade associations, publications, & were to
find statistical data.
? Government Sources: US Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, FedStats.gov
2 | P a g e



? News and Media Sources: LexisNexis Academic and other company databases
o Search for key companies, sales data, product information, new product sales
? Books: Market Share Reporter REF HF5410 M35
? Company Directories: for sales data, screen for companies by industry:
o Hoovers, Thomson ONE Banker, LexisNexis Academic > Business section
o Tools other libraries beyond WPI: Visit Babson, Worcester Public Library, Boston Public
Library (BPL offers a free ecard to MA students or residents at bpl.org).
Primary Research
Often, you may need to conduct your own research or hire a research firm to create a strategy to
determine needs, perform data collection and then analyze results and produce a report and
recommendations. Data will be more relevant but this process can be time consuming and expensive.
Methods used to collect data include:
? Focus Groups
? Interviews: in-person or telephone
? Questionnaires
? Mystery shopper
? Product tests
? Usability tests
? Diaries or photographs for ethnographic studies
? And more.
Search the library catalog for many books on how to perform market research.
Guerrilla marketing research marketing research techniques that can help any
business make more money
/ Robert J Kaden. London ; Philadelphia : Kogan Page,
2006.
Online @ http://site.ebrary.com/lib/wpi/Doc?id=10124814

Handbook of online marketing research / Joshua Grossnickle, Oliver Raskin. New
York : McGraw-Hill, c2001
Online @ http://site.ebrary.com/lib/wpi/Doc?id=5001802


Christine Drew cdrew@wpi.edu
Manager, Instruction & Outreach
Gordon Library, WPI
3 | P a g e



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