What are the Stages in the Marketing Research Process?

February 8, 2022
9 min

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As a business owner establishing your brand in a brick and mortar and digital space, it’s important to know marketing. Marketing research is just one of the important steps that every business owner needs to know. Having in-depth knowledge will help you to track down important details that will make a difference in your business.

survey as part of marketing research

What is Marketing Research?

In the book named Marketing Research and Information Systems by Food and Organization of the United Nations, the role of market research in a line of business is described as ‘‘a way to detect problems and create suitable solutions for a certain field in marketing.’’ The book also stresses how conducting marketing research alone is not enough to improve the business. And the same goes for creating a market strategy without market research. As business owners, one should aim for common ground and use all the necessary tools to gather all the important data.

In this writing, you’ll find glossary info about marketing research and the marketing research definition thoroughly. You can also learn the step-by-step process for effective market research and the types of research that you can use. This way, you can decide which process suits your line of business better and wouldn’t waste your time, energy, or money.

Marketing Survey vs Marketing Research

At the start of any attempt concerning marketing, business owners who are not that familiar with the business may confuse terms or feel overwhelmed by the necessary steps to conduct an up and up marketing strategy. Reading the outcome report includes many different components coming together. You can advise an analyst or give this task to a team member. So, let’s start with looking at the marketing survey and marketing research differences.

The main difference between a marketing survey and market research is the size of the data resources they use. Marketing surveys usually depend on the report that comes from groups of people while marketing research uses a lot more different resources to come up with a marketing strategy. Among these sources, there are government research, media inclinations, etc.

Why Should You Conduct Marketing Research?

Any successful business owner out there knows that creating a steady business starts with knowing who your target audience is. Getting to know your customers’ preferences and needs allows you to pinpoint a marketing strategy for your product or business. Two steps to do to start conducting your market research:

1. What do your customers need?

If you’re producing and selling notebooks with different designs, sizes, and areas of usage; you need to observe your product like you’re a customer and think about why you would want to buy it. This makes room for further ideas about meeting other demands of your potential customers. The process of determining the needs of your customers provides a lot of data about their shopping behavior as well. So it’s a wonderful step in market research.

2. For whom do they want it?

Okay, let’s continue with our notebook selling company. You can advertise your notebooks as much as you like, however, if you didn’t determine your target market, then your marketing strategies can’t reach their full potential. To keep your business away from this kind of dead-end, identify for whom your customers buy the notebooks. This will lead you to a clear path that shows which age group or gender you’re advertising for. If it’s the parents you like to reach out to, you should stress the natural components of your production materials and how safe they are for their children. Eco-friendly products are also in great demand at the moment.

Once you understand your main market, you can make more correct marketing strategies. For instance, you can promote how useful your products are for children and teens’ school organizing. This kind of marketing is going to attract parents to your social media accounts where you can connect with them and eventually lead them to your website for buying your products.

marketing ideas and action results to successful marketing plan

Making Data-Driven Choices with New Products and Services

In this day and age, the data provided for business owners is immense if you know where to look. Before creating new products and services, you can use customer reviews, and website analysis to improve your current sales. After all, what is marketing research but finding a better route to understand and connect with your customers? As Stephanie Burns, the founder of Wyld Agency points out, data offers business owners more options with more success rates as it’s coming from a combination of components and provides a trustworthy guide.

What are the Processes?

Marketing research combines 10 steps where every single step brings out another essential analyst about your customers. Following the below steps, you can take a step in creating a customized marketing strategy for your business.

1. Determining the current problem/ problems in marketing

Your latest product or service doesn’t sell as much as you planned? The interaction rates on the social media accounts don’t do well? If these are among your problems, then it’s high time to revise your marketing strategies.

Before mapping out a whole different way to promote your product and services, first, try to pinpoint what the problem is with your current one. This provides your team to get into it without wasting time browsing the whole strategy.

2. Deciding on how to conduct the research

Step 2 is to determine the way to conduct the marketing research. This means how you are going to reach your target market and get their opinions on the product or service you sell. You can task people in your team to come up with a questionnaire or survey. Another way to reach out to the customers is to phone them or give them online questions for interviews.

3. Organizing the research study

Once you finish the research, you should bring all this data together and make it a comprehensive report. Categorizing the info you get is crucial to making meaning out of it. In a way, you’re turning numbers into meaningful outcomes.

4. Selecting the target audience

You now have knowledge about what your customers want, and in what form they want it. You determine what they pay most attention to and which criteria they look at on product or service. Your target audience is the key to deciding how you can implement this information. The age they belong to, gender, economic and sociological backgrounds have also affected the reaction to your marketing so remember to consider them as well.

5. Gathering data together

In each step, bring the data and the methods to realize them together. This helps you to expand your marketing strategies with the right moves.

6. Data analytics

Master’s in Data Science defines data analytics as a process of analyzing the raw data and the present trends together to reach an accurate representation of what customers want and need at the moment.

7. Adjusting data to marketing

As business owners, you can not simply look at the analysis and the report file and say ‘’ The customers want a new product suitable for their children to wear to school.’’ This information alone won’t sell your new product or service as it may not attract them enough. To achieve that, business owners follow trends and implement these into their own marketing strategies. So, what can you do?

Today, almost everyone has wifi and uses social media. When you find new trends and use them for your brand, it makes your followers think of you in a positive light and they become more open to your products or services.

8. Determining the most useful data

Marketing research may bring countless data in front of you. Your job is to select the most important one to expand your target audience and improve your connection with your customers. You can get help from Step 1 at this moment and choose which data to consider important depending on your problem.

9. Creating a new marketing plan

This step can be a quite fun experience as a new marketing plan comes with new opportunities. At this point, you know what’s working and what’s definitely not working. You are also aware of who you should target as your audience and which tone to use to make your brand appealing to them.

While creating a new marketing plan, you can get the parts that worked well on your past strategies and use them again in the new one. The part to remember here is to piece everything that works together to reach your business’s full potential and growth.

10. Evaluating the new marketing plan

After you have a full plan and start to implement it, remember to keep an account of every number such as the interaction rates on your social media accounts, KPIs, etc.

Types of Marketing Research

Business owners know that conducting marketing research works and help them immensely. However, how do they decide which type to conduct for their business models? Each business has a unique potential in the market and to discover that and bring something new to the target market, you can use different ways of researching. After you find it, you can create marketing strategies that are tailored for your business.

Here are 8 market research types to help you determine the one that suits the best for your brand or company.

– Primary Research

Primary research is a type of any research that you do on your own. That means you’re not getting advice from an expert or using a tool to get to know your target market or audience better. Primary research includes phone to phone interviews, surveys, focus groups, and questionnaires.

– Secondary Research

Secondary research includes reports or data that have been prepared and presented before. Studies and research carried out by government agencies, or other business owners in your line of business are in this category.

– Qualitative Research

Qualitative research uses the power of observations and gets closer to the customer profile from a more personal perspective. The goal in conducting qualitative research may vary from learning the core values your target market has to which beliefs they hold onto tight. This provides business owners to understand their followers and customers better and helps to create marketing strategies accordingly.

– Quantitative Research

Unlike Qualitative research, quantitative research uses numbers all the way to show you where things go wrong and which strategies work. From daily clicks to your social media accounts to engagement rates, it brings all the data through numbers.

– Branding Research

The aim of brand research is to detect how well your brand is known among the market you target and the position of your company. Conducting brand research helps you evaluate your effect on your line of business and shows you examples of top-tier brand marketing strategies through other brands and companies.

– Customer Research

Businesses conduct customer research to organize information about their target audience. The things they like and prefer provide a valuable guide when deciding on new products and services.

– Competitor Research

No matter which research type you’re going with, conducting competitor research should be among them as it is an essential method of getting to know the market you’re working in. A competitor’s research includes their numbers and parts they’re strong and successful at. This gives you an opportunity to use this data and make decisions accordingly.

– Product Research

Just like competitor research, product research is also an essential part of marketing research. During this period, as a business owner you should ask your team:

  • What makes our product desirable for our target market?
  • How can we increase the attraction to the product?
  • Can we expand the product to other target markets?

using AI as part of marketing research tool

How Does Socialays Make the Marketing Research on Social Media Easy?

If you’re looking for assistance that can read every comment, and reaction and keep track of your most loyal followers, Socialays AI-based social media assistant is what you are looking for. Created with the latest technologies, Socialays provide you with real-time alerts about the ad, spam, or negative comments. The auto-hide features hide unwanted comments providing a clear and positive space for your followers and potential customers on your social media accounts.


Every successful company and brand has benefited from the power of data coming from market research and combining this with trends that attract more people on social media platforms. Although there are tons of examples, here are 4 of the successful marketing researches. These companies turned the declining interest and sales into profit using market research. They have gathered info about their customers, what they like, and more. Deepening your marketing research gives you the ability to pinpoint where you can catch the customers you think you lost.

– Starbucks

Starbucks is one of the most successful companies out there and they are using marketing research regularly to keep track of changing trends and customer profiles. It is the largest coffeehouse company with more than 32.000 stores around the world and this number keeps growing.

The biggest reason Starbucks is so good at expanding the brand is the fact that it uses cultural differences so well. Since the inclinations of drinking coffee differ from country to country, the company determines these differences and turns them into opportunities to connect with their customers in those countries.

– Apple

Apple is a pioneer in the tech world and provides different products for different goals. And there is a reason for that. To keep the connection with their customers and users strong, they’ve created an online platform called Apple Customer Pulse where Apple users can share their thoughts and ideas about the products. Through this platform, the company has access to its customers directly and can get correct feedback.

– McDonald’s

With the world getting more conscious about living and eating healthy, big corporations such as McDonald’s’ were expected to face degrowth. However, with successful marketing research, the company continues to reach more people every day. The data they obtain through customer research lead them in creating their menus and thus the brand can make its customers happy all the time. By adding healthy and organic food options, they not only keep their old customers but also expand their target audience as a fast-food chain.


Starting out as a kid’s toy, LEGO now rules the world with different design collections. The company reached this level of market value by listening to its customers and their families. Conducting marketing research with 3,500 kids and their moms, the company created new ways to entertain its customers and stayed as a top-tier company in its line of business.

In Closing

As business owners, it’s essential to understand the process of marketing research and which types you should choose among many. By understanding the question of what is marketing research, you can pinpoint the parts of your company or brand that needs readjustments and bring out your strong parts.

Marketing research, done right, provides your company with valuable data about your customer as well as your products. On the other hand, you can also talk with a marketing expert to understand marketing research and how to apply it. There are also many AI-based tools to keep you updated on your social media accounts. Try Socialays for free here!

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