There are extensive diversity of manager or owner’s prospect regarding marketing research such as ‘’ it is compulsory for business strategy’’ or ‘’ it costs too much and worthless’’ or ‘’ the result is not effective’’ and so on, those perception are actually right. It depends on what you expect to know and what benefit will you get from the research?
When we start doing marketing research, there are a hundred of things come up in our mind such as the research needs to be grounded on extraordinary idea which could identify the company, the research needs to be conducted with a tons of questionnaires, the data needs to be collected precisely and widely on the target consumers, high quality of collecting data technology associates with high cost of experienced experts, statistical analysis with high ability of computer software, a great deal of researchers and interviewers which may need to be motivated with reasonable compensation, and complicate implementation and procedures. Those may be nearly impossible for SMEs (Small medium enterprises) or low budget companies; however, it does not mean you can’t do those research processes above.
“Research” is actually part of your daily life.
Most people always believe that research is about a group of academic people or experts on the particular field engaged, the consequences of this perspective prompt most of managers or business owners to misunderstand that they don’t know about doing research and really can’t do it on their own as well as they disadvantage many big companies which have the research teams or have a big budget for marketing research. However, if they only consider that the research is to collect data in order to analyze the particular subject, then the outcome would be taken into account for good. As long as the research is easily defined in this way, we would start conducting the research in the daily life for example ‘’ I am heading to Sydney tomorrow, so I need to do some research about accommodation, food and interesting landmarks” “I did research on people around here, they are interested our product but there is no shop available’’ or “I went to the Victoria market last week and had a chance to talk to the customer who was having a look at our product but didn’t buy it, she liked the product but the package was too big, therefore she bought a smaller one from other brand.
When the word ‘’research’’ is considered to be something that closes to your life or even part of your daily life, you would easily conduct it at anywhere and anytime with low cost budget but it is so effective (McDaniel et al, 1996).
How to do effective low cost marketing research?
There are three basic principal of conducting the low cost marketing research
- Being a good listener: everyone needs to listen in every comment, feedback of the consumers, most of the service providers regularly engaging with the consumers but lacking of attention for their feedback. Understanding, believe, and participation are required.
- Truly researching on authentic environment: such as having a conversation with clients in our store or competitor shops, queue up for being served, or calling to the company’s call center as normal customers. These sorts of actions are considered to be marketing research as well.
- Getting used to it: referring to the building of a researcher manner with critical thinking. The assumptions are made for storage to find the answers with the aim of business development at every opportunity. When you get used to it, you would realize that not only low cost but due to the volatility of the market, standing in the middle of the market would assist you to reflect all issues faster.
- Interviewing each client: it is identified to be the easiest research way with receiving the data as well as the emotion and the feeling directly from clients. The most appropriate interview meeting is where you meet them naturally, having an appointment at the convenience places, or phone interview would be also a good option. The interview topics should briefly have 4-5 questions. However, instead of being concern about all answers need to covered, interviewer should be interested in insight detail of each answer.
- Costumer panel: This approach is to invite a group of costumers to provide feedback in the casual atmosphere. This is the best channel to listen the customers because arranging group meeting usually not only provide the costumers to illustrate the issues but the atmosphere also encourage them to propose the solution.
- Ghost shopper: Being aware of costumer’s satisfaction and issues by bringing yourself into a sense of the costumer. This is usually undertaken in both your business and your competitors for comparison such as the service environment, price, and staff’s hospitality skills and so on.
- Simple test marketing: In some cases, accessing the insight costumer’s feedback may find difficulty to collect, therefore simply implementation is required. For example Ichitan Tea expected to test the taste of beverages, so they provided consumers free tastings in the booth but because of a great deal of participation in the event that’s difficult to collect the answers, therefore, they set up two tanks at the booth and tagging both tanks with ‘’like’’ and ‘’dislike’’ then count them to get the answers (Cunningham, 2014).
- Using the Internet: In case you have costumer’s email, you may send them questionnaires. In addition, you may post questionnaires on the website.
- Creating channels for costumers to contact us and provide feedback as many as possible: All customer feedback is always important in the development of the business. Your business never gets complain does not always mean they satisfy with your service and product, but it could illustrate your channel to communicate between your business and your customers.
What else you can get from doing low cost marketing research?
- Building relationships between costumers and business. The consequences of this action would cause the customer to be proud of being part of the development or at least they would be happy that you care them and allow them to express their feeling.
- Constantly get some ideas of creating or developing products, service and strategy.
- Being aware of conducting research could cause direct experience of interaction between consumers and products which is much better than any sorts of advertisement.
Cunningham,S 2014, Marketing Genius Tan Passakornnatee Lists Ichitan Tea Drinks in Thailand, available from 26/4/2014, < http://www.forbes.com/sites/susancunningham/2014/04/26/marketing-genius-tan-passakornnatee-lists-ichitan-in-thailand/>
McDaniel, Care, Jr. and Gates, Roger, 1996, Contemporary Marketing Research, 3rd ed. Minneapolis/St.Pual: West Publishing Company.
Rosemary, Phipps and Craig, Simmons. Understanding
Customer. The Chartered Institute of Marketing: Butterworth
Heinemann Ltd., 1995.