Market Research
Stage 6 Business Studies
Success depends on a lot of things, but
when you have information about a
particular market segment, a geographic
area, or customer preferences, you'll be
better prepared to make the decisions
that can make or break your business
Market research is the systematic collecting, recording
and analysing of information related to the marketing of
goods and services..
The main steps involved are:
A. Determining information needs
B. Data collection
C. Data analysis and interpretation.
Determining information
This is deciding the type of information that will be
most useful to the business.
Begins with identifying and defining the problem e.g.
'Sales of a product are falling so the reason for this
problem must be found.'
Research is then necessary to identify what type of
information is appropriate for solving the problem.
There are three main types of research:
Types of Research
Exploratory research used to clarify the
Example, falling sales may be
a symptom of an underlying
problem related to price or
product promotion.
Descriptive research used to describe things
about the problem
Exploratory and descriptive
research can assess the effect
of competing products, the
success of promotions and
the characteristics of the
Causal research - used
to determine cause- andeffect relationships
Causal research can
determine the effect of a
price change.
Data Collection
The major part of designing market research is
deciding what data needs to be collected.
Two main types of market research data:
i. Primary Research
ii. Secondary Research
Primary Research is data is collected specifically for
the problem, and requires original data.
Secondary Research is research already published,
and is the cheapest form of research because the
data already exists for your acquisition (aka desktop)
Primary Collection
The main sources of primary research are:
Observational research.
The researcher watches people's behaviour in an area such as a shop.
It is useful for gathering data from people who would not ordinarily
volunteer it
Focus groups.
Involves a group of people selected because they match the
characteristics of the target market.
People are shown the product and guided through a process of
collecting information on the product such as its packaging, size and
Primary Sources Cont.
Experimental research.
• This tests responses by changing aspects of a
product to prove a cause- and-effect
• A popular way of collecting data.
• Surveys need to be carefully constructed.
• Various styles of questions can be used as well
as different ways of collecting information
(phone, personal interviews, mail and so on).
Problems with primary
Primary Research has two problems:
1. Very expensive to collect
1. Usually takes a long time to collect.
Secondary Research
Secondary research may be collected in two
Externally, when a business uses a
market research firm
Internally, when the business conducts
the research itself.
Internal Data Collection
Data that has been collected and published
previously. Because it is widely available and
comparatively cheap, many researchers begin
with secondary data. Secondary data can be
collected from:
• Internal sources are mainly:
o Accounts departments, for details of
customer sales
o Marketing departments, for details of sales
reports and sales distribution.
External Data Collection
1. The media, such as newspapers and
2. State and federal governments, which
collect large amounts of data (the Australian
Bureau of Statistics is an example)
3. Trade associations
4. Company reports
5. Research firms
6. The Internet.
Data Analysis & Interpretation
Once data is collected, it must be interpreted to make
it useful.
Researchers interpret findings, draw conclusions
about usefulness and report outcomes to
Data becomes information and makes it useful.
Information is usually presented as a report to
Decisions on how to use the research will then be
made by management ( possibly in consultation with

HSC Topic 1: Marketing Unit 3.3 Market Research Process