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Marketing Research Plan

Once the marketing problem is identified and defined it is the responsibility of researcher to chalk out a comprehensive plan explaining each step required to conduct the research in successful manner. Following are the major steps required to be taken while preparing a MR plan:

1.    Establish Research Objectives

What are the objectives which the researcher wants to prove though the research? These objectives must be clearly highlighted before proceeding ahead with a research problem. Suppose, Hoechst India Let., intends to study in India the market potential for a new brand of pesticide it is introducing. This company has to determine the objectives of this study. Whether the company intends to find out the jectives of this study. Whether the company intends to find out the market potential through a direct or indirect method? What does want to conclude though the market paternal analysis? For answering these and a host of other questions the company research direct for must set the objectives for which the study is to undertaken. Therefore, in any marketing research project is is essential that objectives are set beforehand. The research objectives must be hierarchical. Quantifiable, relate and verifiable.

2.    Determine Type Nature of Data Required

Keeping in view the set objectives for research investigation, the next step required to be taken is determining the information requirements. Also the researcher must ascertain that which aspects of the problems at hand should be emphasized more while collecting and analyzing the research information. Generally, it has been observed that researchers have the tendency to collect all information or most of the information available on the problem in question. It is not a healthy practice be cause all the data collected may not be used in the research report. Thus, collecting of certain unneeded data may be a wasteful exercise suppose the researcher wants to explore the problem of dicing in sales” of a specific company’s product. The researcher must try to ensure certain important reasons due to which sales might be failing. It may be due to faulty product planning, higher prices and lesser discounts to intermediaries, lesser availability of product on various sales outlets, or inefficient advertising and promotional policies. All these as pacts may not be responsible for sales decline simultaneously. But some of them are certainly responsible and must be ascertained to a greater degree of accuracy through judgment and past experience. Data on all the aspects may not be required to be collected and analyzed. only the important aspects are to be considered for this exercise. This step of research plan leads the researcher to utilize his resources and energy on collecting the most pertinent information on the problem.

3.    Determine Possible Sources for Required Information

Once the researcher has decided about the type of information, he should know the sources form where each data could be collected. If primary data is to be collected, he might have to select a sample from the study population. He must also decide whether personal interview, mail survey, or telephone survey be used for collection experimentation can also be resorted to depending upon the nature and type of information needed. Secondary data, may be sufficient to conduct research and complete it. Therefore, a clear decision on sources of data is to be taken before staring research exploration.

4.    Evaluate Alternative Sources and Select the Most Desirable

If the decision on sources of data is taken, it is duty of the researcher to evaluate these available sources of data. For example, secondary data sources may be many, viz., Governmental, commercial, MR agencies, marketing associations and others. It is to be decided whiter internal company records are sufficient or the above mentioned sources should also be considered for data collection. For primary data customers, competitors, suppliers, and dealers may be the sources. Which one fo these is the best source depends upon nature and situation of marketing problem at hand. Such sources must be reliable, accurate, and complete. Also cost and time required should be lesser as compared to other available sources.

5.Formulate a Research Plan in Complete Detail

Once the data sources have been evaluated, it is duty of the researcher to prepare a comprehensive plan combing objectives, sources of data, their evaluation, etc. All constraints must also be highlighted in the research plan.

6.Final Review of Research Plan

Once the complete and comprehensive plan is ready, the researcher should carry out a review of the resources and constraints-whether the plan so formulated could be implemented and what would be cost, time and effort needed to implement such a plan. If everything is O.K. it is advisable to proceed ahead with the implementation of the plan.

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