Marketing research

Under Research is understood depending on the viewing angle:

  • The systematic collection, processing, analysis and interpretation of data on markets and market opportunities influence for the purpose of gathering information for marketing decisions or
  • The complete process of solving market-related business administration problems ( where " market " usually a market is meant for retail marketing aptly four markets based sets as analysis objects ) through analysis of information on the relevant market, its relevant participants and their settings or
  • A continuous, systematic, based on scientific methods and objective process, the observed market activity as well as the business environment, to gather information and analyze it. This is done for the purpose of discovery or hedging of marketing decisions.

Market research is one of the most important tools of marketing. But also provides decision support for other business areas such as controlling, sales, procurement, human resources or business intelligence.

Objectives of market research

Objectives of the research are

  • Early and timely identification of trends, opportunities and risks in the relevant markets for the company
  • Limiting the risk of wrong decisions
  • Support the decision-making within the company
  • The improvement of the relevant information for the decision makers prior regard to the following aspects: relevance
  • Objectivity
  • Precision
  • Relevance
  • Fashion trends
  • Lust desire

The key finding areas of market research

Market research, building on the objectives of the research, various subjects, in relation to which it may take research-based statements:

  • General market characteristics and market developments
  • Customer segments
  • Customer behavior and needs
  • Customer satisfaction and loyalty
  • Competition
  • Market position

Quality criteria of market research

Much like any other research and market research must meet certain criteria, which are closely linked to the scientific method:

  • Objectivity (independence ): independence of the results of the experimental process from the person doing (in terms of implementation, analysis and interpretation)
  • Reliability ( formal accuracy): absence of random errors in the experimental procedure
  • Validity ( conceptual correctness ): Validity of the results found - the most important quality criterion ( " To what extent has been detected exactly what should be studied? " )
  • Representativeness ( significance ): results of a sample may only with a certain probability of error from the true value of the population vary ( generalizability )

Expiration of a market research project

Market research projects are oriented in the flow at the steps of an empirical survey. It usually works project oriented. Homburg and Krohmer distinguish the following eleven stages:

This generally corresponds to the sequence of social science studies. A specific object is to provide advice and implementation, are part of the market research is not, but which is offered by many market research companies as performance.

Classification of Market Research

Based on the survey objective is to drive the market research in quantitative and qualitative market research divide.

  • Quantitative Market Research: The objective is to determine numerical values ​​on the market. If only actual, objective findings determined, it is called Ökoskopie as opposed to opinion polls, opinions and attitudes on specific issues (ie, desires, fears, etc. plans ) prepared and quantitatively determined statistically.
  • Qualitative Market Research: The objective is, for example, to identify reasons for certain behaviors in the market and expectations and attitudes (psychological research ). Expression and motivation research is to be regarded as the most important market research method that relies on psychological hedging (eg through indirect questions, exclusion of leading questions, distractions and control issues ).

In addition to industry-specific market research to which specialize in some market research institutes, there are as coarse category as opposed to the dominant consumer market research, the capital goods market research or market research industry. For several years, the term business-to- business market research B2B market research or has prevailed in Germany. The methods and sample sizes differ sometimes very strongly on the consumer goods market research. Depending on the industry often represent here a few companies the bulk of the market, so that full surveys or already highly representative surveys can be conducted with a small sample.

Methods of market research

Primary market research

The primary market research derives its findings from the first-time and direct examination of market participants ( field research, field research, primary analysis). It uses as many other branches of research the methods of empirical social research. Depending on which market participants are the subject of investigation, market research, acquisition market research, competitive market research and so-called internal market research can be distinguished. The latter refers ( Schenk ) on people and processes within firms and is significant especially for the retail outlets.

For the procurement of primary information is available in the research fields of survey, observation and experiment a broad repertoire of methods available. Rough distinction is made between the more qualitative and more quantitative methods. The qualitative research methods include, for example, in-depth interviews and semi-structured interviews, group discussions (including focus group ), reconstructive observations and workshops. These are usually observed and / or interviewed relatively small sample of 10-20 cases. The qualitative analysis is based on the tape or video recordings or transcripts on the basis of individual explorations.

From quantitative research is called when larger samples are interviewed using standardized questionnaires and the results of quantitative and statistically evaluated and shown for example in the form of tables or charts. The quantitative methods include, among others representative surveys, telephone surveys, and surveys and experimental records in test laboratories with 100 or more subjects.

In practice, there is overlap between the qualitative and quantitative research. Thus, population-representative surveys with approximately 2,000 subjects are indeed attributed to the quantitative methods, but they often contain qualitative elements, such as in the form of open questions. These in turn are evaluated both qualitatively and quantitatively -singular - statistically.

While the representative survey of opinions and attitudes on issues of national interest usually 2.000er samples are required, companies can possibly be satisfied depending on the industry, location, catchment area and types of customers with small samples. For market research in stationary retail, this is particularly relevant. For example, a furniture store image settings, purchase intentions, wishes, criticism or similar wants to explore, may suffice a sample of n = 50, provided that the subjects are of such customers (and / or non-customers ) are filtered out, are interested in the genre of the range furniture store or could be. In a kind of differential analysis averages might begin from the first 30 answers, then from 40 responses, and finally formed by all the answers. Sway the average values ​​not significantly or not, a sufficient validity of the survey results will be accepted.

Commonly also distinction in public opinion polls and market research ökoskopische. Demoscopic market research provides insights from interviews with market participants subjectively influenced findings. Ökoskopische market research provides insights from market facts, objective findings. The the conduct demographic marketing research for decades formative party dispute between advocates exclusively statistical mass surveys and advocates exclusively ( deep - ) psychological interviews is enclosed. For statistical mass uprisings can not do without in-depth psychological research design, and ( deep - ) psychological interviews usually lead only through interviews of a plurality of subjects to actionable insights. Because of its largely psychological imprinting is already spoken of psychological research, which may be limited to individual sectors of the economy.

Relatively far developed is currently the psychological trade market research as a branch of trade psychology. For the stationary trade mainly supply -house experiments, ie based on variation only an isolated factor paragraph changes, important information about customer reactions (acceptance, reactance, demand elasticities, etc.). For example, the sales success of reallocating an article on supermarket shelves by comparing the respective week paragraph be measured before and just after the reallocation, if all other factors ( product group, customer base, advertising, price, weather, etc. ) have remained the same or comparable.

A further classification of primary research takes place at the level of contact with the respondents. Here a distinction is made between personal ( face-to -face ) and not personal interviews. The personal interviews carried out either in the home of the respondents ( in-home ) on the road ( in -street ) or in specially equipped test studios ( in hall). The non- personal interviews include telephone interviews (CATI ), mail surveys ( by mail ) and online surveys.

The quantitative data can be analyzed with different statistical methods ( for example Microsoft Excel ) are available in special statistical software such as SPSS or SAS, but partly also in programs for spreadsheet.

Another research method, revealing specifically for manufacturers of consumer goods, is the data collection in the context of consumer panels. A consumer panel is a large sample (often 10,000 cases or more) of consumers. These continuously monitor their purchases. Previously, the purchases were recorded by the subjects weekly or monthly in writing and sent by letter to the agency conducting the research. Today, the panel households are usually equipped with scanners goods. The identification of the goods purchased are dispatched immediately after the purchase, the data is transmitted online. From the data of consumer panels can, for example, the market shares of different brands are identified and - more importantly - the shift of market shares. In consumer panels, there are two problems that can distort the results: the so-called panel effect ( preferred purchasing specified for the protocol listed articles ) and the so-called panel mortality or panel mortality ( due to the retirement of subjects and newly recorded subjects related shifts in of the sample).

Secondary market research

The secondary market research gains its findings from data already collected ( "Research on the desk," desk research, secondary analysis ) or from the analysis of already conducted market research. In many cases, the collected data will be recorded electronically directly, as through a computer or checkout online statistics, which is connected to a central database. When using primary sources, mostly the question of a suitable sample.

Sources of secondary market research can be:

  • Sales Statistics
  • Correspondence with customers
  • Customer complaints
  • Repair lists
  • Inventory reports
  • Price lists
  • Information provided by the statistical offices, statistical yearbooks
  • Reports of Industry and Commerce (IHK )
  • Annual Reports of other enterprises
  • Brochures, catalogs of competitors
  • Publications of scientific institutes, etc.

Market research company

Large companies usually have their own market research departments. In smaller companies, however, often serve marketing managers ( product managers ) market research "on the side " with. Even the big companies edit the market research projects often not itself market researchers in such companies operate rather as intermediaries between their own marketing department and market research company commissioned to studies or institutions. Market research institutes, are used for market research companies mostly due to the knowledge of methods and experience to bring these institutions themselves, and because of the frequent significant cost advantages (eg the fact that the market research company, a private call center service). Other benefits include better ensured objectivity, the associated acceptance in science and the specific material and human capacities of market research companies.

According to ADM amounted in the year 2011, the global market research sales to nearly 24.15 billion euros. In Europe, this figure stood at 10.18 billion euros which is about 42 percent of the world market accounts. Within Europe, Germany and the UK show with a sales share of each 23 % and France with 19%, the front seats.

In terms of global sales are the top 10 market research companies:

The largest market research companies in Germany are:

The largest market research companies in Austria are:

  • The Austrian Gallup Institute
  • GFK Austria
  • Market Institute
  • Karmazin Motivforschung
  • IFES - Institute for Empirical Social Research
  • IMAS International
  • OGM - Austrian Society for Marketing
  • Spectra
  • TNS Info Research Austria
  • Integral market and opinion research
  • Interconnection Consulting

The largest and best known research institutions in Switzerland are:

  • GfK Switzerland
  • Link Institute
  • DemoSCOPE Group

Market and social research organizations

Market research and public opinion is organized internationally and in Germany in associations. These represent the companies, institutions and individuals who operate in Germany market and social research. You define binding professional ethics and quality policies and occur especially a for respondents rights. These mainly include the right to anonymity, which is always guaranteed market research. Together they operate the German forces with the Council of the German Market Research also a complaints body, to which anyone can apply who sees violated his rights respondents.

The relevant organizations are:

  • ADM - Association of German Market Research Institutes
  • BVM - Professional Association of German Market and Social Researchers
  • DGOF - German Society for Online Research eV
  • ASI - Association of Social Science Institutes eV
  • ESOMAR - International Market Research Association
  • Association of Researchers in Austria
  • Alliance of International Market Research Institutes
  • GfK Association
  • Swiss Association of Market and Social Research