Marketing research is the process of identifying and defining a marketing problem or marketing opportunity, collecting and assessing data, and ultimately making recommendations for how to interpret that information. The purpose of marketing research is to reduce risk when devising marketing campaigns. The five steps of marketing research approach that leads to marketing action includes: 1) defining the problem, 2) developing a research, 3)collecting relevant information, 4)Developing findings and recommendations, and 5)taking marketing actions.
Step one of the marketing research approach involves discovering consumer needs, setting research objectives and identify possible marketing actions. In the case of marketing the U. Mass Boston PhD. Program, this could include assessing the Ph.D. programs of other institutions to see what they offer, how they promote their programs, or even researching the job market to see what the key needs are for Ph.D. applicants and then focusing the program marketing campaign on those attributes.
Step two of the marketing research approach entails developing a research plan, specifically through specifying constraints based on resource limitations. The goal of the research plan and the actually resources available will define the plan itself, such as how data will be collected. In the case of the U Mass Boston PhD program, this would include calculating the budget and based on those calculations setting up a staff and methodology for research.
Step three involves collecting relevant information by specifying the difference between primary data and secondary data. Secondary data is the information that has already been collected by the company prior to the new project, and primary data is the new information that will be obtained. This could be information as advanced as demographics of Ph.D. applicants nationwide, or as simple as assessing all of the Ph.D. concentrations and their popularity among nationwide applicants. This could also include secondary data of the number of graduating U. Mass students from graduate programs, and those looking to further their education verses those looking to join the workforce. Information like this could be retrieved through campus surveys, or already documented prior to the project, while nationwide information would have to be collected through research studies done by outside sources.
Step four involves developing findings and recommendations. This is basically the act of looking at the data, interpreting its meaning and true worth in relation to a potential marketing campaign, and then making recommendations for how that campaign should be executed. In relation to the U. Mass program this could entail seeing information that suggests most U. Mass applicant will pursue a Ph.D. in Project Management and then designing a marketing campaign that focuses entirely on that degree. It could also mean discovering that most U. Mass Ph.D. applicants will actually come from outside the state or country and designing non-resident friendly ads. Finally, it could also be deduced that most U. Mass Ph.D. applicants don’t watch television or listen to radio, but are mostly on Social network sites, so saving money by mostly advertising online could also be a finding resulted from taking this step.
Step five involves taking marketing actions based on all of the knowledge found. It is the process of implementing recommendations, evaluating decisions and the methods used to come up with those decisions. Step five is the full on launching of a marketing campaign that was recommended in step 4, or it could even be attempting to follow through with those recommendations, only to realize they must be revised and then re-executed. This would be when the U. Mass Campaign gets launched.