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Amazing reality of marketing surveys

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Today we had Marketing Research (MR) as discussion topic in marketing class. After a couple of presentations and Q&A sessions the prof raised the question (in fact he did raise more than one question.)
“When is the appropriate time to do MR?”

despite the fact that this question was raised at 1:15 pm when half the class is hungry and other half is sleeping people did respond to it.
some of the responces were like,

– “when the company is clueless as to what is going on with its marketing strategies”
– “when the company is making losses”
– “when a new product is to be launched”
– “do it on a regular basis” <- by yours truly

After sometime of “you extend my point, i carry forward your point” game, the prof said this.

“MR is done at the time when strategic decisions are made”


My comments on the whole thing:

it always surprises me when people speak something highly intellectual yet global and even more confusing. Look at the above statements. Lets say we take it for granted that MR is done at the point of SDM. How will a firm even know when to make strategic decisions? most of the times it is when the external environment is changing. And who will watch this external environment? may be top management.
Now lets come back to “what is MR?”
To put in simple terms, MR is nothing but scanning the market and finding out something (well, this something could be knowing your consumer, finding out his needs, findout out new markets or anything)
In a bordest sense isnt it environment scanning? well, most of the time MR is not just isolated to the market and people. It goes beyond that and tries to explain the con-b or whatever with the help of other external factors. That is why MR firms recruit socialogists, anthropologists, psychologists et al.
Collating these facts, what i can see is, Senior managment does MR to arrive at strategic decision points. Then the firm calls for MR team to do MR to find out whether people (most of the time consumers) are ready for this change.
That brings us back to the question “when to do MR?”. That is where i thought MR has to be done on a regular basis no matter what. Sometimes we call it environment scanning, sometimes consumer research, sometimes survey. it is all the same.

Wot do you say???


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