Functions Of Marketing Research:
MR performs five basic functions. These are: Description, evaluation, explanation, prediction and finally aid in decision-making. These functions are related to the research project undertaken. Usually, every research study performs all the five functions explained below:
(1) Description: MR provides data and gives information/description of customers who buy the product. This includes information about their age/sex, education, income and the amount of money that they are willing to spend on the product. Description of the customers is useful in order to draw certain conclusions about the customers and their buying behavior. Even marketing strategies can be decided as per the information available.
(2) Evaluation: MR is useful for understanding the views/reactions of the buyers. This includes views of consumers on packaging/ advertising/sales promotion measures used. A manufacturer gets these details as well as the information about his product in comparison with the products of his competitors. This facilitates evaluation of the marketing policies. For example, how farthepackaging of the product is attractive to consumers or superior as compared to packaging by competitors and so on.
(3) Explanation: MR givesexplanation to certain questions of a manufacturer. It may be related to decline in sales, retailers negative reaction or resistance of consumers in a particular marketing area. MR enables a manufacturer to understand why sales are reducing (causes) or why the response of the retailers is negative or why consumers in a particular region are not willing to purchase a specific product. Such explanation is important as it enables a manufacturer to adjust his marketing policies in order to rectify the prevailing unfavorable situation.
(4) Prediction: MR conducts prediction function. Such predictions may be related to consumers, market environment/market competition, possible socio-economic changes and so on. This prediction function enables a manufacturer to understand how much people will spend on the specific product in the next year or the fashions that consumers may prefer in the next year. In addition, prediction about the possible turnover in the years to come is also possible through suitable marketing research studies. In brief, marketing research is useful for understanding the marketing environment likely to develop in future. This facilitates proper adjustment in the marketing policies for the future period. In this sense, the prediction function is important even when all predictions made through research studies may not prove to be fully correct. However, the trend indicated can be used for appropriate policy decisions.
(5) Aid in Decision-making: One more function of MR is to facilitate the process of decision-making in the marketing field. MR guides the manufacturer as regards the manner in which he can make effective advertising appeal or create incentive among his salesmen/distributors. It also gives him guidance as regards price fixation and sales promotion techniques that will be useful for the future period. This function of marketing research is closely related to other functions that it performs. These functions facilitate reasonably correct decision-making by marketing managers.
They also suggest the practical utility of MR activities.
MR functions provide feedback (information and guidance) to marketing managers and improve the quality of their decision-making. This practice is certainly safer as compared to decision-making on the basis of past experience or intuition. When reality is complex and many facts are not detectable, intuition is not adequate for decision-making. Similarly, experience is useful but decisions on experience alone may not be accurate.
Large companies and professional executives prefer to resort to marketing research than depending on experience. This is because information available is based on real data and is more reliable/ dependable. This facilitates correct decision-making. Thus, marketing executives should prefer decisions on the basis of information supplied through marketing research. Such decisions are likely to be more accurate as they are based on actual market situation.
In brief, the basic function of MR is to support marketing decision-making process.Marketing research does not provide ready-made decisions or exact solutions on all marketing problems. It only provides the clues or possible solutions that should be taken into consideration in the decision-making process. It provides support to skills and abilities of marketing managers.
The different functions of marketing research are supplementary in character. These functions enable a manufacturer to keep close touch with the marketing situation and enable him to make suitable changes in his marketing policies and programmers. They also suggest the role marketing research activity in modern competitive and consumer oriented marketing.Marketing research functions certainly improve the quality of decision-making by marketing managers.