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A guide to marketing research. Go to Business Research Page
Last Updated: May 22, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Marketing Research: An Introduction

Market research refers to “the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives.” (Source: American Marketing Association)

Market research involves analysis of:

  • Consumers: used to segment the market based on demographic, geographic, psychographic (buying habits, attitudes, beliefs etc.), and behavioral factors.
  • Competitors: compare what customers need and want to what competitors offer, barriers to entry.
  • Industries: industry climate and key trends, norms, distribution channels
  • Markets: determine market size and relative market share of key competitors, market drivers, growth potential
  • Products: strategies on product, place (distribution strategies), pricing, and promotion including advertising, sales promotion, direct selling, and personal selling.

Data for market research is gathered through both primary and secondary research.

  • Primary data: is based on research that you conduct yourself using tools such as surveys, polls, focus groups, and interviews. Primary research is used to address a specific problem. While primary data can be more thorough and insightful, it is costly and time consuming to collect such data and conducting such research requires special skills.
  • Secondary data: is based on research done by somebody else, such as, government agencies, educational institutions, trade organizations, commercial sources, unions, and associations. Data compiled by such sources is usually published in pamphlets, newsletters, trade publications, magazines, and newspapers and is relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain. However, as you have no control over how and what pieces of data were collected, it may not be specific enough for your needs.

This guide focuses on secondary sources of data. It identifies key resources, both print-based and online available at the UConn Libraries. It also identifies free websites with useful information. Use tabs on top to access relevant portions of this guide. In addition to this guide, use the Company Information and Industry Information guides for comprehensive research. 


    Research Guide

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