Scope of marketing research refers to the areas covered or the aspects studied under marketing research. In other words, it implies where or on which areas marketing research can be applied. In fact, marketing research concerns with almost each and every activity of marketing management. It has a wide and comprehensive scope.
The scope of marketing research covers following areas:
1. Research on Products:
Products involve goods and services. This branch of marketing research covers all the issues related to firm’s products.
It studies and solves the product-related problems, such as:
i. Study of products’ qualities and performance
ii. Study of physical and psychological characteristics of product
iii. Determining uses of the existing products
iv. Comparative study of competitive products
v. Detecting consumers’ problems related to the products
vi. Determining need for developing new products
vii. Assessing success of a new product in market, including market testing
viii. Product life cycle and consumer adoption study
ix. Study of branding, packaging, labeling, after-sales services, and remarking
2. Research on Market:
This area of marketing research deals with market/consumers. It studies characteristics and compositions of the target markets. It covers both current as well as potential markets.
This branch includes:
i. Defining and selecting target market
ii. Studying needs and wants of target market
iii. Study of size and location of current market
iv. Assessing the current market trends and projecting the future trend
v. Analysis of territorial sales opportunities and potential
vi. Setting sales territories and sales quotas
vii. Market share analysis
viii. Studies on relative profitability of different markets
ix. Estimating demand of a new product
3. Research on Sales Methods and Policies:
This area of marketing research, particularly, concerns with study and analysis of the sales- related activities.
Various aspects covered under this head may be listed as below:
i. Study and analysis of sales records
ii. Analysis of sales territories in terms of products, size of orders, times, terms and conditions and methods
iii. Study on activities and effectiveness of salesmen
iv. Evaluating existing selling methods
v. Sales force management including size, compensation, training, control, etc.
vi. Study on effect of various promotional tools such as advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, and publicity tools on sales
vii. Study on organization structure of sales department
4. Research on Advertising:
Advertising is one of the powerful methods of market promotion. Major part of promotional budget is devoted to advertising activities. Therefore, it is imperative to conduct research on various aspects related to advertising.
Under this area, at least following aspects are covered:
i. Comparative study of various elements of promotion
ii. Study on advertising objectives, media and media selection, advertising message, theme, copy, and advertising agency
iii. Social aspects of advertising – negative and positive effects of advertising on society at large
iv. Advertising role in different stages of product life cycle
v. Government restrictions on advertising
vi. Study on costs and contribution of advertising or evaluating advertising effectiveness
vii. Study of competitors’ advertising practices and strategy
5. Research on Pricing:
Price is an important element of marketing mix. In developing and underdeveloped countries, price plays a vital role. Suitable pricing policies and methods can contribute positively in attainment of marketing goals. It is clear that price has remained a major determinant of buying decision.
This branch covers:
i. Study on pricing objectives
ii. Study on effectiveness of pricing policies and strategies
iii. Study of various methods for setting price
iv. Quality v/s value analysis
v. New product and pricing policies
vi. Study on effect of discount, allowance, and seasonal variables
vii. Pricing strategies on different stages of product life cycle
6. Research on Distribution:
In today’s marketing, distribution has unique role to determine success of product. A marketer can contribute to total consumer satisfaction by designing appropriate distribution network. Physical distribution and distribution channel are two important components of such research.
This area includes:
1. Assessing role of distribution decisions in achieving marketing goals
2. Comparative study of between direct and indirect distribution
3. Physical distribution and ancillary services
4. Study on various types of channels of distribution
5. Study on relevant factors affecting channel decision/selection
6. Comparing company’s distribution strategies with competitors
7. Relevance of online marketing
8. Legal issues related to distributions
7. Research on Business Environment and Corporate Responsibility:
This area is not concerned with solving any marketing problem directly. In order to collect and analyze data related to broad business environment, such research is conducted. The study on the area helps manager formulate strategies for the current and the future market as well. It also helps assess strengths and weaknesses of marketing department in relation to business environment. In today’s dynamic business environment, the study on various economic, social, and cultural variables is extremely important. Similarly, it is necessary to analyze corporate responsibility.
Main aspects covered under the head include:
i. Business analysis including demand, national income, per capita income, trade and industry, economic growth rate, fiscal monetary policies, and export-import policy.
ii. Short-term and long-term business forecasting.
iii. Technological aspects.
iv. Availability and quality of productive resources.
v. Impacts of legal provisions and Acts.
vi. Study on consumerism and the consumer rights.
vii. Social and cultural values affecting business policy.
viii. Pollution and ecological imbalance, and social responsibility of business.