Research process

How is the marketing research process structured?

Where to begin?

Any marketing or sociological research begins with setting a goal. Why is data needed to be collected? What conclusions will be drawn? The most common mistake at this stage – an attempt to “embrace the immensity,” that is, to study the opinion of the target audience on many issues at once. It is important to consider that respondents get tired of long questionnaires, begin to find it difficult to answer, or even ask to stop the survey. It is better to first choose the most important direction and be consistent in the directions of research.

Whom to interview?

In most cases, marketing research is not complete without a survey. In accordance with the purpose, it is necessary to establish which target audience should participate in the survey. It is important to clearly define the key parameters and characteristics of the persons being interviewed: for example, gender, age, area of residence or other parameters. In addition, for any study, the number of questionnaires collected or, in other words, the representativeness of the sample is important. The sample size is calculated using Paniotto's table or using a sample calculation calculator. For example, for a city with a population of more than one million, the minimum sample size is 384 people.

Development of a questionnaire and approval of the report form

The most important stage of the research is the development of the questionnaire. The result depends on how it is compiled, whether it meets the goal, and whether the characteristics of the subject of research are taken into account. In addition, it must be remembered that if any question is missed or forgotten at this stage, there will be no way to go back (except by conducting a new study). As a rule, at the beginning of the questionnaire, selection (quota) questions are asked: for example, about gender, age, area of residence, etc. Next, simple questions are asked; the most difficult questions are best placed at the end of the questionnaire. The maximum number of questions for a street survey, as a rule, does not exceed twenty. Questions can be open, closed (choice from the options provided) or mixed. There should be no more than 20% open questions in the questionnaire. After approval of the questionnaire, a report form is drawn up so that the research customer can see in what form the data will be provided and assess whether this data will be sufficient. After this, final adjustments and additions are made to the questionnaire.

Pilot study

After the questionnaire and report form have been agreed upon with all interested parties, it is necessary to conduct a so-called pilot study, that is, test the questionnaire on a small sample. This stage should not be neglected, since it is at this stage that all the shortcomings and weaknesses of the questionnaire are identified.

Interviewer training

Another important stage of the research. Each interviewer, as a test of the questionnaire, fills out a questionnaire for himself and one of his friends (these questionnaires are not taken into account in the total sample) – This way, interviewers understand what the questions are about, what reactions might be to them, and what might cause difficulties. Sometimes training is provided for interviewers, especially if the research topic is complex.

Data collection, survey

At the beginning of the interview, interviewers use an introductory phrase – it should be short and at the same time succinct, so that the potential respondent immediately understands what is being said. It is also important to put interviewers in a favorable mood and prepare for a large number of refusals: as a rule, every seventh to tenth person agrees to a street interview. For telephone surveys - every fourth or fifth. For complex personal surveys, it is recommended to use gifts as a thank you for your time.

Data analysis

The obtained data is entered into a database (usually SPSS) by questionnaire inputters or using automated systems. After this, the data array is transferred to analytics. Analysts calculate all the necessary indicators, create pivot tables, cross-analysis to see dependencies, – all calculations in accordance with the approved report form. Based on the results of each point of analysis, intermediate conclusions are drawn. At the end of the report, a brief summary of no more than one page is written, containing the most important findings of the study. To present the results, a presentation is also prepared, containing no more than 20 slides, which reflects the most important points of the study.


Conducting marketing research involves drawing up a detailed and clear report on the problem raised, recommendations for further actions, and justification for these actions. If representatives of several departments are interested in the research results (commercial, marketing department, advertising department, purchasing department, pricing department, etc.), then BCGroup specialists prepare separate analytical notes on relevant topics in addition to the main report. Then, within six months, BCGroup analysts answer clarifying questions, make calculations of additional indicators (in case the customer forgot to include them in the list) and help to understand individual issues on this topic.

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