Q&A - What are the main uses of market research?

A wide variety of information used to support marketing decisions can be obtained from market research. A selection of such uses are summarised below:

Information about the size and competitive structure of the market

• Analysis of the market potential for existing products (e.g. market size, growth, changing sales trends)
• Forecasting future demand for existing products
• Assessing the potential for new products
• Study of market trends
• Analysis of competitor behaviour and performance
• Analysis of market shares

Information about Products

• Likely customer acceptance (or rejection) of new products
• Comparison of existing products in the market (e.g. price, features, costs, distribution)
• Forecasting new uses for existing products
• Technologies that may threaten existing products
• New product development

Information about Pricing in the Market

• Estimates and testing of price elasticity
• Trends in pricing over recent years
• Analysis of revenues, margins and profits
• Customer perceptions of “just or fair” pricing
• Competitor pricing strategies

Information about Promotion in the Market

• Effectiveness of advertising
• Effectiveness of sales force (personal selling)
• Extent and effectiveness of sales promotional activities
• Competitor promotional strategies

Information about Distribution in the Market

• Use and effectiveness of distribution channels
• Opportunities to sell direct
• Cost of transporting and warehousing products
• Level and quality of after-sales service

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