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Zikmund W.G., Babin B.J. Essentials of Marketing Research

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Zikmund W.G., Babin B.J. Essentials of Marketing Research
South-Western, Cengage Learning, 2010. — 457 p. — ISBN 0324593759, 9780324593754.
Marketing research is a little like searching for a needle in a haystack. Researchers search for answers but forming the questions can be just as important. The search cannot be removed from research. Following this analogy, the researcher must address questions such as these: How do you find the needle? Where does the search start? How do you translate recorded data into intelligence that can be used to answer managerial questions? Clearly, it would be helpful if you could discover better places to start searching and better techniques to help direct the search. When it works right, marketing research is a win-win proposition. The process enables a company to identify its customers and design products that maximize the value they receive from a purchase. In return, the company receives value as the customers spend their hard-earned money. The result: customers win and businesses win! All are better off.
Like searching for a needle in a haystack, imagine trying to find a single piece of market information on the Internet. This information may well be hidden beneath piles and piles of irrelevant stuff! Or how about trying to find a key piece of market information that may be hidden in the mind of a consumer or an employee who isn’t consciously aware of all his or her reasons for some preference or behavior and, consequently, can’t identify or talk about it? How do you go about finding this information that could be so crucial to making a good market decision?
Using an X-ray monitor would be a great way to find the needle. But your real-world success is probably more dependent on the ability to wield an effective research process than an X-ray monitor. And that’s where this text comes in: Essentials of Marketing Research aquaints students with basic knowledge and skills involved in the research process.
Chapter 3 introduces this process, which includes six stages. Researchers must first work together with decision makers to decide why they are looking for that metaphorical needle; the next two stages plot out the way to go about finding the needle. Next are two stages that focus on the actual search for the needle. The process concludes when the market researcher communicates the benefits of finding pointed information that can help mend problems or create something really new and special to the decision maker. Success in this process usually merits the researcher a reward that is a bit more valuable than that needle!
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