Market research involves identifying or analyzing opportunities that are available in the marketing environment. According to Kotler (2003), this research is performed in a view to identify customer’s needs and taste which forms a foundation for the production of an optimum marketing mix. Since markets constantly change towards maturity, research and intelligence are required in order to analyze the marketing environment and propose new solutions. Forces both internal and external to the organization can affect its performance. The various environmental forces that require market research include the political-legal, competition, economic, technological environments; also known as PEST Analysis. More so, target markets and current marketing objectives and performance require integrated research and intelligence.
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The political environment comprises laws, government bureaus, and pressure groups. Legislation of government policy exerts much influence on the marketing activities of a firm and thus calls for proper market-oriented thinking and research. The governments are big buyers, and political officials can influence how much a government agency purchases and from whom; this is as a result of mature markets in which there are many organizations that market products that are similar or can be generally substituted for the products of a market in the same area, hence competition. Subsequently, the imposition of trade tariffs and quotas faces marketing managers with an additional dimension of market research. The economic environment must also be analyzed because markets require purchasing power as well as people. The issues to consider here are the levels of new industrial growth, the impact of fluctuations on exchange rates, and the major economic indicators of the country; for instance, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), inflation and employment levels. Moreover, technological laws may be different in the market set up and thus there is a need to ensure that the firm’s technology conforms to the local laws: e.g., the software version to be used. In performing the PEST analysis, a firm needs to compare its strategies with those of the anticipated market; do the social, political, economic, and technological environmental requirements fit the company’s plan? In addition, mature markets pose a greater influence on the market segments, thus research and analysis are required to ensure that an organization’s objectives and performance are enhanced.
In conclusion, marketing research is required in a mature market since the marketplace constantly changes dues to factors such as technological advances, globalization, political influence, economic status and policy, and competition. Therefore, a firm needs to redesign and constantly rethink its market-oriented process through identifying marketing opportunities, developing strategies, planning marketing programs, and managing the marketing effort.
Bennett, R, & Blythe, J, 2002, International Marketing. Kogan Page Publishers, London.
Kotler, P, 2003, Marketing Management, Eleventh Edition, Prentice Hall, New York.