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A Complete Guide to Writing a Marketing Research Report

A marketing research report is a written statement prepared by the marketing team of a company which uses both quantifiable and non-quantifiable information to analyze the present market conditions of a particular industry and predict future marketing trends. In this article, we shall try to demonstrate how to prepare a market research report.

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How to write a marketing research report?

Step 1: Conduct a market survey

Market survey is the first step towards writing a research paper. Marketing survey requires collection of quantifiable and un-quantifiable data from sample group of consumers who may either be randomly chosen or carefully selected according to specific company requirements.

Step 2: Be clear about your research objective

Surveys may differ from each other on the basis of their research objectives. Some surveys may either be product-oriented, customer-oriented or brand-oriented. For instance, surveys like brand equity research, brand name testing, ad tracking and commercial eye tracking are done to test the association of a brand with a group of customers. On the other hand, product-based surveys include demand estimation, distribution channel audits and test marketing. Finally, there is another group of sample surveys which are performed to exclusively reveal the insight into customer behavior.

Step 3: Perform situational analysis

From consumers, the marketer must move on to the survey of the company and its relative position. A marketing researcher must conduct two types of analysis. These are internal analysis and external analysis using a variety of marketing tools like SWOT, PESTEL and Porter’s Five forces model. These tools help companies to identify their competitive advantage within a particular industry. For example, here is the SWOT and PESTEL analysis of Marks and Spencer. It is a multinational retailer of clothing, luxury food and homeware, headquartered in the City of Westminster, London.

PESTEL Analysis (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Ethical and Legal Analysis) of Marks and Spencer

Political:
Marks and Spencer has been in recent years mired in political controversy. Pro-Palestinian groups have claimed that Marks and Spencer is pro-Zionist.
Economic:

The Company should learn from the 1997/98 incident. Profits margins were pushed up to untenable levels and the company depended extensively on British supplies unlike its rivals which depended on low cost countries for their supplies.

Social:

Marks and Spencer has indulged in several social and charitable causes. The company follows fair trade and environment-friendly policy. It has also associated with charitable causes like breast cancer.

Ethical:

Marks and Spencer for instance follows a policy under which a Muslim service person may refuse to provide services to a man with pork and alcohol.

Technological:
In 2000, Marks and Spencer dropped the St. Michael brand and replaced it with Marks and Spencer brand as part of its product innovation strategy.

SWOT Analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat Analysis) of Marks and Spencer

  • Strengths: Some of the strengths include: over 125 years of brand name, good reputation, quality products in luxury food, clothing and home products.
  • Weaknesses: Marks and Spencer lacks on several areas. It is an expensive brand that relies on British supplies. Further, it fails to attract younger crowd and lacks styles and trends of the 21st century.
  • Opportunities: It needs to grab business opportunities in other countries. The brand has more than 800 stores in UK and 300 stores in 40 overseas locations. However, the brand needs to improve its distribution network extensively.
  • Threats: The retailing sector in UK is dominated by brands like Tesco, Debenhams and Asos. Online shopping is another major threat.

Step 4: Create an effective marketing mix using the four Ps of marketing – Product, Price, Promotion and Place

An effective marketing strategy helps to create innovative policies regarding the product, its pricing and the places in which the product needs to be sold and the tactics used for promotion. Here is a marketing mix for an imaginary brand of sugar-free chocolates, Nestle is launching for the European market

Marketing Mix (4Ps of Nestle Kit Kat)

Product: Kit Kat has a brand value that is associated with a four fingered bar. Changing the product itself is potentially harmful. It is advised that the sugar-free version would be an alternative edition sold along with the original version and not instead of it. 

 

 

Price: The original brand is very competitively priced. It is advised that the sugar-free version must not be more expensive than the mother version since that might scare off potential buyers.
Place: It is advised that the new product should be sold in various other places like news stalls and cigarette vendors along with supermarket. 

 

 

 

Promotion: Since consumers usually associate Kit Kat with the iconic line, ‘have a break, have a Kit Kat’, advertisers must not change the tagline but the additional dimension of being healthy and sugar free can be brought in.

Discussed above were the main points to remember while writing a marketing research assignment. Here is a quick recap of how to proceed:

  1. Conduct your market survey to collect data
  2. Use the data to do a situational analysis of the company
  3. Use any one or all of the following tools: SWOT, PESTEL and Porter’s Five
  4. End with a marketing mix with your own recommendations on the marketing strategies.

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