It is very important to plan research. You can not undertake effective research without planning the process and setting yourself clear objectives. The research process has nine stages. Lets discuss each one.
The diagram below shows a process map for the research planning process.
Write a Research Brief
This sets out what is to be researched. For the purposes of this article our research brief will be look into the demand for 8K televisions.
Define The Issue
At this stage it is important to go into more detail about the research. So, for our 8K TV research we may specify the target market to be researched, what the demand maybe, and whether there is long term viability for 8K.
Set Research Objectives
Any project including research projects needs to have objectives. Objectives that are set should be SMART. Read LearnMarketing's article about SMART Objectives. It is important to set research objectives so you know whether those objectives can be met. So with our 8k TV the objectives maybe to find out whether there is a market for 8k TV and to research the number of 8K developers within the market.
Research Proposal and Plan of Work
When researching it is important that you have a plan of work. A plan of work aids a firm in setting objectives and helps them with timing. You have to also plan the data that needs to be collected, decide the main primary research methods that best suit your research objectives, also plan your secondary research. The research maybe taken from internal records. You also need to decide the target audience for your research and the sample size.
Collection of Data
It is very important to make sure you decide on the research methods you are going to use. The data collection methods should be based on validity, accuracy and the reliability of the data they will generate. You will also need to take into account the cost of the data collection methods. The firm may not be able to afford too many different types of primary research methods, but maybe able to afford to purchase a report (secondary research) from market research organisations like Mintel.
Analysis and Evaluation of Data
Once data has been collected it needs to be analysed. You may employ someone to analyse the data or you may do it yourself. Your analysis should meet your research objectives so for our example the research findings should reveal if there is a demand for 8k TV products, consumer's views about 8K TV and whether there are enough producers of 8k TV to warrant investment in them.
Presentation Of Findings
It is important to present your findings in a form that will make the conclusion of your research easy to understand and interpret. Your presentation maybe in a form of a report, a power point slide with charts, statistics and diagram or a combination of above. Your research presentation should be clear, relevant and succinct, it should also reinforce research findings.
Evaluation of Market Research
Look through your research and the methods that you used and think about what you can do to improve it. Is there anyway to make your research methods and findings better and more accurate? Was there anything you missed out?
A research plan focuses the researcher so that before they begin their research they fully understand research objectives and what action they are going to take to achieve objective.