The Research Process

The Harvard Business School believe that market research is a seven-step process. Researchers and the intended user of the research should collaborate in each step as follows:

1. Be very clear about the problem that you are asking market research to solve. If you get this step wrong, the remaining steps will waste time and energy.

2. Determine the type of information needed to solve the problem you identified in step 1.

3. Select the most appropriate research tool for getting the information you need. You may need more than one.

4. Design your tools to fit the situation. For example, if a focus group is the best tool, determine which people you’ll invite to participate, how you’ll direct your inquiry and so forth.

5. Apply your research tool with objectivity and integrity. Don’t skew it to confirm a preconceived idea of the “rightâ€? data.

6. Analyse the data objectively.

7. Communicate your findings to the people who need it and who can apply it.

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