Market research is any organized effort to gather information about markets or customers. It is a very important component of business strategy.7 The term is commonly interchanged with marketing research; however, expert practitioners may wish to draw a distinction, in that marketing research is concerned specifically about marketing processes, while market research is concerned specifically with markets.
Market Research is a key factor to get advantage over competitors. Market research provides important information to identify and analyze the market need, market size and competition. Market research pertains to research in a given market. As an example, a firm may conduct research in a target market, after selecting a suitable market segment. In contrast, marketing research relates to all research conducted within marketing.
Thus, market research is a subset of marketing research. Marketing research, as a sub-set aspect of marketing activities, can be divided into the following parts: By these definitions, Crystal Group’s primary research is using top managements’ personal relationship with customers and vendors to collect information of which enhances the right decision making. In addition, there are annual conferences held by Crystal Group with its customers to confirm their needs and wants.
In the consumer-driven approach, consumer’s wants are the drivers of all strategic marketing decisions. No strategy is pursued until it passes the test of consumer research. Every aspect of a market offering, including the nature of the product itself, is driven by the needs of potential consumers. The starting point is always the consumer. The rationale for this approach is that there is no reason to spend R&D funds developing products that people will not buy. History attests to many products that were commercial failures in spite of being technological breakthroughs.
According to the following selling process, another primary research of Crystal Group is using sample to test the market needs of its B2B customers: Stage 1 – Understand customer need. It has “product development department” to understand its customer’s need and design the sample to fulfill customer’s requirement. Stage 2 – Sell the sample. It has regular appointment with its customer to sell the sample. In the sample meeting, its sale person has to negotiate the coming seasons’ trend and pricing strategy of which is transparent and negotiable with its customer.
Stage 3 – Order confirmation. After sample and price offering, the customer has to confirm the order or not. However, primary research is often expensive to prepare, collect and interpret from data to information. Nevertheless, while secondary research is relatively inexpensive, it often can become outdated and outmoded, given that it is used for a purpose other than the one for which it was intended.
However, Crystal Group involves a lot of resources (including time and money) into secondary research. It collects the information from website, industry journals and sometimes purchases the professional research from open market. Using the above-mentioned information sources, it develops its own website: CRYSTAL Business Environment to monitor the following areas’ market changes: The task of marketing research is to provide management with relevant, accurate, reliable, valid, and current information. Competitive marketing environment and the ever-increasing costs attributed to poor decision making require that marketing research provide sound information. Sound decisions are not based on gut feeling, intuition, or even pure judgment.
First, marketing research is systematic. Thus systematic planning is required at all the stages of the marketing research process. The procedures followed at each stage are methodologically sound, well documented, and, as much as possible, planned in advance. Marketing research uses the scientific method in that data are collected and analyzed to test prior notions or hypotheses. Marketing research is objective. It attempts to provide accurate information that reflects a true state of affairs. It should be conducted impartially. While research is always influenced by the researcher’s research philosophy, it should be free from the personal or political biases of the researcher or the management.
If Crystal Group wants to become one of leaders in garment industry, it has to improve its industry convergence of which has to collect more information in vertical integration e.g. M&A with fabric mills. To achieve this purpose, it has to use exploratory research as a tool to make systematic and objective planning. The objective of exploratory research is to gather preliminary information that will help define problems and suggest hypotheses. After exploratory research is systematic gathering and interpretation of information about M&A using statistical and analytical methods and techniques of the applied social sciences, Crystal Group could gain insight or support its decision making in industry convergence.