Whatever the problem is it has to go through research process. The marketing research process has stages to guide the researcher from start to finish. It has seven stages.
1.) Problem formulation: it involves designing research problem and research objectives. In this stage researcher decides what information is to be collected. It is of three types;
a) Exploratory research: its aim is to collect the preliminary information. That helps in defining the problem.
b) Descriptive research: its aim is to describe the marketing problem.
c) Casual research: its aim at testing hypothesis about the cause and effect relationship.
2.) Selection of research methodology: selection of research methodology depends upon the nature of research problem, available existing knowledge and information.
3.) Developing research design: it is the blueprint or the framework of the project. The choice of research design depends upon the extent of data required, cost, benefit of research, urgency of work, time available.
4.) Selection of data collection techniques: data is the raw material used by the researcher to convert it into information. The data can be collected either through primary sources or through secondary sources.
5.) Actual collection of data: it involves technique or tools. For this purpose some companies use in house researchers and some outside consultants or both. All this depends upon the time, budget and accuracy.
6.) Analysis and interpretation of data: the data collected is raw and not useful unless statistical tools are applied upon it. The techniques can be decided in advance. It can be done with the help of various statistical packages.
7.) Preparation of research project: it is the last step of marketing research process. It involves the final findings, recommendations in an accurate, clear, concise and complete form.
Thus, all these stages of marketing research help the researcher in the research.