FAQs Market Research

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1.  What is Market Research?
Market research is the most important strategic tool advised to be used minimize not only the cost of production but also the cost of operations and cost of sales.  It also works to maximize the revenue of the organization through identifying and rectifying the target customers as per their potential and business behavior. Collectively these two parameters (cost minimization and revenue maximization) ensure the best profitability to the corporate.


2.  What are the types of market research?
These are broadly categorized into two segments; primary and secondary research.  Primary research is new research, carried out to answer specific issues or questions. It can involve questionnaires, surveys or interviews with individuals or small groups. Whereas Secondary research makes use of information previously researched for other purposes and or for the same purpose by some other professionals who do it for commercial purposes. In pharmaceutical industry secondary research work is prepared by IMS and Sals. These are two professional bodies who offer their primary research to the pharmaceutical industry to be used as secondary research. They have a commercial price for their service.


3.  What are the benefits of market research to corporate?
The ultimate benefit to a corporate is the profit maximization. It is either through cost cutting or through revenue building. Cost cutting is possible through benchmarking in segments of productions, operations and sales management whereas revenue maximization is possible by objective oriented study of customers and competitors.


4.  Is every decision is needed to be finalized after market research?
Everyone cannot go for market research for every decision. It is needed in strategic decisions. It is neither cost effective nor time effective to go for research in tactical research. Tactical decisions are needed to be based on a combination of intuition, judgment and past experiences.


5.  Is it not appropriate to go with intuition, judgment and past experiences for strategic decisions?
We usually don’t recommend it. Strategic facts about market are more or less like a country and experience of a single person is exactly like the exposure of a single person to that country.  Even with the biggest exposure of a single person, there are ample chances of misunderstanding of a geography, demography or psychography of any or many areas; the same can happen with intuitive and judgmental decision making in strategic issues. These are needed do be dealt with scientifically through market research.


6.  What are the functional differences of primary and secondary market research?
Secondary research is used for extensive models where larger sample base is required to be evaluated for small number of parameters whereas primary research is needed where detailed feedback or large number of parameters is mandatory to be evaluated with a smaller sample base. Another important point is that the primary research is carried out where reliable secondary data is not available.


7.  What are the tools of secondary research in pharmaceutical industry?
IMS and Sals are commercially available as powerful tools of secondary research in pharmaceutical industry.


8.  Is there any work up needed after purchase of secondary research data?
Of course, interpretation of secondary data is very important, and this interpretations is based on some arithmetical and statistical evaluation. Currently these tools are being used by a number of companies successfully as ‘research tool’ for profit maximization whereas some other companies are using just as a symbol of respect and a ‘tool for meeting discussion’. Hence its arithmetical and statistical evaluations is mandatory to have its benefit as a ‘research tool’.


9.  What is the significance of primary research in pharmaceutical industry?
It helps in multiple segments but especially in brand positioning and customer targeting.


10. What are the subtypes of primary research?
Subtypes of primary research are qualitative and quantitative research.


11. What is research outsourcing?
Research outsourcing means not to hire the research professional on corporate payroll, rather than to get involved with professional researchers who can support the corporate right from objective formulation till the analysis of data, interpretation of results and conclusion for the action.


12.  Is research outsourcing advisable for every type and every segment of market research?
No, it is adviseable only in cases where either the cost of hiring a professional team is expensive than getting it done from outside professionals; or where the quality of research is compromised by the in-house team members.