Developing your approach

Once your problem is better defined, you can move onto developing marketing research approach, which will generally be around a defined set of objectives.

Clear objectives developed in Step 1 will lend themselves to better marketing research approach development. Developing your approach should consist of honestly assessing you and your team’s market research skills, establishing a budget, understanding your environment and its influencing factors, developing an analysis model, and formulating hypotheses.

Project Analysis

o How difficult is the project to execute?
o Is it a large sample (500+) or small sample (<200)?
o Will the project need advanced analysis?
o What are the likely methodological approaches?
o Is in-depth and detailed reporting or executive summary reporting needed?

Skills Analysis
o Is there in-house market research available to meet project needs?
o Is the in-house market research expertise available during the given timeframe?
o What parts of the market research process can be handled internally?

Budget Analysis

o Is this a strategic problem/issue or a tactical one?
o Is it a $20,000 project or $200,000 project — what is the information worth?
o Where will the budget come from, and can it be shared between departments?
o Who are those most likely to benefit from the research, and likely those most willing to fund the project?
o In what timeframe will budget be available?


o What is the overall economic environment?
o What is the economic environment relative to your products/services?
o What is the governmental environment (regulatory, etc.)?

Overall Theory of the Marketing Research Approach

o What is your overall theory and hypothesis?
o What do you intend to prove or disprove?
o What actions are your company willing to take based upon survey results?
o What are the internal/external roadblocks that will need to be overcome to drive results?