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By HARI KRISHNA
(1) Marketing research offers
suggestions and not
decisions:
Marketing research is not a substitute for
decision making pr...
(2) Marketing research
cannot predict accurately:


In MR, efforts are being made to estimate or predict
the possible fut...
(3) MR conclusions are not
always dependable:


There are many who are skeptics of MR. Their
criticism is that MR conclus...
(4) Not an exact science:


Since marketing research plates to consumers, it cannot
be accepted as an exact science. Both...
(5) Time lag in presentation
and implementation:


There are other constraints as well that make for qualified
utility of...
(6) Limitations of
personnel:


Another constraint that is experienced pertains to
personnel and its quality. Trained, we...
(7) A cost-generating
operation:


Marketing research is expensive. The existence of
sellers’ market or a sheltered marke...
(8) Marketing research
cannot study all marketing
problems:
 Marketing research is rather very wide

in
scope. However, i...
(9) Resistance by
marketing executives:


Researchers study marketing problems
and offer information and guidance to
mark...
( 10) Lengthy and timeconsuming activity:


MR is a lengthy and time-consuming
activity. It involves various stages/steps...
(11) Complexity of the
subject:


Marketing research fails to give complete
and
full
proof
solutions
to
management.This
i...
(12) Non-availability of
qualified staff:


For scientific MR, professional marketing
researchers with proper qualificati...
( 13) Changing behaviour of
consumers:


Consumer is the focal point in marketing
research. However, his buying motives
a...
(14) Absence of effective
communication:


The research activity will be useful and
result-oriented only when there is
me...
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Limitations of marketing research

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Limitations of marketing research

  1. 1. By HARI KRISHNA
  2. 2. (1) Marketing research offers suggestions and not decisions: Marketing research is not a substitute for decision making process. It only offers possible suggestions/solutions to marketing problems. It actually acts as a tool that facilitates decision-making process. It guides marketing managers in taking balanced, result-oriented and rational decisions. The suggestions offered by marketing researchers are usually possible/probable solutions but not the exact solutions. MR does not provide readymade solutions to marketing problems. It only provides indicators. It may not provide conclusive information on marketing problems.
  3. 3. (2) Marketing research cannot predict accurately:  In MR, efforts are being made to estimate or predict the possible future situation. For this/ certain research studies are undertaken. However, the results/ conclusions arrived at may not be complete, perfect or accurate. Future is always uncertain and exact prediction about the future is just not possible through marketing research. This is because market environment is ever changing consumer behavior is difficult to estimate correctly and reliable data for research purpose may not be available. As a result, the decisions taken and policies framed on the basis of such research studies may not be accurate and useful for solving current marketing problems.
  4. 4. (3) MR conclusions are not always dependable:  There are many who are skeptics of MR. Their criticism is that MR conclusions are not dependable. There are examples where the research failed to deliver desired results or a product failed even when the research had shown promising market demand and consumer support. The classical example is that of Coke. Its MR showed that 68% customers in US liked the taste of the new formula developed by the Coca-Cola Corporation. However, the New Coke failed and in less than six months of its launch, the Coke management had to re-launch old Coke under the brand name Coke Classic. However, this failure of MR was mainly due to conventional approach of researchers.
  5. 5. (4) Not an exact science:  Since marketing research plates to consumers, it cannot be accepted as an exact science. Both quantifiable and non-quantifiable factors have to be assessed with the help of various techniques available to formulate marketing policies that will help to achieve maximum sales. The technical part of marketing research comes into operation particularly while collecting, analyzing, interpreting facts and figures. No amount of sophistication makes the subject an exact science. Because, as stated earlier, it concerns primarily the consumer as a human being Study of human behavior precludes absolute mathematical accuracy Probable trends, at the most can be indicated within pre-determined limits. This sets a basic limitation to marketing research.
  6. 6. (5) Time lag in presentation and implementation:  There are other constraints as well that make for qualified utility of marketing research in decision-making. For example, there is the limitation of time. Collection of data, their checking as to accu-racy and analysis and presentation often involve considerable time. The formulation of policies and their implementation as also their subsequent evaluation, which are a necessary follow-up, also take time. People’s tastes and preferences are subject to frequent changes. It is, therefore necessary, keeping in mind the scope and nature of marketing research, that the projects should be completed in time to ensure their utility. In this process, at times, as a compro-mise some accuracy may have to be sacrificed, but the degree of it can be decided in relation to the specific circumstances.
  7. 7. (6) Limitations of personnel:  Another constraint that is experienced pertains to personnel and its quality. Trained, well-equipped and well-directed research personnel can improve the quality and utility of marketing research. In the absence of this, research is likely to be costly and unreliable. Correct and complete information has to be collected from the respondents tactfully. The interviewer has to be reasonably aware of the psychological make-up of the persons that are being interviewed and should be able to analyze their thoughts and reactions. Apart from this, interviewers may have their own failings and weaknesses. Hence the training interviewers and investigators is a must.
  8. 8. (7) A cost-generating operation:  Marketing research is expensive. The existence of sellers’ market or a sheltered market in many developing countries in particular has also been responsible for an apathetic approach to marketing research. However, with the growth and development of their economies, the marketing conditions are changing in favor of buyers and the need for and the value of marketing research are being increasingly recognized by the enterprises in these countries also. With the communication between the purchaser and the manufacturer becoming indirect, meagre and unsatisfactory and as a result of competition, the manufacturer is increasingly becoming anxious to know the
  9. 9. (8) Marketing research cannot study all marketing problems:  Marketing research is rather very wide in scope. However, it cannot study all marketing problems particularly where it is difficult to collect relevant data. Similarly, research study is not possible where value judgments are involved. Even it is not useful for dealing with urgent marketing problems where quick decisions and follow-up actions are necessary.Thus, all marketing problems are not researchable and all research problems are not answerable.
  10. 10. (9) Resistance by marketing executives:  Researchers study marketing problems and offer information and guidance to marketing executives in their decisionmaking process. However, some executives are reluctant to use the solutions suggested by the researchers. They feel that such extensive use will act as a threat to their personal status. Findings of the research work may bring them in difficulties if the policy-decisions taken accordingly prove to be wrong.
  11. 11. ( 10) Lengthy and timeconsuming activity:  MR is a lengthy and time-consuming activity. It involves various stages/steps, which need to be completed in an orderly manner. It is not desirable to conduct research work in a haphazard manner. Naturally, the research work takes longer period for completion and the findings when available may prove to be old and outdated. Even data collected very soon become old or historical due to fast changing market environment. As a result, research findings based on them become irrelevant in the changed situation.
  12. 12. (11) Complexity of the subject:  Marketing research fails to give complete and full proof solutions to management.This is because marketingresearch itself is not an exact science. It is concerned with the study of human beings and human behavior is always difficult to predict, errors in drawing conclusions are possible due to this human element in marketing research activities. Errors in the research studies are also possible due to uncertainty of human behavior and also because of nonavailability of reliable data.
  13. 13. (12) Non-availability of qualified staff:  For scientific MR, professional marketing researchers with proper qualifications, training and experience are necessary. Research work is likely to be incomplete/ unreliable in the absence of such expert staff. Companies find it difficult to have the services of such expert staff. They find it difficult to pay high salary to professional consultants. Research activities are conducted in limited areas due to nonavailability of properly qualified staff. Such staff includes statisticians, psychologists, sociologists, economists and computer experts.
  14. 14. ( 13) Changing behaviour of consumers:  Consumer is the focal point in marketing research. However, his buying motives are difficult to judge precisely and accurately. This brings some sort of uncertainty in the conclusions drawn from the research activity. The findings of the research work (particularly in the case of consumer research) may not prove to be accurate.
  15. 15. (14) Absence of effective communication:  The research activity will be useful and result-oriented only when there is meaningful dialogue between the marketing management and marketing research team. However, such dialogue is ineffective in many organizations. This make’ research activity ineffective.

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