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Unformatted text preview: Introduction To maintain strong customer relationships, organizations have to understand their customers, markets, and industries. That's where marketing research comes in. Marketing research involves the gathering and analysis of information that can help organizations get in touch with, and stay in touch with, their customers and the competitive environment. Research is a huge part of successful marketing. This module will focus on the critical role of marketing research. We will look at how organizations get started on research projects, from identifying the need for research to setting goals and developing a research plan. We will talk about the different kinds of data that companies gather for their marketing. And we will explore the different ways that companies collect this data, learn about their customers, and organize that information so that they can eventually transform it into action. Assignments Read: Harrah's Hits the CRM Jackpot Read: Tracking Consumers on the Web: Smart Targeting or a Little Creepy? Assignment 4.1: Marketing Research and Recommendations To create value for customers and build mutually beneficial relationships with them, marketers have to continually maintain a fresh, deep understanding of what customers need and want. Businesses use customer insights to refine their advantages over competitors and keep customers happy -- and keep them returning. So, how do you get information about customer insights? Typically, companies can't afford to guess or to wait for customers to come to them, so, to address key marketing questions or issues, companies conduct research to find their answers. Marketing research involves the systematic collection of information related to a market, industry, competitors, products, or services. Often, the key to customer and market insights lies somewhere along the marketing research path. There is a lot of information out there, and there are many ways to get it. Particularly with recent advances in technology, companies now have expansive amounts of customer data available to them. This information can help companies determine not only what kinds of customers they might want to target but also where to find those customers, what those customers value, and what factors influence the buying behaviors of those customers. But it is not always easy, and often not cheap, for a company to acquire and understand good customer information that can accurately and effectively guide its marketing. Another issue is that most marketers have so much information that their greatest difficulty involves effectively organizing and evaluating that data. For example, consider the retail chain Wal-Mart. The company refreshes its sales data from checkout scanners every hour. The result is about a billion rows of customer buying data for Wal-Mart each day. That makes for lots of information to sift through and understand....
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- Fall '10