Stages of marketing research

Site: Mobility Academy
Course: Using market research to help optimise your public transport system
Book: Stages of marketing research
Printed by: Guest user
Date: Sunday, 10 December 2023, 1:07 AM


Designing market research carefully and avoiding errors is crucial to your ultimate success.

1. The process of marketing research

stages of market research

Preparation is crucial in marketing research and it is unwise to jump to collecting data until you have carefully planned the process.

The image to the right shows each of the stages of marketing research (left column) and the result produced from that stage next to it in the right column. As you can see, data is not collected until the fourth stage of the process. Before this, sevearl other steps should be taken.

The design of marketing research is fundament to the whole process and includes a definition of the problem, costs and the value of information that could be obtained.

Any stage (or part) of marketing research may be subcontracted to external company(ies) depending on the human and financial resources available to you internally.

2. The timing of activities

Planning is crucial activity in marketing research. Each activity should be calculated separately with regard to time, personnel and money.

As noted before, any part, or all, of the research may be subcontracted to a specialised company if you lack the necessary resources.

Below is an overview of the activities that need to be carried out (and approximate time requirements) for market research using the example of personal interviews with respondents. 



Designing the questionnaire




Selection of personnel to pilot the research


Preparation of everything needed to pilot the research


Training of personnel


Execution of pilot interviews


Analysis of results of pilot research


Preparation of the final version of the interview questions


Final selection of personnel


Training of personnel


Execution of interviews


Evaluation of interviewers


Data reduction and analysis


Preparation the final report




An example of planning of marketing research based on personal interviews with respondents

3. Stages of preparation

Below are the standard steps for the preparation of marketing research.

  1. Analysis and design of research problem
  2. Initial design of sampling
  3. Decision on measuring forms of secondary and primary data
  4. Selection of measuring instruments and their design
  5. Selection of reduction and data analysis methods
  6. Final design of research and cost calculation
  7. Valuation of information obtained
  8. Proposals for further research activities

These stages will be described in further detail on the following pages.

4. Analysis and design of your research problem

Analysis and design of your research problem is the most complex and most important stage of the research. The key element is to define your question. This could be, for example:

Should we allow for carriage of bikes in our public transport vehicles?

bikes on bus sign

Your research problem is then to examine the opinions of passengers on the carriage of bikes in public transport vehicles.

A properly defined problem is the base from which to develop detailed questions that might be used in the research. These could include:

  • Should we allow for carriage of bikes on all lines of public transport?
  • Whan conditions should be met to allow for carriage of bikes in public transport vehicles?
  • What is the current evaluation of comfort of travel among our passengers?
  • What is the opinion of passengers on cycling as a mode of transport?