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The first step in the marketing research process involves defining the problem and setting the research objectives, which may be exploratory, descriptive, or causal research. The second step consists of developing a research plan for collecting data from primary and secondary sources. The third step calls for implementing the marketing research plan by gathering, processing, and analyzing the information. The fourth step consists of interpreting and reporting the findings. Additional information analysis helps marketing managers apply the information and provides them with sophisticated statistical procedures and models from which to develop more rigorous findings.

Both internal and external secondary data sources often provide information more quickly and at a lower cost than primary data sources, and they can sometimes yield information that a company cannot collect by itself. However, needed information might not exist in secondary sources. Researchers must also evaluate secondary information to ensure that it is relevant, accurate, current, and impartial. Primary research must also be evaluated for these features. Each primary data collection method— observational, survey, and experimental—has its own advantages and disadvantages. Similarly, each of the various research contact methods—mail, telephone, personal interview, and online—also has its own advantages and drawbacks.

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Online Survey Champion

Online Survey Champion

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