The belief that the research techniques dealt with in this book can, and indeed should, be used by anyone with responsibility for resource allocation, whether they are in product-based, service-based or public-sector-based organizations, accounts for the fact that its main emphasis is to offer an outline of the process and techniques of research, which the reader can apply to his or her own management situation. The aim is to aid managers in generating reliable research-based information, to enable them to judge the reliability of research produced for them, and to give them a basis for knowing when and when not to use research.
It is assumed that the managers who will find the book most useful are those who wish to use marketing research as one of the tools of a manager's trade and not those whose major responsibility is for the design or conduct of research. For this reason, the emphasis is on the manager's role in commissioning and controlling, rather than conducting, research.
Nevertheless, the manager who must do his or her own research should find considerable guidance to help in that task. It is not suggested that reading this book is all the preparation necessary for carrying out a 'do-it-yourself' research project. In fact, the reaction of most managers learning something about marketing research for the first time is, 'I didn't realize this was such a technical area!' That is not to say, of course, that the manager who is interested will never be able to carry out all or some of the parts of a research project, but simply that the aims of this book are to offer an introduction to and an appreciation of the subject. For the majority of managers this is all they require. Those who wish to take their interest further after reading the book should consider following the suggestions given at the end of the book in Chapter 17, Where do you go from here?
Although this book is aimed primarily at the practising manager with a need to use marketing research, it provides worthwhile reading for those studying business subjects. It is particularly appropriate as background reading on marketing research for those studying general management, or specific areas of it such as marketing or finance. Students following business or management courses will also find the book useful as an introduction to their studies. These include:
■ MBA or Masters Degrees in business and marketing
■ undergraduate degrees
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