Implementing the Research Plan

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The researcher next puts the marketina research plan into action. This involves collecting, processing and analyzing the information. Data collection can be by the company's marketing research staff or, more usually, by outside firms. The company keeps more control over the collection process and data quality by using its staff. However, outside firms that specialize in data collection can often do the job more quickly and at lower cost.

The data collection phase of the marketing research process is generally the most expensive and the most subject to error. The researcher should watch field-work closely to make sure that the plan is implemented correctly and to guard against problems with contacting respondents, with respondents who refuse to co-operate or who give biased or dishonest answers, and with interviewers who make mistakes or take short cuts.

Researchers must process and analyze the collected data to isolate important information and findings. They need to check data from questionnaires for accuracy and completeness, and code it for computer analysis. The researchers then tabulate the results and compute averages and other statistical measures.

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