The purpose covers the objectives of the research, which must be clearly defined between marketing manager / stakeholder and the researcher. We identify issues and boundaries related to marketing strategy or implementation of it. Our aim is narrow down a broad issue to precise researchable statement as a prerequisite for the next stages (Pride, Ferrell 2006).
Determine the audience of the research. It includes all units or individuals that are of our interest. Is it possible to address the whole population or a sample of it? In case (which is far more likely) of sample, the nature of the population will determine the kind of sampling: probability or random.
In this stage we must determine the nature and type of the marketing research method8 we are going to use, as well as the time we will launch it. There are many alternatives, but initially we must decide upon Primary or Secondary data collection.
Secondary data (i.e. research reports, market growth, profit/loss statements) is generated for purpose other than our research and includes information from external sources such as Government and Chambers, or internal sources: sales records, accounting data, past marketing activities etc.
Primary data collection refers to seeking the exact information we need by our own sources, thus the method we will depends upon our resources: funding and personnel. There are numerous methods divided to quantitative and qualitative.
Last stage involves the communication of the research findings. We have to be clear of who will be informed, when, how often and to what extent. Proper communication must serve the needs of each stakeholder and be consistent to the company’s processes and culture. Issues such as confidentiality of information, careful planning of progress report and extent of communicated material must be considered.