Problems of Conducting Marketing Research

The biggest problem confronting anyone who sets out to conduct research is the meager secondary data. The census which contains a wealth of data takes many years to be conducted like the 2006 census conducted and the result released in January 2007. 

Data contained in journals and handbooks are usually two to three years old. Thus, whatever data is available is usually obsolete and this greatly reduces its utility.

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In collecting primary data, the problems are those of widely scattered sampling units, location or scope of sampling units in remote and inaccessible areas, and poor communication facilities which compound the problem of inaccessibility. If the sampling units are the industrial units in the unorganized sector, there is no guide for locating these units. 

The other kind of problem encountered in collecting primary data is the uncooperative attitude of respondents arising out of the sheer lack of knowledge about the nature of MR and its utility. Respondents often view interviewers with suspicion and may refuse to give any information.

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Most of the market research organizations are located in the cities and have an urban- bias to the extent that they have neither a penetration/base in the rural areas and cannot easily communicate properly with the rural people. Most market research is conducted in the cities for products used by city dwellers.

State-of-the-art marketing research in some developing countries like Nigeria has not reached as sophisticated levels as in America or Europe. The marketing research techniques used here are still relatively unsophisticated and simplistic.

In conclusion, marketing research as a tool for decision-making is gaining wide acceptance. Marketing decisions involve variables that are often external to the firm, dynamic in nature, uncontrollable by the firm, and interact with each other in a complex manner. 

Due to their dynamic and uncontrollable nature, the uncertainty associated with them is very high, which in turn leads to the situation that in most marketing decisions the associated risk factor is also very high. 

The marketing manager is always on the lookout for ways and means to reduce this risk. One way that the risk can be reduced is through the use of MR which, by providing information, reduces uncertainty and converts the unknown risk factor into a known calculated risk.

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