1.0 Introduction 简介
In the face of the current global economic slowdown, increasingly fierce competition, it is very important for enterprises to mobilize consumers and cause consumers to purchase their products (Payne, 2008). Generally speaking, effectively mobilizing consumers is complex for enterprises, it involves corporate management, consumers’ impression and view on enterprises, the maintenance of the relationship between enterprises and consumers, and so on (Palmer, 2004). Therefore, to mobilize consumers, enterprises must do a good job in their management, marketing and other aspects, and to complete these work is inseparable to enterprises’ market research, market research helps enterprises to understand the status of the market environment, it also helps enterprises to understand the changes in the market environment and to anticipate the future development of the market environment to provide the basis for developing correct management and marketing strategies for enterprises (Armstrong, 2001). It can be said that market research plays a multiple and important role in the process of mobilizing consumers, enterprises failing to do market research well are not likely to effectively mobilize consumers (Kearney, 2012). This essay aims to discuss what roles that the current market research plays in the process of mobilizing consumers, and what roles that future market research should play in the process of mobilizing consumers. This essay is divided into four parts, it first analyzes the current definition of market research and its characteristics, and then it discusses what roles that the current enterprises play in the process of mobilizing consumers. Followed by the shortcomings of the current market research in mobilizing consumers, and finally, the author recommend on what roles that the future market research should also play in the process of mobilizing consumers in the enterprises.
2.0 Main body 正文主体
2.1 Market research
Market research refers to the use of scientific methods to purposefully, systematically collect, record, organize the relevant marketing information and data, through analyzing market situation, to understand the market status and development trends to provide objective, correct information for market forecasting and marketing decisions (Yang et al., 2017). There are many contents in market research, such as research on market environment, including research on policy environment, economic environment, social and cultural environment; research on basic situation of market, mainly including market norms, the overall demand, market trends, market share in certain industry; research on sales possibility, including amount of existing and potential users and demand, the trend of changes in market demand, the market share of the competitor's products in the market, the possibility of expanding sales and the specific ways, etc .; research can also be carried out on consumers and consumer demand, enterprises’ products, product prices, the impact of social and natural factors on sales, sales channels (Evert et al., 2016; Shi, 2015; Pun and Heese, 2015). The real significance of market research is to enable managers to analyze the data of market research to clarify the direction of enterprise development, so as to determine the competitive advantage of enterprises and to develop a reasonable and scientific management, development, investment, marketing and other marketing decision-making (Shi, 2015; Yang et al., 2017).
Market research is defined as the process to conduct research to achieve the goal of market information, including the means of crystallizing information needed for corresponding problems, methods of information collection, management and implementation of data collection process and analysis of research results to acquire conclusions and determine its meaning, etc (Pun and Heese, 2015; Evert et al., 2016). In classification, it includes quantitative research, qualitative research, retail research, media and advertising research, business research, public opinion surveys, and desktop research, etc (Yang et al., 2017).
The purpose of market research is to identify, define market opportunities and potential problems, so as to develop, optimize marketing mix and evaluate its effectiveness (Shi, 2015). Therefore, market research is not only research on buyers’ and users’ psychology and behavior, but also research on all stages of marketing activity, namely, it collects, records, sorts and analyzes data and information of all the business activities of producers and consumers, in order to understand the real and the potential markets of products, its research scope includes all products and services (Shi, 2015; Kearney, 2012).
2.2 Role of market research
2.2.1 Understand the current situation of market environment
In the 20th century, economy of the developed countries in the world was recovered from the strike of the second world war and the economy had entered a rapid development of nearly 20 years, consumers’ demand for all kinds of goods were increased significantly, which was first because the economic development raised the people’s incomes, and the long suppressed personal needs by the war had been released. Second, the development of the global trade has also expanded the external market demand of the countries. Some researchers carried out market research to find that consumer demand was strong and single during this period of time, there was a shortage of quantity, a shortage of quality and a shortage of structure in terms of corporate production and market demand, the shortage of quantity was the most significant, thereby forming a typical seller's market competition environment. Through market research, scholars commented that in such a market environment, the direction of the mobilization of the consumers by the companies was mainly considering how to use the minimal cost, the cheapest price to introduce the products to the market. According to the special market environment characteristics and the realistic requirement of the enterprises to reduce costs and improve marketing performance, at that time, many related scholars have done a lot of market research and put forward valuable marketing theory. N. H. Borden (1953) pioneered the concept of marketing strategy mix, he thought that marketing is corporate marketing personnel’s integrated use of various kinds of controllable factors to carry out marketing activities and finally achieve their marketing activities. Jerome McCarthy (1960) was through market research on marketing strategy planning and marketing activities of enterprises, retailers, wholesalers to point out that from the perspective of corporate management and operation, to mobilize consumers mainly comes from the four aspects of factors, including product, price, place, and promotion. This is the famous 4P theory of marketing. Jerome McCarthy (1960) figured that an enterprise in the process of marketing should focus on the four aspects, first, products should have unique selling point, second, depending on the product market positioning, it should develop targeted price strategy. Third, it should cultivate and improve the sales network, in order to build the relationship between the enterprise and consumers. Finally, the enterprises can promote the growth of sales by offering incentives. 4P theory was put forward for providing a very valuable decision-making thought for enterprises about how to develop marketing strategies to mobilize consumers under the condition of a shortage market economy, it allows an enterprise’s decision makers to quickly and effectively find the decisive factors influencing the enterprise marketing performance in complicated market conditions, so as to develop a targeted marketing mix strategy. Today, although the market environment has changed dramatically, enterprises also can't completely ignore the value of the 4P theory. In addition, Philip Kotler (2008), as well as other researchers referred to Jerome McCarthy’s theory to bring forward 6P and 7P, 10P theory, which constantly improved the 4P theory system. In short, market research enables enterprises to acquire a clear understanding of macroeconomic trends, commodity supply and demand relations, competitive environment to help enterprises to improve their management. However, as the market environment was changed from the original shortage economy at that time to surplus economy, limitations of the existing 4P theory were revealed constantly, on the basis of a large number of market research, some new marketing management theory was raised.