A recurring theme of this book has been that research for marketing should be a continuous process designed to inform the decision-maker of what has happened, what is happening and what is likely to happen in the marketing domain relevant to the firm’s survival and prosperity. The tangible output of this process is the MIS or marketing information system which contains the output of the firm’s research effort together with the output of syndicated or specific research commissioned from external agencies and third parties. However, our analysis has also shown that the term ‘marketing research’ is often used in a much narrower and specific way to describe particular and limited pieces of research designed to address a distinct problem or issue that cannot be fully answered by reference to the MIS. In recognition of this the structure of the book has followed the classical approach to ad hoc marketing research from problem recognition through problem specification to research design, data collection analysis and interpretation. It now remains to examine the output of this process — the research report.
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