The market research industry is facing many dramatic changes that are taking it into a new information era. This era is characterized by the need for market researchers to now operate on a much wider marketing information canvas than ever before, and to deploy a wide range of new techniques in order to make sense of the often confused and contradictory signals contained within available marketing data. But as market research edges into this new information era, it remains important for the industry not to lose sight of its traditional roots in the more purist classical, social science-based methodologies. This focus on the fundamentals is important both for young practitioners, who need to know the boundaries of the growing interest in more pragmatic approaches, and is also critical to students being introduced to market research for the first time.
Thus, in this book by Baines and Chansarkar - which provides us with all the information we need to understand the fundamental tenets and principles of professional market research - we have an excellent text for newcomers to market research, particularly students studying the subject as an introductory module or via a single semester course. The book provides, in an extremely well written and clear way, a detailed description and account of how market research works. Each chapter specifies clear learning outcomes and also provides a clear set of references, together with a range of interesting work assignments in order to reinforce the points being made in each chapter.
The first part of the book on research design and methods will provide students with all they need to know about the process of undertaking desk research, qualitative and survey research. Then in Part II of the book - statistical considerations - there are detailed introductions to sampling and statistical testing in market research. In Part ΙΠ various marketing research contexts or scenarios are reviewed. Thus, we find a chapter on International Marketing Research which will alert the reader to the potential, and also to the pitfalls, of undertaking market research on an international basis. Then, given the growing use of the Internet for marketing research purposes, Chapter 11 discusses the role of the Internet, both as a source of secondary data, and as a basis for conducting on-line surveys. There is also a detailed review of the way in which business-to-business research differs from consumer market research.
So, in sum, Baines and Chansarkar provide an authoritative review of market research: their new book provides a comprehensive framework for students keen to study the basics of market research. From the standpoint of the primary audience of the book - students undertaking an introductory market research course - Baines and Chansarkar have prepared an extremely professional and helpful publication.
Dr David Smith
Chairman, Citigate DVL
Visiting Professor at the University of Hertfordshire Business School