Field Research - Definition and its important sources

Field Research deals with creation and collection of actual and authentic information by field of operation in any organization. The process involves determining what precise data is necessary and from where this information needs to be obtained. After determining this information the data is actually gathered. Thus this research technique is treated as the primary research approach because the determined data is specific to the purpose of gathering that data.

Field research is generally performed in person, telephonic or by electronic media like teleconferencing, web - meetings and emails. Many of the big organizations involve outside vendors or companies to perform this task which they usually refer as outsourcing, but small organizations or new companies do this themselves by involving their internal resources. The outsourcing depends on the type and amount of information to be gathered in the research. If the required data is less and limited to some small and specific modules then big organization also prefer to do this task in-house.

Field research is expensive and involves more and experienced resources as compared to desk research which is not as accurate as field research. Being expensive it is required to perform the research in efficient manner and obtain or determine only specific information and answer only particular questions as irrelevant data is a waste and will be of no use for further research processes. The following are the importance sources for field research:

  1. Customers: These can be existing customer or prospect customers. Customers are the most important and efficient sources for field research process and can provide following useful information:
    1. Useful information regarding competitors and new strategies they are going to implement.
    2. Present market trend.
    3. Actual and innovative market requirement.
    4. Market distribution channels.
    5. Production and consumption channels and product usefulness.

  2. Competitors: It is difficult to fetch out information from own competitors but if this is possible then competitors are the basic and useful source of information and provide information regarding:
    1. Newer and upcoming technologies and software.
    2. Types of product which prominent and mostly preferred by customers.
    3. Efficient and affordable pricing strategies.
    4. Promotional efforts that could turn around the marketing strategies.
    5. Information of other ruling competitors.

  3. Industrialists or marketing experts: These are the most knowledgeable personals who could provide in depth information regarding:
    1. The future trend of market.
    2. Economical imbalances regarding particular segments of products.
    3. New range of raw materials available in the market.
    4. New research and marketing methodologies and application of vibrant technologies.

  4. Distributors and Suppliers: Distributors and suppliers are also very good source of information. They can provide information like:
    1. Availability of raw materials in market.
    2. Pricing details and negotiation techniques.
    3. Best distributing channels.
    4. New marketing processes.
    5. How to deal with compliance issues.

There are many other less prominent sources like interviews, trade shows, and promotional programs etc. and much of the relevant information could be gathered from these sources as well. All the information gathered from the above sources is then manipulated and segmented. As in field research most of the information is relevant as it is actually gathered for a particular purpose, so regular round of work around on the data is not required. After validating the information it is then fetched into the CRM system and is converted into intelligent data which can be accessed on real time.


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