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Market Research

Nature volume 162, page 289 (21 August 1948) | Download Citation



THE report of the Conference arranged by the Manchester Joint Research Council in Manchester on October 22, 1947, on “Market Research”, has now been published (Manchester Joint Research Council. Market Research : Report of the Conference held on Wednesday, October 22, 1947, at the Albert Hall, Manchester. Pp. 108. (Manchester : Manchester Joint Research Council, 1948.) 2s. 6d.). It includes the full text of the three papers “The Technique and Applications of Market Research”, "The Investigation of Trends of Consumer Tastes" and “Market Research and the Seller” submitted by Mr. O. W. Roskill, Mr. L. R. England and Mr. D. S. F. Vernon, respectively, together with their statements in presenting these papers and reports of the discussions. Summing up the discussions and the papers Mr. C. C. Renold said that, according to this composite picture, the broad purpose of market research was to provide answers to the questions, what does the customer, in fact, want, and, what is he likely to Want in the future? These two questions immediately led to four others : who is the customer, what does he, in fact, buy, what is it that determines or influences his choice, and how much does he buy? The answers to some of these questions can be sought by statistical means ; but, especially with consumer goods, other questions lead us into problems of psychology. The answers, too, have to be in two tenses—present and future—and they are determined not only by general movements of economics, trade or social habits, but also by the position of the manufacturer in relation to his competitors. The essential in market research was to select the subject most worth close examination by the techniques available. Mr. A. H. S. Hinchliffe, pointing out that the Manchester Joint Research Council did not itself undertake market research, referred to its information bureau as of possible service to firms unaware of sources of information or market statistics and as possibly able to advise firms on the best sources and consultants for carrying out particular pieces of market research.

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