A prime management concern in marketing is the conversion of uncertainty into risk. Uncertainty implies an inability to state the likelihood of any possible outcome occurring. By implication, all outcomes must be treated as being equally likely. Under uncertainty the manager must consider, say, the chance of failure in a new product launch to equal the chance of success. Risk, on the other hand, suggests that the likelihood of outcomes might be assessed more precisely. The marketing manager might feel that a particular new service launch has only 5 per cent chance of failure. Our ability to make successful decisions is enhanced if we are operating under conditions of known risk rather than uncertainty. If this conversion of uncertainty into risk is the prime marketing management task, the second is surely the reduction, or at least the minimization, of that risk.
To achieve either of these goals, the manager requires information. Good information is a facilitator of successful marketing action. Seen in this way, marketing management becomes essentially an information- processing activity. Marketing research is therefore concerned with much more than simply telling us something about the market place. Rather, it is a systematic and objective search for, and an analysis of, information relevant to the identification and solution of marketing problems. Marketing research both depends upon and ensures that a two-way information flow exists between the customer and the organization.
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