Marketing Research for Small Business: An Efficient and Effective Functional Approach


David J. Smith and Barbara A. VanderWerf
Palm Beach Atlantic University, Rinker School of Business, West Palm Beach, FL, USA

Series: Marketing and Operations Management Research
BISAC: BUS043060

Marketing Research for Small Business: An Efficient and Effective Functional Approach is as the title suggests, a work focused on providing small to medium sized firms with the tools and techniques needed to successfully undergo a marketing research campaign. Special consideration is made for firms with limited budgets and knowledge of appropriate research techniques. Two of the most common comments made regarding marketing research for small firms are: 1) It is too expensive and 2) it is too complicated. The authors work hard at setting straight these two chief concerns. Good marketing research can uncover substantial insight into your customer, competitor, market and potential new business opportunities.

This book is primarily broken into three parts, with the first part focusing on the setup. Specifically, the content is directed at how research benefits the firm, how the research agenda is setup, and how firms can look at existing data first to answer some of their key questions. The second part looks at collecting information, either existing or new, making sure that everything you want to know is made possible. And lastly, we explain very simply how to analyze the information and turn it into usable knowledge.

It is interesting sometimes when speaking with small business owners who are struggling to grow their business. They often do not really know their customer or business well for that matter. Normally, the typical entrepreneur has an idea, possibly affirms it with a few friends, and then runs with it. This is a disastrous formula with a high percentage chance of failure. It goes along with the old saying: “It is much better to build on rock than sand.” This simply means that preparation through knowledge gathering, preferably early in the process, is the key to success. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Chapter 1. Why Marketing Research?

Chapter 2. Common Misunderstandings

Chapter 3. Why Marketing Research?

Chapter 4. Common Misunderstandings

Chapter 5. The Research Agenda

Chapter 6. Using the Functional Approach

Chapter 7. Working First with What You Have

Chapter 8. Collecting Information

Chapter 9. Basic Surveys

Chapter 10. Leveraging Social Media

Chapter 11. Working with Results

Chapter 12. Statistics Primer

Chapter 13. Making it Count

Appendix 1 – Online Resources

Appendix 2 – Sample Surveys

Appendix 3 – Top Global Marketing Research Firms

About the Authors



“Smart business leaders are always looking for a way to gain even a 1% advantage over the competition in the marketplace understanding the long-term gains it can have. Marketing Research for Small Business breaks down the confusing and often misunderstood aspects of market research and makes it understandable and more important instantly actionable for entrepreneurs and biz leaders of all abilities for any size company. By helping leaders see the world differently and put things in the proper order by understanding that the business cycle starts with market research before product development, branding, advertising, and sales, this book empowers all entrepreneurs to see the competitive landscape differently thus seeing hidden opportunities previously ignored and allowing them to instantly improve results and have greater success! This book completely changed my paradigm and I can’t imagine trying to win without this insight. The easy to execute actionable plan provided within will be a game changer for any business leader.” – Robert L. Dickie III, CEO, Bonvera

“As a 20 year veteran in the banking industry, specializing in wealth management for the ultra affluent, I find MRSB to be an exciting, accessible introduction to one of the most useful innovations in modern day marketing. Filed with lively examples from various industries, the book reveals a strong intellectual foundation.” –  Zakir N. (Zak) Odhwani, Senior Vice President, Private Client Advisor, Bank of America, Private Wealth Management, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc.

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