Marketing research is an important and essential part of innovative business processes such as launching a new product to the market, because in the face of uncertainty it helps a company to find and analyze significant information for making strategic decisions. Firstly, producers want to know who exactly will buy their goods. It allows them to focus all company resources on one purpose: to satisfy consumers better. A firm can use various approaches to identify the target consumer, e.g. a method suggested by Mark Sherrington (2003) based on 5W questions:
- 1W – What? What does the company want to sell exactly?
- 2W – Who? Who will be the consumer?
- 3W – Why? Why will the consumers buy the product?
- 4W – Where? Where will the company sell goods from the point of view of consumer convenience?
- 5W – When? When will the consumers buy the product?
Philip Kotler, an outstanding American marketing professor and consultant, emphasized the importance of the following factors for determining the target consumer (Kotler, 1984, 2003; Kotler, Armstrong, Saunders and Wong, 2001):
- Geographical: where consumers live and work;
- Socio-demographic: their age, gender, nation, marital status, profession, etc.;
- Economical: their occupation, income and purchasing capability;
- Psychological: their lifestyle, character, hobby, etc.;
- Behavior: their reasons for purchase.
To obtain this information marketing experts use surveys and interviews. They can recourse to a targeting method, i.e. study consumers via querying a search engine on the Internet. As a result, it becomes possible to rule consumers’ attention.