Present day competition forces firms to keep in constant touch with market investigations. The market is presented as something unknown and heterogeneous. In it are intermingled qualitative factors (such as tastes, habits) and quantitative factors (such as population, income levels etc.) as well as the variables directly controllable by the company such as prices, conditions, qualities, packaging, publicity, distribution channels etc. and within these the company constitutes merely an additional economic unit participating in the phenomena of the whole. It is thus apparent that the level of the turnover of a company depends on the market, and its profit will be reflected by its performance in it, which therefore' cannot be left to the intuition of its management or to the opinion more or loss fundamental of the corresponding organs. Something else is required, the various possibilities and marketing programmes must be strictly reasoned and justified; it must be shown that the criterion adopted is that which meets realities and for that there is no alternative other than to know the market in an objective way, particularly its volume, which limits the cause and effect of each phenomenon. To summarise, research must be carried out in its widest sense. This is the object of the research, and employs a number of techniques which tend to quantify the hidden phenomena of the market, with a view to obtaining a reasoned knowledge of them which may be used for the taking of decisions.
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