Chapter 8: marketing research, decision support systems, and sales forecasting. Marketing research is the process of collecting and using information for marketing decision making. Data come from a variety of sources, such as well-planned studies, sales force reports or accounting records, or controlled experiments and simulations. By presenting pertinent information in a useful format, marketing research aids decision makers in analyzing data and suggesting possible actions. Marketing research helps marketers in understanding customers, targeting customer segments, and developing long-term relationships. =>the underlying purpose of marketing research is to find out more about consumers, clearly central to effective customer satisfaction and long-term relationships. Research is an essential component to effective customer satisfaction and customer relationship programs. Emerging media technologies such as internet and virtual reality help researchers to tap in to customer information. Research methods grew more sophisticated in the 1930s. Syndicated services organizations that regularly provide standardized sets of data to all customers.