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What is a Research and Development Center?

Article Details
  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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The job of a research and development center is to gather information on public opinion, taste, and buying habits. This can be accomplished through various means, including surveys and focus groups. A research and development center may be used for people to gather and share opinions, or the information can be acquired through consumer surveys, retailers and various other sources.

One of the main purposes of a research and development center is to track consumer behavior so that business owners know where to spend their product development and marketing dollars. The professionals who gather this information can do so by taking customer opinion polls within a specific region or amongst shoppers of a specific store. Specialized trackers or scanners may also be installed in cash registers to keep tabs on which items are selling the fastest.

Knowing which items customers are most happy and unhappy with provides retailers and service providers with ways in which they might improve, as well as valuable information on which aspects of the business are going over well. This allows the business to make changes, upgrade, and determine sales strategies based on customer demands.

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A research and development center also collects data used for statistical analysis. Surveys and study panels may be performed in order to determine how many within a certain group participate in specific behaviors. For example, a survey may be taken to determine how many women within a certain racial group drink a brand of soft drink in comparison to another group. This also works for things like disease, occupational, and family statistics.

Statistical data helps businesses know where to target their marketing efforts, but it can also be beneficial for government and humanitarian organizations. The government may wish to know where within a region the lowest income families reside in order to make more assistance available in those areas, or a non profit organization may wish to discover where people afflicted with a particular ailment are living so they can target their relief efforts.

The entertainment industry also frequently implements the use of the research and development center. Managers and publicists who steer the career paths of motion picture, musical, and written media performers may take polls to gain public opinion on their clients. This allows them to know when it’s time to revamp their image and when they have gained public approval. These tactics are also useful in allowing them to plan new sales strategies and target performances to regions where they are highly favored.

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