1. Define marketing research. What are some of the noteworthy aspects of this definition?
Marketing research is the systematic and objective identification, collection, analysis, dissemination, and use of information that is undertaken to improve decision making related to identifying and solving problems/opportunities in marketing. Some noteworthy aspects of this definition are problem identification and problem solving. “Marketing research is about listening to people, analyzing the information to help organizations make better decisions, and reducing the risk”–ESOMAR.
2. Describe a classification of marketing research and give examples.
Two Classifications of Marketing Research:
(1) Problem-Identification Research
-Research undertaken to help identify problems that are not necessarily apparent or that are likely to arise in the future. Can be designed to analyze market potential, market share, brand or company image, market characteristics, and sales. It can also be used in short-range forecasting, long-range forecasting, and uncovering business trends.
(2) Problem-Solving Research
-Research undertaken to help solve specific marketing problems. Addresses many topics, including market segmentation and product, pricing, promotion, and distribution.
3. Describe the steps in the marketing research process.
Marketing Research Process (DDFCAP):
(1) Defining the Problem
-Accomplished through discussions with decision makers, interviews with industry experts, analysis of secondary data including social media, and perhaps, some qualitative research, such as focus groups. Involves defining the management-decision problem (what should the management do) and the marketing research problem (what information is needed).
(2) Developing an Approach to the Problem
-Formulating an analytical framework and models, research questions, and hypotheses. Guided by the same tasks performed to define the problem.
(3) Formulating a Research Design
-Framework or blueprint for conducting the marketing research project. Details the procedures needed to obtain the required information.
(4) Collecting Data
-Accomplished using a staff that operates in the field. Fieldwork involves personal, telephone, mail, or electronic interviewing. Proper selection, training, supervision, and evaluation of the field force are essential to ensure high-quality data collection.
(5) Analyzing Data
-Includes the editing, coding, and transcribing of collected data. This entire process must be verified for accuracy.
(6) Preparing and Presenting the Report
-Entire project should be documented in a written report that addresses the specific research questions; describes the approach, the research design, data collection, and data analysis procedures; and presents the results and all major findings. The written report is supplemented by tables, figures, and graphs to enhance clarity and impact and is usually accompanied by a formal presentation.
4. Describe the task of marketing research and illustrate with an example.
The task of marketing research is to assess the information needs and provide management with relevant, accurate, reliable, valid, and current information to aid marketing decision making. Companies use marketing research to stay competitive and to avoid high costs associated with making poor decisions based on unsound information.
5. What decisions do marketing managers make? How does marketing research help them to make these decisions?
Marketing Managers must consider uncontrollable external factors that influence the marketing process, including general economic conditions, technology, public policies and laws, the political environment, competition, and social and cultural changes. Another factor is the complexity of the various customer groups: consumers, employees, channel members, and suppliers. The marketing manager must attempt to monitor and incorporate all these factors. Marketing research removes some of the uncertainty and improves the quality of decision making in this highly complex environment.
6. Discuss the role of marketing research in gathering competitive intelligence.
Competitive Intelligence is the process of enhancing marketplace competitiveness through a greater understanding of a firm’s competitors and the competitive environment. It involves the legal collection and analysis of information regarding the capabilities, vulnerabilities, and intentions of business competitors, conducted by using information databases and other “open sources” and through ethical marketing research inquiry. CI enables senior managers in companies of all sizes to make informed decisions about everything from marketing, research and development (R&D), and investing tactics to long-term business strategies. Marketing research plays a central role in the collection, analysis, and dissemination of CI information. Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP)
7. How would you classify marketing research suppliers?
The marketing research industry consists of suppliers who provide marketing research services. Research suppliers are either internal or external. An internal supplier is a marketing research department within the firm. Internal research departments can be found in large organizations across a wide range of industries. External suppliers are outside marketing research companies hired to conduct a complete marketing research project or a component of it.
8. What are syndicated services, and how do they help a firm conduct marketing research?
Syndicated services are companies that collect and sell common pools of data designed to serve the information needs of multiple clients. Data is collected primarily through surveys, purchase and media panels, scanners, and audits.
9. What is the main difference between a full-service and a limited service supplier?
Full-service suppliers are companies that offer the full range of marketing research activities. Limited-service suppliers are companies that specialize in one or a few steps of the marketing research process.
10. List five guidelines for selecting an external marketing research supplier.
(1) What is the supplier’s reputation?
(2) Does the firm complete projects on schedule? Is it flexible?
(3) Is it known for maintaining ethical standards?
(4) Are its research projects of high quality?
(5) What kind and how much experience does the supplier have?
11. What career opportunities are available in marketing research? Are you interested in pursuing such a career? Why or why not?
Most career professionals within the industry began with a market research job as a Project Director.
Project Director-> Senior Project Director -> Research Analyst, Research Manager (-> Senior Research Manager), Account Executive (-> Senior Account Executive->Vice President)
12. What is a marketing information system (MIS)?
A marketing information system (MIS) is a formalized set of procedures for generating, analyzing, storing, and distributing pertinent information to marketing decision makers on an ongoing basis.
13. How is DSS different from MIS?
DSS differ from MIS in that they combine the models and analytic techniques of traditional marketing research with the easy access and retrieval of MIS.
-Use of reports
-Information displaying restricted
-Can improve decision making by clarifying new data
DSS (Decision Support System):
An information system that enables decision makers to interact directly with both databases and analysis models. The important components of a DSS include hardware and a communication network, database, model base, software base, and the DSS user (decision maker).
-Use of models
-Can improve decision making by using “what-if” analysis
14. Discuss the role of social media in conducting marketing research.
Marketing researchers can make use of social networks, and the open-source social computing tools from which they are built, to extend the boundaries of our research offerings. These social communities open new avenues for understanding, explaining, influencing, and predicting the behaviors of consumers in the marketplace. Thus, they can be used in a variety of marketing research applications including segmentation, idea generation, concept testing, product development, brand launches, pricing, and integrated marketing communications.
15. Who are the stakeholders in marketing research?
(1) Marketing Researcher
1. What is the first step in conducting a marketing research project?
Problem definition is a broad statement of the general problem and identification of the specific components of the marketing research problem.
2. Why is it important to correctly define the marketing research problem?
Of all the steps in the marketing research process, none is more vital to the ultimate fulfillment of a client’s needs than an accurate and adequate definition of the research problem. All the effort, time, and money spent from this point on will be wasted if the problem is not defined properly.
4. What is the role of the researcher in the problem-definition process?
The researcher must discuss the problem with the decision makers in the client organization, interview industry experts and other knowledgeable individuals, analyze secondary data, and sometimes conduct qualitative research.
5. What is a problem audit?
A problem audit is a comprehensive examination of a marketing problem to understand its origin and nature.
6. What is the difference between a symptom and an underlying cause? How can a skillful researcher differentiate between the two and identify the true problem?
Research that adds value goes beyond the symptoms to address the underlying causes. Only when the underlying causes are identified can the problem be successfully addressed.
7. What are some differences between a management-decision problem and a marketing research problem?
The problem confronting the decision maker.
-Asks what the decision maker needs to do
-Focuses on symptoms
Marketing Research Problem:
-Asks what information is needed and how it should be obtained
-Focuses on the underlying causes
8. What are the common types of errors encountered in defining a marketing research problem? What can be done to reduce the incidence of such errors?
Problem definition is too broad–does not provide guidelines for subsequent steps. Problem definition is too narrow–might miss some important components of the problem.
To minimize the possibility of a wrong decision due to an incorrect definition of the marketing research problem, the researcher should adopt a two-stage process: First, the marketing research problem is stated in broad, general terms; then, it is reduced to its specific components.
9. How are the research questions related to components of the problem?
The broad statement of the problem provides perspective on the problem and acts as a safeguard against committing the second type of error. The specific components of the problem focus on the key aspects and provide clear guidelines on how to proceed further, avoiding the first type of error.
10. What are the differences between research questions and hypotheses?
Research questions are refined statements of the specific components of the problem. Hypotheses are unproven statements or propositions about a factor or phenomenon that is of interest to the researcher.
11. What are the most common forms of analytical models?
Verbal models–written representation of the relationships between variables
Graphical models–provide a visual picture of the relationships between variables
Mathematical models–explicitly describe the relationships between variables, usually in equation form
12. Discuss the role of social media in enabling the researcher to define the marketing research problem and in developing an approach.
Possible to identify industry experts, and an analysis of their social media sites can provide insights into their thinking as it relates to the problem at hand. Can help in gaining an understanding of the environmental context of the problem. In defining the marketing research problem, analysis of social media content can provide a good idea of the broad scope of the problem and aid in identifying the specific components.
Can be used to incorporate feedback from customers as to whether the researchers are on the right track because the analytical models developed and the research questions as posed by the firm were consistent with and abased upon consumer thinking and insights. Allow researchers to customize their interaction with each group of consumers by selectively choosing the platform on which to interact.
1. Define research design in you own words.
Research design is a framework or blueprint for conducting the marketing research project that specifies the procedures necessary to obtain the information needed to structure and/or solve the marketing research problem.
3. Differentiate between exploratory and conclusive research.
A type of research design that has as its primary objective the provision of insights into and comprehension of the problem situation confronting the researcher.
-Obj- To provide insights and understanding
-Characteristics- Information need is defined only loosely, research process is flexible and unstructured, sample is small and non-representative, analysis of primary data is qualitative
-Generally followed by further exploratory research
Research designed to assist the decision maker in determining, evaluating, and selecting the best course of action for a given situation.
-To test specific hypotheses and examine relationships
-Information needed is clearly defined
-Research process is formal and structured
-Sample is large and representative
-Data analysis is quantitative
-Findings used as input into decision making
4. What are the major purposes for which descriptive research is conducted?
A type of conclusive research that has as its major objective the description of something–usually market characteristics or functions.
(1) To develop a profile of a target market
(2) To estimate the frequency of product use as a basis for sales forecasts
(3) To determine the relationship between product use and perception of product characteristics
(4) To determine the degree to which marketing variables are associated
5. Compare and contrast cross-sectional and longitudinal designs.
Cross-Sectional Design: A type of research design involving the one-time collection of information from any given sample of population elements.
Longitudinal Design: A type of research design involving a fixed sample of population elements that is measured repeatedly. The sample remains the same over time, providing a series of pictures that, when viewed together, portray both the situation and the changes that are taking place.
6. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of panels.
Advantages: Give more accurate estimates and more data can be collected.
Disadvantages: Might not be representative of the population of interest.
7. What is a causal research design? What is its purpose?
Causal research is a type of conclusive research whose major objective is to obtain evidence regarding cause-and-effect relationships. Causal design is a design in which the causal or independent variables are manipulated in a relatively controlled environment.
-To understand which variables are the causes and which are the effects of a phenomenon.
-To determine the extent of the relationship between the predicted effect and the causal variables.
8. What is the relationship among exploratory, descriptive, and causal research?
Exploratory research can be used at any point in a study. For example, when descriptive or causal research leads to results that are unexpected or difficult to interpret, the researcher may turn to exploratory research for insight.
9. List the major components of a research design.
(1) Define the information needed
(2) Design the Exploratory, Descriptive, and/or Causal phases of research
(3) Measurement and scaling
(5) Sample (plan and size)
(6) Data analysis plans
1. How do primary and secondary data differ?
Primary data is data originated by the researcher for the specific purpose of addressing the research problem.
-For the problem at hand
-Very involved collection process
-High collection cost
-Long collection time
Secondary data is data collected for some purpose other than the problem at hand.
-For other problems
-Rapid and easy collection process
-Relatively low collection cost
-Short collection time
3. What are the advantages of secondary data?
Saves time and money
4. What are the disadvantages or secondary data?
Value is limited by their degree of fit with the current research problem and by concerns regarding data accuracy.
5. What criteria are used to evaluate secondary data?
6. How do internal and external secondary data differ?
Internal data is data available within the organization for which the research is being conducted.
External data is data that originates external to the organization.
8. Is it useful to combine internal and external secondary data? Why or why not?
The usefulness of secondary data can be greatly enhanced when internally generated data are merged with data obtained from external sources. By using both, marketing researchers can overlay demographic, economic, or business statistics on proprietary customer files containing transaction data. These data can then be used to develop market assessments or profiles of various customer groups or simply to educate the sales force.
9. What is geo-coding? Give an example.
Geo-demographic coding involves merging internal customer data with external geographic, demographic, and lifestyle data on the same customers.
10. Describe a geo-visual database.
Geo-visual databases are created by combining internal customer databases with geographic data, as from the U.S. Central Bureau, and making use of appropriate computer mapping software.
11. What is database marketing?
Database marketing is the practice of using CRM databases to develop relationships and highly targeted marketing efforts with individuals and customer groups.
2. List and describe the various syndicated sources of secondary data.
Syndicated Sources: Companies that collect and sell common pools of data designed to serve information needs shared by a number of clients, including competing firms in the same industry. Surveys, Panels, and Electronic Scanner Services
3. What is the nature of information collected by surveys?
-Surveys conducted at regular intervals
-(+)Most flexible way of obtaining data; information on underlying motives
-(-)Interviewer errors; respondent errors
-Market segmentation; advertising theme selection; advertising effectiveness
5. Explain what a panel is. How do purchase panels and media panels differ?
Purchase panels are a data gathering technique in which respondents record their purchases in a diary.
Media panels are a data gathering technique that involves samples of respondents whose television viewing behavior is automatically recorded by electronic devices, supplementing the purchase information recorded in a diary.
6. What are the relative advantages of purchases panels over surveys?
Data accuracy and the generation of longitudinal data
8. Describe the uses of scanner data.
Scanner data is data obtained by passing merchandise over a laser scanner that reads the UPC code from the packages.
9. What is an audit? Discuss the uses, advantages, and disadvantages of audits.
Audit: A data collection process derived form physical record or inventory analysis. Data are collected personally by the researcher or by representatives of the researcher, and the data are based upon counts, usually of physical objects.
Uses: (1) Determine market size and share for both categories and brands by type of outlet, region, or city; (2) assess competitive activity; (3) identify distribution problems, including shelf-space allocation and inventory issues; (4) develop sales potentials and forecasts; and (5) develop and monitor promotional allocations based on sales volume.
(+) Relatively accurate information on the movement of many products at the wholesale and retail levels. Information can be broken down by a number of important variables, such as brand, type of outlet, and size of market.
(-) Limited retail coverage and delay associated with compiling and reporting inventory data.
10. Describe the information provided by institutional and industrial services.
Industrial firms/organizations: secondary data derived from industrial firms and organizational sources and intended for industrial or institutional use.
12. Explain what is meant by single-source data.
Single-Source Data: An effort to combine data from different sources by gathering integrated information on household and marketing variables applicable to the same set of respondents.
1. What are the primary differences between qualitative and quantitative research techniques?
An unstructured, exploratory research methodology based on small samples that provides insights and understanding of the problem setting.
-To gain a qualitative understanding of the underlying reasons and motivations
-Small number of non-representative cases
-Develop a richer understandings
-To quantify the data and generalize the results from the sample to the population of interest
-Large number of representative cases
-Recommend a final course of action
3. What are the differences between direct and indirect qualitative research? Give an example of each.
Direct Approach: A type of qualitative research in which the purposes of the project are disclosed to the respondent or are obvious given the nature of the interview.
Indirect Approach: A type of qualitative research in which the purposes of the project are disguised from the respondents.
4. Why is the focus group the most popular qualitative research technique?
A focus group is an interview with a small group of respondents conducted by a trained moderator who leads the discussion in a nonstructural and natural manner.
Focus groups are the most important qualitative research procedure. They are so popular that many marketing research practitioners consider this technique to be synonymous with qualitative research.
6. What are some key qualifications of focus-group moderators?
-General group management skills
-Background in psychology and marketing
-Able to establish rapport with the participants
-Able to keep the discussion moving forward
-Able to probe the respondents to elicit insights
-Possess knowledge of the discussion topic and an understanding of the nature of group dynamics
9. What is a depth interview? Under what circumstances is it preferable to a focus group?
10. What are the major advantages of depth interviews?
11. What are projective techniques? What are four types of projective techniques?
12. What is the word-association technique? Give an example of a situation in which this technique is especially useful.
13. When should projective techniques be employed?