Marketing Research Chapter 6: Descriptive and Causal Research Designs

Dummy Table
A table (or figure) with no entries used to show how the results of the analysis will be presented.
Cross-sectional Study
Investigation involving a sample of elements selected from the population of interest that are measured at a single point in time.
Longitudinal Study
Investigation involving a fixed sample of elements that is measured repeatedly through time.
Continuous Panel
A fixed sample of respondents who are measured repeatedly over time with respect to the same variables.
Discontinuous Panel
A fixed sample of respondents who are measured repeatedly over time but on variables that change from measurement to measurement.
Sample Survey
Cross-sectional study in which the sample is selected to be representative of the target population and in which the emphasis is on the generation of of summary statistics such as averages and percentages.
Scientific investigation in which an investigator manipulates and controls one or more independent variables and observes the degree to which the dependent variables change.
Laboratory Experiment
Research investigation in which investigators create a situation with exact conditions in order to some variables, and manipulate others.
Internal Validity
The degree to which an outcome can be attributed to an experimental variable and not to other factors.
Field Experiment
Research study in a realistic situation in which one or more independent variables are manipulated by the experimenter under as carefully controlled conditions as the situation will permit.
External Validity
The degree to which the results of an experiment can be generalized, or extended, to other situations.
Market Testing (test marketing)
A controlled experiment done in a limited but carefully selected sector of the marketplace.
Standard Test Market
A test market in which the company sells the product through its normal distribution channels.
Controlled Test Market
An entire test program conducted by an outside service in a marketing in which it can guarantee distribution.
Simulated Test Market (STM)
A study in which consumer ratings are obtained along with likely or actual purchase data often obtained in a simulated store environment; the data are fed into computer models to produce sales and market share predictions.
Cite three major purposes of descriptive research.
Descriptive Research is used when the purpose is to (1) describe the characteristics of certain groups, (2) determine the proportion of people who behave in a certain way, and (3) make specific predictions.
List the six specifications of a descriptive study.
Descriptive studies require a clear specification of the answers to who, what, when, where, why, and how in the research.
Explain what a dummy table is.
A table (or figure) used to show how the results of the analysis will be presented. A series of dummy tables that are complete except for the actual data should be prepared before data are collected in order to guide data collection and analysis.
Discuss the difference between cross-sectional and longitudinal designs.
A cross-sectional design involves researching a sample of elements from the population of interest. Various characteristics of the elements are measured once. Longitudinal studies involve panels of people or other entities whose responses are measured repeatedly over a span of time.
Explain what is meant by a panel in marketing research and explain the difference between a continuous panel and a discontinuous panel.
A panel is a fixed sample of elements. In a continuous panel, a fixed sample of subjects is measured repeatedly with respect to the same type of information. In a discontinuous panel, a sample of elements is still selected and maintained, but the information collected from the members varies with the project.
Describe the emphasis in sample surveys.
The sample survey involves the study of a number of cases at the same point in time. the survey attempts to be representative of some known population.
Clarify the difference between laboratory experiments and field experiments.
Laboratory experiments differ from field experiments primarily in terms of environment. The researcher creates a setting for a laboratory experiment; a field experiment is conducted in a natural setting. Both types, however, involve control and manipulation of one or more presumed causal factors.
Explain which of the two types of experiments has greater internal validity and which has greater external validity.
The laboratory experiment typically has greater internal validity because it allows greater control of the variables. Field experiments are generally considered more externally valid, meaning that their results are better able to be generalized to other situations.
List the three major considerations in test marketing.
Three of the more important issues in test marketing are cost, time, and control.
Distinguish between a standard test market and a controlled test market.
A standard test market is one in which companies sell the product through their normal distribution channels, and results are typically monitored by a standard distribution service. In a controlled test market, the entire program is conducted by an outside service. The service pays retailers for shelf space and therefore can guarantee distribution to those stores that represent a predetermined percentage of the marketer’s total store sales volume.
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of simulated test marketing.
Simulated test marketing studies provide the following advantages: (1) they protect a marketer from competitors, (2) they are faster and cheaper than full-scale tests, and (3) they are particularly good for spotting weak products. However, they do have disadvantages in that they cannot provide any information about the firm’s ability to secure trade support for a product or indicate what competitive reaction is likely to be.

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