Marketing Research – Exam One

Marketing Research
A process used to define the size, location and/or makeup of the market for a product or service.
Basic Marketing Research principles
-Marketing research is used to help design marketing strategy and planning
-Make sure your research is timely and relevant
-Carefully define your research objectives
-Don’t conduct frivolous research
Marketing research applications – Why study marketing, and what uses can marketing research have? (1/2)
Basic research: (academics) is conducted to expand our knowledge rather than to solve a specific problem.
Ex: Research published in a journal of marketing research may investigate the psychological process consumers got through in deciding on how long to wait for service to be provided. It isn’t conducted for any specific company problem but rather to increase our understanding of satisfying consumers of services.
Marketing research applications – Why study marketing, and what uses can marketing research have? (2/2)
Applied research: (industry) represents the vast majority of marketing research studies. For the most part, marketing research firms are conducting research to solve a specific problem facing a company
Marketing Research Organization: In-House Research
Centralized Structure: One big department
Decentralized Structure: All have their own
Mixed: Mixture of the two
Marketing Research Organization: External Research
Sources of marketing information which are obtained from outside your company. External sources can provide company, customer, competitor, or industry data
How would I like you to approach this class, and why do I advocate that perspective (First day lecture)?
As a scientist. Scientists find evidence to back their hypotheses. Our goal is to learn “useful” things… then use them to our benefit.
How did the research industry come about?
– By the 20’s more marketing research was being practiced in the US.
– They became more popular by the 30’s because marketing research effort became widespread as markets became more geographically diverse. When manufacturers began producing goods for distant markets, the need for marketing research emerged.
– Computers revolutionized the industry in the 1950’s. Dominated by small firms
– by the 60’s not only gained acceptance in business organizations but was also recognized as being crucial to understanding distant and fast-changing markets. Marketing research departments grew.
– 90’s and early 2000’s the industry took advantage of the internet, developed many new online services such as data collection, sampling, analysis, and reporting.
– Industry has matured and today is characterized by several professional organizations, a certification program, and many publicity held firms enabling reporting of industry wide revenues which creates a “sense of industry”.
What is the Marketing research process?
Can be used with fewer than 11 steps. This helps researchers deal with the complex issues that arise in marketing research.
Marketing Research Step One: Establish the need for marketing research
When managers must make decisions and have inadequate information, this signals the need for marketing research. Not all decisions require it. A company’s policy toward using research will be reflected in the policy regarding use of marketing research. Management must make a decision about the role they wish marketing research to play in the organization.

– When isn’t it needed? when the information is already available, when the timing is wrong to conduct marketing research, when funds are not available for marketing research, and when costs outweigh the value of marketing research.

Marketing Research Step Two: Define the Problem.
Stating the decision alternatives: If a firm decides to conduct marketing research. Most important step because if the problem is not defined correctly, all else is wasted effort. Firm must first identify its decision alternatives then chose among them. MOST important step because if the problem is not defined correctly, all else is wasted effort.
Marketing Research Step Three: Establish research objectives
Provides the information necessary to choose between the decision alternatives identified in step 2.
Tell researchers exactly what he or she must do to obtain the information necessary to allow managers to choose between the decision alternatives.
Marketing Research Step Four: Determine Research Design
– Referring to the research undertaken to meet the research objectives.
– A decision that is made in determining the research objectives is whether the research will be descriptive, diagnostic, or prescriptive.
– Descriptive research:
– Diagnostic research:
– Prescriptive research
– 3 widely recognized research designs are exploratory, descriptive, and causal.
Research Design: Causal Research
Attempt to uncover what factors or factor cause some event. Will a change in the package size of our detergent cause a change in sales?
This research is achieved from a class of studies we call experiment
Research Design: Descriptive Research
Most basic objective in that the goal is to describe marketing phenomena.
Research Design: Exploratory Research
A form of causal, informal research that is undertaken to learn more about the research problem, learns terms and definitions, or identify research priorities
Research Design: Prescriptive Research
Provides info that allows the manager to best remedy the dissatisfaction.
Ex: allow the retailer to choose which variety or assortment of merchandise to add to gain the greatest increases in customer satisfaction
Research Design: Diagnostic research
Designed to determine sources of satisfaction (such as retailer finding out that customers perceive that it carries too little inventory)
Marketing Research Step Five: Identify information types and sources:
There are two types of information:
– primary: information collected specifically for the problem at hand
– secondary: Information already collected. Should always be found first, since it’s cheaper and faster to collect than primary. Mostly available in published sources and is free or available for a small fee.
Marketing Research Step Six: Determine methods of accessing data
Data can be accessed through a variety of methods. While secondary is relatively easy to obtain, accessing primary data is much more complex. Some data collected through observation of consumers and some collected by screening info available online.
– 4 main choices when researcher must communicate with respondents:
– Having a person answer questions (in home survey or telephone survey)
– Use computer assisted or direct questioning (computer assisted telephone interview or CATI)
– Allow respondents to answer questions themselves without computer assistance (mail survey)
– Use some combo of two or more of the previous three modes. (Hybrid or mixed mode studies).
Marketing Research Step Seven: Design data collection forms:
Designing the form on which we gather data.
If we communicate with respondents (ask them questions), the form is called a questionnaire.
If we observe them, the form is called an observation form. Great care must be given to design the form properly. Questions must be clear and unbiased.
Marketing Research Step Eight: Determine sample plan and size
Marketing research studies are undertaken to learn about populations by taking a sample of that population.
– Sample plans: describe how each sample element, or unit is to be drawn from the total population. Determine which sample plan is to be used.
– Sample size: How many elements of the population should be used to make up the sample? Size determines how accurately your sample results reflect values in the population.
Marketing Research Step Nine: Collect data
Data collection is very important because, regardless of the data analysis methods used, data analysis cannot fix bad data.
Nonsampling errors may occur during data collection. Data collection errors may be attributed to field workers or respondents.
Researchers must know the sources of these errors and the controls to minimize them.
Marketing Research Step Ten: Analyze data
Data analysis involves entering data into computer files, inspecting data for errors, and running tabulations and various statistical tests.
– Data cleaning is a process by which raw data are checked to verify that the data have been correctly inputted from the data collection form to the computer software program.
Marketing Research Step Eleven: Prepare and Present the Final Research Report
The last step is one of the most important phases of marketing research. Its importance cannot be overstated because it is the report, or its presentation, that properly communicates the results to the client
Marketing Research: Qualitative
Involves collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data by observing what people do or say. Observations and statements are free form or non standardized because questions and observations are open ended.
Ex: if you ask five people to express their opinions on a topic such as gun control or promoting alcoholic beverages to college students, you would probably get five different statements. But after studying each response, you could characterize each one as “positive” “negative” or “neutral”.
Marketing Research: Quantitative
Defined as research involving the administration of a set of structured questions with predetermined response options to a large number of respondents.
When you think of this research you might envision a panel company whose members complete an online survey.
Used when the manager and researcher have agreed that precise information is needed.
Process of searching for and interpreting existing information relevant to the research topic. Secondary data are those that have been collected for some other purpose and are almost always apart of a marketing research project. Widespread and readily available.
Refers to the information that is developed or gathered by the researcher specifically for the research project at hand.
Exploratory Research:
Most commonly unstructured (doesn’t have a predetermined set of procedures), informal (no formal set of objectives, sample plan, or questionnaire)research that is undertaken to gain background information about the general nature of the research problem.
EXAMPLE: observing a situation. It’s flexible. It’s usually done when the researcher doesn’t know much about the problem and needs additional information or desires new or more recent information. It’s used in a number of situations: to gain background information, to define terms, to clarify problems and hypothesis, and to establish research priorities. Examples and more info on page 73.
Descriptive Research:
Describe answers to questions of who, what, where, when, and how.
When we wish to know who our customers are, what brands they buy in what quantities, where they buy the brands, when they shop, and how they found out about our products, we turn to this research.
Desirable when we wish to project a study’s findings to a larger population.
Descriptive Research: Cross Sectional
Measures units from a sample of the population at only one point in time.
ex: a study measuring your attitude towards adding a required internship course to your degree program OR sample surveys (representative of a specific population).
Descriptive Research: Longitudinal Studies
Repeatedly measure the same sample units of a population over a period of time. Multiple measurements, described as “movies” of the population. Must have the same members of the sample called a panel so as to take repeated measurements.
Experimental Research:
Devising an experimental setting so that a change in a dependent variable may be attributed solely to the change in an independent variable.
They are procedures that allow experimenters to control for the effects on a dependent variable.
Example: A “true” experimental design isolates the effects of the independent variable on the dependent variable while controlling for effects of any extraneous variables. Designs that do not properly control for the effects of extraneous variables on our dependent variable are quasi-experimental designs.
A control system
In order to recognize failures, managers must have a control system. Must be knowledgable about objectives and performance. Should be setting objectives and have a control system in place to monitor performance.
Situation analysis:
When management hasn’t determined the problem. Begins with the researcher learning about the industry, the competitors, key products/services, markets, markets segments, and so on. Essential to review both internal and external secondary data.
Research objectives should:
Specify: – from whom information is to be gathered
– what information is needed
– the unit of measurement used to gather the information
– Word questions used to gather the information using the respondent’s frame of reference.
Elements of the marketing research proposal:
Serves as the basis of a contract as it documents what the marketing researcher proposes to deliver to the client for some consideration (a fee).
Exploratory research:
Unstructured, informal research that is undertaken to gain background information about the general nature of the research problem.
Doesn’t have a predetermined set of procedures. Changes as researcher gains information
Can be accomplished by simply reading a magazine or observing a situation.
Ex: Wendy’s franchisee went through his restaurants cash register receipts which were stamped with dates and times. He observed that early weekday afternoons between 2-4:30 which were his slack periods. Initiated a mobile campaign for a free order of french fries during this time on weekdays. Traffic/sales went up. Usually when researcher doesn’t know much about the problem and needs additional information or desires
Sample surveys:
Cross-sectional studies whose samples are drawn in such a way as to be representative of a specific population. “if the election were held today, which candidate would you vote for?”
Casual Research:
Understanding a phenomenon in terms of conditional statements of the form “if x, then y”. These “if-then” statements become our way of manipulating variables of interest. If thermostat is low, air will get cooler. if drive automobile at lower speeds, gasoline mileage will increase.
manipulating an independent variable to see how it affects a dependent variable, which also controlling effects of additional extraneous variables.
Independent variables:
Which the researcher has control and wishes to manipulate. The four P’s are IND vars.
Ex: display location, type of advertising appeal, price and type of product.
Dependent variables:
Which we have little or no direct control but a strong interest in changing.
EX: sales, market share, customer satisfaction, net profits, etc. Change them through manipulation of independent variables.
Extraneous variables:
Have some effect on a dependent variable but are not yet independent variables.
Experimental Design:
Procedure for devising an experimental setting so that a change in a dependent variable may be attributed solely to the change in an independent variable.
Allow experimenters to control the effects on a dependent variable by any extraneous variable.
Secondary Data
– Advantages: secondary data can be obtained quickly and inexpensively, usually available, enhance primary data collection, and can sometimes achieve the research objective.
– Disadvantages: incompatible reporting units, mismatch of the units of measurement, differing definitions used to classify the data, timeliness of the secondary data, and the lack of information needed to assess data credibility.
a collection of data and information describing items of interest.
Internal secondary data:
collected within the firm. Includes sales records, purchases, and invoices.
Databases that contain information on customers, sales, suppliers, and any other facet of business a firm may wish to track.
Internal databases:
Databases consisting of information gathered by a company, typically during the normal course of business transactions.
External secondary data:
Obtained outside the firm. We classify external data into three sources: published, syndicated services data, and databases.
Published sources:
Those sources of information that are prepared for public distribution and are normally found in libraries, etc.
Syndicated services data:
Firms that collect data may make it available in a standard format subscribing firms as syndicated services data.
External databases:
Databases supplied by organizations outside the firm. Online information databases are sources of secondary data searchable by search engines online.
Marketing information systems
A structure consisting of people, equipment, and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate, and distribute needed, timely, and accurate information to marketing decision makers.
Determine decision maker’s information needs, acquire the needed information and distribute that information to the decision makers in a form and at a time when they can use it for decision making.
Components of an MIS:
Internal reports system: gathers information generated by internal reports, which includes orders, billing, receivables, inventory levels, stock outs, etc. It can be called the accounting information system. A good one can tell a manager a great deal of info about what has happened within the firm in the past. When info is needed from sources outside of the firm, marketing researchers must all on other MIS components.
Marketing intelligence system:
A set of procedures and sources used by managers to obtain everyday information about pertinent developments in the environment. Focuses on bringing in information generated outside the firm. Include both informal and formal information gathering procedures.
Ex: scanning newspapers and magazines.
Marketing decision support system (DSS):
Collected data that may be accessed and analyzed using tools and techniques that assist managers in decision making. Once they get the info, they store it in huge databases that when accessed with decision-making tools and techniques and allow companies to ask ‘what if” questions.
Marketing research system:
Gathers info not gathered by the other MIS component subsystems: marketing research studies are conducted for a specific situation facing the company.
The collection, analysis, and interpretation of data that cannot be meaningfully quantified or summarized in the form of numbers
– Used to generate hunches or hypotheses that can be tested through more formal research
The collection, analysis, and interpretation of data involving larger, more representative respondent samples and numerical calculation of results
– Used to test hunches or hypotheses in order to suggest a final course of action
Narrative Analysis
Spoken or written text giving an account of an event/action or series of events/actions, chronologically connected
Example: Kid who couldn’t take the bus or drive or bike so he had to walk around town.
– Describes the meaning of lived experiences for several individuals, focusing on what the participants have in common as they experience a phenomenon
– One consumption event. Focuses on a single thing.
Grounded Theory
Uses systematic approaches to develop a theory that explains a process, action, or interaction.
– Throw out all previous theory and start from the ground up. Can be useful as exploratory studies and can later on test with quantitative study
The purpose of ethnography is to describe and interpret the shared and learned patterns of values, behaviors, beliefs and language of a culture-sharing group
Looking for a culture sharing group.
Ex: harley groups
Instrumental Case Study:
The researcher focuses on a single issue then selects a single case to illustrate the issue
Demonstrating something with a specific case.
Multiple Case Study: **MOSTLY SEE THIS ONE**
The researcher focuses on one issue but selects multiple cases to illustrate the issue that can be purposefully sampled from one site or several sites
**Mostly see this one. Done most often. Compare/contrast similarities and differences and see overall picture of issue and what it looks like
Intrinsic Case Study:
This approach focuses on the case itself because the case presents an unusual or unique situation (e.g. evaluating a program or one particular consumer and the unique problem he or she may be having)
– Not seen often in marketing. What people haven’t seen before.
Ex: girl who had been neglected with no human interaction except for food/water until the age of 8.
– Observation allows us to enter and join the world of those we want to study
– Observation helps you to understand what’s going on in the place you are studying
– Determine what questions to ask informants. Get information about groups and their behavior unobtrusively
Remains in the consumption activity for a long period of time
Take logical and copious notes on how you are observing the consumption phenomenon
Be ready to improvise, but stay on course
Observing: Direct your attention to all aspects of the activity with a keen eye and astute awareness
Put what you see into your own words
In Social Situations:
Note the interaction of and interdependencies of the place, the consumers, and their activities
In Naturally Occurring Contexts:
View the consumption activities within the context of their social environment
Observation techniques
Techniques in which the researcher relies on his or her powers of observation to obtain information.
Requires something to observe, and researchers typically use video or audio records, photographs, handwritten notes, or some other tangible record of what is observed.
Researcher identifies beforehand which behaviors are to be observed and recorded. All other behaviors are ignored. Require a minimum effort on the part of the observer.
Places no restriction on what the observer notes. Monitored. Observer wants the situation and records what he or see wants to. Used in exploratory research.
Respondents are unaware they are being observed and thus behave naturally.
Respondents are aware they are being observed.
Natural Observations –
Is a common research method in behavioral sciences such as sociology and psychology.
Contrived Observation –
Refers to observation in settings arranged specifically to facilitate the occurrence of specific behaviors .
Human Observation-
Human observers to collect data in the study
Mechanical Observation –
Observation techniques involving mechanical observers either in conjunction with, or in place of, human observers
Observing behavior as it occurs.
Ex: if we are interested in finding out how much shoppers squeeze tomatoes to assess their freshness, we can observe people actually picking up the tomatoes. Has been used by Kellogg to understand breakfast rituals, by a Swiss chocolate maker to study behavior or “chocoholics”
Can’t be directly observed. Involves observing the effects or results of the behavior rather the the behavior itself.
Ex: archives and physical traces.
Data Mining
The name for software that helps managers make sense out of seemingly senseless masses of information contained in databases.
Josephine is interested in finding out what her customers think of a new menu item in her diner. She conducts an informal research study where she asks anyone who orders the meal to jot down a sentence or two about what they thought. What type of data did she collect?
A. Primary, Quantitative
B. Secondary, Quantitative
C. Primary, Qualitative
D. Secondary, Qualitative
C. Primary, Qualitative
Bill is trying to develop new theory to identify the process students go through when they decide where they will live for the upcoming academic year. He systematically interviews 15 students, and develops a new model of student housing selection. What kind of research did he conduct?
A. Case study (one unit of analysis)
B. Phenomenology (Shared lived experience)
C. Narrative analysis
D. Grounded theory (developing new theories, work well with processes)
D. Grounded theory (developing new theories, work well with processes)
If your research question is a Yes or No question, you can be pretty sure that you are conducting __________ research.
A. Exploratory
B. Conclusive
C. Descriptive
D. Qualitative
B. Conclusive
Sally has defined her research problem, and is now trying to identify the things she needs to do to solve it. What step in the marketing research process is she likely at?
A. Establish the need for research
B. Identify information types and sources
C. Determine methods of accessing data
D. Establish research objectives
D. Establish research objectives
In chapter 5 of the book the American Community Survey was discussed. What is a more common name for this study?
A. The Study
B. The U.S. ACS
C. The U.S. Census
D. U.S. Statistics Study
C. The U.S. Census
Secondary sources (historical records) can be applied to the present problem.
Ex: records of sales calls may be inspected to determine how often salespeople make cold calls.
Physical traces:
Tangible evidence of some past event.
Ex: we might turn to “garbology” (observing the trash of subjects being studied) as a way of finding out how much recycling of plastic milk bottles occur.
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