Marketing Research- Exploratory Research

Reasons to Conduct Exploratory Research
1. Discover Insights
2. Formulate the decision problem
3. Increasing researcher’s familiarity with the problem
4. Developing hypotheses
Hypothesis definition
an unproven proposition.
-often more specific than the research problem
-guides data collection
-can be tested empirically
ex. Research problem: Determine what people feel about milk. -Possible hypotheses: H1- Milk is perceived as an old-fashioned drink. H2- People believe that milk is meant only for kids.
Exploratory research is flexible in that any method is fine, so long as it improves our knowledge of the environment and also that there is no specific order to conduct these methods in.
Small Scale
Exploratory research should be done on small scale bases. Decisions do not follow exploratory research, they follow conclusive research
Focus Group Definition
An unstructured interview with a group of participants who are led by a moderator in an in-depth discussion on a particular topic.
Case Analysis Definition
Intensive study of selected examples of the phenomenon of interest.
Especially cases reflecting recent change, or the “best” and “worst” situations.
The relationship between exploratory research and conclusive research.
Research design leads to Exploratory, then Conclusive research. Conclusive research consists of either or a combination of Descriptive research and Causal research.
Causal Research
At the end of your exploratory research you may have a cause and effect hypothesis. Causal research uses experiments to test these cause and effect hypotheses, wherein X is the likely cause and Y is the likely effect.
3 conditions needed to establish causality:
1. Consistent Variation
2. Time order of occurrence of variables
3. Elimination of other factors
Consistent Variation in an experiement
evidence that X and Y vary together in the way predicted by the hypothesis
Time order of occurrence of variables in an experiement
evidence that shows that X occurs before Y
Elimination of other factors in an experiement
evidence that allows the elimination of factors other than X as the cause of Y
Descriptive Research
The most common type of research. Often utilizes survey is collecting data.
Main objective: To describe market characteristics.
Data collection is structured and requires large representative samples.
When is descriptive research done?
AFTER the formulation of research problems and hypotheses
Examples of Descriptive Research
Consumer characteristic studies, image studies (consumer’s perceptions of products), marketing variable association studies, predictive studies (forecast the state of market in the future), market potential studies (size of market, consumer buying power in market), market share studies, sales analysis studies, pricing studies, advertising studies
Exploratory vs Conclusive Research- Objective:
Exploratory Research = to discover insights
Conclusive Research = to test hypotheses
Exploratory vs Conclusive Research- Process:
Exploratory Research = Flexible
Conclusive Research = Formal
Exploratory vs Conclusive Research- Sample:
Exploratory Research = Small, non-representative
Conclusive Research = Large, representative
Exploratory vs Conclusive Research- Data:
Exploratory Research = Qualitative
Conclusive Research = Quantitative
Exploratory vs Conclusive Research- Findings:
Exploratory Research = Tentative
Conclusive Research = Conclusive

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