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Defining the Problem and
Determining Research
Differences Between Managers and
• Marketing managers and researchers see the
world differently because they have different jobs
to perform and their backgrounds differ markedly.
Define the Marketing Manager’s Problem:
Questions Researchers Should Ask
Discussions often take place between managers
and researchers to determine the problem.
Researchers should ask questions relating to:
• Symptoms of the problem?
• Manager’s situation (history, products, mission,
customer information, manager’s objectives,
• Suspected causes of the problem?
Define the Marketing Manager’s
Problem…Questions cont.
• Possible solutions to the problem?
• Anticipated consequences of tentative solutions?
• Manager’s assumptions about existing
conditions and what will take place if solution is
carried out?
• Adequacy of info on hand to specify research
objectives (quantity, quality of info)
Decide When Marketing Research Is
• Four conditions when marketing research
should likely be undertaken:
• If it clarifies problems or investigates changes in
the marketplace that can directly impact your
product responsibility
• If it resolves your selection of alternative
courses of marketing action to achieve key
marketing objectives
• If it helps you gain a meaningful competitive
• If it allows you to stay abreast of your markets
Define the Marketing Management Problem
and Research Objectives
• Marketing Management Problem:
• Symptoms of failure to achieve an objective
are present. What should be done?
• Symptoms of the likelihood of achieving an
objective are present (opportunity
identification). What should be done?
• Marketing Research Objectives:
• Providing relevant, accurate, and unbiased
information that managers can use to solve
their marketing management problems
New package design for an
existing product
Evaluating the effectiveness of
alternative packages
Increasing store traffic
Measuring current store image
Launching a new product
Designing a test market
SWOT analysis for Boyner,
Determining the factors for
leadership in the department
stores sector
Determining demand elasticity
What is the impact of different
prices on sales and profit?
Determining the effectiveness of
the current advertising programme
Determining the position of Boyner
department stores among its
Changing price strategy
Should we launch a new
advertising campaign?
Diagnosing the Problem
CB:We are losing market share in corporate banking
R: Is it only happening in Istanbul?
CB: No, it isn’t. But we are more concerned since it is the city we
have the largest transaction volume.
R: Why do you think you are losing market share?
CB : I wish I had known.....
R: How are your competitors doing?
CB : The other banks have similar problems too. However, foreign
banks are gaining more market share.
R : How do your clients evaluate the service quality?
CB : We are very proud of the ISO9000 certificate that we recently
R: Very good. However, how do you evaluate your service quality
compared to your competitors?
Example (cont.)
Specifically the following information is required:
1. Which criteria the firms use when they are choosing a
corporate finance banking service for the first time?
2. How do the firms allocate their financial service purchase
among different banks?
3. Which services do the firms buy from local and European
4. How do the firms evaluate local and European banks’
service quality?
5. What is the market share of X bank in Ireland compared to
its competitors?
6. What is the profile of X bank’s clients? How are they
different from other banks’ clients?
Analytic Model
• Analytic model defines the relationships among several
variables as a process
• Or as parts of a bigger model,
• It can be verbal, mathematical or graphical
• They serve as a basis for the research design and used
as a guide for the rest of the research
The Role of Theory in Marketing Research
Marketing Research Questions
Determining psychographic profile of department store
• What is the level of store loyalty of customers?
•What sort of activities the customer engage in after the
•What shopping means to customers other than getting
what is needed?
Operationalized Definitions
How can we understand when store cards or credit cards
are used for transaction?
Do the customers have store cards?
How frequently do the customers use store cards?
What is the amount of purchase with the store cards
in a specific period of time?
Hypothesis is a statement that asserts the assumed (but
not supported in reality yet) relationships between the
variables of interest
H1: The loyal customer are more aware than less loyal
ones in terms of store atmosphere qualities.
H2 : The loyal customers are more willing to bare risk in
purchase than less loyal ones.
“The Factors Affecting Purchase Intention:
Brand awareness and Brand trust”
General Problem Definition-Aim of the Research:
What can affect purchase intention?
Preliminary Literature Review
Depth Literature Review
Trust has two aspects:
Trust on the basis of prior knowledge
Trust at the time of decision-making
Main Variables
Attitude Towards Brand
Trust about the brand
Attitude towards other brands
Awareness about the brand
Purchase intention
Operationalised Definitions
• Brand awareness: The degree of prior awareness
while asserting a preference
• Trust: The degree of self-assurance while
evaluating the brand and other brands
• Attitude: The degree of liking or satisfaction about
the preferred brands
• Purchase intention: The degree of likelihood of
buying the same brand in the next ten shopping
• H1 : The more the brand awareness, the more the priorknowledge based trust about that brand.
• H2 : The consumers positive attitude towards a brand is
positively affected by brand awareness.
• H3: There is a positive relationship between purchase intention
and prior-knowledge based trust
• H4 : The purchase intention of a consumer is positively affected
by attitude toward the brand but is negatively affected by the
attitude towards competing brands
The Marketing Research Report
Executive summary
Problem definition
Research objectives
Research design
Fieldwork/data collection
Data analyses
Cost and timetable
Research organisation
and researchers
• Appendices
• Agreement
Research Design
Research Design
• The research design is the master plan specifying
the methods and procedures for collecting and
analyzing the needed information.
Types of Research Design
• Three traditional categories of research design:
• Exploratory
• Descriptive
• Causal
• The choice of the most appropriate design
depends largely on the objectives of the research
and how much is known about the problem and
these objectives.
Basic Research Objectives and Research
Research Objective
Appropriate Design
To gain background information, to define terms, to clarify
problems and develop hypotheses, to establish
research priorities, to develop questions to be
To describe and measure marketing phenomena at a point
in time
To determine causality, test hypotheses, to make “if-then”
statements, to answer questions
• Quantitative research: research involving the use
of structured questions in which response
options have been predetermined and a “large”
number of respondents are involved
• Qualitative research: collecting, analyzing, and
interpreting data based on what people do and
say with smaller samples
• Pluralistic research: combination of both
quantitative and qualitative research methods in
order to gain the advantages of both
Research Design: Exploratory Research
• Exploratory research is most commonly
unstructured, “informal” research that is
undertaken to gain background information about
the general nature of the research problem.
• Exploratory research is usually conducted when
the researcher does not know much about the
problem and needs additional information or
desires new or more recent information.
Research Design: Exploratory Research
• Exploratory research is used in a number of
To gain background information
To define terms
To clarify problems and hypotheses
To establish research priorities
Research Design: Exploratory Research
• A variety of methods are available to conduct
exploratory research:
Secondary Data Analysis
Experience Surveys
Case Analysis
Focus Groups
Projective Techniques
Observation, Focus Groups,
and Other Qualitative
Observation Techniques
• Observation methods: techniques in which the
researcher relies on his or her powers of
observation rather than communicating with a
person in order to obtain information
• Types of observation (will explain later):
• Direct versus indirect
• Disguised versus undisguised
• Structured versus unstructured
• Human versus mechanical
Observation Techniques…cont.
Direct versus Indirect
• Direct observation: observing behavior as it
• Indirect observation: observing the effects or
results of the behavior rather than the behavior
• Archives (written records)
• Physical traces (erosion or
Observation Techniques…cont.
Disguised versus Undisguised
• Disguised observation: subject is unaware that
he or she is being observed
• Undisguised observation: respondent is aware of
Observation Techniques…cont.
Structured versus Unstructured
• Structured observation: researcher identifies
beforehand which behaviors are to observed and
• Unstructured observation: No restriction is
placed on what the observer would note: all
behavior in the episode under study is monitored
Observation Techniques…cont.
Human versus Mechanical
• Human observation: person or persons observe
behavior (person hired by the researcher, clients,
or perhaps the observer is the researcher)
• Mechanical observation: human observer is
replaced with some form of static observing
device(audio and or visual recording)
When to Use?
- Limited information about the market conditions
- When new insights are needed
- To understand customer behaviour
- To understand what motivated customer satisfaction and
to discover customer habits, jargon, myths, desires and
- Technology and media usage at home
- Setting a brand community
- Sub-cultural consumption habits and behaviours
Activities Involved
• Dairy keeping
* Recording behaviour, daily routine and opinions
- Video and photographs
* Providing those to support their oral or behavioural
- Projective techniques
- Online observation
Hygenic and cosmetic products usage among Americans, English and Turks
Sample characteristics – Moderate and Intensive users
- Methodology
* Taking pictures of the products at their location and asking respondents
to describe the photos
* Keeping dairy about their daily usage of these products
* Describing their shopping experience about those products in detail
* Keeping health and beauty advertisements content analysis
* Doing in-depth interviews on the following questions:
• How do you define beauty?
• What motivates you for dermatological health care?
• If your most liked dermatological product disappears from the market how
would you feel?
• How much time do you allocate for dermatological health care?
• Which brands do you like most? Why?
Observation Techniques…cont.
Limitations of Observational Data
• Small number of subjects
• Can only observe short-duration, frequently
occurring events
• Subjective interpretations (by observer)
• Inability to understand what is beneath the
behavior observed (why was the behavior carried
out - motivations, attitudes, and other internal
conditions are unobserved)
Focus Groups
• Focus groups: small group (6 – 12 people)
discussions led by a trained moderator;
homogeneous group; tightly bounded topic area
• Objectives:
• Generate ideas
• Understand consumer vocabulary
• Reveal consumer benefits sought, needs,
motives, perceptions, and attitudes on
products and services
• Understand findings from quantitative studies
Focus Groups
Moderator’s Role and Responsibilities
• Focus group moderator: a person who conducts
the session and guides the flow of group
discussion across specific topics
• Moderator characteristics:
• Experienced
• Enthusiastic
• Prepared
• Involving
• Energetic
• Open-minded
Focus Groups
Reporting and Use of Focus Group Results
• Factors to remember when analyzing data:
• Some sense must be made by translating the
qualitative statements of participants into
categories and then reporting the degree of
consensus apparent in the focus groups
• Demographics and buyer behavior characteristics
of focus group participants should be judged
against the target market profile to assess what
degree the group(s) represent(s) the target market
• A focus groups analysis should identify major themes
as well as salient areas of disagreement among the
Focus Groups
Online Focus Groups
• Online focus group: one in which the respondents
and/or moderator (and sometimes clients)
communicate and/or observe by use of the Internet;
group members are at their own pc
• Advantages:
• No physical setup is necessary
• Transcripts are captured on file in real time
• Participants can be in widely separated
geographical areas
• Participants are comfortable in their home or office
• The moderator can exchange private messages
with individual participants
Focus Groups
Online Focus Groups…cont.
• Disadvantages:
• Observation of participants’ body language is
not possible
• Participants cannot physically inspect
products or taste food items
• Participants can lose interest or become
Focus Groups – In General
• Advantages:
• Generation of fresh ideas
• Client interaction
• Versatility (many topics, other research
techniques may be used, product tests, etc.)
• May tap special respondents (drs., lawyers …)
• Disadvantages:
• Representative of the population?
• Interpretation is subjective
• High cost-per-participant ($150 - $200 each)
Other Qualitative Research Techniques
• Depth interview: a set of questions with probes,
posed one-on-one to a subject by a trained
interviewer to gain an idea of what the subject
thinks about something or why he or she behaves
a certain way
• Protocol analysis: involves placing a person in a
decision-making situation and asking him or her
to verbalize everything he or she considers when
making a decision (step-by-step)
Other Qualitative Research
• Projective techniques: involve situations in which
participants are “projected into” another person, an
inanimate object, or a simulated activity, with the
hope that they will divulge things about themselves
that they might not reveal under direct questioning.
Types include:
• Word association test
• Sentence completion
• Picture test (may include “headline” or statement)
• Cartoon or balloon test
• Role-playing activity
Physiological Measurements
• Physiological measurements: monitoring a
respondent’s involuntary responses to marketing
stimuli via the use of eye cameras, salinity
detectors, blood pressure sensors, and other
• Pupilometer (iris dilation/contraction)
• Eye-tracking
• Galvanometer
• Voice Print Analysis (VOPAN)
Research Design: Descriptive Research
• Descriptive research is undertaken to provide
answers to questions of who, what, where, when,
and how – but not why.
• Two basic classifications:
• Cross-sectional studies
• Longitudinal studies
Research Design: Descriptive Research
Cross-sectional Studies
• Cross-sectional studies measure units from a
sample of the population at only one point in
• Sample surveys are cross-sectional studies
whose samples are drawn in such a way as to be
representative of a specific population.
• On-line survey research is being used to collect
data for cross-sectional surveys at a faster rate of
Research Design: Descriptive Research
Longitudinal Studies
• Longitudinal studies repeatedly draw sample
units of a population over time.
• One method is to draw different units from the
same sampling frame.
• A second method is to use a “panel” where the
same people are asked to respond periodically.
• On-line survey research firms recruit panel
members to respond to online queries.
Research Design: Descriptive Research
Longitudinal Studies
• Two types of panels:
• Continuous panels ask panel members the
same questions on each panel measurement.
• Discontinuous (Omnibus) panels vary
questions from one time to the next.
• Longitudinal data used for:
• Market tracking
• Brand-switching
• Attitude and image checks
Research Design: Causal Research
• Causality may be thought of as understanding a
phenomenon in terms of conditional statements
of the form “If x, then y.”
• Causal relationships are typically determined by
the use of experiments, but other methods are
also used.
• An experiment is defined as manipulating (changing
values/situations) one or more independent variables to
see how the dependent variable(s) is/are affected, while
also controlling the affects of additional extraneous
• Independent variables: those over which the
researcher has control and wishes to manipulate i.e.
package size, ad copy, price.
• Dependent variables: those over which the
researcher has little to no direct control, but has a
strong interest in testing i.e. sales, profit, market
• Extraneous variables: those that may effect a
dependent variable but are not independent
Experimental Design
• An experimental design is a procedure for
devising an experimental setting such that a
change in the dependent variable may be solely
attributed to a change in an independent variable.
• Symbols of an experimental design:
• O = measurement of a dependent variable
• X = manipulation, or change, of an independent
• R = random assignment of subjects to
experimental and control groups
• E = experimental effect
Experimental Design
• After-Only Design: X O1
• One-Group, Before-After Design: O1 X O2
• Before-After with Control Group:
• Experimental group: O1 X O2
• Control group:
O 3 O4
• Where E = (O2 – O1) – (O4 – O3)
How Valid Are Experiments?
• An experiment is valid if:
• the observed change in the dependent variable
is, in fact, due to the independent variable
(internal validity)
• if the results of the experiment apply to the
“real world” outside the experimental setting
(external validity)
Types of Experiments
• Two broad classes:
• Laboratory experiments: those in which the
independent variable is manipulated and
measures of the dependent variable are taken
in a contrived, artificial setting for the purpose
of controlling the many possible extraneous
variables that may affect the dependent
• Field experiments: those in which the
independent variables are manipulated and
measurements of the dependent variable are
made on test units in their natural setting
Test Marketing
• Test marketing is the phrase commonly used to
indicate an experiment, study, or test that is
conducted in a field setting.
• Two broad classes:
• To test the sales potential for a new product or
• To test variations in the marketing mix for a
product or service
Test Markets
• Test marketing is used in both consumer markets
and industrial or B2B markets as well.
• Lead country test market: test marketing
conducted in specific foreign countries that seem
good predictors for an entire continent
Criteria for Selecting Test Market Cities
• Representativeness: Do demographics match the
total market?
• Degree of isolation: Phoenix and Tulsa are
isolated markets; Los Angeles is not isolated.
• Ability to control distribution and promotion: Are
there preexisting arrangements to distribute the
new product in selected channels of distribution?
Are local media designed to test variations in
promotional messages?
Test Marketing
• Pros:
• Allows most accurate method of forecasting
future sales
• Allows firms the opportunity to pretest
marketing mix variables
• Cons:
• Does not yield infallible results
• Are expensive
• Exposes the new product or service to
• Takes time to conduct