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Marketing Research:
Overview
Jeremy Kees, Ph.D.
What is Marketing Research?
• ….. the process of collecting and using
information for marketing decisionmaking
• Marketing Research is conducted by:
– Companies large and small
– Independent Marketing Research Firms
What is Marketing Research?
• Marketing Research helps us:
– Assess Market Potential (Target Market
Selection)
– Explore what Product/Service Offerings
Customers Want
– Develop New Products
– Develop Effective Promotional Strategies
– Determine price points
– Measure Existing Customer Satisfaction
– Monitor the External Environment
Stages
in the
Research
Process
(Researchers
Perspective)
Formulate Problem
Determine Research Design
Design Data Collection
Method and Forms
Design Sample and Collect Data
Analyze and Interpret the Data
Prepare the Research Report
Popular Research Designs
• Exploratory Research
– “Discovery”
• Descriptive Research
– “Relationships”
• Causal Research
– Experiments
Overview of Research Design
Uses
Exploratory
Research
•Formulate problems more precisely
•Develop Hypotheses
•Establish priorities for research
•Eliminate impractical ideas
•Clarify concepts
Descriptive
Research
•Describe segment characteristics
•Estimate proportion of people
who behave in a certain way
•Make specific predictions
Causal
Research
•Provide evidence regarding causal
relationships
•Rule out all other explanations
Types
•Literature search
•Experience survey
•Analysis of select cases
•Interviews
•Ethnographies
•Focus groups
•Etc.
•Longitudinal study
•Panels
•Sample Survey
•Laboratory experiment
•Field experiment
Relationship Among Research
Designs
Descriptive Research
Exploratory Research
Causal Research
8
Qualitative versus Quantitative Research
Data
• Quantitative = numeric data
• Qualitative = non-numeric data
– Caveat – all qualitative data can be coded and all
quantitative data is based on judgment
• Common Assumption:
– Qualitative Data = preliminary
– Quantitative Data = confirmatory
Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research
Qualitative Research
Quantitative Research
Objective
To gain a qualitative
understanding of the
underlying reasons and
motivations
To quantify the data and
generalize the results from
the sample to the population
of interest
Sample
Small number of nonrepresentative cases
Large number of
representative cases
Data Collection
Unstructured
Structured
Data Analysis
Non-statistical
Statistical
Outcome
Develop an initial
understanding
Recommend a final course of
action
10
Focus Groups
• Focus groups: small group discussions led
by a trained moderator
• Objectives:
• Generate ideas
• Understand consumer vocabulary
• Reveal consumer needs, motives,
perceptions, and attitudes on products
and services
• Understand findings from quantitative
studies
11
Focus Groups
• Advantages:
• Generation of fresh ideas
• Client interaction
• Versatility
• Ability to tap special respondents
• Disadvantages:
• Representative of the population?
• Subjective interpretation
• High cost-per-participant
12
Focus Group Characteristics
Group Size
8-12
Group Composition
Homogeneous respondents,
prescreened
Physical Setting
Relaxed, informal atmosphere
Time Duration
1-3 hours
Recording
Audiocassettes and/or Video
Moderator
Observational, interpersonal, and
communication skills of the
moderator
13
Other Popular Qualitative
Techniques
• In-Depth interview
• Uses a set of probing questions posed one-onone to a subject by a trained interviewer so as
to gain an idea of what the subject thinks about
something or why he or she behaves a certain
way
• Ethnographies
• developing understandings of the everyday
activities of people in local settings
• Observation
• Insight into actual, not reported, behaviors
• Mystery Shopping
14
Descriptive Research
• Describe what is going on or exists
• Estimate how groups of consumers might
behave
• Examine relationships between two or
more variables
• Predict
Descriptive Research
•
Two Basic Types
1. Longitudinal
2. Cross-Sectional
Causal Research
• Helps us determine if one or more IVs
(treatment, predictors) causes or affects one or
more DVs (outcome variables)
• Most demanding design—strongest conclusion
• Requires the highest degree of understanding of
the problem
Types of Experiments
Laboratory Experiment
Experiment
Scientific investigation in which
an investigator manipulates
and controls one or more
independent variables and
observes the dependent
variable for variation
concomitant to the
manipulation of the
independent variables
Research investigation in which
investigator creates a situation
with exact conditions, so as to
control some, and manipulate other,
variables
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
18
Definitions and Concepts
• Independent variables (IV) are variables or alternatives
that are manipulated and whose effects are measured and
compared, e.g., price levels.
• Test units are individuals, organizations, or other entities
whose response to the independent variables or treatments
is being examined, e.g., consumers or stores.
• Dependent variables (DV) are the variables which
measure the effect of the independent variables on the test
units, e.g., sales, profits, and market shares.
• Extraneous variables are all variables other than the
independent variables that affect the response of the test
units, e.g., store size, store location, and competitive effort.
– Covariates
Validity
• Internal validity refers to whether the
manipulation of the independent variables or
treatments actually caused the observed effects
on the dependent variables. Control of
extraneous variables is a necessary condition for
establishing internal validity.
• External validity refers to whether the causeand-effect relationships found in the experiment
can be generalized. To what populations,
settings, times, independent variables and
dependent variables can the results be projected?
Causal Research (Experimental
Design)
• Internal Validity
Causal Research (Experimental
Design)
• External Validity
Design Data Collection and Forms
• Secondary Data
• Exploratory Research
– Informal and flexible
– Script
• Descriptive / Causal Research
– Rigid and Structured
– Survey
Design Sample and Collect Data
• Why is sampling important??
• Basic Sampling Methods
– Probability
– Non-Probability
Analyze and Interpret Data
• Exploratory Research
– Identify themes and patterns
– Open for more subjective researcher
interpretation
• Descriptive / Causal Research
– Statistical Analysis
• Regression, ANOVA, Multidimensional Scaling,
Cluster Analysis, etc.
• More “conclusive”
Prepare Research Report
• Key Issues
– Try to be objective as possible and honest
with your client
– Take note of the technical sophistication of
your client
– Be careful when reporting results versus
making inferences / recommendations
Critical Issue
• The MOST important issue to consider
throughout the research process is making
sure that the research is actionable.
• Avoid “nice to know” research projects!!!