Chapter 1 Friday, October 20 Defining the Problem and Determining Research Objectives Differences Between Managers and Researchers • Marketing managers and researchers see the world differently because they have different jobs to perform and their backgrounds are very different. Differences Between Managers and Researchers Discussion and Definition of the Problem Discussions often take place between managers and researchers to determine the problem. Researchers should ask questions relating to: Define the Marketing Manager’s Problem…Questions cont. Online Research and Problem Definition • Managers sometimes must act fast, Online research could help • Positive Outcome: Online systems aid in the process because information systems speed information delivery • Negative Outcomes: 1. Information Overload or 2. Online environment also means that competitors and customers have better information Define the Marketing Management Problem and Research Objectives • Marketing Management Problem: • Symptoms of failure to achieve an objective are present. What should be done? Difference between these two actions • 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 Defining the Marketing Management Problem • Understanding of the Manager’s Situation Background of the product/service; company history, overall mission, marketing plans, managers objectives and her/his resources, etc. • Clarify Symptoms Symptoms are changes or _________. Examples include changes in sales volume, market share, profits, or dealer orders, also complaints and/or competitor actions could be indicators Define the Marketing Manager’s Problem…cont. • Pinpoint suspected causes of the problem. • Eliminating a symptom does not solve the problem. • For every problem, an underlying cause can be found. • A probable cause differs from a possible cause. Important to list all possibilities first. • Specify actions that may alleviate the problem. • Solutions include any marketing action that may resolve the problem. Define the Marketing Manager’s Problem…cont. • Assess the adequacy of information on hand to specify research objectives. • Information State: quantity and quality of evidence a manager possesses • Information Gaps: discrepancies between the current information level and the desired level of information at which a manager feels comfortable resolving the problem at hand • Manager and researcher come to agree on research objectives based on the information gaps. The Invitation to Bid and the Marketing Research Proposal • A marketing research proposal flows from an “invitation to bid” (ITB) or “request for proposal” ( RFP) • Both define the marketing management problem • Both specify the research objectives • The bid details the research method proposed by the researcher to accomplish the research objectives The Invitation to Bid and the Marketing Research Proposal • The problem statement for both identifies: • the company, division, or principals involved • the symptoms • the possible causes of the symptoms • the anticipated uses of the research information • The research proposal ensures that the researcher and the manager see the problem in the same way. The Invitation to Bid and the Marketing Research Proposal: • The proposal itemizes the information objectives agreed to by the manager and researcher. • Constructs and operational definitions are specified. • A construct is a marketing term or concept that is involved in the marketing management problem (e.g. brand awareness, product knowledge, attitude, loyalty, satisfaction). • An operational definition describes how the researcher will measure a construct. Formulate the Marketing Research Proposal: Translate the Research Objectives to Be Researchable…cont. • Relationships are identified. • A relationship is a meaningful link believed to exist between two constructs (lower price is related to greater sales, higher exposure is related to greater awareness, etc.). • A model is decided. • A model connects constructs with understandable logic The Invitation to Bid and the Marketing Research Proposal: • The proposed research method identifies data collection mode, questionnaire design, sample plan, and other aspects of the anticipated marketing research.