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by: Mr. Dorothy Wolff


Mr. Dorothy Wolff
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Michael Hyman

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Michael Hyman
Class Notes
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This 0 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mr. Dorothy Wolff on Sunday November 1, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to MKTG 310 at New Mexico State University taught by Michael Hyman in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see /class/233186/mktg-310-new-mexico-state-university in Marketing at New Mexico State University.




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Date Created: 11/01/15
Research Process Slide 1 Welcome to this presentation about stages to the research process This particular PowerPoint presentation is more to provide you with an outline and less to provide you with verbiage from me Slide 2 No Audio Slide 3 The important issue to grasp from these first few slides is that research is a multistage process that is somewhat cyclical The stages can occur concurrently they may occur as first second third and back to first so the linkages are both forwards and backwards Research is a multi stage process and each stage relates to the other stages in a meaningful way Slide 4 No Audio Slide 5 The first stage is Problem Definitionquot It should be pretty obvious at this stage of your undergraduate education that if you can t define the problem properly then it will be impossible to find the appropriate solution Slide 6 No Audio The formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solutionquot Albert Einstein Slide 7 As future businesspeople it is important for you to understand that the problem is not always obvious often because the cause of the problem is not readily apparent Hence the Iceberg Principlequot the dangerous parts of the problem may not be obvious It is the job of both the manager and the marketing researcher to identify the appropriate problem despite this possibility Slide 8 Fortunately there is a basic process by which problems can be defined and this flow diagram illustrates that process The first step a good researcher will take is to ascertain the decision maker s objectives What does the decision maker want to do or need to do The second step is to discuss the problem with managers in sufficient depth so that subsequent research can follow from this rich background information The third step is to isolate or identify the problem as opposed to the symptoms The next step is to determine the unit of analysis households mutual customers organizations so that who will be evaluated is identified The fifth step is to determine what information we should gather from or about those units The last step is to identify the research questions objectives Part of the course project often assigned for an in class marketing research course is writing a brief research proposal When I require my students to conduct such studies that proposal is dominated by two things identification of a research problem and a list of questions associated with that problem Page 1 Slide 9 Marketing managers may have very different yet very reasonable objectives The example I have here is immediate versus longrun increase in sales or profits Clearly the goals of that research might all change markedly based on whether a shortterm or a longterm increase is sought the nature of the manager s needs and the type of study that might be done Regardless whatever those objectives may be the managerial goals must be expressed in measureable terms Otherwise it s impossible to assess whether or not the results are favorable or unfavorable Slide 10 As I mentioned in the first lecture a good researcher will avail him or herself of existing managerial expertise and try to understand the background for the current research problem Fortunately middle and upper managers love to talk about their work For whatever the reason sometimes it s an opportunity to brag or share their situation with someone else that is informed and is interested Regardless middle and upper managers are not shy about providing as much background as a researcher would need to effectively conduct the necessary marketing research Slide 1 1 Also consistent with whatl mentioned during the first lecture a good marketing researcher will help a manager to structure and to understand the true problem Often managers are so caught up with the symptoms that they don t understand the disease This slide illustrates how those symptoms can be confusing As a result the manager may be unaware of the true problem Slide 12 Still thinking in terms of the problem definition process which is the first stage of the overall research process what we should be concerned about is the unit of analysis As I said before this could be individuals households and organizations Without understanding the appropriate unit of analysis it s impossible to draw the appropriate sample or conduct the appropriate type of analyses In many studies family ratherthan the individual is the appropriate unit of analysis This may be true of consumption studies Marketers have long been interested in family dynamics and decision making for the purchase of consumer durables What is the dynamic between spouses in selecting an automobile or a home Without a sound understanding of that process marketers are flying blind as far as providing the best possible product Slide 13 The fifth step in the problem definition process is to determine the relevant variables In this case we must assume that we are trying to determine variables that are measurable in some way The list in terms of types categorical continuous dependent and independent will be discussed in subsequent lectures Categorical just means categories or nominal naming or putting people into groups market segments for example Continuous is more of interest to physicists than marketers who typically deal with discrete data Yet we often deal with ordinal and intervalscaled variables Dependent and independent variables deal with the focus of the study As the words indicate dependent variables depend on the values of the independent variable What we re often looking for here are forecasting models meant to predict the value of a dependent variable by looking at a series of associated and reflective independent variables We might want to predict homebuying behavior during the next quarter or the next year by Page 2 looking at the things that are related to future homebuying behavior such as growth in disposable income growth in investment income and consumer sentiment Slide 14 Finally the last stage in the problem definition process is to convert or translate the marketing problem into researchable objectives Those of you in an inclass version of MKTG 310 will conduct a marketing research study this semester will need to write a proposal that includes a research problem which is the marketing problem and associated research questions This translates into the research objectives Slide 15 The next three slides provide examples of research problems and associated researchable questions Slide 16 No Audio Slide 17 No Audio Slide 18 Here s a list of basic questions that marketing researchers would ask in trying to define the research problem Certainly researchers would want to know the purpose of the study Researchers would try to ascertain how much is already known because there is no reason to reinvent the wheel especially when that reinvention will be costly to the manager soliciting the study Researchers would be interested in additional background information that might be unavailable to the manager and need to assess how that information could be acquired Researchers would want to ascertain what needs to be measured and how it will be measured Are we looking at conducting survey research or are we going to do something like a focus group These are the kinds of techniques we ll discuss throughout these lectures If we are talking about information that has already been collected what we call secondary data can it be made available Sometimes that information has been collected by the company themselves but the accountants may be reluctant to rearrange it so that the marketing manager can use it for decision making There even may be issues about whether or not the research should be conducted either because it s of insufficient value or ethically problematic As researchers must develop a problem definition they ll want to express it in the most rigorous terms something called a hypothesis Slide 19 A hypothesis is a formal testable statement that can be refuted by empirical data Managers may have all sorts of hunches or guesses or beliefs about how their markets work but a hypothesis is a formal statement of a belief or hunch that can be tested rigorously by market research Slide 20 Often exploratory research is a necessary prelude to developing hypotheses It s possible that the marketing researcher may not understand the underlying process sufficiently to develop a formalized testable statement in which case exploratory research is a preliminary step Different types of exploratory research include reviews of secondary data conducting pilot studies doing indepth interviews with people who have requisite experience and case studies Page 3 Slide 21 Perhaps this slide best depicts the role of hypotheses in the research process We start with a purpose which helps to generate some research questions that are informed by exploratory research managerial experience and basic marketing theory All of these go into developing formalized hypotheses that then can be tested through marketing research Slide 22 We are finally finished with that first stage of the research process which is defining the problem Now we are onto the second stage which is to develop the research design The research design is basically the master plan for the research that will follow This specifies the research method as the basic methods that the researcher will use to conduct the necessary study Slide 23 Here s just a sample of some basic questions researchers need to ask in attempting to formulate basic research designs They need to understand the types of questions that need answering and whether or not the type of answer is the result of conducting a descriptive study which for our purposes we ll call a questionnaire or a causal type study which we ll call an experiment l ll broach both of those topics in the next lecture A researcher would need to understand the source ofthe data for conducting that research and whether or not it s possible to get the answers that are needed by merely asking people Often we discover that people are unaware of their reasons for doing things or are incapable to responding meaningfully to questions that we might pose to them regarding their preferences or opinions So it s possible that merely asking people will be insufficient or it may also be that we prefer not to ask them They may be unable to give us accurate answers and we may be able to ascertain what we need to know without asking or bothering people to fill out a questionnaire or to respond to our phone inquiries A researcher would need to know how quickly management needs the information Again marketing research can be good it can be fast it can be cheap but it can only be two out of those three simultaneously If the information is required quickly then the expense will rise markedly for an adequate quality research study If a survey is required a researcher would certainly need to know how the questions need to be worded There are all sorts of tricks of the trade in designing good surveys One final question that a researcher might think about in terms of research design is if an experiment is to be conducted then what is the experimental manipulation What will the researcher ask one group of people to respond to and how will he or she compare that response to a group of people who receive something else to respond to Slide 24 Here s a more comprehensive list of the basic questions a marketing researcher might ask when planning the design of a marketing research study Slide 25 Step three is selecting the sample forthe research Often what we re looking at in marketing research are a sample of individual customers but othertimes the sample could be households Page 4 companies or municipalities Regardless the next step is to identify the unit of analysis and to identify a sample that will have elements consistent with that unit of analysis Slide 26 Here s a list of basic questions that I ll address during my lectures on sampling and the sample design As a prelude to those lectures here s a list of those basic questions Who or what is the source of the data Can the target population be identified Target population here means population of interest Is it necessary to draw a sample lnstead is it possible to query everyone in the population in which case we re talking about a census Many of the questions regarding sample size are related to accuracy and the way in which the sample is drawn from a larger population In many commercial studies researchers are required to use commercially available lists and those lists sometimes are incredibly flawed l was forced to use one list in a study of people who recently moved and that list included people who hadn t moved in 57 years After doing a careful analysis of this 400000 sample I discovered I would have been as well off contacting people randomly via telephone In that particular case the sample was poor because the list from which it drew potential respondents was poor Researchers also may need to assess whether or not a probability or scientific sample is necessary For some research purposes convenience sampling a type of nonprobability sample is much less costly might be appropriate It s possible that only a local sample is needed or a regional sample as opposed to a national sample and that might affect the methodology used For example ifl need to draw a national sample and I m concerned about cost then I probably want to collect respondent data via mail For a local sample I can use telephone or other methods A national or international sample for example might be much better conducted by the Internet Knowing something about the scope of the sample would be useful The size of the sample is clearly important if for nothing else to keep data collection costs within budget From my experiences as a consultant I can tell you that data collection cost is a large share of total study cost Finally the research must decide on the sampling unit Slide 27 No Audio Step 4 Data Gathering Stage Slide 28 The fourth stage is collecting the data In this domain here are some basic answers l as a researcher would need I d want to know who is responsible for gathering data If it s an independent field service then I d like some control over the way in which interviewers queried respondents either by telephone or by mail I certainly if I ve been given a time horizon forthe completion of the study would like to know how long the data collection folks need to collect the data because if they take longerthan I planned then I d have less time to analyze the data and write a report I d be concerned about the level of supervision that s required For example telephone surveys typically are fielded by data collection services that have supervisors monitoring calls out of phone banks Supervision in this case is fairly straightforward For personal interviews the level of supervision may be vastly different so I d be concerned about the research company verifying that at least ten or fifteen percent of interviews were conducted as indicated by the field service workers The final answer here might entail the basic procedures that the data collection folks will follow Page 5 Slide 29 No Audio Step 5 Data Processing and Analysis Slide 30 Step five concerns the technical questions about data processing and analysis How will the data be edited and coded Extensive expertise is required if we re dealing with openended questions Alternatively if we re looking at the entry of responses to closeended questions the type of questions that are scaled 1 to 6 or 1 to 7 then minimal expertise is required How will the data be categorized My ability to analyze data depends on the way I can group it If you re conducting a research project for this course then you might like to know what kind of statistical software will be used I recommend for your class project if you need to complete one for this course that you use SPSS although you could force spreadsheet software like Excel to do the necessary analyses The nature of the data could be qualitative in which case we might be looking at people s open ended and rambling responses to questions lfwe re looking at closeended data which I ve indicated is much easier and more straightforward to analyze then we might be concerned about the number of different responses that would need to be considered simultaneously Although somewhat beyond the scope of this course marketing researchers often need to look at the effect of multiple variables on a single variable they are trying to predict Slide 31 The value of a research study is only as good as the weakest link in the chain of the process that I ve outlined throughout this lecture Even the best conceived and best conducted study will be useless if the results of that study are not meaningfully presented to management so that it can be used effectively to make the best possible decisions Slide 32 It s always a good idea to understand your audience if you re going to make a presentation so as a researcher responsible for the report writing and presentation I would want to understand these kind of issues Who is going to read my report That s critical because that determines the level of technical expertise I assume in writing it If specific recommendations are requested then I know I m responsible for making them and I need to include them and justify them in my report If I m merely providing information that managers will use to draw their own conclusions then perhaps my providing recommendations is unnecessary lf presentations are required as part of the budgeting process I might want to know to whom those presentations will be made how many I need to make and where I need to make them Finally I might want to know about a preferred format for my report The degree to which it should be formal or informal may depend on corporate culture and the need to please the managers who ordered the study The less I understand such preferences and constraints the more unlikely l ll submit the kind of report for which the managers intended to pay Slide 33 In guaranteeing that the most useable report is created it would be helpful for both the researcher and the manager to see tables of dummy results If I as the researcher can provide those dummy tables to managers then they can provide me with feedback about how helpful that particular set of tables would be to their decisionmaking process Page 6 Slide 34 Before beginning a study both the manager and researcher might ask these final checklisttype questions to confirm the wisdom of conducting that study Both the researcher and the manager might want to confirm the cost of the study as that s a critical component to its value Studies inherently require different times to complete and both the manager and the researcher would need to confirm that the timeframe for completion is acceptable If outside help is needed both the manager and researcher would need to identify that outside help and make certain it s accessible The manager and researcher must confirm that the research they plan to conduct will address the research objectives Finally given budgetary and other concerns both the researcher and the manager must confirm the starting date for the research and that the date is commensurate with the decisionmaking needs of the manager Slide 35 Here s another more detailed checklist In this case this checklist was designed for post research assessment Slide 36 To recap the marketing research process entails the following six steps which are confronted iteratively First is identifying the problem Second is specifying the required information Third is designing the data collection methodology Fourth is managing and implementing the data collection process Fifth is analyzing the results of that data collection process Sixth and by no means least important is communicating those findings effectively as well as the implications of those findings to managers Slide 37 No Audio Page 7


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