-Five-Step Marketing Research Approach:

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1) Define the problem

a) Set the research obj
i. Exploratory research provides ideas about a relatively vague problem.
ii. Descriptive research generally involves trying to find the frequency that something occurs or the extent of a relationship between two factors.
iii. Casual research determines the extent to which the change in one factor changes another one.
b) Identify possible marketing actions
i. Measure of success: criteria or standards used in evaluating proposed solutions to the problem

2) Develop the research plan

a) Specify the constraints (restrictions placed on potential solutions to a problem) on the marketing research actiivty
b) Identify the data needed for marketing decisions
i. Concepts (ideas about products or services); new-product concepts( picture or verbal description of a product or service the firm might offer for sale)
ii. Methods (approaches that can be used to collect data to solve all or part of a problem)
c) Determine how to collect data
i. sampling-select a grp of distributors, customers, or prospects and treating the info they provide as typical of all those in whom they are interested
ii. statistical reference - generalize results from the sample to much larger groups of distributors, customers, or prospects to help decide on marketing actions

3) Collect relevant information (data-facts and figures related to the problem)

a. Obtain secondary data (facts and figs that have already been recorded before the project at hand)
i. Internal: sales breakdowns, customer inquiries and complaints
ii. External: Census, Economic Census, trade associations, universities, business periodicals, syndicated panels (data collection over time)
+tremendous time savings and low cost and greater level of detail
-may be out of date, def/cat might not be quite right for project, may not be specific enough
b. Obtain primary data (facts and figs that are newly collected for the project)
-Observational data: observe how ppl behave
i. Mechanical methods: through technology
ii. Personal method: mystery shopper (paid to check on quality/pricing/quality), watching consumers in person, videotaping, ethnographic research (trained observers seek to discover subtle behavioral and emotional reactions as consumers encounter products in their "natural use environement")
iii. Neuromarketing methods: brain scanning to analyze buying process
-asking ppl (questionnaire date: facts and figs obtained by asking ppl about their attitudes, awareness, intentions, and behaviors)
i. individual interview (single researcher asking respondentcan probe for additional ideas but expensive)
ii. depth interview (indivl interviewer asks lengthy, free-flowing kinds of questions)
iii. focus groups: informal session of 6-10 past, present, or prospective customers are asked about their opinions on company's and competitor's products
iv. idea evaluation: marketing researcher tries to test ideas discovered earlier to help the marketing manager recommend marketing actions; involve surveys of large samples
online surveys: +lower cost, shorter turnaround time, -"spam", blocked, can retake surveys
v. mall intercept interview: personal interview of consumers visiting shopping centers (+less costly, flexible; -may not be representative)
open ended question: allow respondents to express opinions, ideas, or behaviors in their own words w/o being forced to choose among alternatives that have been predetermined
closed end/fixed alternative questions: requires respondents to select one or more response options from a set of predetermined choices
dichotomous questions: yes or no
scale: three or more choices
semantic differential scale: 5-pt scale in which the opposite ends have one- or two-word adjectives that have opposite meanings
Likert scale: extent to which agree/disagree
c. Primary data: other sources
i. Social networks:
ii. Panels (sample of consumers or stores from which researchers take a series of measurements; disadv: often need to replace drop outs) and experiments (obtaining data by manipulating factors under tightly controlled conditions to test cause and effect-use test markets which offer a product for sale in a small geographic area to help evaluate potential market actions)
d. Use info tech (involves operating computer networks that can store and process data) and data mining (extraction of hidden predictive info from large databases to find statistical links bw consumer purchasing pattern

4) Develop findings

a) Analyze data
b) Present findings

5) Take Marketing actions

a) Make action recommendations
b) Implement the action recommendations
c) Evaluate results
i. Evaluate the decision itself: monitoring the marketplace to determine if action is necessary in the future
ii. Evaluate the decision process used

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