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marketing research

the process of collecting and analyzing information in order to recommend actions


a conscious choice from among 2 or more alternatives

decision making

the act of choosing from alternatives

measures of success

criteria or standards used in evaluating proposed solutions to a problem


restrictions placed on potential solutions to a problem


ideas about products or services

new-product concept

a picture or verbal description of a product/service the firm might offer to sell


the approaches that can be used to collect data to solve all or part of a problem


the facts and figures related to a problem

secondary data

facts and figures that have already been recorded before the project at hand. Advantages are tremendous time savings because the data have already been collected and low cost, such as free or inexpensive Census reports. Disadvantages are that data may be out of date, definitions or categories might not be quite right, and if collected for another purpose, may not be specific enough.

primary data

facts and figures that are newly collected for a project

syndicated panel

data economically answer questions that require consistent data collection over time

observational data

facts and figures obtained by watching, either mechanically or in person, how people behave

ethnographic research

a specialized observational approach in which trained observers seek to discover subtle behavioral and emotional reactions as consumers encounter products in their "natural use environment" such as their home or car

questionnaire data

facts and figures obtained by asking people about their attitudes, awareness, intentions, and behaviors

focus groups

informal sessions of 6-10 past, present, or prospective customers in which a discussion leader, or moderator asks their opinions about the firm's and its competitors products, how they use these products and special needs they have that the products don't address


what managers are responsible for, it means delivering the results in clear pictures and if possible a signle page

sales forecast

the total sales of a product that a firm expects to sell during a specified time period under specified conditions

Five Step Marketing Approach

Define the Problem, Develop the Research plan, Collect Relevant Information, Develop Findings, Take Marketing Actions

Special Methods to Marketing

Sampling and Statistical Inference

Define the Problem

Set research objectives, identify possible marketing actions

Develop the Research Plan

Specify Constraints, Identify data needed for marketing actions, determine how to collect data

Collect Relevant Information

Obtain secondary data, Obtain primary data

Develop Findings

Analyze the data, Present the findings

Take Marketing Actions

Make action recommendations, Implement action recommendations, Evaluate Results

Internal Secondary Data

Financial Statements, research reports, files, customer letters, sales call reports, and customer lists

External Secondary Data

US Census Reports, trade association studies and magazines, business periodicals, and internet-based reports

Open Ended Question

Allows respondents to express opinions, ideas or behaviors in their own words without being forced to choose among alternatives that have been predetermined by a marketing researcher. This information is invaluable because it captures the voice of respondents

Closed End or Fixed Alternative Questions

Require respondents to select one or more response options from a set of predetermined choices. Examples are dichotomous questions and scales

Dichotomous Question

The simplest form of a fixed alternative question that allows only a yes or no response

Semantic differential Scale

Five point scale in which the opposite ends have one or two word adjectives that have opposite meanings. For example one end of the scale says tasty and the other says not tasty, and you pick which of the five spaces is closest to your personal feelings about whatever they are asking you about

Likert Scale

A scale in which the respondent indicates the extent to which he or she agrees or disagrees with a statement


A sample of consumers or stores from which researchers take a series of measurements.


Involves obtaining data by manipulating factors under tightly controlled conditions to test cause and effect. The interest is in whether changing one of the independent variables will cause the behavior of the dependent variable that is studied.

Independent Variable

The factor in an experiment that is manipulated ( the cause). Sometimes referred to as the marketing drivers.

Dependent Variable

The observed part of an experiment to see how it is impacted by a change in the independent variable. The ideal example is a change in the purchases.

Information Technology

Involves operating computer networks that can store and process data. Use data collected from this to create databases called data warehouses.

Sensitivity Analysis

Marketers use this to ask hypothetical questions to determine how hypothetical changes in product or brand drivers, the factors that influence the buying decisions of a household or organizations, can affect sales.

Data Mining

The extraction of hidden predictive information from large databases to find statistical links between consumer purchasing patterns and marketing actions.

Direct Forecast

Estimating the value to be forecast without any intervening steps.

Lost Horse Forecast

Involves starting with the last known value of the item being forecast, listing the factors that could affect the forecast, assessing whether they have a positive or negative impact, and making the final forecast.

Survey of Buyers' Intentions Forecast

Involves asking prospective customers if they are likely to buy the product during some future time period. For industrial products with few prospective buyers, this can be effective.

Salesforce Survey Forecast

Involves asking the firm's salespeople to estimate sales during a coming period. Because these people are in contact with customers and are likely to know what customers like and dislike, there is logic to this approach. However salespeople can be unreliable forecasters--painting too rosy a picture if they are enthusiastic about anew product and too grim a forecast if their sales quota and future compensation are based on it.

Trend Extrapolation

Using past sales data, you fit a line to the data and extend it based on an equation to attempt to predict future sales.

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