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marketing research

Marketing Research

The systematic and objective identification, collection, anaylsis, dissemination, and use of information for the purpose of assisting management in decision making related to the identification and solution of problems (and opportunities) in marketing

Problem-identification research

Research that is undertaken to help identify problems that are not necessarily apparent on the surface and yet exist or are likely to arise in the future.

Problem-solving research

research undertaken to help solve specific marketign problems

Marketing Research Process

A set of six steps that define the tasks to be accomplished in conducting a marketing research study. These include problem definition, developement of an approach to the problem, research design formulation, fieldwork, data preparation and anaylsis, and report preparation and presentation.

Competitive intelligence

THe process of enhancing marketplace competitiveness through a greater understanding of a firm's competitors and the competitive environment.

Internal Supplier

Marketing reseach departments locating inside a firm

External Suppliers

Outside marketing research companies hired to supply marketing research data or services

Marketing Research industry

The marketing research industry consists of external suppliers who provide marketing research services

Full-service suppliers

Companies that offer the full range of marketing research activites

syndicated services

Companies that collect and sell common pools of data designed to serve information needs shared by a number of clients.

Customized services

Companies that tailor the research procedures to best meet the needs of each client.

Internet Services

Companies that have specialized in conducting marketing research on the internet.

Limited-Service Suppliers

Companies that specialize in one or a few phases of the marketing research project

Field Services

Companies whose primary service offering is their expertise in collecting data for research projects

Focus groups and Qualitative services

Services related to facilities, recruitment, and other services for focus groups and other forms of qualitative research, such as one-on-one depth interviews.

Technical and analytical services

Services related to design issues and computer analysis of quantitative data, such as those obtained in large surveys

Marketing information system

A formalized set of procedures for generating, analyzing, storing, and distributing pertinent information to marketing decision makers on an onging basis.

Decision Support systems

Information systems that enable decision makers to interact directly with both databases and analysis models. The important components of a DSS include hardware and a communications network, database, model base, software base, and the DSS user (decision maker)

Problem Definition

A broad statement of the general problem and identification of the specific components of the marketing research problem

Problem Audit

A comprehensive examination of a marke3ting problem to understand its origin and nature

Experience Survey

interviews with people very knowledgeable about the general topic being investigated

Key-informant Technique

Another name for expereince surveys, i.e, interviews with people very knowledgeable about the general topic being investigated

Lead- user survey

Interviews with lead users of the technology

Secondary Data

Data collected for some purpose other than the problem at hand. For other problems, rapid and easy, relatively low, short

Primary data

Data originated by the researcher specifically to address the research problem. For the problem at hand, very involved, high, long

Qualitative Research

An unstructured, exploratory research methodology based on small sample intended to provide insight and understanding of the problem setting.

Pilot Surveys

surveys that tend to be less structured than large-scale surveys in that they generally contain more open-ended questions and the sample size is much smaller

Case Studies

Case Studies involve an intensive examination of a few selected cases of the phenomenon of interest. Cases could be customers, stores, or other units

Environmental context of the problem

Consists of the factors that have an impact on the definition of the marketing research problem, including past information and forecasts, resources, and constraints of the firm, objectives of the decision maker, buyer behavior, legal environment, economic environment, and marketing and technological skills of the firm.


Goals of the organization and of the decision maker must be considered in order to conduct successful marketing research

Buyer Behavior

A body of knowledge that tries to understand and predict consumers' reactions based on an individual's specific characteristics

Legal Environment

Regulatory policies and norms within which organizations must operate

Economic Environment

consists of income, prices, savings, credit, and general economic conditions

Management Decision Problem

The problem confronting the decision maker. It asks what the decision maker needs to do.

Marketing research problem

A problem tht entails determining what information is needed and how it can be obtained in the most feasible way

Conceptual Map

A way to link the broad statement of the marketing research problem to the management decision problem.

Broad Statement

The initial statement of the marketing research problem that provides an appropriate perspective on the problem.

Specific Components

The second part of the marketing research problem definition. The specific components focus on the key aspects of the problem and provide clear guidelines on how to proceed further.


A conceptual scheme based on foundational statements, or axioms, that are assumed to be true

objective evidence

Unbiased evidence that is supported by empirical findings.

Analytical model

An explict specification of a set of variables and their interrelationships designed to represent some real system or process in whole or in part.

Verbal Models

Analytical models that provide a written representation of the relationships between variables

Graphical models

Analytical models that provide a visual picture of the relationship between variables

Mathematical models

Analytical models that expilcitly describe the relationships between variables, usually in equation form.

Research questions

refined statements of the specific components of the problem


An unproven statement or proposition about a factor or phenomenon that is of interest to the researcher

Self- reference criterion

The unconscious reference to one's own cultural values

Research Design

A framework or blueprint for conducting the marketing research project. It specifies the details of the procedures necessary for obtaining the information needed to structure and/or solve marketing research problems

Exploratory research

One type of research design, which has as its primary objective the provision of insights into and comprehension of the problem situation confronting the reseacher

Conclusive Research

Research designed to assist the decision maker in determining, evaluating, and selecting the best course of action to take in a given situation

Descriptive Research

A type of conclusive research that has as its major objective the description of something-usually market characteristics or functions

Cross-Sectional design

A type of research design involving the collection of information from any given sample of population elementsonly once.

Single cross-sectional design

in which one sample of respondents is drawn from the target population and information is obtained from this sample once.

Multiple cross-sectional design

in which there are two or more samples of respondents, and information from each sample is obtained only once

Cohort Analysis

consisting of a series of surveys conducted at appropriate time intervals. The cohort refers to the group of respondents who experience the same event within the same time interval

Longitudinal design

A type of research design involving a fixed sample of population elements that is measured repeatedly. The sample remains the same over time, thus providing a series of pictures that when viewed together, portray a vivid illustration of the situation and the changes that are taking place over time


A sample of respondents who have agreed to provide information at specified intervals over an extended period.

Causal Research

A type of conclusive research where the major objective is to obtain evidence regarding cause-and-effect (causal) relationships

Total Error

The variation between the true mean value in the population of the variable of interest and the observed mean value obtained in the marketing research project.

Random Sampling error

The error due to the particular sample selected being an imperfect respresentation of the population of interest. It may be defined as the variation between the true mean value for the sample and the true mean value of the population.

Nonsampling error

Errors that can be attributed to sources other than sampling, and they can be random or nonrandom.

nonresponse error

A type of nonsampling error that occurs when some of the respondents included in the sample do not respond. This error may be defined as the variation betweeen the true mean value ofthe variable in the original sample and the true mean value in the net sample.

Response error

A type of nonsampling error arising from respondents who do respond, but give inaccurate answers or their answers are misrecorded or misanalyzed. It may be defined as the variation between the true mean value of the variable in the net sample and the observed mean value obtained in the marketing research project.

Budgeting and scheduling

management tools needed to help ensure that the marketing research project is completed within the available resources.

Critcal Path Method

Management technique of dividing a research project into component activites, determining the sequence of these components and the time each activity will require

Program evaluation and review technique

A more sophisticated critical path method that accounts for the uncertainty in project completion times

Graphical evaluation and review technique

A sophisticated critcal path method that accounts for both the completion probabilities and the activity costs.

Marketing research proposal

The offical layout of the planned marketing research activity for management. It describes the research problem, the approach, the research design, data collection methods, data analysis methods, and reporting methods.

Internal Data

Data available within the organization for which the research is being conducted

External Data

Data that orgininate external to the organization

Database Marketing

involves the use of computers to capture and track customer profiles and purchase detail.

Online Database

Databases, stored in computers, that require a telecommunication network to access

Internet Databases

Can be accessed, searched, and analyzed on the internet. It is also possible to download data from the internet and store it in the computer or an auxillary storage device.

Offline Database

Databases that are available on diskette or CD-ROM

Biliographic Databases

Databases composed of citations to articles in Jounrals,magazines, newspaper, marketing research studies, technical reports, government documents. They often provide summaries or abstracts of the material cited.

Numeric databases

contain numerical and statistical information that may be important sources of secondary data

Full-Text Databases

Containing the complete text of secondary source documents comprising the database.

Directory Databases

Provide information on individuals, organizations, and services.

Special-purpose databases

Contain information of a specific nature. Data on a specialized industry.

Syndicated services (sources)

information services offered by marketing research organizations that provide information from a common database to different firms that suscribe to their serivces.

Syndicated Panel Surveys

measure the same group of respondents over time but not necessarily on the same variables.


Quantified psychologial profiles of individuals.


May be defined as a distinctive pattern of living that is described by the activities people engage in, the interests they have, and the opinions they hold of themselves and the world around them.


A data-gathering technique in which respondents record their purchases online or in a diary.

Media Panels

A data-gathering technique that is comprised of samples of respondents whose television viewing behavior is automatically recorded by electronic devices, supplementing the purchase information recorded online or in a diary.

Scanner Data

Data obtained by passing merchandise over a laser scanner that reads the UPC code from the packages

Volume Tracking data

Scanner Data that provides information on purchases by brand, size, price, and flavor or formulation

Scanner Panels

Scanner data where panel members are identified by an ID card allowing each panel member's purchases to be stored with respect to that individual shopper.

Scanner Panels with Cable TV

The combination of a scanner panel with manipulations of the advertising that is being broadcast by cable television companies


A data collection process derived from physical records or by performing inventory analysis. Data are collected personally by the researcher or by respresentatives of the researcher, and the data are based on counts, usually of physical objects other than people

Industry Services

Provide syndicated data about industrial firms, businesses, and other institutions.

Single-Source data

An effort to combine data from different sources by gathering integrated information on household and marketing variables applicable to the same set of respondents.

Computer mapping

Maps that solve marketing problems are called thematic maps. They combine geography with demographic information and a company's sales data or other proprietary information and are generated by a omputer.


A motivational technique used when asking survey questions to induce the respondents to enlarge on,clarify or explain thier answers and to help the respondents to focus on the specific content of the interview.

Sampling Control

An aspect of supervision that ensures that the interviewers strictly follow the sampling plan rather than select sampling units based on convenience or accessibility.

Qualitative Research

An unstructured exploratory research methodology based on small sample thst provides insights and understanding of the problem setting.

Quantitative Research

A research methodology that seeks to quantify the data and, typically, applies some form of statistical anaylsis

Direct Approach

One type of qualitative research in which the purposes of the project are disclosed to the respondent or are obvious, given the nature of the interview.

Indirect Approach

A type of Qualitative research in which the purposes of the project are disguised from the respondents

Focus group

An interview conducted y trained moderator among a small group of respondents in an unstructured and natural manner


A focus group technique using a telecommunications network

Depth Interview

An unstructured, direct, personal interview in which a single respondent is probed by a highly skilled interviewer to uncover underlying motivations, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings on a topic.


A technique for conducting depth interviews in which a line of questioning proceeds from the product characteristics to user charateristics.

Hidden Issues Questioning

A type of depth interview that attempts to locate personal sore spots related to deeply felt personal concerns

Symbolic analysis

A technique for conducting depth interviews in which the symbolic meaning of objects is analyzed by comparing them with their opposites.

Grounded Theory

An inductive and more structured approach in which each subsequent depth interview is adjusted based on the cumulative findings from previous depth interviews with the purpose of developing general concepts or theories.

Protocol interview

In a protocol interview,a respondent is placed in a decision-making situation and asked to verbalize the process and the ativities that he or she would undertake to make the decision

Projective technique

An unstructured and indirect form of questioning that encourages the respondents to project their underlying motivations, beliefs, attitudes, or feelings regarding the issues of concern.

Association techniques

A type of projective technique in which the respondent is presented with a stimulus and asked to respond with the first thing that comes to mind.

Word Association

A projective technique in which respondents are presented with a list of words, one at a time. After each word, they are asked to give the first word that comes to mind.

Completion Technique

A projective technique that requires the respondent to complete an incomplete stimulus situation

Sentence Completion

A projective technique in which respondents are presented with a number of incomplete sentences and asked to complete them.

Story completion

A projective technique in which the respondents are provided with part of a story and required to give the conclusion in their own words

Construction technique

A projective technique in which the respondent is required to construct a response in the form of a story, dialogue, or description

Picture response technique

A projective technique in which the respondent is shown a picture and asked to tell a story describing it.

Cartoon tests

Cartoon characters are shown in a specific situation related to the problem. The respondents are asked to indicate the dialogue that one cartoon character might make in response to the comments of another character.

Expressive technique

Projective techniques in which the respondent is presented with a verbal or visual situation and asked to relate the feelings and attitudes of other people to the situation.

Role playing

Respondentsare asked to assume the behavior of someone else.

Third Person technique

A projective technique in which the respondent is presented with a veral or visual situation ans asked to relate the beliefs and attitudes of a third person to the situation.

Marketing Research fit

Customer groups- consumers, employees, sharholders, suppliers. Controlling market variables: Product,Price, Promotion, Distribution. Uncontrollable environmental factors:economy, technology, law and regulations, social & cultural factors, political factors.Marketing Managers: market segmentation, target market selection, marketing programs, performance and control. Also assessing information needs, Providing information and Marketing decision making.

Problem Definition

Step 1: Problem definition- Management Decision problem &Marketing research problem Step 2- Approach to the problem-Theory-model-research questions-hypotheses-specific information needed. Step 3- Research Design

Management Decision problem

-asks what the decision maker needs to do
- Action oriented
-Focuses on sympotoms
-Broad and general

Marketing Research Problem

Asks what information is needed and it should be obtained
-Information oriented
-Focuses on the causes
- Narrow and specific

Relationships among different research

Start with Exploratory folowed by descriptive and then causal research.

surrogate information error Type of response error

Selecting wrong variable to answer question

Measurement error

Measuring wrong variable by selecting incorrect measure. response error

Population Definition error

Difference between atual population and that defined by the researcher. Response error

Sampling frame error

Sample frame does not align with population Response error

Data Analysis error

Using inappropriate statisticla procedures. response error

Respondent selection error

Interviewers do not follow selection protocol. Interviewer errors

Questioning Error

Errors in asking questions or not following up. Interviewer error

Recording error

Errors in interpreting answers or recording answers. Interviewer errors

Cheating errors

Interviewer fabricates answers. Interviewer errors

Inability error

Respondent is not able to provide accurate answers. Respondent error

Unwillingness Error

Respondent is unwilling to provide acurate answers. respondent error

Web Analytics

involve closely monitoring and measuring visitor behavior, customer feedback, desired outcomes, and competitive contest in order to make smarter decisions about online strategies

Conversion Goals

Transactional goals- merchandising
Engagement goals- Informational

Data Discovery

ability to probe the data

Focus Group Moderator

Kindness with firmness
Incomplete understanding

Planning a Focus group

1. Determine objective and define problem
2. Specify ojectives of qualitative research
3. State objectives/questions answered by group
4. write a screening questionaire
5. Develop a moderator's outline
6. Conduct a focus group interviews
7. review tapes and analyze the data
8. summarize the findings and plan follow-up research or action

two-way focus group

One target group to listens and learns from a related group.

Dual-moderator group

A focus group conducted by two moderators: One moderator is responsible for the smooth flow of the session, and the other ensures that specific issues are discussed.

Dueling-moderator group

There are two moderators, but they deliberately take opposite positions on the issues to be discussed.

REspondent-moderator group

moderator asks selected participants to play the role of moderator temporarily to improve group dynamics.

Client-participant group

Client personnel are identified and made part of the discussion group

mini group

These groups consist of a moderator and only 4 or 5 respondents

Telesession groups

Focus group session by phone using te conference call technique.

Online focus groups

Focus groups conducted online over the internet.

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