Studies involving a small number of individuals, such as focus groups or in-depth one-to-one interviews. The primary tool in qualitative research is the focus group, including online focus groups/ teleconferences. One-on-one interviews used to delve more deeply into the topic.
Studies involving ‘a lot’ of people. Uses statistical average techniques such as mean ratings, and statistical tools such as sampling error and standard error to analyse data. There is no stated number of people who must be interviewed to make a study quantitative, but samples of 100 or more are usually considered quantitative.
Interpretation should not be left only to the researchers, the marketing manager may know more about the problem and the decisions that need to be made.
Interpretation is very important as even the best designed research is meaningless if incorrect interpretations are blindly accepted.
Managers must also guard against biased interpretations, and not reject those that are not exactly what they had expected.
MR in Small Business and Non-Profit Organisations
Managers often think that marketing research can be undertaken only by large companies with big research budgets. But many MR techniques can also be used by smaller organisations in a less formal manner and at little or no expense.
Informal surveys using small convenience samples .
Meaningful marketing information can be obtained simply by observing what is happening.
Managers can conduct their own simple experiments.
Small organisations can obtain most of the secondary data available to large businesses.
International marketing research follows the same steps as domestic research.
International markets will generally present more problems because they often vary greatly in areas such as, economic development; cultures and customs; and buying patterns.
Good secondary data is often more difficult to obtain in these situations.
Public Policy and Ethics in Marketing Research
When properly used, marketing research benefits both the sponsoring company and its customers. It helps the company to make better marketing decisions, which in turn results in products and services that meet the needs of consumer more effectively. However, when misused, marketing research can also abuse and annoy customers e.g.
Intrusions on consumer privacy.
Misuse of research findings (used selectively).
In many countries codes of practice outline researchers’ responsibilities to the general public.