Research methods

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Intro to research methods for college or market research

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  • Information is the basis of all research. The research process involves the gathering, analysis, interpretation and presentation of information. Usually the information that marketers collect is broadly classified under three headings: Internal Information; Secondary Information and Primary Information.
  • Exploratory research Used to uncover & define the problem Once the problem has been recognised it is necessary for the researcher to understand exactly what needs to be examined It is usually small-scale, preliminary research undertaken to define the exact nature of the problem and to gain a better understanding of its environment e.g. Visit competing companies to observe their practices Review of relevant articles on trend Focus group of consumers / managers / specialists Define Research objectives Culmination of problem definition formulation Avoid things that would be “nice to know but not relevant to current project” State the precise information needed and desired to solve the marketing management problem Objectives: Guide the researcher in developing good research Must be specific Should be limited in number (approx 3) Determine management decisions and formulate research objectives Restatement of management decision-making needs in research terms State Objectives and Hypotheses Hypotheses require a relationship to be tested between two sets of empirical data
  • A plan is a blueprint for the design, execution, and monitoring of a study. A plan has to be set out in detail and be shown to all those involved in the decision and the research. The proposal is a statement of the plan comprising a discussion of the need for the study and what it will produce. Structure / framework to be used by researcher to solve research problem No right answer – many possibilities Trade-offs made between time and money and quality of information Researcher must determine descriptive or causal research All relevant parties should be involved at planning stage Descriptive Answer questions like who / what / when / where / how etc. Implies management knowledge of underlying behaviour and relationships of problem area Causal Determines whether manipulation of one variable (independent variable) will determine the value of another variable (dependent variable) Can indicate presence of association between variables but not prove that increased advertising means increased sales
  • Qualitative: Exploratory research Probing questions Small sample size Much information per respondent Specialised interviewing techniques Subjective, interpretive analysis Use of projection devices, recorders, pictures etc. Low replicability Researcher training: Psychology Sociology Consumer behaviour Quantitative Descriptive or Causal research Limited probing Large sample size Varied information per respondent Less specialised interviewer skills Statistical analysis Use of questionnaires, computers, printouts High replicability Researcher training: Statistics Marketing Computer programming
  • Research methods

    1. 1. Robert Farrell
    2. 2. • Research• Good Research• Sources of Information• Research Process
    3. 3. Systematic & Objective Collection, Analysis, Evaluation & Presentation of Information on specific issues to help management make Effective Decisions• Companies: • Students: – Monitor Performance – Learn about a topic – Better Decisions – Build a better argument – Remain Competitive – Develop a skill – Qualification
    4. 4. 1. Internal Information2. Secondary Information3. Primary Information
    5. 5. 1. Internal Information• Within the company• Staff knowledge & experience• Trend Analysis• Examples: – Trading: Price promotions – Marketing: Google Analytics – Customers: Wal Mart & Pregnant Women
    6. 6. 2. Secondary Information• Published & already exists• Be careful: opinion & referencing• Plagiarism (Name, Title, Year, Publication, Edition,Page)• Sources: – Articles & Journals – Newspapers – Government Publications – ESRI Reports, CSO – Eurostat – AC Nielsen, Dun & Bradstreet, Bloomberg – Mintel, Data Monitor, Brand Week, Amarach
    7. 7. 3. Primary Research• Generated first hand• Customised to meet the need• Can be costly• Avoid bias in design• Example: – Surveys – Questionnaires – Focus Groups – Observation – Taste test – Price promotional test
    8. 8. 11 Problem Definition Problem Definition 22 Research Design Research Design 33 Secondary Data Collection Secondary Data Collection 44 Sampling Sampling 55 Primary Data Collection Primary Data Collection 66 Data Analysis Data Analysis 77 Writing & Presentation Writing & Presentation 88 Follow Up Follow Up
    9. 9. 1. Problem Definition• Researcher & manager• This guides the research process• Exploratory research (Scoping)• Define Research objectives• State Hypotheses Competitor Perception Sales Declining Quality
    10. 10. 2. Research Design• Blueprint for the design, execution, and monitoring of a study.• Trade-offs made between time and money and quality of information• Outsource• Researcher must determine descriptive or causal research – Descriptive • For known & understood problems – Causal • Explores variables & relationship
    11. 11. Data Types• Quantitative – Mathematical analyses – Data driven – SPSS / Excel• Qualitative – Examine attitudes, motivations & feelings – Thinking & feeling questions – Difficult to draw definite conclusions – Used to elaborate upon quantitative findings
    12. 12. 3. Secondary Data Collection• Already mentioned• Research that exists & is published• Forms part of scoping and research gathering• Informs research design• Gives further insights• Use best sources• Example: Industry & State bodies
    13. 13. 4. Sampling• Subset of population• Target customer• Cheaper & quicker to examine• Must be representative• Types: – Random Sampling – Systematic Sampling (nth number) – Stratified Sampling (Demographics, Psychographics) – Cluster Sampling – Convenience Sampling• Example: – Dublin, Female, 25-30 yrs, cycling
    14. 14. 5. Primary Data Collection• Detailed field instructions ensure consistency• Survey – Structured questionnaire – Surface or in-depth• Focus Group – Uncover issues – Group Think• Observation – Example: Supermarket or Eye movement online• Experimentation – Controlled setting, Relationship between variables• Diaries – Written, Audio, Video
    15. 15. 6. Data Analysis• Interpret and draw conclusions• Depending on quantitative or qualitative• Peer review• Avoid interpreter bias
    16. 16. 7. Report Writing & Presentation• Communicate to management/client• Written & oral reports• Present in management terms, not research terms• Contents: – Research objectives & design – Summary of findings – Conclusions – Recommendations
    17. 17. 8. Follow Up• Management role: – Important to ensure that findings are utilised – Planning & Implementation – Plan, Do, Review
    18. 18. • Uncover or examine problem• Best quality research• Structured research process• Time, Cost & Effectiveness

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