Research Methods for Marketing Decisions a) Understanding the market Marketing research helps in identifying some aspects of the market that are extremely beneficial in understanding how it works. This has to do with understanding the population of the market, from the potential buyers to sellers. It is able to identify the customers that one is dealing with, their taste and preferences, other sellers in the market, the products they offer, and their regulations. This helps leaders to adjust and fit their firms’ interests together with those of consumers and develop better strategies than the consumers. b) Understanding competitor’s activities Marketing research brings into light the practice aspects of other seller firms.
It shows aspects such as what the competitors offer and how they offer. It also accounts for the feelings of consumers on the competitors’ offers and their opinions on the same. Also, shows the marketing and selling strategies offered by the consumers. This enables a firm to plan and strategize better than the competitor to win over the market. c) Evaluating the effectiveness of our advertisement campaign Through market research, it is easy to identify the effects that the advertisement campaigns employed by the firm had on the market. It becomes possible to talk to the market population and evaluate their thoughts about the firms’ advertisements so as to know whether it had a positive or negative effect on the market. A view of sales and public relations graph indicator where a rise would indicate the desired effect of the advertisements is a perfect result.
An advert campaign is successful when the sales gains exceed the expenses of running the advertisements. d) Perception of our pricing strategy In a market, the pricing strategy of a firm significantly affects its impacts and popularity thus its profitability. Market research establishes the views of consumers on the pricing of the firms’ products. It also compares the pricing strategy of the firm with other firms considering other factors such as the qualities and quantities of the different firms’ mutual products. e) Perception of our products attributes Through market research, products of a firm get to compete with other products of competitor firms.
The information obtained can evaluate the consumer interests and opinions of the two firms’ products. This is handy in improving the firms’ products attribute to fit the consumer needs and to beat the competitor firms’ products (Joselyn, 1977: p. 25). A.2 Factors affecting choice of sample a) The distribution of the population This is because to one needs to have a sample that would incorporate the population of the research subject. This investigates the distribution of the population such us whether it is sparse, concentrated in one area, or in small clusters. b) The population demographic and their distribution This is to say that all the aspect characteristics of the population need to be in the sample and such a selected sample should have the ability to incorporate all those aspects. c) The size and budgetary acceptability of the research exercise This is to say that the sample is also considered in terms of availability of resources to control it and within its budgetary constraints (Dillon, 1994: p.
56). A3. Five reasons why organizations should spend time gathering Secondary data prior to undertaking primary research It is much cheaper to collect secondary data than it is to conduct primary research. Given the same amount of budgetary commitments it yields more and better information and on a research subject can be obtained through secondary research than in primary research. The time required to obtain secondary data is less than that needed to collect primary data.
Obtaining primary data through research requires a process of collection and processing the data while secondary data is ready and available for evaluation. Secondary data play exceptionally crucial roles in the explanatory stage of research in defining the research problem and hypothesis. This proves that the researcher has knowledge of the subject and technique he is using. In population definition, primary data are tremendously beneficial. It can play crucial roles in defining the population and structuring the sample to be taken by the research study. More accurate data can be obtained from secondary data as opposed to primary data.
This is not always the case, but in most cases, it is true. Therefore, it always appropriate to review secondary data before primary research (Green, 1993: p. 66). A4. For each situation, describe whether the research should be explanatory, descriptive or casual a) Examining the functional relationship between advertising and sales Here, causal research would be best as it describes the relationship between the two variables. b) Investigating reactions to the idea of a new method of defense budgeting. Here, causal research would be best as it describes the relationship between the two variables. That is the effects of the new ideas and the risen reactions. c) Identifying target market demographics for a shopping center. Descriptive research tends to describe the nature of the market to determine availability of shopping center target markets. d) Estimating price of IBM stock for two years in the future. Causal research here would be best as it would describe the reasons for the rise in stock hence able to project the rate and amounts of increase. e) Learning how many organizations are actively involved in just-in-time production. Descriptive research is best used here as it tends to describe the nature of the firms in production. f) Learning the extent of job satisfaction in a company. Explanatory research is best here as it describes the degree of effect of satisfaction of jobs in the company in relation to other factors (Dillon, 1994: p.
22). A5. State five criteria for selecting external research agencies 1. Agency with a reputation for integrity. 2. Agency with a long term active experience. 3. The suitability of an agency for the project at hand. 4. The progressiveness nature of the project. 5. Indication of agency ability to conduct project objectives. B1. Define following terms and give examples to interpret answers a) Total survey errors This refers to a framework that is conceptually applied to evaluate the various forms of survey errors from the design process and describes the quality after completion. b) Loaded questions This refers to questions that carry with them unjustified controversial assumptions such as the presumption of guilt of a person in an incident.
Such questions may be used as rhetorical tools and are also unintentional logical fallacies. These questions are an attempt to limit the surface of direct replies form respondents. Such as asking a person, “have you stopped stealing. ” Either the person answers yes, or no he still incriminates himself. c) Conjoint analysis This refers to a statistical approach used in market researching in order to assess the value of various features constituting a product or service to different individuals in a society. The aim is to get a perfect combination of different products attribute that are cost effective. Such as opting to serve chicken with salad as opposed to with fries considering consumer interests point out so (Mader, 1993: p.
22). d) Cluster sampling This refers to a sampling technique applied where there appears to be natural groupings in a statistical population set. Here, the total population is into the clusters, and a sample from the clusters is selected. The information is then collected from this group. Very cost effective and mostly applied in market research. e) Factor analysis This refers to a method of statistics used to show differences among observed, correlated aspects in terms of potentially lower numbers of unobserved factors that are uncorrelated (Braham, 2004: p. 44). B2. Fast Foods Customer Satisfaction Level Questionnaire a) Questionnaire Directions: Please put a tick on the rating you set for each service under the questions and a brief answer where applicable. Thank you. 1.
How often do you visit our restaurant? Never. Rarely. Often. Very often. 2. How do you rate our environment and location? (in terms of accessibility, health and safety regulations). Poor. Fair. Good. Excellent. 3. What trends have you observed in quality of service with every visit? Standard. Deteriorating. Improving. 4. Please give a rating on our customer order response time. Poor. Fair. Good. Excellent. 5. What do you think about the quality of our food and drinks? Poor. Fair. Good. Excellent. 6. Have you ever had any complaints on the quality or quantity of our products or services? Never. Once. Few times. Several times. 7. How do you rate our staff relation to customers? Poor. Fair. Good. Excellent. 8. Are you satisfied with the quantity of our foods? Never. Sometimes. Always. 9. How do you rate the attention you receive form our staff? Poor.
Fair. Good. Excellent. 10. What suggestions do you have to help improve the quality of service delivery? ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… b) Identify and explain five things to avoid in designing a questionnaire One needs to avoid the use of complex language terms and questions. This is because people will shy away from such questions and others will be uneasy to answer, and this might affect the intended objective. One should avoid the use of leading questions. These are questions that tend to give an idea or general direction in which one should respond to the question. The questionnaire should not be biased in nature. This is to mean that there are always two sides to every situation and questions should be accommodating to expression of views from either side. The questionnaire should be short and precise.
The inclusion of long sentences and questions is tiring and discourages people from engaging in the exercise. One should avoid the use of questions or information that directly incriminates a person or place. This tends to discourage responses as people do not like associating in ruining others (Roberts, 1983: p. 5). Bibliography Braham, G. (2004). Philosophy: Critical Thinking. London: Routledge Publishing. Bland, K. (1998). Statistics Notes: Cluster Sampling. New York: Columbia University Press. Dillon, W. (1994). Research Methods: Research Types and Methodologies.
NJ, Hoboken: Wiley- Blackwell. Green, P. (1993). Marketing Research: Research Methods for Marketing Decisions. New York: Prentice Hall. Joselyn, R. (1977). Marketing Research: Designing the Marketing Research. New York: Holbrooke printing press. Marder, E. (1999). Market analysis: Assumptions in Conjoint Analysis. London: Routledge Publishing Roberts, M. (1983). Market analysis: Use of Questionnaires in Research. London: Routledge Publishing.