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OECD (2007): OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2007, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Paris, p. Complete the form below to receive an email with the authorization code needed to reset your password. The marketing research process is carried out according to a designated series of steps which are required to be taken in a chronological order. The first step in a marketing research process is to define the problem chosen for investigation. Generally, it has been observed that poor definition of research problem is the result of faulty assignment of problem by the top management.
Informal investigation refers to the discussion with a few selected customers, dealers, top management personnel of the company, and other particles concerned with the problem. Although the situation analysis and informal investigation are simple activities, yet they are of critical importance in the research process. It is always in the fitness of things that the researcher attempts to look into sources of secondary data before starting to collect primary data. Of course, it is essential to collect primary data if the secondary is not sufficiently available.
The researcher while collecting the information, is looking for, a good research design and suitable research instruments. First step in the sampling plan is to decide the universe or population (the whole collection of items to be studied by the researcher). Sampling unit: Perhaps the basic thing to be decided is the sampling unit (who is to be surveyed?). Sample size: The second issue to be decided is the sample size (how many units to be surveyed?).
Contact Method: The last but not the least issue to be decided in the sampling plan is to determine the contact method (media) (How the selected units be approached?). Once the researcher has finalized the problem definition and research design, he must conduct the actual data collection operation.
The people (sampling units) whom the researcher wants to interview during his visit may not be available at home. The researcher may find the respondents at home but he may not obtain the desired co-operation from them.
The interviewers may also introduce different type of bias in the answers owing to mere fact of their age, sex, manner, or intention.
All these fieldwork problems can minimized or eliminated even, if we select, train, compensate, control, evaluate, and maintain the field force though a carefully designed method. In order to extract meaningful information from the data collected the data analysis interpretation is carried out.
The analysis is basically aimed at giving inferences of association of differences between the various variables present in the research. After the collected data is analyzed and interpreted, the job of marketing researcher is to present research results, in the form of a systematically typed printed report. Enter your e-mail and subscribe to our newsletter for special discount offers on homework and assignment help.
These steps may be categorised into 3 broad phases, which represent a simplified innovation process. For example, if the top management of company is interested in investigating the reasons for declining sales, the marketing manager may ask the marketing research executive to investigate everything regarding the sales. The problem illustrated above is of exploratory nature, the major emphasis of which is on gathering new ideas or insights into it. Research design is the basic framework which provides guidelines for the rest of research process. The secondary data refer to those data which are gathered for some other purpose and are already available in the firm’s internal records and commercial, treade, or government publications (For details on secondary data see Chapter6).
All too often, it has been observed that firms (researchers) had wasted a lot of time and money on collection of primary data, while the secondary data were already available in time.
The primary data can colleted by three methods: (1) observation, (2) experimentation, and (3) surveys.
For example, in the case of declining sales of diesel engines, Kirloskar’s investigators may go and mix up with the farmers using the engine.
For example, in our preceding case of declining sales of Kirloskar diesel engines, we may consider that advertising used is not effective enough and is not able to stop the declining sales.


With the use of surveys, we can gather a wide range of valuable information on overt behavior of the consumer, viz., attitudes, motive, and opinions, the earlier two methods (observation and experiment) are not capable to yield such information. When observation method for data collection is used, the researcher may make use of instruments, viz., cameras, tape recorders, VCRs, tally sheets, etc. For example, in a survey on the attitudes towards the use of toilet soaps with reference to a specific brand; whiter husband, wives, children, or a combination of all of them is to be surveyed?
The researcher in such a situation may either call back later or substitute another house just adjacent or next door. If the researcher is carefully selected and trained, he amy use his tactics to persuade the respondents. In addition, there may be conscious bias created by the interviewer owing to his dishonesty. The research director can check on telephone or y personal visit to a few of the persons claimed to have been interviewed by the researcher. The analysis can be conducted by using simple statistical tools like percentages, averages and measures fo dispersion. A specifically designed format must be used for research report preparation and result pres-entation.
The marketing manager, in the problem assignment has not spec tined which aspects (viz., production planning.
After understanding the nature of the broblem a preliminary analysis may be carried out applying the techniques. Generally he problem and proposed techniques to solve it are thoroughly discussed with a panel of experts and respondents. Therefore, it is creditable to mention at this point the researcher should attentively carry out these research activities.
After reveling the purpose of study to the respondents, enquiries are made and data are collected. The primary data, using any of these three above-mentioned methods, can be collected from any population comprised any type of respondent groups like customers, middlemen, competitors, salesmen, company employees, etc. The researchers has to select a relevant fraction of the population which is a representative of the entire population or universe. Sampling procedure depends upon the research objectives to be accomplished through the investigation. Even if they cooperate, respondents may sometimes give blazed or misleading answers to the questions asked by the researcher.
Every interviewer tries to finish his quota of interview as quickly as possible and also at a cheapest possible cost. If the interviewers are told beforehand that such checks will be conducted to test their sincerity, the interviewers may avoid the intentional falsification of interviews. Alter natively, the collected data may be analyzed by using simple statistics graphs, charts, pictures, etc. We mat adopt with modification a generally suggested report format encompassing the following sequence: (1) Title page, (2) Table of Contents, (3) Preface, (4) Foreword (introduction and need for the study with a review of literature). Special attention is paid to the process of research and development (R&D), which in many cases builds a corner-stone of innovation.
In indirect observation method researcher does not are reveal the purpose of study and observes the respondents as a stranger. Whereas in survey method, questionnaire is the instrument most frequently used and yields the most satisfactory results. Generally, in exploratory study a sample less than 1 per cent is sufficient to provide reliable results. There can be choice between probability and non-probability sampling producer may be justified. However, the most commonly used methods in the Indian conditions are mail surveys and personal interview. But whether the subsititituted house is just replica of the sampled house, is a question which puzzles the marketing research experts. They do so either to finish the interview quickly or for not revealing the actual personal details. The editing coding, and tabulating is a must when the interviewer has amassed a huge amount of data concerning the research project at hand. For example, in the problem declining sales, we may select a few academicians, practitioners, customers, dealers, competitors, sales staff etc., and discuss the research proposal with them.


The researcher specifically pinpoints that to carry our research properly; (i) how would the data be collected , (ii) which instruments for data collection would be sued, and (iii) what sampling plan would be used?
For example, if we are interested to know the shopping habits of the people, we can carry out observation of buyers in a general store.
In one market, we may doable the advertising expenditure, in second we may reduce it to half and in third we may keep it constant (normal). Though we have dealt with the construction of questionnaire in greater detail in a later chapter of this book yet, it is creditable to mention here that a great care is required to be taken while dealing with certain aspects of questionnaire such as: (i) types of questions to be asked, (ii) number and form of questions, (iii) wording of questions, and (iv) sequencing of questions. Whereas in motivation research, a sample of fewer than thirty respondents for indepth interview is usually sufficient to reveal the significant aptitudes or a large group of consumers. However, for an accurate estimate of the population characteristics a random or probability sampling procedure may be used because it lends itself or the application of various statistical tests.
The personal interviews, though costly, yield the most satisfactory results in a research work. It is generally accepted that a bias may intrude into the results of the research owing to substitution.
The researcher must establish a good rapport by talking informally on other issues of mutual interest first and encourage benefit both parties.
He may fill up all his questionnaires by himself sitting at his own residence claiming not-at-homes or refusal to co-operate. The researcher has to carefully decide and make a choice from the group of different alternatives available to him. In direct observation, we tell the purpose of study to people being investigated and get informally mixed up with themes, as a buyer.
After the stipulated time period we may record the sales effect of advertising keeping all other variables constant (controlled).
The construction of a good questionnaire is an art and takes considerable time for a professional researcher. In any situation , the sample size must not be increased more than 10 per cent of the universes.
It depends upon he nature of the research project and accuracy demanded that whether the probability or non-probability sampling procedure is better. In India, the telephone survey does not yield good results because many homes do not have telephones and respondents do not reveal detains on the telephone owing to their personal security reasons.
And assuring hem that nothing will be made public and data given by them will be used purely for academic purposes only. Therefore, the marketing manager should have specifically told the investigation that the latter should study product planning, pricing policies, distribution policies, promotion policies, or other policies of marketing management affecting the sales. Whereas in indirect observation, we do not reveal the purpose of investigation to the respondents. The researcher must carefully weigh the two available alternatives while deciding about the sampling procedure. The most complicated and sophisticated analysis is to attempt multivariate analysis on the available data by using advanced statistical techniques, viz., multiple-regression analysis, multiple correlation analysis, discriminate analysis, factor of data may be extracted from the analysis thus conducted. Thus before assigning it to the marketing researcher, there problem at hand must be define clearly. Situation analysis is useful to take note of the factors affecting the marketing operations in a business organization. We tell it to the owner of shop and sit down silently to note the purchasing behavior of people. The conclusion, summary and recommendations of research are based on the statistical analysis and inferences drawn. For example, influence of accompanying children on shopping patterns of a housewife can be observed in a general store. For example, if Kirloskars have to find out reasons for the declining sales of their diesel engines, they must analyze the problem situation in view of above mentioned factors.



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