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The basic steps used to conduct marketing research are shown in FigureA 10.6, a€?Steps in the Marketing Research Processa€?.
Therea€™s a saying in marketing research that a problem half defined is a problem half solved. In what sales channels did revenues fall (or rise): Were there fewer (or more) referrals from professors or other students? Among what demographic groups did your revenues fall (or rise)a€”women or men, people with certain majors, or first-year, second-, third-, or fourth-year students?
The key is to look at all potential causes so as to narrow the parameters of the study to the information you actually need to make a good decision about how to fix your business if revenues have dropped or whether or not to expand it if your revenues have exploded. To survey college professors who teach 100- and 200-level math courses to determine why the number of students referred for tutoring dropped in the second semester. Market research aggregators buy research reports from other marketing research companies and then resell them in part or in whole to other companies so they dona€™t have to gather primary data.
The Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan also conducts periodic surveys and publishes information about trends in the United States. When you are gathering secondary information, ita€™s always good to be a little skeptical of it.
What does the person or organization that gathered the information have to gain by doing so?
An exploratory research designexploratory research designA less-structured type of research design used to initially investigate a marketing research project that hasna€™t yet been defined well enough for an in-depth study to be conducted. The depth interviewdepth interviewAn exploratory research technique of engaging in detailed, one-on-one, question-and-answer sessions with potential buyers.a€”engaging in detailed, one-on-one, question-and-answer sessions with potential buyersa€”is an exploratory research technique. Obtain contact information for the participants and send out invitations (usually e-mails are most efficient). Choose a location in which to hold the focus group and the method by which it will be recorded. A case studycase studyA study that looks at how another company, or companies, solved a problem being researched. Two other types of qualitative data used for exploratory research are ethnographies and projective techniques. Projective techniquesprojective techniqueAn exploratory research technique used to reveal information research respondents might not reveal by being asked directly.
Watch the video to see a funny spoof on the usefulnessa€”or lack of usefulnessa€”of focus groups.
Anything that can be observed and counted falls into the category of descriptive research design. A strictly descriptive research design instrumenta€”a survey, for examplea€”can tell you how satisfied your customers are. Causal research designcausal research designA type of research design that examines cause-and-effect relationships to allow researchers to answer a€?what ifa€? types of questions.
You might think setting up an experiment in a virtual world such as the online game Second Life would be a viable way to conduct controlled marketing research. An experiment conducted in a natural setting such as a store is referred to as a field experimentfield experimentA marketing research experiment conducted in a natural setting such as a store versus a simulated setting in a laboratory or on a computer.. If the behavior of buyers is being formally observed, and a number of different researchers are conducting observations, the data obviously need to be recorded on a standardized data-collection form thata€™s either paper or electronic. Most questionnaires follow a similar format: They begin with an introduction describing what the study is for, followed by instructions for completing the questionnaire and, if necessary, returning it to the market researcher. Other research question a€?dona€™tsa€? include using jargon and acronyms that could confuse people. Open-ended questionsopen-ended questionsQuestions that ask respondents to elaborate upon, or explain, their answers., or questions that ask respondents to elaborate, can be included. You have probably heard the phrase a€?garbage in, garbage out.a€? If the questions are bad, the information gathered will be bad, too. Once you have created your questionnaire or other marketing study, how do you figure out who should participate in it? The next step is to put together the sampling framesampling frameThe list from which a research sample is drawn.
There are two main categories of samples in terms of how they are drawn: probability samples and nonprobability samples.
A nonprobability samplenonprobability sampleA research sample thata€™s not drawn in a systematic way. For example, suppose a grocery store needed to quickly conduct some research on shoppers to get ready for an upcoming promotion.
Of course, if you hire a marketing research company, much of this work will be taken care of for you. Nonetheless, a€?beating the streetsa€? is still a legitimate way questionnaire data are collected. A plus of face-to-face surveys is that they allow researchers to ask more lengthy, complex questions because the people being surveyed can see and read the questionnaires. Probably the biggest drawback of both surveys conducted face-to-face and administered over the phone by a person is that they are labor intensive and therefore costly. By contrast, gathering survey data collected by a computer, either over the telephone or on the Internet, can be very cost effective and in some cases free.
Like a face-to-face survey, an Internet survey can enable you to show buyers different visuals such as ads, pictures, and videos of products and their packaging. Another plus for Web and computer surveys (and electronic phone surveys) is that there is less room for human error because the surveys are administered electronically. Lastly, before the data collection process begins, the surveyors and observers need to be trained to look for the same things, ask questions the same way, and so forth.
Training people so they know what constitutes different ratings when they are collecting data will improve the quality of the information gathered in a marketing research study. For example, if an observation form asks the observers to describe whether a shoppera€™s behavior is hurried, moderately hurried, or unhurried, they should be given an idea of what defines each rating.
One way marketing research companies are dealing with the complexities of global research is by merging with or acquiring marketing research companies abroad. Once all the data are collected, the researchers begin the data cleaningdata cleaningThe process of removing research data that have accidentally been duplicated (entered twice into the computer) or correcting data that have obviously been recorded wrong., which is the process of removing data that have accidentally been duplicated (entered twice into the computer) or correcting data that have obviously been recorded wrong. The information generated by the programs can be used to draw conclusions, such as what all customers might like or not like about an offering based upon what the sample group liked or did not like. If there are any open-ended questions respondents have elaborated upona€”for example, a€?Explain why you like the current brand you use better than any other branda€?a€”the answers to each are pasted together, one on top of another, so researchers can compare and summarize the information. The two most commonly used criteria used to test the soundness of a study are (1) validity and (2) reliability.
If you end up becoming a marketing professional and conducting a research study after you graduate, hopefully you will do a great job putting the study together. Instead of including all the information from the study in the slides, boil each section of the report down to key points and add some a€?talking pointsa€? only the presenter will see.
Explain why ita€™s important to carefully define the problem or opportunity a marketing research study is designed to investigate. Describe the different types of problems that can occur when marketing research professionals develop questions for surveys. The research objectiveresearch objectiveThe goal(s) marketing research is supposed to accomplish. If you take a marketing research course, you will learn that research objectives get a lot more complicated than this. Many a marketing research effort is doomed from the start because the problem was improperly defined.
The research designresearch designAn outline that specifies the research data to be gathered, from whom, how, and when the data will be analyzed once it has been obtained.
A marketing research aggregatormarketing research aggregatorA marketing research company that doesna€™t conduct its own research but instead buys it from other marketing research companies and then sells the reports in their entirety or in pieces to other firms. It has searchable databases as well as handbooks, dictionaries, and books, some of which you can access online. Sometimes studies are commissioned to produce the result a client wants to heara€”or wants the public to hear.
By understanding different types of research designs, a researcher can solve a clienta€™s problems more quickly and efficiently without jumping through more hoops than necessary.
However, unlike surveys, the people being interviewed arena€™t asked a series of standard questions.
A focus groupfocus groupA group of potential buyers brought together to discuss a marketing research topic with one another. If the focus group is not conducted electronically, include name tags for the participants, pens and notepads, any materials the participants need to see, and refreshments. In an ethnographyethnographyA type of study whereby marketing researchers interview, observe, and often videotape people while they work, live, shop, and play., researchers interview, observe, and often videotape people while they work, live, shop, and play. Word associations are also used to discern peoplea€™s underlying attitudes toward goods and services.
Perhaps you have discovered your organization lacks the resources needed to produce the product. A study using a descriptive research designdescriptive research designA study that involves gathering hard numbers, often via surveys, to describe or measure a phenomenon so as to answer the questions of who, what, where, when, and how. Physiological measurementsphysiological measurementsMeasurements that record peoplea€™s involuntary physical responses to marketing stimuli, such as an advertisement.
Some companies have tried to use Second Life for this purpose, but the results have been somewhat mixed as to whether or not it is a good medium for marketing research.
Companies sometimes do field experiments either because it is more convenient or because they want to see if buyers will behave the same way in the a€?real worlda€? as in a laboratory or on a computer. The first few questions that appear on the questionnaire are usually basic, warm-up type of questions the respondent can readily answer, such as the respondenta€™s age, level of education, place of residence, and so forth. Ita€™s human nature for respondents to want to provide the a€?correcta€? answers to the person administering the survey, so as to seem agreeable. For example, asking a respondent, a€?Do you consider yourself a light, moderate, or heavy drinker?a€? can be tricky. However, they are harder to tabulate than closed-ended questionsclosed-ended questionsQuestions that limit a respondenta€™s answers. One way to make sure you dona€™t end up with garbage is to test the questionnaire before sending it out to find out if there are any problems with it. The sampling frame wona€™t perfectly match the population., which is the list from which the sample is drawn.
A probability sampleprobability sampleA research sample in which each would-be participant has a known and equal chance of being selected. Now suppose that the researcher assigned to the project showed up between the hours of 10 a.m.
If you take a marketing research or statistics class, you will learn more about how to determine the optimal size. Many marketing research companies maintain panels of prescreened people they draw upon for samples. Surveys, taking physical measurements, and observing people are just three of the ways we discussed. The surveys are conducted in public places such as in shopping malls, on the street, or in peoplea€™s homes if they have agreed to it. SurveyMonkey and Zoomerang are two Web sites that will allow you to create online questionnaires, e-mail them to up to one hundred people for free, and view the responses in real time as they come in. For instance, therea€™s no risk that the interviewer will ask a question wrong or use a tone of voice that could mislead the respondents. If they are using rankings or rating scales, they need to be a€?on the same page,a€? so to speak, as to what constitutes a high ranking or a low ranking. Does it depend upon how much time the person spends in the store or in the individual aisles? As we explained, face-to-face surveys are commonly used in third world countries to collect information from people who cannot read or lack phones and computers. Have you ever watched the TV comedians Jay Leno and David Letterman make fun of the English translations found on ethnic menus and products?

When back translationback translationA process whereby a native speaker translates a research instrument such as a survey into a foreign language and then back again to the original language to determine if there are gaps in meaning.
If the research is collected by hand using a pen and pencil, ita€™s entered into a computer. A program such as Microsoft Excel or a statistical program such as Predictive Analytics Software (PASW, which was formerly known as SPSS) is then used to tabulate, or calculate, the basic results of the research, such as the total number of participants and how collectively they answered various questions. As we have explained, qualitative information such as this can give you a fuller picture of the results of the research. A study is validvalid (study)A study that actually tests what it was designed to test and not something else. You will have defined the problem correctly, chosen the right sample, collected the data accurately, analyzed it, and your findings will be sound.
The title page explains what the report is about, when it was conducted and by whom, and who requested it. The table of contents outlines the major parts of the report, as well as any graphs and charts, and the page numbers on which they can be found.
The methodology section of the report explains the technical details of how the research was designed and conducted. The methodology section should explain these details, so decision makers can consider their overall impact. The findings section is a longer, fleshed-out version of the executive summary that goes into more detail about the statistics uncovered by the research that bolster the studya€™s findings.
The recommendations section should outline the course of action you think should be taken based on the findings of the research and the purpose of the project. Dona€™t use technical jargon decision makers and other people reading the report wona€™t understand. If youa€™re asked to create a slideshow presentation from the report, dona€™t try to include every detail in the report on the slides.
After or during the presentation, you can give the attendees the longer, paper version of the report so they can read the details at a convenient time, if they choose to.
Businesses take a look at what they believe are symptoms and try to drill down to the potential causes so as to precisely define the problem.
Cokea€™s ill-fated decision to change the formula of Coca-Cola in 1985 is a case in point: Pepsi had been creeping up on Coke in terms of market share over the years as well as running a successful promotional campaign called the a€?Pepsi Challenge,a€? in which consumers were encouraged to do a blind taste test to see if they agreed that Pepsi was better.
Primary dataprimary dataData collected using hands-on tools such as interviews or surveys to answer a question for a specific research project. Government agencies also collect and report information on demographics, economic and employment data, health information, and balance-of-trade statistics, among a lot of other information.
This is important research data for marketing managers monitoring consumer trends in the marketplace. For example, throughout the twentieth century, numerous studies found that smoking was good for peoplea€™s health. Perhaps via your regular market intelligence, you have spotted what appears to be a new opportunity in the marketplace. Instead the interviewer is armed with some general topics and asks questions that are open ended, meaning that they allow the interviewee to elaborate.
The Walt Disney Company has recently begun using ethnographers to uncover the likes and dislikes of boys aged six to fourteen. Using a word-association technique, a market researcher asks a person to say or write the first word that comes to his or her mind in response to another word. People are asked to look at a cartoon such as the one shown in FigureA 10.8, a€?Example of a Cartoon-Completion Projective Techniquea€?. In other cases, you might decide you need more in-depth, quantitative research such as descriptive research or causal research, which are discussed next.
Nor can an eye-tracking study tell you why peoplea€™s eyes tend to dwell on certain types of banner adsa€”only that they do. Using a causal research design allows researchers to answer a€?what ifa€? types of questions. The German marketing research firm Komjuniti was one of the first a€?real-worlda€? companies to set up an a€?islanda€? in Second Life upon which it could conduct marketing research. The place the experiment is conducted or the demographic group of people the experiment is administered to is considered the test markettest marketThe place an experiment is conducted or the demographic group of people an experiment is administered to.. One study the company conducted combined twenty-six different variables related to offers e-mailed to several thousand customers. Surveys are popular because they can be easily administered to large numbers of people fairly quickly. The warm-up questions are then followed by a logical progression of more detailed, in-depth questions that get to the heart of the question being researched. In other words, there is always a hazard that people will try to tell you what you want to hear on a survey. What if she uses Crest at home, but while away from home or traveling, she uses Colgatea€™s Wisp portable toothpaste-and-brush product? Also, dona€™t muddy the waters by asking two questions in the same question, something researchers refer to as a double-barreled questiondouble-barreled questionA survey question that is potentially confusing because it asks two questions in the same question.. Multiple-choice and yes-and-no questions are examples of closed-ended questions., or questions that limit a respondenta€™s answers. The sampling frame can be put together using a directory, customer list, or membership roster.[203] Keep in mind that the sampling frame wona€™t perfectly match the population.
The larger your sample is, the more data you will have, which will give you a more complete picture of what youa€™re studying. In addition, the marketing research firm will be responsible for collecting the data or contracting with a company that specializes in data collection. If youa€™re observing customers as part of gathering the data, keep in mind that if shoppers are aware of the fact, it can have an effect on their behavior. Census Bureau collects data on the nationa€™s population, it hand delivers questionnaires to rural households that do not have street-name and house-number addresses. For example, the researcher might ask the respondent to look at a list of ten retail stores and rank the stores from best to worst.
Whereas face-to-face and mailed surveys often take weeks to collect, you can conduct a Web survey in a matter of days or even hours. Respondents are also likely to feel more comfortable inputting the information into a computer if a question is sensitive than they would divulging the information to another person face-to-face or over the phone. As an analogy, you have probably had some teachers grade your college papers harder than others. However, face-to-face surveys are also common in Europe, despite the fact that phones and computers are readily available.
In the United States, researchers often ask if they can talk to the heads of households to conduct marketing research.
The firm operates in more than a hundred countries and employs more than forty thousand people.
The programs can also be used to calculate averages, such as the average age of respondents, their average satisfaction, and so forth. For example, the research might show that people in one area of the country like the product better than people in another area. At that point, you will be required to write the research report and perhaps present it to an audience of decision makers.
Many people who receive the reporta€”both executives and nonexecutivesa€”wona€™t have time to read the entire report. The margin of errormargin of errorA measure of the possible inaccuracy of the data reported in a survey. If you have related research or secondary data on hand that back up the findings, it can be included to help show the study did what it was designed to do. For example, you might need to add a section on the competition and each firma€™s market share. The information will be too long and tedious for people attending the presentation to read through.
The next task for the researcher is to put into writing the research objective, or goal, the research is supposed to accomplish. You have been tutoring for a while, and people have begun to realize youa€™re darned good at it.
Coke spent four years researching a€?the problem.a€? Indeed, people seemed to like the taste of Pepsi better in blind taste tests.
Syndicated researchsyndicated researchPrimary data marketing research firms collect on a regular basis and sell to other companies.
Instead, it buys research reports from other marketing research companies and then sells the reports in their entirety or in pieces to other firms.
The World Bank and the United Nations are two international organizations that collect a great deal of information. You would then do exploratory research to investigate it further and a€?get your feet wet,a€? as the saying goes.
A moderator is used to focus the discussion, the sessions are recorded, and the main points of consensus are later summarized by the market researcher.
This is a financially attractive market segment for Disney, but one in which the company has been losing market share. If the initial word is a€?fast food,a€? what word does the person associate it with or respond with? One of the characters in the picture will have made a statement, and the person is asked to fill in the empty cartoon a€?bubblea€? with how they think the second character will respond. Most marketing research professionals advise using both types of research, if ita€™s feasible. Recall in ChapterA 3, Consumer Behaviora€”How People Make Buying Decisions we explained that researchers have gone so far as to scan the brains of consumers to see what they really think about products versus what they say about them. In other words, if a firm changes X (say, a producta€™s price, design, placement, or advertising), what will happen to Y (say, sales or customer loyalty). However, with so many other attractive fantasy islands in which to play, the company found it difficult to get Second Life residents, or players, to voluntarily visit the island and stay long enough so meaningful research could be conducted. Obviously, the terrorist attacks in the United States would have skewed the experimenta€™s data.
Before a large company rolls out a product to the entire marketplace, it will often place the offering in a test market to see how well it will be received. However, to produce the best results, the questionnaire for the survey needs to be carefully designed.
Lastly, the questionnaire wraps up with a statement that thanks the respondent for participating in the survey and information and explains when and how they will be paid for participating. Consequently, care needs to be taken that the survey questions are written in an unbiased, neutral way. Of course, including some sort of monetary incentive for completing the survey can increase the number of completed questionnaires a market researcher will receive. A sampling errorsampling errorAny type of marketing research mistake that results because a sample was utilized.
A convenience sampleconvenience sampleType of nonprobability sample thata€™s drawn because ita€™s readily available and convenient to do so.
For example, if a customer shopping for feminine hygiene products in a supermarket aisle realizes she is being watched, she could become embarrassed and leave the aisle. And Census Bureau workers personally survey the homeless to collect information about their numbers. The same question wouldna€™t work so well over the telephone because the person couldna€™t see the list.
And, of course, because the information is electronically gathered it can be automatically tabulated.
Given all of these advantages, ita€™s not surprising that the Internet is quickly becoming the top way to collect primary data. The goal of training is to avoid a wide disparity between how different observers and interviewers record the data. Eight of the ten largest marketing research companies in the world are headquartered in the United States.

Hiring someone who is bilingual to translate a survey into another language can be a disaster if the person isna€™t a native speaker of the language to which the survey is being translated.
For example, when Toyota goes to an event such as a car show, the automakera€™s marketing personnel ask would-be buyers to complete questionnaires directly on computers.
The same can done for percentages, and other values you learned about, or will learn about, in a statistics course, such as the standard deviation, mean, and median for each question. You will do so via a written report and, in some cases, a slide or PowerPoint presentation based on your written report.
Instead, they will rely on the executive summary to quickly get an idea of the studya€™s results and what to do about those results.
If youa€™re trying to decide on different supply chain options, you will need to include a section on that topic. Also, proofread the document to ferret out any grammatical errors and typos, and ask a couple of other people to proofread behind you to catch any mistakes you might have missed.
And if they do go to the trouble of reading all the information, they probably wona€™t be listening to the speaker who is making the presentation. For example, maybe your business has dropped off because your school is experiencing financial trouble and has lowered the number of scholarships given to incoming freshmen. Secondary datasecondary dataData already collected by your firm or another organization for purposes other than the marketing research project at hand. Census Bureau collects census data every ten years to gather information about who lives where. Exploratory research is less structured than other types of research, and secondary data are often utilized.
A depth interview also allows a researcher to ask logical follow-up questions such as a€?Can you tell me what you mean when you say you felt uncomfortable using the service?a€? or a€?Can you give me some examples?a€? to help dig further and shed additional light on the research problem. Textbook publishers often gather groups of professors at educational conferences to participate in focus groups. Some researchers believe ita€™s hard to generalize, or apply, the results of a case study to other companies. The ethnographers visit the homes of boys, observe the things they have in their rooms to get a sense of their hobbies, and accompany them and their mothers when they shop to see where they go, what the boys are interested in, and what they ultimately buy. On the one hand, the qualitative-type research used in exploratory research is often considered too a€?lightweight.a€? Remember earlier in the chapter when we discussed telephone answering machines and the hit TV sitcom Seinfeld?
To conduct causal research, the researcher designs an experiment that a€?controls,a€? or holds constant, all of a producta€™s marketing elements except one. The company then tracked the results of the sales generated to see if they were in line with the earlier experiment it had conducted that led it to make the offer. In other words, they shouldna€™t lead a person taking the questionnaire to answer a question one way or another by virtue of the way you have worded it. To test the questionnaire, marketing research professionals first administer it to a number of respondents face to face.
For example, if every other person from the sampling frame were chosen, each person would have a 50 percent chance of being selected. The problem is that the shoppers wouldna€™t be representative of the storea€™s entire target market. Face-to-face surveys are also commonly used in third world countries to collect information from people who cannot read or lack phones and computers.
The two Web sites also have a host of other features such as online-survey templates you can use to create your questionnaire, a way to set up automatic reminders sent to people who havena€™t yet completed their surveys, and tools you can use to create graphics to put in your final research report.
You can also potentially reach a broader geographic group than you could if you had to personally interview people. However, five of these eight firms earn more of their revenues abroad than they do in the United States.
By contrast, in some countries, including many Asian countries, ita€™s considered taboo or rude to try to gather information from strangers either face-to-face or over the phone.
Companies are also beginning to experiment with software that can be used to collect data using mobile phones.
If your research report is riddled with errors, its credibility will be undermined, even if the findings and recommendations you make are extremely accurate.
The research design is the a€?plan of attack.a€? It outlines what data you are going to gather, from whom, how, and when, and how youa€™re going to analyze it once it has been obtained.
Or it explodes, and you cana€™t cope with the number of students youa€™re being asked help.
But the outcry among the public was so great that the new formula didna€™t last longa€”a matter of monthsa€”before the old formula was reinstated. As you will see there are a huge number of studies in every category imaginable that you can buy for relatively small amounts of money. Basic demographic information about sex, age, race, and types of housing in which people live in each U.S. TableA 10.1, a€?Examples of Primary Data Sources versus Secondary Data Sourcesa€? shows some examples of primary versus secondary data sources. However, focus groups can also be conducted on the telephone, in online chat rooms, or both, using meeting software like WebEx. Nonetheless, collecting information about companies that encountered the same problems your firm is facing can give you a certain amount of insight about what direction you should take.
If many people reply that way, and youa€™re conducting research for Burger King, that could indicate Burger King has a problem.
It involves recording the movements of a persona€™s eyes when they look at some sort of stimulus, such as a banner ad or a Web page. This gives the respondents the chance to ask the researcher about questions or instructions that are unclear or dona€™t make sense to them.
One criticism of Internet surveys is that the people who take these surveys dona€™t really represent the overall population.
Ita€™s no different than if you were to conduct a survey of, say, 25 percent of your friends, using friendsa€™ names you have in your mobile phone.
It is a sample a researcher draws because ita€™s readily available and convenient to do so. To get around problems such as these, some companies set up cameras or two-way mirrors to observe customers. Another drawback with telephone surveys is that even though federal and state a€?do not calla€? laws generally dona€™t prohibit companies from gathering survey information over the phone, people often screen such calls using answering machines and caller ID. They always say, a€?This candidate is ahead 48 to 44 percent, plus or minus 2 percent.a€? That a€?plus or minusa€? is the margin of error. Step 3 is to design the data-collection forms, which need to be standardized so the information gathered on each is comparable. Conversely, if youa€™re swamped with people who want you to tutor them, perhaps your school awarded more scholarships than usual, so there are a greater number of students who need your services. Collecting primary data is more time consuming, work intensive, and expensive than collecting secondary data.
In fact, one way to begin a research project is to carefully study a successful product or service. However, if the research is being conducted for Wendya€™s, which recently began running an advertising campaign to the effect that Wendya€™s offerings are a€?better than fast food,a€? it could indicate that the campaign is working. On the other hand, relying solely on quantitative information often results in market research that lacks ideas.
The Walt Disney Company has a research facility in Austin, Texas, that it uses to take physical measurements of viewers when they see Disney programs and advertisements. Sometimes the experiments are conducted in a laboratory using a simulated setting designed to replicate the conditions buyers would experience.
The researcher then administers the questionnaire to a small subset of respondents in the actual way the survey is going to be disseminated, whether ita€™s delivered via phone, in person, or by mail.
Sometimes market researchers refer to the population as the universe to reflect the fact that it includes the entire target market, whether it consists of a million people, a hundred thousand, a few hundred, or a dozen.
Most of your friendsa€™ names are likely to be programmed into your phone, but not all of them.
If you were to repeat the study, and get the same results (or nearly the same results), the research is said to be reliablereliable (study)A study that, when repeated, produces the same or nearly the same result..
Surveys are a popular way to gather data because they can be easily administered to large numbers of people fairly quickly. Alternately, perhaps you ran an ad in your schoola€™s college newspaper, and that led to the influx of students wanting you to tutor them. Consequently, you should always try to collect secondary data first to solve your research problem, if you can.
The company conducts independent, unbiased surveys of customer satisfaction, product quality, and buyer behavior for various industries. Consequently, if they solely constitute your population, even if you screen them for certain criteria, the data you collect could end up being skewed. A mystery shoppermystery shopperA person who is paid to shop at a firma€™s establishment or one of its competitorsa€™ to observe the level of service, cleanliness of the facility, and so forth, and report his or her findings to the firm.
What would women in Muslim countries who arena€™t allowed to converse with male sellers think of it? However, to produce the best results, survey questionnaires need to be carefully designed and pretested before they are used. You would send them students to be tutored, and they would give you a cut of their pay for each student you referred to them. As you learned earlier in the book, most of the Coca-Cola Companya€™s revenues are earned in markets abroad. Chances are, the cartoon wouldna€™t provide you with the information youa€™re seeking if Muslim women in some countries were asked to complete it. The data collected, or at least some it, can also be compared to, or reconciled with, similar data from other sources either gathered by your firm or by another organization to see if the information seems on target.
Step 4 is drawing the sample, or a subset of potential buyers who are representative of your entire target market. If this research contains the answer to your question, there is no need for you to replicate it. One of the best-known sellers of syndicated research is the Nielsen Company, which produces the Nielsen ratings. See below for questions you can ask to help gauge the credibility of secondary information. For this reason, studies that use nonprobability samples arena€™t considered as accurate as studies that use probability samples. To be sure, the United States is still a huge market when it comes to the revenues marketing research firms generate by conducting research in the country: in terms of their spending, American consumers fuel the worlda€™s economic engine. The Nielsen ratings measure the size of television, radio, and newspaper audiences in various markets. Still, emerging countries with growing middle classes, such as China, India, and Brazil, are hot new markets companies want to tap. Step 5 is to actually collect the data, whether ita€™s collected by a person face-to-face, over the phone, or with the help of computers or the Internet. Step 6 is to analyze the data collected for any obvious errors, tabulate the data, and then draw conclusions from it based on the results. The last step in the process, Step 7, is writing the research report and presenting the findings to decision makers. The companies then compile the information and sell it to firms in various industries that subscribe to their services. The Neilsen Company has also recently teamed up with Facebook to collect marketing research information.

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