Explain basic differences between marketing managers and marketing researchers.
Marketing researchers are personnel involved in the logical gathering of relevant information and analyzing it scientifically to provide solutions to marketing concerns. They are not involved in decision making rather they provide decision makers with information and various alternatives of implementing marketing strategies.
Marketing managers analyze information collected by researchers to chart, direct and bring together marketing information including demand for items and identify customers. They also determine pricing strategies to ensure profit maximization to the organisation and ensure customer satisfaction. They make decisions on needs to introduce new commodities based on the product development stages and trends monitoring. Marketing managers are decision makers and policy makers.
A marketing research proposal is a document used to define the structure and steps to be followed by researchers in response to the research brief. It acts as a guideline to be followed by the researchers to respond to the needs of market managers.
The main components of a research proposal are the identification of the problem. Hypothesis generation is the second component of a research proposal. The third component is a decision on the type of study. A research study can either be exploratory, descriptive or causal. The fourth component of a research proposal is determination of what methods to be used to collect data. The fifth component is the development of an analysis plan. The other is data collection and analysis of the data obtained. Conclusions and recommendations are then made.
Describe the complete marketing research process. Identify and briefly discuss each of the components.
A marketing research process involves a series of steps. First is a definition of the research problem as questions to be answered by the research. Secondly, the marketing research design is determined. Research designed can either be exploratory, descriptive or causal. The third step is determination of the type and source of data. Secondary sources should be explored first before seeking primary data because it helps save time and reduce costs. The fourth step involves designing data collecting methods including forms and questionnaire. The fifth step is the definition of the sample size. Researchers should determine the sampling method to use and be aware of random sampling errors and non-sampling error. Data analysis is the seventh step in a marketing research process. Data is analyzed through either simple or cross tabulations. Hypothesis testing methods are also used. Lastly, the marketing research report is prepared which is designed to respond to the requirements of management.
What are the four levels of measurement scales? Explain the four scale characteristics that determine the level of measurement of a scale.
Elements or aspects can be measured on nominal, ordinal, interval or ratio scales. Nominal scales involve the use of numbers with the mathematical use of counting. Ordinal scales involve ranking where intervals between numbers have no effect, for example, the use of mode and median computations. Interval scales also known as cardinal scale involve equal interval amid numbers. This scaling method makes is possible to interpret the flow of the scale scores and explain the distance between them. Ratio scales has both characteristics of an interval scale and with reference to a zero point. These scales enable research evaluate differences and magnitude of scores, for example, weight.
Some people say ethics are not important in market research. Discuss.
Ethical conflicts are likely to arise as marketing researcher try to achieve meet the managers expectations of the market research. As such, they may fail to reveal the true objective of the research to the target respondents. These ethical conflicts can only be resolving by creating a balance between the expectations which is rather hard as these expectations are often differing. Researchers are faced with various inherent unethical practices some of which are deceiving acts and dishonesty in the research methods. When researchers are collecting information, they may be perceived to be invading respondents’ privacy. Researchers share information obtained with other firms or associates which may be in breach of confidentiality. Finally, researchers may be skewed towards certain conclusions based on personal judgments and thus not achieving objectivity in their research.
In all these circumstances, researchers should always try to ensure that ethical practices and standards are maintained as ethics are important to market research.
Explain the functions of a questionnaire and outline the steps in the development process.
Questionnaires are tools in the marketing research process used to collect primary data. The process of developing questionnaires involves nine steps. Firstly, a decision on information needed to achieve the objectives of the research is made. Secondly, determine the target respondent group which is the population form where samples are drawn. Thirdly, identify the means of reaching the target respondents which could be personal, group, telephone interviews or questionnaires sent via mail. Fourth step is a decision on the contents of questions depending in the importance of questions. Determining questions’ wording is the fifth step. Questions can either be closed, open ended or open response. Sixth step is to put questions in sensible flow and format. The seventh step involves assessing the length of the questions while the eighth step involves a pilot test of the questionnaire. Lastly the final survey form is developed.
What are the components of the marketing research report? Distinguish among results, conclusions and recommendations.
A typical market research report contains various components including letter of authorization from the managers commissioning the research, a table of contents, graphic illustrations, executive summary, purpose of the research, methodology of the research, results, limitations, conclusions and recommendations and any appendices which may include questionnaires and forms. Results are the research findings which may be documented as graphs or diagrammatic representations of analysis of all data collected. Results are raw data that may not be useful to marketing managers if not analyzed. Conclusions are inferences deduced from the results. The conclusion responds to the problem definition the hypothesis test. Recommendations are alternative causes of action that researchers offer to marketing managers based on conclusions drawn from results of the research.
Part B - Multiple choice questions:
1. a. Exploratory
2. c. Non-sampling error
3. b. Syndicated data service firms
4. a. The manager is fixed on the goal: "How can I solve this problem?" and the researcher has the goal of determining what relevant information may be provided to help solve the problem.
5. c. Problems, objectives, models, relationships