Marketing Lecture Notes Week 4/Textbook notes Chapter 4
The Marketing Research Process
Managers consider several factors before embarking on a marketing research project.
Because research is both expensive and time-consuming, it is important to establish in
advance exactly what information in required answering specific research questions, and how
that information should be obtained.
Step 1: Define the Research Problem and Objectives: Correctly defining the marketing
problems is one of the most important elements of the marketing research process. Some
marketing researches claim that this aspect is the most difficult of the marketing research
process. Marketing research efforts and resources can be wasted if the research objectives
are poorly defined. Poor design arises from three major sources: basing research on
irrelevant research questions, focusing on research questions that marketing research cannot
answer, or addressing research questions to which the answers are already known. However,
timely and focused marketing research could help companies refine their marketing efforts
Step 2: Design the research project: In this step, researchers identify the type of data
needed and determine the type of research necessary. Identifying the type of data needed for
the first purpose – determining relative market share --- is fairly straightforward. The
marketers must decide whether the data required to make a decision should be obtained
from secondary resources or primary resources.
Secondary Data: pieces of information that have been collected prior to the start
of the focal research project. Secondary data include both external and internal data sources.
A marketing research project often begins with a review of the relevant secondary data.
Secondary data might come from free or very inexpensive external sources such as census
data, information from trade associations, the Internet, books, journal articles, and reports
published in magazines and newspapers. Sometimes, however, secondary data are not
adequate to meet researcher needs. External secondary data is called syndicated data –
which are data available for a free from commercial research firms such as Symphony IRI
Group, National Purchase Diary Panel, Nielsen and Leger Marketing.
Primary Data: Data collected to address the specific research needs/questions
currently under investigation. Marketers collect primary data by using a variety of means,
such as observing consumer behaviour, conducting focus groups, or surveying customers by
using the mail, telephone, in-person interviews, or the Internet. A major advantage of primary
research is that it can be tailored to fit the research questions; however, it also has its own
set of disadvantages. It is usually more costly than secondary research and more time-
consuming. Data collection through primary research required that the researcher makes
several important decisions. These decisions include which method to use, what types of
sampling plan is best in light of the research objective, what types of research instruments.
Simply, put reliability is the extent to which you will get the same result if the study is
repeated under identical situations. Three important questions that must be answered are (1)
who should be surveyed, (2) how big should the sample be, and (3) what types of sampling
procedure to use. Step 3: Collect Data: Depending on the nature of the research problem, the data collection
method can employ either as exploratory or a conclusive research method. Exploratory
research attempts to begin to understand the phenomenon of interest; it also provides initial
information that helps the researcher more clearly formulate the research problem or
objectives. Conclusive research provides the information needed to confirm those insights
and which managers can use to pursue appropriate courses of action. Conclusive research
also enables researchers to test their prediction or hypothesis, which is a statement or
proposition predicting a particular relationship among multiple variables.
Exploratory (Qualitative) Research Methods