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Marketing Research. An Applied Orientation

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Voorbeeld Hoofdstuk (Je toegangsniveau is niet voldoende voor het gebruiken van de volledige samenvatting): 

2. The marketing research problem and approach.


Problem definition: broad statement of the general problem and identification of the specific components of the marketing research problem.


Together with developing an approach, the process of defining the problem contains:

  • Tasks involved:
    * discussions with decision maker(s)

    Problem audit: comprehensive examination of a marketing problem to understand its origin and nature.
    This is important because the decision maker(s) usually has only a vague idea of what the problem is.

    To be productive, the interaction between the decision maker(s) and the researcher should be defined by the 7 c’s:
    Communication: free exchange of ideas.
    Cooperation: it’s a team project.
    Confidence: mutual trust.
    Candor: no hidden agendas and an open attitude.
    Closeness: a warm and closeness relationship.
    Continuity: they must interact continually.
    Creativity: the interaction should be creative instead of formulaic.

    * Interviews with experts (to help define the marketing research problem, not to develop a conclusive solution)

    Experience survey/Key-informant technique: interviews with people who are very knowledgeable about the general topic being researched.
    Lead-user survey: interviews with lead users of the technology.

    Expert information is often obtained by unstructured personal interviews, without a formal questionnaire.

    Difficulties by obtaining expert information:
    1. Some individuals may not really be experts.
    2. It can be difficult to locate and obtain help from experts who are outside the organization.

    * secondary data analysis
    Secondary data: data collected for another purpose then the problem now.
    Primary data: data developed by the researcher specifically to handle the research problem.

    (* qualitative research)
    Qualitative research: unstructured, exploratory research method based on small samples to get insight and understanding of the problem setting.
    Pilot surveys: surveys less structured than large-scale surveys, they generally contain more open-ended questions and have a much smaller sample size.
    Case studies: involve an intensive examination of a few selected cases of the symptom of interest. Cases could be customers, stores, etc.

  • Environmental context of the problem.
    Environmental context of the problem: consists the factors that have an impact on the definition of the marketing research problem, including:

    > Past information and Forecasts. This in trends with respect to sales, market share, profitability, technology, population, demographics, and lifestyle.

    > Resources and Constraints

    > Objectives of the decision maker
    Objectives: goals of the organization and of the decision maker must be considered to carry successful marketing research.

    > Buyer behavior
    Buyer behavior: knowledge that tries to understand and predict customers’ reactions based on an individual’s specific characteristics.

    Buyer behavior factors:
    - number and geographical location of the buyers and nonbuyers.
    - demographic and psychological characteristics.
    - product consumption habits and the consumption of related product
    - media consumption behavior and response to promotions.
    - price sensitivity.
    - retail outlets patronized.
    - buyer preferences.

    > Legal environment
    Legal environment: regulatory policies and norms within which organizations must operate.

    > Economic environment
    Economic environment: consist of income, prices, savings, credit, and general economic conditions.

    > Marketing and Technologically skills of the firm.

  • Step 1: Problem definition -> management decision problem -> marketing research problem.
    Management decision problem: problem confronting the decision maker. It asks what the decision maker needs to do.
    Marketing research problem: problem that entails determining what information is needed and how it can be obtained in the most feasible way.


Management decision problem

Marketing research problem

Asks what the decision maker needs to do

Asks what information is needed and how it should be obtained

Action oriented

Information oriented

Focuses on symptoms

Focuses on the underlying causes


Conceptual map: way to link the broad statement of the marketing research problem to the management decision problem.
It contains these 3 components:

  1. Management want to (take an action);
  2. 2. Therefore, we should study (topic);
  3. 3. So that we can explain (question).

The definition of Marketing Research Problem should (1)allow the researched to obtain all the information needed to address the management decision problem, (2)guide the researched in proceeding with the project.

Broad statement: first statement of the marketing research problem that provides an appropriate perspective on the problem.

Specific components: second part of the marketing research problem which focus on the key aspects of the problem and provide clear guidelines on how to proceed further.

  • Step 2: Approach to the Problem:
    * Objective/Theoretical Foundations
    Theory: conceptual scheme based on foundational statements that are assumed to be true.
    Objective evidence: neutral evidence that is supported by empirical findings.

    * Analytical Model: Verbal, Graphical, Mathematical
    Analytical model: explicit specification of a set of variables and their interrelationships designed to represent some real system or process in whole or part.
    Verbal models: analytical models that bring written representation of the relationships between variables.
    Graphical models: analytical models that bring a visual picture of the relationships between variables.
    Mathematical models: analytical models that explicitly describe the relationships between variables, often in equation form.

    * Research questions
    Research questions (RQs): refined statements of the specific components of the problem.

    * Hypotheses
    Hypothesis: unproven statement/proposition about a factor/phenomenon that is of interest of the researcher.

    * Specification of Information needed

  • Step 3: Research design.


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