The marketing research process
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The Marketing Research Process. The Research Purpose. A shared understanding between manager and researcher about Problem or opportunity to be studied Exploratory (qualitative) research to identify problems or opportunities

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The Marketing Research Process

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The Marketing Research Process

The Research Purpose

  • A shared understanding between manager and researcher about

    • Problem or opportunity to be studied

      • Exploratory (qualitative) research to identify problems or opportunities

      • Goal is to move from exploratory to confirmatory (quantitative) research (decision-focused)

    • Evaluation of decision alternatives

      • If there are no decision alternatives, no research is necessary

    • Research users

      • External bodies may require high-quality research designs

Research Purpose: Your projects

  • Manager / Researchers?

    • You are the researchers – Your professor is the manager

  • Identify the research problem:

    • Identify and write down your team’s research problem / opportunity that you want to study

  • Example Case: Promoting a New Health Cub in town

  • Research problem: Consumers largely ignore advertising

  • Research opportunity: Competitor’s facilities are outdated

Market Research Process

  • Agree on Research Purpose

  • Establish Research Objectives

Research Objective

  • A statement, in as precise terminology as possible, of what information is needed to satisfy the research purpose

  • What do we plan to achieve (know) through this research, that dovetails into the research purpose

  • Case: Promoting a New Health Club in town

    • Research Objective: Understanding the best way to promote the new health club

  • For your projects: Write down your research objective

Explicating the Research Objective

  • Research Question

    • What specific information do we want under the broad research objective

  • Hypothesis Development

    • Can we make a specific statement about a research question which we believe to be accurate

  • Research Boundaries

    • Who should be included / excluded from the research

The Research Question (RQ)

  • Specifies information the decision maker needs to achieve the research purpose

  • One Research Objective may lead to many research questions

  • RQs used when we do not have sufficient information to state a hypothesis

Case: New Health Club: Research Questions: Consumers Ignore Advertising

  • How much do consumers notice health club advertising in general?

  • How much do consumers like health club advertising in general?

  • What are consumers’ perceptions about our competitors?

  • Which ad did consumers rate the highest? The lowest?

  • When do consumers usually watch TV, what times and which channels and programs?

  • What attitude to advertising do consumers have?

  • Do consumers frequently ‘zip’ and ‘zap’ when the commercial breaks come on?

  • What is our consumers attitude to being personally approached to sell?

Case: New Health Club: Research Questions: Outdated competitor’s facilities

  • What are the different dimensions on which consumers evaluate health clubs?

  • What is their relative importance in the evaluation?

  • Would “state of the art” facilities be enough reason to switch to the new health club?

  • How much extra would consumers be willing to pay for “state-of-the-art facilities?

Your projects

  • Begin writing research questions that dovetail into your research objective

The Hypothesis

  • A statement related to the research question which you believe to be accurate

  • Two types (Null & Research) – research to reveal which of these are correct

  • Specify variables to be measured with / without value OR variables to be measured and relationship between them

Hypothesis Development













Role of the Hypothesis

  • Introduces more detail than the RQ

  • RQ: Why are sales in the Northeast lower than the national average?

  • H1: The competitor released a new ad campaign

  • H2: The weather was abnormally cold

  • H3: A distribution problem prevented products from reaching the retailers

  • Introduces variables to be included in the research design (e.g. new ad campaign, temperature, distribution problems)

Case: New Health Club: Hypotheses: Consumers ignore advertising?

  • Consumers do not notice health club advertising in general

  • Consumers dislike health club advertising in general

  • Consumers like competitor A more than competitor B

  • The ad with the “___” is least liked.

  • Consumers like being approached personally to sell

Case: New Health Club: Hypotheses: Outdated competitor’s facilities

  • Consumers feel facilities are more important than location in a health club

  • “State of the art” facilities alone is not reason enough to switch health clubs

  • Consumers prefer discounts to paying a premium for modern facilities

  • Consumers are not satisfied with competitors’ facilities

The Marketing Research Process (Research Objective)






Develop a can

How effective is

The design that

design for the

each of several

conforms to the

new Miller beer

different design

advertising message


is best.


What is the current

Builders Square’s

Builders Square

image of Builders

image is not as good

store traffic


as its competitor’s


The Research Process Pyramid

Research Problem

Abstract level

Research Objectives

Research Questions


Operational level

Questionnaire Items

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