Institute of Commercial Management | Qualification Subject

Marketing Research

Main Topics of Study

Introducing Marketing Research

  • Who needs marketing research?
  • Who should read this book?
  • What does the book cover?

Getting Started

What Does the Organisation Need Research For?

  • Corporate planning
  • Market planning
  • Product planning
  • Promotional planning
  • Distribution planning
  • Price planning

What Types of Research Data are there?

  • Continuous research
  • Ad hoc research
  • Desk research
  • Field research

How Can the Organisation Obtain the Research it Needs?

  • Getting started
  • Resources

Marketing Research Begins at Home

What Can be Done at Home?

  • Data produced in the normal course of running the organisation
  • Data acquired through personal contacts
  • Accumulated research information
  • Decision support systems

What Goes into an Internal Information System?

  • Operating data
  • Market intelligence
  • Information library
  • Customer relationship management systems
  • Data warehouses and data mining

‘Off-the-Peg’ Research

Secondary Desk Research

  • Introduction
  • Sources
  • Finding the pegs
  • Using secondary data

Syndicated Research Services

  • Index to syndicated research surveys
  • Guide to syndicated research services
  • Omnibus research surveys
  • Omnibus research services and suppliers
  • General population omnibus surveys
  • Specialist omnibus surveys

Specialist Research Services

  • Types of research offered via the Market Research Society
  • Consumer classification systems

‘Made-to-Measure’ Research

  • Buying a ‘made-to-measure’ research survey is just like buying a ‘made-to measure’ suit
  • The ‘made-to-measure’ research process
  • Defining the research required
  • ‘What is the problem?’
  • ‘What data is needed to find a solution?’

How is the Data Collected?

  • Interview methods
  • Interviewing individuals
  • Attitude measurement
  • Projective techniques
  • Interviewing groups
  • Postal or self-completion research
  • Internet and e-mail research
  • Diary panels
  • Telephone research
  • Observation research
  • Observation panels
  • Retail audits

Who Provides the Information?

  • What is a sample?
  • Why use a sample?
  • How is the sample selected?
  • Random sampling
  • Quota sampling
  • Judgement sampling
  • How big does the sample need to be?
  • Variability in the population
  • Required level of confidence
  • Required limits of accuracy
  • Allowance for non-response
  • Subgroup analysis requirements
  • Practical factors

How Do You Ask the Questions?:

Why Use a Questionnaire

  • To collect relevant data
  • To make data comparable
  • To minimise bias
  • To motivate the respondent

Getting the Questionnaire Content Right

  • What types of data can be collected using a questionnaire?
  • Fact
  • Opinion
  • Motive

What Does a Questionnaire Contain?

  • Identification data
  • Classification data
  • Subject data

What Types of Question Can Be Used?

  • Dichotomous questions
  • Multiple-Choice questions
  • Open-Ended questions
  • Rating scales

How Should Questions be Worded?

  • Meaning
  • Ambiguity
  • Leading
  • Generalisation
  • Unidimensionality

Cushion Statements

  • Will the respondent answer the questions?
  • Allowing for method of analysis
  • Why does presentation matter?
  • Will the questionnaire work?

Special Types of Questionnaire

  • Postal or self-completion questionnaires
  • Telephone questionnaires
  • Online questionnaires

Vetting Questionnaires

Who Asks the Questions?

  • Interviewers:’Horses for Courses’
  • Fully structured interviews
  • Using rating scales
  • Semi-structured interviews
  • Unstructured interviews

What do Interviewers Do?

  • Selecting respondents
  • Obtaining interviews
  • Asking questions
  • Probing and prompting
  • Motivating respondents
  • Interpreting and recording responses
  • Interviewer bias

Who Are the Interviewers?

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Social background
  • Education
  • Job background
  • Personality
  • Training

How are Interviewers Controlled?

  • The interviewer quality control scheme
  • Field supervision
  • Postal checking
  • Telephone checks
  • Personal recall checks
  • Editing checks
  • Computer checks
  • Monitoring fieldwork

Choosing a Good Fieldwork Agency

  • Finding the agency
  • Asking pertinent questions
  • Looking at the evidence
  • Membership of the interviewer quality control scheme
  • Relevant experience
  • Cost

Using an Agency for Fieldwork

  • Briefing the agency
  • Agreeing the procedures
  • Briefing the interviewers

Asking the Questions Yourself

What Happens to the Answers?

  • Analysis and interpretation of qualitative data
  • Analysis of quantitative data
  • Data preparation
  • Data processing
  • Statistical analysis
  • Interpretation of quantitative data
  • Reporting
  • The research report

How Do You Buy Good Research?

Getting the Research Requirement Right

  • Is research really necessary?
  • What type of research is needed?
  • What will the research be used for?
  • When is the research needed by?
  • How much is the research information worth?
  • Preparing the brief

Choosing the Right Agency

  • Drawing up the shortlist
  • Briefing the agencies
  • The research proposal
  • Selecting the research agency
  • Checking that the agency does a good job
  • Monitoring while in progress
  • Evaluating the final results

Learning from Experience

  • Were the objectives right?
  • Was the research programme right?
  • Was too much or too little information produced?
  • Did it help to provide a solution?
  • Using feedback
  • What action resulted from the research?

Buying Syndicated Services

  • Defining the requirement
  • Does the service meet the requirement?
  • Does the service provide adequate flexibility?
  • Is the money worth spending?
  • Evaluating other research reports
  • A scheme for judging research quality

Using Research in Experiments

Types of Research Experiment

  • Experimental launching
  • Pilot launching
  • Specific market test
  • Exploratory market test

Types of Experimental Design

  • Informal experimental designs
  • Formal experimental designs

Setting Up Research Experiments

  • Selecting the experimental design
  • The scale of the experiment
  • Choosing the test area
  • Timing
  • Test conditions
  • Test variables
  • Cost
  • Syndicated test procedures

Using Research in Business-to-Business and Industrial Markets

Marketing Research Begins at Home

  • ‘Off-the-peg’ research
  • ‘Made-to-measure’ research
  • How is the data collected?
  • Who provides the information?
  • How are the questions asked?
  • Who asks the questions?
  • What happens to the answers?
  • How do you buy good research?
  • Using research in industrial markets

Using Research in Online Markets

  • Marketing research begins at home
  • ‘Off-the-peg’ research
  • ‘Made-to-measure’ research
  • How is the data collected?
  • Who provides the information?
  • How are the questions asked?
  • Who asks the questions?
  • What happens to the answers?
  • How do you buy good research?
  • Using research in online markets

Using Research in International Markets

  • Who monitors the quality of international research?
  • Who are the users?
  • Who undertakes the research?
  • International market research begins at home
  • ‘Off-the-peg’ research
  • Secondary desk research
  • Sources and sampling
  • Government published data
  • ‘Made-to-measure’ research
  • Data collection methods
  • How do you ask the questions?
  • How do you buy good research?
  • Preparing the brief
  • Selecting the agency
  • Government assistance for overseas research
  • Commissioning the research
  • Implementing the research

Using Research in Marketing Decision Making

  • Using research for market analysis
  • Using research to develop new products and services
  • Using research to select brand names and pack designs
  • Using research for pricing decisions
  • Using research for decisions about advertising

Recommended Reading

Main Text:

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Marketing Research for Managers – S. Crouch & M. Housden (Butterworth Heinemann)

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